When you have been running your Sage accounts for a few years, it can be worth having a declutter and a bit of a tidy up ...
This means that your accounts software will speed up running reports, data checks and backups as there will be less data for the system to trawl through.
Before having a tidy up session, make sure you have a company archive set up, which is part of the year-end process!
You can access your company archive through File->Open ->Company Archive and just double check you can see your company archives and that they have been converted correctly to your current version.
A company archive is a snapshot of your data from the time you ran your last Sage year-end process and cleared the audit trail (or old transactions). This data will not be touched so you can use this for reference.
It would be best if you then ran 'Clear Audit Trail' in your current data up to a sensible date for you. Most of my clients keep at least 2-3 years of live data, although if you don't have a considerable number of transactions, you can go back as far as you like.
Judge it on performance as you can delete and remove one year at a time and see how that improves the speed of your reports!
To see where you last cleared your data to then go to Help->About and under configuration information you can see the Clear Audit Trail Date. Before running clear audit trail, make sure you match any invoices to prepayments/credit notes in your customer and supplier ledgers otherwise these will not be removed even if they are dated before your clear audit trail date. Unless they are 'matched' in this way, Sage will think they are still outstanding.
Once the audit trail is cleared, you can delete any old customers or suppliers who now have no transactions on their account. To be deleted a record must have a zero balance, no transaction history, and not be associated with a project. If a transaction is 'related' to a transaction after the clear audit trail date, then that will also not be deleted.
So, for example, a customer may have an invoice raised 30th May 2015, but it wasn't paid until 1st January 2016. If the clear audit trail date of 31st December 2015 is chosen, neither of these transactions will be deleted as the payment is after the clear audit trail date and the invoice is 'related' to that payment.
Clear as mud? It's much easier to go through this in a hand-holding session than in a blog post!
If anything I've written here resonates with you, call me on 01604 420057 and let's see how we can help you.