Beginners Guide to Sage 200

In Business Management Software, Sage 200 by Callum Edwards

Reading Time: 8 minutes

If you’re a new user of Sage 200 then you’ve come to the right place. Whenever you learn a new skill it can seem like a daunting task. Whether it’s being taught how to drive a car, teaching yourself how to bake for the first time, or even learning to use accountancy software. This guide is here to help ease your worries with some helpful hints and tips to get you on your way to becoming a Sage 200 pro.

The first thing you must know is that Sage 200 is a business management solution for small to medium businesses. It allows users to tailor the system to their individual business process needs. There are two versions of Sage 200, Sage 200 Professional and Sage 200 Standard.

Sage 200 Professional

Sage 200 Professional is the big sister of the two and has a bit more functionality, it requires either an on-premise or hosted server and uses a SQL database to store its data. Depending on your company’s needs, you can also purchase add-ons directly from Sage or trusted 3rd party providers.

Sage 200 Standard

Sage 200 Standard is the younger brother, it’s a full cloud version of Sage and is run on Windows Azure. It has slightly less functionality, and fewer available add-ons but the two versions work and look virtually the same. There are some slight differences when navigating the two systems.

The images used in this blog are from Sage 200 Professional.

If you want to find out more about the different versions, you can read our blog here.

Everything a Sage 200 beginner needs to know before they get started 

Sage 200 tends to be split into different sections, and within these sections are modules. The core sections are split into Financials and Commercials. The Commercials modules feed into the Financials modules so that your organisation can run financial reports to get valuable information on how to improve the business.

Sage 200 is extremely customisable, so depending on the company’s license and your level of access, you may not have all of the features listed below. You may also have more modules if your company requires additional functionality. The modules listed below are the most common and out of the box from Sage.

Core Financials Consists of 4 Modules:-

  • Sales Ledger or Customers (A section to look after all of your customer’s information, including balances, transactions, and reporting.)
  • Purchase Ledger or Suppliers (This is where all of your Supplier’s information is kept, including balances and transactions, and reporting.)
  • Nominal Ledger (The Chart of Accounts (COA) is kept here. Sage 200 has a 3-tier structure for the COA, which is extremely useful for reporting. Within this ledger is a module for Fixed Assets, for keeping a record of the company’s assets value and depreciation.)
  • Cash Book (This is where all of your company’s bank information is kept.)

Core Commercials Consist of 5 Modules:-

  • Stock Control (This is where you can account for the goods and services that your organisation provides. Keep a track of your inventory levels and movements etc..)
  • Sales Order Processing (A place to keep track of your customers’ sales orders, you can record the order, print out customer-facing documents, and more. Links to the stock module.)
  • Purchase Order Processing (Similar to sales order processing but for the purchase of goods from suppliers. Links to the stock module.)
  • Invoicing (This module is for looking after customer invoices and credit notes. Links to the sales order processing module.)
  • Price Book (The price book module is used for assigning prices to your stock items for use in sales orders.)

Within each of these modules, there is a lot of functionality and reporting. Sage has over 200+ reports out of the box.

Now you know a bit more about the modules, let’s take a look at navigating them.

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Navigating Sage 200

Home Screen

When you first open the Sage 200 application you will be brought to the home screen.

Sage Home Screen

This screen contains useful links and information, such as a link to Sage’s roadmap which allows you to see the direction Sage is heading with their software and updates they plan for the future.

This also has links to websites with information on current regulations and how to deal with them in Sage. There are tabs at the top of the home screen, one is called Getting Started, which contains some useful tips and also videos you can watch to help you get the most out of Sage.

On the left-hand side of the screen, you will see the list of all the modules that are available to you. If you don’t see a certain module, this is probably because it has not been assigned to you. If you believe this is wrong, you will need to speak to your system administrator to update your user role.

