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Understanding Sage Transaction Numbers

Where are the missing numbers?


Posted by Alison Mead on 26/07/2021 @ 8:00AM

In Sage 50, every time you update an invoice, make or receive a payment, make a journal entry or do anything which impacts the nominal ledger, Sage creates new transaction records, and numbers them sequentially starting from 1. This is called the Audit Trail and can be viewed by clicking Transactions on the left menu ...

If you have done a Clear Audit Trail you will now have missing Sage transaction numbers!

If you have done a Clear Audit Trail you will now have missing Sage transaction numbers!

copyright: silicon bullet / sage

Historically, these transaction numbers were not static. If you decided to clear your audit trail after the year-end, Sage 50 would delete any transactions which had been completely finished with (see my post on Spring Cleaning your Accounts Software for more information). The system would then create new opening balances and rebuild the audit trail starting with 1, and all the transactions would be renumbered.

The problem is that many companies, when doing their bookkeeping, would use this transaction number as a unique ID to identify invoices or journals which meant that tracing historical data after clearing the audit trail could prove difficult.

"Why does my Sage Audit Trail have Missing Transaction Numbers?"

Sage Support used to get calls about these numbers changing quite regularly, and they changed the system so that once a transaction is entered and allocated a number, it will always keep this number.

This means that if you have done a Clear Audit Trail you will now have missing transaction numbers which represent those transactions from previous years which have met the criteria to be cleared down. This change, however, was not well publicised, so now Sage users query why there are missing transaction numbers.

For more advice and tips on using Sage 50 and Sage Instant accounts then take a look here.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01604 217365 and let's see how I can help you.

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About Alison Mead ...


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!


01604 420057