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Get set up and ready to work

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Some quick and easy steps for getting ready to use Sage Accounting.


Some steps on how to get the most from Sage Accounting straight away.

This explains how to:

  • Find your way around
  • Check your business details
  • Set up your financial year and VAT
  • Check your Chart of Accounts


Find your way around

Once in the product, you'll be presented with a dashboard. It will look a bit empty the first time in but you'll come to use this a lot once you've entered data and are running your business using the software.There are a few areas to point out on this main screen.


a The main navigation is a row of tabs taking you to the major areas of the software. Click each one to have a look at what's available.

You can edit your profile, give us feedback, or sign out here.

It's also where you can change the email address associated with your account.

c Your company name will appear here. Select it to manage your subscription and business account (change the business name and address, payment details etc.).
d Some pages like this dashboard have a secondary tabbed area. This provides quick links to views of the tasks in each section of the software.
e Most pages have a question mark next to the page title. Click one of these and you'll get a help article. These articles cover everything you need to know about the relevant part of the software. It's a good way to learn about something you don't know much about.

Check your business details

The very first time you sign in, you'll be prompted to enter some basic details about your business. This includes your business name and whether you're registered for VAT.

Your Business Name is the one you entered when you first signed up. If you need to change this, please email us from the owner's email address for your Sage account.

Check your business details

  1. From Settings, and Business Settings, then About your business.
  2. Check your address is correct. This is the address we print on any sales documents that you send to your customers. If you are a limited company and your registered address is different, enter this further down the page.
  3. Check your Business type is correct.
    If your business is a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) and your business trading address is different to the address registered with the Companies Registration Office:
    • Clear the Registered Address check box

    • Enter your registered address

Set up your financial year and VAT

Set your financial year

This makes sure you can run reports and view transactions that reflect your business year.

  1. From Settings, choose Business Settings.

  2. From the Financial settings section, choose Accounting dates and VAT.

  3. Enter the last day of your financial year as the Year End Date. If you're not sure you can come back and change this later, even after entering transactions.

Set your lockdown date

Set a lockdown date to stop anyone from accidentally entering or changing transactions for a previous financial year.

This is useful when you get towards the end of the year as it stops new transactions from being added after you've run your end-of-year reports.

For example, if your financial year ends on 31 December, enter 31 December as the Year End Lockdown date. You can then only enter new transactions from 1 January onwards.

Set your start date

This is the date you want to start entering transactions from. Once set, you can't enter transactions, apart from opening balances before this date.

Once set, we automatically set opening balances for the day before this date.

For example, if the start date is 1 April, your opening balances must have a date of 31 March or earlier.

Set up VAT

If you are registered for VAT, make sure you enter your VAT registration number and select the correct VAT scheme.

  1. From Settings, Business Settings, then Accounting Dates & VAT.
  2. In the VAT Details section, check the following:
    • VAT scheme - Check you have selected the correct scheme

    • Submission frequency - Choose how often you submit a VAT Return to the Revenue. This depends on how you registered with the Revenue

    • VAT number - Your VAT registration number

Want to know more about VAT, read VAT in Sage Accounting.

Check your chart of accounts

When you record transactions like money coming into and out of your business, you'll want to categorise your transactions so you know what you're spending money on. For example, when you buy printer paper for the office, you choose the Office supplies category. This way you track your total spending on office supplies over a period.

In Sage Accounting, all of these categories are known as ledger accounts, and the full list of them is called the chart of accounts.

We set up a common chart of accounts when we first started your business. You can continue to use our defaults or set up your own to suit your business.

Already have a chart of accounts?

To save time, you can import a chart of accounts. You can only do this with a new business, before entering any transactions.

If you want to import your chart of accounts, read Import your chart of accounts.

Check the chart of accounts

  1. From Settings, choose Business Settings.
  2. From the Financial Settings section, choose Chart of Accounts.

If you want to know more about the chart of accounts, read the Chart of Accounts introduction.

 TIP: You may see ledger accounts referred to as nominal codes, category codes, or ledger codes instead of ledger accounts. Don't worry, they all mean the same thing. 

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