I’ve supported or trained people on Sage 50 Accounts (now Sage 50c Accounts) since 2001, and in that time it’s become apparent that little things can make a big difference in terms of making processing easier. Sometimes those quick tips can save an awful lot of time, because let’s face it just one extra click, column to tab through, or screen to look at done repeatedly over the day can add up to a fair amount of time.
With that in mind I’ve listed a few ‘top tips’ that just might save you some time & effort on a day to day basis. There are many others so no doubt I’ll revisit this topic, but for now here are just a few of my favourites:
1. Customisable columns.
This is a feature which has been around for several years now but it’s improved several times since it first appeared in the program & I find it so handy.
Basically in most ledger list, batch entry & activity screens that you have in Sage 50 Accounts you can right click anywhere along the headings row to see a drop down list of potential column headings. Click onto a heading to add it to your screen if it’s not currently selected, or to remove it if it’s already in use. I find this really useful in a couple of ways.
In batch entry screens for removing columns you don’t use (e.g. if you don’t use departments or projects but have a level of program which includes these & have them enabled) If they’re visible you have to tab through or click past them each time & will undoubtedly end up accidentally completing them at some point. Removing them from view as a default (you can easily get them back by just right clicking the heading bar again & selecting the appropriate option, or ‘Use Defaults’) makes the screen easier to view & complete, & helps to avoid annoying & /or time consuming input errors
On front screens of ledgers - products, customers, suppliers. For day to day use you can show only the bits of information you find relevant which makes the screen easier to view. What I really like here though is using the customisable columns in conjunction with the ability to send screens to Excel easily. If you want to create a list of customers with email addresses or a supplier phone list customising the columns & sending out to excel to print or distribute as appropriate is a really quick & easy way of doing it.
Note: This option can be restricted to use Manager settings or default settings if for some reason you prefer it not to be available to all users – this is done in Tools > Options > Ledger.
2. Quick Report Criteria
When running a report in Sage 50 you can not only select the date criteria by typing in dates, but if you click on the pointer to the right of the date options you can choose ‘this month’ , ‘last month’ , ‘this month to date’ or various other handy time period options. This came in several years ago & is one of my favourite quick tips as running reports for the previous month is so common yet I’m constantly telling people about this option as they have never noticed it!
3. Default Invoice Format
If you generally process a service invoice rather than a product one (or vice versa) you can set up the default format so that you don’t need to change it every time you process an invoice. To do this go to Settings > Invoice & Order Defaults > Options. From the drop down choose your preferred invoice format.
Note: In lower levels of the program the option is ‘Invoice Defaults’ not ‘Invoice & Order Defaults’
4. Clear Active search entries.
Most people will be familiar with the active search option, whereby in a batch entry screen if you start to type something which you have typed before the program will recognise this & try to autocomplete. It can be really useful but after a while there’s a tendency for typos, mis spellings, or just a big list of one off entries that won’t be likely to get used again. I’m often asked if there’s a way to clear this, & the answer is yes, a really easy one. When you are next in a situation of seeing the search popup, simply right click onto a word that you no longer want to appear in the list & you can choose to delete it – or delete all to clear the list & start again from now.
5. Windows selection style
In version 2015 the ‘Windows selection style’ option was introduced due to popular demand. This means that if you want to select multiple records you need to hold down ctrl whilst selecting individual items, or to select a continuous list, choose your first item & hold down shift whilst selecting the last item – pretty much like you do in Windows Explorer, hence the term.
Prior to this you could select multiple records simply by selecting them in turn.
Neither option is really better, just a preference – so you can select which way your program works by going to Tools > Options > Environment & setting the radio button to your preferred style.
I hope at least one of those will save you a little bit of time over the coming weeks & months, & I’ll be back with more help, advice & opinions soon!