Left-click on one of the modules, and you will get a dropdown as you can see in the image below, you have functions and sub-folders which are clearly labeled. You also have a search menu bar, if you type a keyword into there and press enter on your keyboard, it will pull back anything from the menu containing that keyword.

Sales Ledger Functions

Process Maps

Each Module also has a handy process map that is drillable. It goes through the process of the ledger from start to finish, from creating an account to entering transactions and so on.

Sales Ledger Process Map

List Views

Every module usually has a list view, which contains basic information from that ledger. This is the customer list from the sales ledger (Pictured below). There is a toolbar across the top of the list, the toolbar is interactive. To enter the desired function just left-click on the icon. You can also left-click on an account to highlight it in the list, if you then use the toolbar it will work for the selected account, i.e. if you highlight an account and click invoice, this will raise an invoice for the selected account.

You have another search function on the list view (The white bar), enter keywords or values into here and press enter, it will search all of the columns on the list and show the relevant information.

Customer List

Reports

Under the reports section of a module, there are subfolders to help separate the many reports. When running a report, you will see a criteria screen pop up. You can either run the full report or filter by the criteria on the screen to help find the exact information you’re looking for.

Sales Reports

Report Criteria

Once you have selected your criteria, click OK to run the report. You can click Save to save the selected criteria and Load to load a previously saved criteria.

Top tips for new users of Sage 200

Help Tip

Probably the most useful tip of them all. In the top right corner of every screen in Sage 200, you will see a question mark icon. If you’re unsure about any of the information on your screen in Sage 200, click the help icon and you will be taken to Sage’s help site. Not only that but it will link you directly to the information you need depending on the screen you’re in.

In the example below, I am in the Sales Ledger – Enter New Account screen, in the contacts tab, if I were to click the help icon, it would direct me to the information about that exact screen and tab.

Help Icon

Report Tips

When you first start using Sage 200, if you run a report it will save to something called the spooler. The spooler can be accessed at the top right-hand corner of Sage 200 (It looks like a printer with a magnifying glass). From here, you can view, print or email a report.

 

Spooler

Spooler

If you want the report to appear straight away on the screen when you run it, you can change the settings using the settings cog in the top right-hand corner. (Located next to the spooler icon.) If you click ‘Choose Output Mode‘ and set it to ‘Preview‘ the report. The report will show straight away instead of saving to the spooler.

Settings Cog

From the settings cog, you can also change your preferences and if you have access to multiple companies, you can switch between companies.

Once you’ve run a report in the top left-hand corner you have a few options. You can print, email, export and even send the data in an excel format.

Report options

List View Tips

The list views in Sage 200 are customisable, when on a list view if you right-click anywhere on the list you can add or remove columns of information as you desire. You can also left-click on the column headers and drag them left to right to arrange the data. These customisations will only happen in your own Sage 200 system, it will not change the list views for anybody else.

Add Columns to List Views

Menu Tips

If you have particular menu items that you use regularly, you can add them to your favorites. The favorites are located at the top of the menu on the left, it is a star icon. For example, if your role on the accounts team is to enter Sales Orders, you may want to favorite the ‘Enter New Order‘ function in sales order processing.

To add menu items to your favorites, locate the function in the menu and right-click on it, there you will see the option to add to your favorites.

Add to Favourites

To view your favorites, click on the star at the top. You can also create folders and rename your functions in the favorites menu. To do this click on the pencil to the right of the star.

Favourites

This will allow you to edit your favorites, click the plus button to add a new folder and name it, then hit enter on your keyboard.

Left-click on your favorite functions, then drag and drop them into the folders.  To remove a favorite, highlight it and click the red cross.

Once you are finished hit the cross in the top right to save your amendments.

Edit Favourites

How itas can help

As an award-winning Sage Partner, we offer a range of high-quality comprehensive support options. Working in partnership with you to deliver the support that you want and need. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us.

If you don’t currently have Sage 200 and you are here to learn more about it, why not check out our Sage 200 overview page? We also have a range of Sage 200 on-demand webinars that you may find useful.

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