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Archive for the ‘Sage tips and advice’ Category

Sage tips and advice

July 7, 2009

How do I create a new nominal code on Sage?

To create a new nominal code on Sage, firstly you need to select the ‘Company’ module.  This can normally be found on the left hand side, under ‘links’.

 Once you have the ‘nominal ledger’ screen in front of you, select the ‘new’ button at the top left hand corner of the list.

You will then open the set up ‘wizard’.  This wizard will then guide you through the set up process.  You will have to decide the type of code you require, whether it is a new sales code or maybe an expense code.

 If you are using the ‘Profit & Loss’ function of Sage to extract monthly or quarterly profit figures you will need to ensure that this report includes the new nominal code you have created.  To do this, go to ‘COA’ (Chart of Accounts).  This button is found along the same list as the ‘new’ button earlier.

Select the chart of accounts you normally use, then click ‘check’.  This will then highlight any nominal codes in Sage that are not currently included in your Profit and Loss account report. 

 The COA is a way of grouping different types of income and expenditure and letting Sage know which code should go where.

Why is completeness important?  Well the reports would be inaccurate if any of the nominal codes we omitted and the figures become useless!

Sage tips and advice

June 30, 2009

When using SAGE, what is the best way to file my invoices?

Once a purchase or sales invoice has been entered on SAGE, there are a number of ways of storing these.  Some like to file these in alphabetical order, some just in month order and other business owners like to throw them into a large carrier bag in no particular order!

 However the best and most logical order I have found is as follows:  Once you have entered the invoice into SAGE, simply file the invoice onto a lever arch file in transaction number order.  The transaction number is a unique sequential number given to each transaction by SAGE.  Immediately after entering an invoice, write the transaction number (eg.    T/N 1214  ) on the top right hand corner of the invoice.  The transaction number can be found at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  Once you have written the transaction number on the invoice, file it on the lever arch file.  A lever arch file should be kept for each different VAT quarter, this way if and when you have a VAT office visit, you can easily find all the invoices that were entered onto any particular VAT return.

This system works because if you ever need to find an invoice, you simply use Sage to locate the transaction and then find the number that relates to the invoice.  This system is far superior to an alphabetic system as it is surprising how many people struggle to file things alphabetically!

Sage tips and advice

June 28, 2009

How do I correct an error on Sage?

Often using an accounting package can be straight forward, until you make a mistake.  Once you realise the error has been made, the next step is to work out what adjustments you need to make to correct the situation.

Sage has a built in section for correcting errors called ‘File Maintenance’, however if used carelessly you can quite quickly mess up the whole thing, so tread carefully!

To find file maintenance, go to ‘File’ then select ‘Maintenance’.  Now select ‘Corrections’.  You must now find the erroneous transaction by pressing the ‘Find’ button.  The quickest way of finding the transaction is by entering the transaction number, however searches can be made using the date, net amount, reference and details.  Once you have found the transaction you can edit and save any of the original details.

When using ‘File maintenance’ all other pages of Sage (ie. Bank or Customers) must be closed.  Also if your business has more than one user of Sage, all other users must exit Sage before you can make changes in ‘File Maintenance’.

Sage tips and advice

June 18, 2009

Introduction to Sage accounts package

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If you are in business then you must have a system for recording your business income and expenditure accurately.

This often involves a simple Excel spreadsheet or a cashbook and each item is entered on a fairly regular basis, ok sometimes once a year just before your tax return is due!

Well the Sage software is really a solid robust accounts package that does everything your Excel spreadsheet or cashbook can do, but then much more as well.

There are many different accounting packages out there, however Sage is one of the main leaders, many accountants prefer it for a number of reasons.  I think Sage is an excellent package, it is robust, logical and it does a great job of small and medium sized businesses accounts.  Some think that it is expensive but this is no longer the case, Sage instant can currently be purchased for less than £150.

However, be warned, you’ve heard the saying, ‘rubbish in rubbish out’ well this is definitely true when it comes to computerised accounting software.  If you don’t know your sales invoice from your bank payment, then buying an accounting package is not going to change that.  Be warned if you don’t obtain some initial training on Sage then you could end up paying MORE to the dreaded accountant than less as it can take a lot more time unravelling a messy set of computerised records than simply flicking through a scruffy cashbook!

Sage can be used as a simple in and out system, or it is excellent for keeping track of which customer owes you money and which suppliers you still haven’t paid!

It will give you monthly or quarterly profit and loss figures which are a real aid to keeping a close eye on how your business is progressing.  Some criticise Sage and say that it is a package designed by accountants for accountants.  Well I’m glad accountants HAVE designed it, this means it actually works properly and ok you do need a bit of training, but it’s definitely money and time well invested!