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Create or edit a ledger account

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How to create and edit ledger accounts in Sage Accounting


Ledger accounts can also be known as nominal accounts or nominal codes.

If you've come from another system such as Sage 50, you may want to import your ledger accounts. You can only do this when no transactions have been entered in Sage Accounting.


What are ledger accounts

We use ledger accounts to group your transactions so you can see how your business is performing.

Each ledger account has Category and Group that determines how transactions are reported on your Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports.

Some ledger accounts are used automatically by Sage Accounting when recording transactions to ensure that items such as your VAT are recorded correctly. These are known as control accounts and can't be edited. Control accounts are marked with an asterisk.

Create a ledger account

  1. From Settings, then Business Settings, choose Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select New ledger account.
  3. Enter the details and Save. The fields marked with asterisk * are mandatory

Edit a ledger account

You can change of the details of a ledger account.

Change the category:

  • Changes how the values are included on your reports
  • Does not update transactions are already entered

Change the ledger name:

  1. From Chart of Accounts, select the ledger account you want to edit.

  2. Edit the Ledger Name to change how the ledger account displays in the Chart of Accounts.

  3. Edit the Display Name to change how the ledger account displays in the rest of the program.

Delete a ledger account

Once a ledger account is created, it cannot be deleted.

If you no longer want to use a ledger account, then exclude it from the chart of accounts. This removes it from selection lists when creating transactions.

You cannot exclude control accounts (indicated with an asterisk) from the chart of accounts.

  1. Click Settings, then Business Settings, Chart of Accounts.
  2. Open on the relevant ledger account.
  3. Clear the Included in Chart check box.
  4. Click Save.

Ledger Account fields

If you're not sure what all the fields are for, here is an explanation

Categories and groups

Each ledger account has a category and group.

This is used to group ledger accounts together and make sure they are report correctly on your profit and loss and balance sheet reports.

Profit and loss
Group Category Description  


Income from the things you sell  

Other income

Other sources of income  
Expenditure Direct expenses Costs directly related to things you sell such as packaging, labour charges, import duty etc.  
Overheads Other costs such as staff wages, utility bills, business expenses etc.  
Balance sheet
Group Category Description
Asset Bank Balance of your bank accounts and credit cards
Fixed assets Value of your assets such as your property, any equipment you own, any company cars or other vehicles.
Current assets Value of your stock and the amount owed to you by your customers.
Liability Current Liability Amount you owe to creditors such as the total amount owed to your suppliers, amount owed to HMRC for VAT and PAYE
Capital Equity Any capital bought into the business such as your profit (or loss)

Nominal codes

This is a number you can use to help you find and sort your ledger accounts.

If you've moved from another accounting system such as Sage 50, we match with the codes you have used previously.

You can use any number that suits you. By default we have used the following numbers.

Assets = 0001 – 1999
Liabilities = 2000 – 2999
Capital = 3000 – 3999
Income = 4000 – 4999
Expenditure – Direct expenses = 5000 – 5999
Expenditure – Overheads = 6000 – 9999

VAT rate

Set a default VAT rate on ledger accounts, to help make sure transactions are entered with the correct VAT rate.

When the ledger account is selected, the VAT rate set on the ledger account is entered automatically. You can change the VAT on each transaction.

This is useful when transactions recorded against a particular ledger account, will use the same VAT rate most of time. For example, your sales are likely to be charged at the standard VAT rate so setting a default on the your sales ledger accounts may be useful.

Where VAT is not required for particular ledger accounts, just choose No VAT.


To help reduce errors, we've set up ledger accounts so they only be selected on certain types of transaction.

For example, sales ledger accounts can be selected on sales transactions.

The visibility check boxes determine which transactions the ledger account can

Choose the most appropriate one for you business. All ledger accounts are available on journals and reports.

Example of when to change the visibility of a ledger account

You buy stationery for the office and enter the this against the Office Stationery ledger account. You return some items and need to record the refund you receive. As the Office Stationery ledger account is set only be visible on Other Payments, you can't select it when entering an Other Receipt. To resolve this, just change the Visibility on the Office Stationery ledger account to include Other Receipt.

If you can't see a ledger account, check the visibility setting.

Errors creating ledger accounts

If you see the following error:

Sorry about this – It looks like we’re experiencing a technical problem

Check the following:

  • Make sure you are not trying to use a nominal code that already exists.
  • Make sure that Bank is not selected under Visibility. Only ledger with a category as Bank can also have their Visibility set to Bank.

If you are trying to set a Current Asset with a code greater then 1300, it may give you a technical error, if this occurs, choose a different category (we recommend Bank) and Save, then go back in and edit the ledger to change the category back to Current Asset and Save again.

Related Solutions

Chart of Accounts

About the Nominal Activity report