Brightpay vs Sage – What’s the best payroll solution for UK businesses? Prices and features compared

In the competitive market of payroll solutions, UK businesses often find themselves comparing Brightpay and Sage. Both are prominent names in payroll software, offering a range of features to streamline the payroll process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive Brightpay vs Sage comparison of features, pricing, and overall value to help UK businesses make an informed choice.


Brightpay vs Sage

User InterfaceModern, intuitive designTraditional, suitable for Sage users
Cloud IntegrationBrightpay Connect for cloud functionalityLimited or varies by Sage product
Employee Self-Service PortalComprehensive online access for employeesVaries by Sage product
Automatic Pension EnrolmentEfficient managementEfficient management
Customisable ReportsStandard reportsHighly customisable payroll and HR reports
Compliance with HMRCFull compliance, including RTI submissionsFull compliance, updated for latest legislation
ScalabilitySuitable for all business sizesIdeal for medium to large businesses
Integration with Accounting SoftwareLimited integration with non-Brightpay softwareSeamless integration with Sage accounting software
Annual License Fee£99 – £399, based on features and planVaries, generally higher than Brightpay
Monthly Payment OptionYesYes, depending on the product
Cloud Service Additional FeeYes, for Brightpay ConnectVaries by Sage product
Brightpay vs Sage compared

This table provides a basic comparison, but it’s important to consider the specific needs of your business.

For example, if you already use Sage accounting software, the integration capabilities of Sage payroll might be particularly beneficial.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a straightforward, cloud-based solution, Brightpay might be more suitable.

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Pricing can vary based on additional services and the number of employees, so getting a detailed quote from each provider is recommended for an accurate comparison.

Video: Answering your common questions about payroll prices and costs

Overview of Brightpay

Brightpay, known for its user-friendly and modern interface, caters to a wide range of businesses, from small enterprises to large corporations. Its key strength lies in its cloud-based functionality, which allows for remote access and ease of collaboration.

Key Features of Brightpay

  1. Cloud Integration: Brightpay Connect offers cloud backup and remote access.
  2. Employee Self-Service Portal: Employees can access payslips and submit requests online.
  3. Automatic Pension Enrolment: Efficiently manages auto-enrolment for workplace pensions.
  4. Comprehensive Reporting: Offers detailed financial and employee reports.

Pricing of Brightpay

Brightpay’s pricing structure is flexible, with options for monthly or annual payments. The cost ranges from approximately £99 to £399 per year, depending on the package and features selected. Brightpay Connect, the cloud service, incurs an additional fee.

Overview of Sage

Sage is a well-established player in the payroll and accounting software market. It’s particularly favoured by medium to large businesses for its extensive feature set and integration capabilities with various accounting systems.

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Key Features of Sage

  1. Advanced Integration: Seamlessly integrates with Sage accounting software.
  2. Customisable Reports: Offers a wide range of customisable payroll and HR reports.
  3. Compliance Management: Ensures compliance with the latest payroll legislation, including HMRC requirements.
  4. Scalability: Ideal for businesses looking to scale, thanks to its robust infrastructure.

Pricing of Sage

Sage offers various pricing tiers, typically starting higher than Brightpay. The cost varies based on the number of employees and the level of functionality required. It’s advisable to request a custom quote from Sage for accurate pricing.

Comparison and Conclusion

  • Ease of Use: Brightpay offers a more user-friendly and modern interface, while Sage has a more traditional setup that might appeal to users familiar with its accounting software.
  • Features: Both offer comprehensive payroll features, but Sage has an advantage in integration with its own accounting solutions and more customisable reporting options.
  • Pricing: Brightpay is generally more cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses, while Sage, though potentially more expensive, offers more advanced features for larger businesses.
  • Scalability: Sage is ideal for larger businesses or those planning significant growth due to its robust infrastructure and advanced features.

In summary, the choice between Brightpay vs Sage depends on your business’s specific needs. Brightpay is an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes looking for a modern, cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface. On the other hand, Sage is more suitable for medium to large businesses that require advanced integration with accounting software and customisable reporting options. Evaluate your business size, growth trajectory, and specific payroll requirements to determine the best fit.

FAQ – Brightpay vs Sage

What are the main differences in user experience between Brightpay and Sage?

Brightpay offers a modern, user-friendly interface, while Sage tends to have a more traditional, comprehensive setup, which might be more familiar to existing Sage users.

How do Brightpay and Sage compare in terms of cloud integration?

Brightpay has a significant advantage with its Brightpay Connect feature for cloud integration and remote access, whereas cloud functionality in Sage can vary depending on the specific Sage product.

Can both Brightpay and Sage handle auto-enrolment for pensions effectively?

Yes, both Brightpay and Sage offer efficient management of auto-enrolment for workplace pensions, ensuring compliance with UK regulations.

Are the payroll reports generated by Brightpay as detailed and customizable as those by Sage?

Sage typically offers more detailed and customisable payroll and HR reports compared to Brightpay, which provides standard reporting capabilities.

Do Brightpay and Sage offer similar levels of customer support and training?

Both Brightpay and Sage offer customer support, but the extent, availability, and type of training and support services may differ, so it’s advisable to review each provider’s offerings.

How does the pricing of Brightpay compare with Sage for a small business?

Brightpay is generally more cost-effective for small businesses, with a flexible pricing structure. Sage, while offering more advanced features, typically starts at a higher price point.

Is the employee self-service portal in Brightpay more user-friendly than in Sage?

Brightpay is known for its user-friendly employee self-service portal, while the functionality and user experience of Sage‘s portal can vary depending on the specific Sage payroll product.

Can both Brightpay and Sage be integrated with other accounting software?

While Sage offers seamless integration with its own range of accounting products, Brightpay also provides integration capabilities, though it might be more limited compared to Sage.

Are Brightpay and Sage equally suitable for businesses of all sizes?

Brightpay is versatile and suitable for all sizes, but Sage is particularly ideal for medium to large businesses, especially those needing robust integration with accounting software.

What are the differences in HMRC compliance between Brightpay and Sage?

Both Brightpay and Sage are fully compliant with HMRC requirements, including RTI submissions. However, Sage often provides more comprehensive updates in line with the latest payroll legislation.

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