Cheat Sheet

Sage 50 Accounts For Dummies

Whoever said using Sage had to be difficult? Take control of your finances by following this simple step-by-step guide to installing software, creating accounts, invoicing customers and much more for your small business in the UK.

How to Contact SageCover

As well as getting help from the Help feature included within your Sage small business accounting software, you sometimes need to speak to an expert. SageCover offers various levels of support, from online technical guides to telephone support, including a data-retrieval service. To find out more about these services in the UK, check the Sage website or call Sage on 0800 336633.

Keeping Your Sage Data Secure and Up to Date

Keeping the data you have stored on Sage 50 Accounts secure and well maintained is important. Use this list of tips to help you achieve this:

  • Take regular backups – at least once a day. To do this, from the main toolbar, click File >Backup. You’re asked if you want to check your data beforehand. The backup window opens. Check that the location of the backup file is correct. If not, use your Browse button to find a suitable location. Modify your filename if required and then click OK.

    If you backup twice in one day with the same filename, the second backup overwrites the first so differentiate the filenames.

  • Regularly check your data, using File Maintenance. Access this tool from the main toolbar, by clicking File >Maintenance. Click Check Data, and Sage checks for any data problems.

  • Use passwords for security. If you’re signed on as the manager, you can use the Access Rights feature to set individual passwords and individual rights for each Sage user. For example, you may want to give someone access to the sales ledger or the purchase ledger but not the bank accounts.

  • If you have a single-user licence, the Access Rights facility is available only when you select the Access Rights check box on the Parameters tab of Company Preferences (from the main toolbar, click Settings >Company Preferences). After you tick this box, every time you start Sage, the Logon window appears. Type manager to log on; no password is needed, so just click OK.

  • To create a password, starting at the main toolbar, click Settings >Access Rights >New. You can enter a new user name and create a password. Click Save and then Close.

  • To change the access, highlight the individual user in the Access Rights window and click Details. The Access Details window opens, where you can set which modules that user has access to by clicking the Modules button and then editing each module by clicking the Full Access or No Access buttons.

Using Sage Function Key Short Cuts

For most people, in this midst of a frantic day at the office, anything that saves you time and effort is welcome. With Sage, the function keys do just that:

  • F1: Wherever you are on Sage, you can press F1 to get the relevant help topics for that screen.

  • F2: This handy key pulls up a small on-screen calculator you can use to check your numbers – to see that an invoice adds up correctly before entering it, for example.

  • F3: Press this key when you’re entering details on a product invoice to open up the Edit Item Line window. Accounts Professional users can also use this key to open up the Edit Item Line window from a sales or purchase order.

  • F4: By pressing this function key, you can view the full list of a field with a dropdown arrow. It opens a calculator in a numbers field or a calendar in a date field.

  • F5: This key opens a currency converter in a numeric field and a spell checker in a text field.

  • F6: Press this key to copy the information from the cell above into the current cell you’re working on. This function comes in handy when you’re entering a batch of invoices.

  • F7: This key inserts a line above the one you’re working on.

  • F8: Press this key to delete the line you’re on.

  • F9: This key calculates the net amount of an invoice and the VAT element if you only have the gross amount (the amount inclusive of VAT).

Preparing a Monthly Sage Accounts Checklist

Make use of this basic checklist to ensure that you follow a routine and cover all the bases when preparing your monthly accounts on Sage:

  • Enter your sales and purchase invoices.

  • Enter all receipts and payments from cheque stubs and paying-in slips.

  • Enter directs debits, Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (BACS), transfers and so on from bank statements.

  • Reconcile bank accounts, including credit cards.

  • Enter journals (or run wizards) for accruals, prepayments, depreciation and so on.

  • Run VAT return (if due).

  • Enter your PAYE journals and VAT journals and run the wizards if required.

  • Run Aged Debtors and Aged Creditors reports for the period.

  • Run Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet for the period.

  • Run month-end (Tools >Period-End >Month-End).

Comparing Features in the Sage 50 Accounts Product Range

Sage 50 Accounts is available in several different versions. Use this table to identify the features of each version and work out which one best suits your needs.

Feature Sage 50 Accounts 2011 Sage 50 Accounts Plus 2011 Sage 50 Accounts Professional 2011
Sales and purchase ledgers
Invoicing and quotation management
Nominal ledger
Departmental analysis
Bank records and reconciliations
E-banking
Cheque printing
VAT management
Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reporting
Budgeting
Report Designer
Accountant Link
Stock control
Bill of Materials
Stock allocation
Sales order processing
Purchase order processing
Project costing
Foreign Trader, bank revaluation and Intrastat

Knowing Your UK Tax Codes

Even if you don’t need to use all of the tax codes all of the time, you probably need some of them sometimes. For those times:

  • T0: Zero-rated. VAT is not payable on zero-rated supplies. Examples of this include books, children’s clothes and some items of food.

  • T1: Standard rate. Currently 20 per cent.

  • T2: Exempt from VAT. For example, postage stamps.

  • T4: Sales to customers in the European Union (EU).

  • T5: Lower-rate VAT, usually 5 per cent. Applies to the purchase of energy-saving materials and, for example, reclaiming VAT on DIY building work.

  • T7: Zero-rated purchases from suppliers in the EU.

  • T8: Standard-rated purchases from suppliers in the EU.

  • T9: Transactions not involving VAT. For example, wages.

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