At this point, it is well worth doing a spring clean on your data to keep everything running smoothly. There are several steps you need to take in order to optimise your performance, but also to make sure you don't lose any historical data and the value of the management information you can glean from your Sage 50 accounts.
Back up your data This should always be your first task before undertaking any manipulation of your Sage Data. To be absolutely sure that backups are working effectively doing a test restore should also be part of your routine.
Archive your data as part of your year-end process. This can only be done at your year-end and not partway through the year. Archived data is read-only and can be opened at any time. You can run reports such as Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Budget reports. To open or check on your archived data, choose File>Open>Company Archive.
Clear the Audit Trail after the year-end. This will remove transactions that are fully reconciled with your bank, included in VAT returns if applicable, and fully paid. It will not remove any transactions from the current financial year, and you can also set the date up to which you want the transactions to be cleared. This means you could perhaps keep the prior fiscal year or more if your dataset is not too big. If you are using advanced budgeting then care should be taken when clearing the audit trail, as departmental budget data will be lost.
Clear stock. This is similar to the clear audit trail, but clears the product activity prior to your specified date. Individual transactions are removed for each product record, leaving brought forward opening balances and quantity used if relevant.
Delete Quotes/Sales Order/Invoices/Purchase Orders. In the appropriate list window, you can use the Search, button (bottom left) to filter the display to only show those from before a specified date. Note, when you click apply in the top right the display will show you 'x of y records matched' and you can scan through the list to check you have chosen the correct records. You can then highlight them all with the swap, button and delete all the old documents. This can be a slow process if you have hundreds of documents.
Delete Old Customer/Supplier/Product/Nominal Code Records. Records cannot be deleted if they have current transactions on the activity screen. However, if you have followed the steps above you will find old accounts no longer in use will no longer have transactions showing and can be deleted. Perfect for customers or suppliers who have gone out of business, or products you no longer sell. To find the accounts easily which have no transactions then again you can use the Search, button - Search where 'First Transaction' is equal to '0'.
Rebuild then Compress data in the File>File Maintenance window. These options will then remove the deleted records from the data files in order to free up disk space. You can choose to rebuild and compress all data or just the areas where you have deleted transactions or documents.
Check Data in File Maintenance. As a final step, this will check that all the steps above have not damaged your data files in any way. Of course, if something has gone wrong in the above processes you can always restore the backup taken at step 1 to return your data to its original state.
Alison loves bookkeeping and supporting bookkeepers. She has been helping clients to be better bookkeepers in Sage 50 for over 24 years and has been Xero Accredited in accounts and payroll for a number of years too.
She specialises in a very unique hand-holding method of training, helping bookkeepers and business owners to use their accounts software as and when they need support in setting up and producing their invoices, reports and financial information.
Alison combines her role at Silicon Bullet with her Forever Living network marketing businesses and is often to be seen at business networking meetings as she likes to keep busy.
You know what they say: if you want something done well ask a busy person!
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