10 SageLine tips, hacks and insider insights

Written by Tim Mears on August 8 2018

SageLine tips and hacks

Sage 50 is one of the UK’s most trusted software packages for small businesses. Why? Because it allows you to manage cash flow, invoicing, banking, customers, suppliers and VAT at the touch of a button.

Yet many users are unaware of some of the shortcuts available in Sage that can save them time and make accounting even easier. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful ones with a step-by-step guide.

1. Compare profits on a month-by-month basis

  • Go to Nominal Codes.
  • Go to Reports and then Profit and Loss.
  • Select Profit and Loss (Monthly Breakdown).
  • Enter the dates you want to compare.
  • Your report will show profit and loss per month.

2. Compare profits with previous years

  • Go to Nominal Codes.
  • Go to Reports and then Profit and Loss.
  • Select Profit and Loss (with prior values).
  • Enter dates you want to compare.
  • Your report will show you figures for this year and last year, plus any variance.

3. Globally ‘agree terms’ for all new customers or suppliers

  • Go to Settings.
  • Go to Customer Defaults.
  • At bottom of the screen tick the ‘terms agreed’ box.
  • You will no longer have to agree terms for every new customer.
  • You can do the same for suppliers by going to Settings and Supplier Defaults. 

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4. Submit VAT returns direct from Sage 

  • Go to Settings.
  • Go to Company Preferences.
  • Go to VAT tab.
  • Enter your user ID, password and contact details and set your E-Submission Credentials.
  • Submit your VAT return direct from Sage to HMRC. 

5. If you make sales of services to VAT registered customers in the EC, you can include the reverse charge for VAT:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Go to Configuration.
  • Go to Tax Codes.
  • Click T22 and tick the box for reverse charge.
  • Edit your sales invoice to include the following: “This invoice is subject to the reverse charge in the country of receipt.”
  • Press Alt and X to export the data from Sage to Excel.
  • This provides a read-only copy of your data that you can access at any time.

6. Use Lock Date option to stop back posting into prior periods

  • Go to Settings.
  • Go to Lock Date.
  • Tick box and enter cut-off date for posting.
  • A message will now prompt you each time you try and post in the period that has been locked.
  • Users without management accounts will be denied access. 

7. Schedule regular backups

  • From the main toolbar, click File.
  • Click Schedule Backup to open the Sage Accounts Backup Manager window.
  • Click on Settings to check the current status of your backups.
  • You can amend the recurrence of the backup by entering a specific date and time to suit you.
  • You can also check that the location of the backup file is correct.
  • If not, use your Browse button to select the right location.
  • Check you’re running the correct backup type; it will default to accounts data only, but you can include additional reports and layouts by ticking the appropriate boxes. 

8. Archive your data at any point

  • Go to Tools.
  • Go to Period End.
  • Go to Archive Company.
  • Enter description/name of archive folder.
  • Click ok.
  • Now you can easily compare current year to previous year figures.

9. Add reports and layouts to favourites

  • Click on the star on the left-hand side.
  • Once turned yellow the report or layout will appear in your favourites each time you load the section in Sage.
  • This saves you from having to look for a report each time.

10. Change your Welcome Page

  • Go to Tools.
  • Go to Options.
  • Go to View.
  • In Desktop select what you’d like to view in the drop-down menu.

How to gain even more value from Sage 50

As well as these tips and tricks there’s another way to gain more value from your Sage software package.

Now it’s possible to use the data held in Sage 50 to obtain valuable insights into your business using Microsoft’s Power BI. Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that uses real-time dashboards, interactive visual reports and mobile apps to give you a single view of critical business data. It removes the need to manually wade through volumes of financial information by taking data and transforming it into easy-to-use dashboards with clear visualisations.

With access to real-time visual displays of your Sage data, you can begin to track key performance indicators, view interactive financial reports, analyse trends and, ultimately, make data-driven business decisions.

In the past, this has been a challenge for users of Sage, which is why we at Axon developed BI GO. This tool is designed to utilise the intuitive analytical capabilities of Power BI so you can finally gain actionable insights from critical data held in Sage 50.

With this smart technology, you can drill down further into underlying reports, discover new insights and pin them back to your dashboard for continuous monitoring of performance. In essence, BI GO provides a consolidated view across your business, regardless of where your data lives.

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Give your employees data power

BI GO isn’t just for accountants or business owners. You can give chosen employees their own secure login, enabling them to access reports and insights on personal dashboards.

By giving access to staff in key accounting roles, you can save countless labour hours by eliminating the need for manually collating information for financial reports. Instead, BI GO provides the metrics required to handle the task, which can then be analysed to provide business-critical insights.

Because BI GO combines Power BI and Sage 50, you can enable mobile working and BYOD without needing to overhaul your accounting software. Your employees are able to access BI GO to create, view and share information in the office, or on a laptop or smartphone on the move. 

As a result, your workforce is more productive and able to benefit from greater insights into company performance.

Make the most of your Sage 50 data

By using the tips we’ve shown and taking advantage of the business analytics of BI GO, you can gain greater value from your investment in Sage 50. 

With real-time information and insights at a glance, you not only gain the edge over your competitors, you can start to plan how to develop and grow your business based on data-driven insights. 

Book your free dashboard demo

If you’d like to find out more about BI GO and Microsoft Power BI, get in touch for a free demonstration.

Request your free BI GO demo