Sage 50cloud Mythbusters: Invoice Processing Hints and Tips

In Sage 50 by Paul Newton

Reading Time: 6 minutes

On my thousands of visits with Sage 50 customers throughout the years. Many things have become apparent to me, (in no order of preference):

  • Public transport North to South and vice versa is amazing, quick & efficient. (except the last trains out of Kings Cross on a Sunday when the NFL is in town). However East to West is like being back in the olden (golden?) days of steam. Just over 2 hours from Darlington to Liverpool. Wow.
  • There is always a queue outside of Greggs in all locations. The steak bakes are good but come on.
  • Not many Sage 50 customers ever used to put a password on their manager login. The look of surprise when I have been able to view their accounts without them telling me their login and password.
  • Hire cars are always in better condition when you are due to return them to the original location. (And still extremely fast).
  • The free breakfasts in most hotels really are not worth the effort. My advice? Enjoy the lie-in and find your place in the queue at Greggs later in the day.
  • In my experience, Sage 50 Accounts customers waste hours of their time processing invoices. Time could be spent setting up recurring items.

On this last point, I once saved a client about one week a month on their invoicing process. If only the TransPennine Express could find those kinds of time savings!

In this article, we will explore the last point above to help you save time in your business. Imagine what that time could be used for instead.

The first myth of Invoicing in Sage 50 Accounts

“You have to have stock records to be able to invoice your customers in Sage 50 Accounts”

Although true that you can absolutely use stock or product records on invoicing this is not a fact. There are several ways to use the invoicing module to get around tracking stock and having product records set up.

The first one is to use the “Special” product codes already in the system, now for many these may not be activated. Easily solved by going into your Settings menu. Then into Invoice and Order Defaults, then the General tab. Finally, put a tick in the box for Show special product codes in Invoicing/SOP/POP.

This now allows you to raise “product invoices” without needing a product. There are three special product codes plus a handy message line option, they are as follows,

  • S1 – this is the product code to use for Standard VAT items.
  • S2 – use this for products that are zero-rated for VAT.
  • S3 – Service items with Standard VAT.

You can manually change the vat codes as you enter each line, handy if you need to use a different combination of Products, Services and tax rates on one invoice.

There is also a second option, however, this involves the freehand entry of all text on invoices. You can switch the type of invoice to a service invoice. Again this setting is unlikely to be turned on. Make your way back into Settings then into Invoice and Order Defaults. General tab like last time and you can default your Invoices to be Service instead of Product.

Myth number two

“You have to manually process all invoices that you wish to send to a customer”

On many of my visits to clients, there has been this impression. You can indeed process this way. However, if you do have invoices that you raise on a regular basis you can Memorise the invoice and you can also choose how often you would like the invoice to be raised. This is done by using the Memorise option prior to saving the invoice you have created.

After applying a unique reference, you can then decide if you would like it to recur. Whether it be on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Pop a start date in and how many times you would like it to be available for recurring. Once saved the invoice template is held in the product, you can then save the original invoice onto your invoicing list.

Then as part of your daily tasks, or even just at month-end, you can process all of your recurring invoices in one quick process. Found in the Invoice module by clicking on the recurring item’s icon.

Click on the process option on the next screen.

Choose the date you would like to post up-to and tab out of the date box. The list will populate with applicable items, you can untick any you do not feel ready to post, or leave them all ticked and click the process button in the bottom right of the box.

Click Ok then close and your invoice list will update there and then. Note – this may take some time if processing a lot of invoices. Once completed you can then multi select the invoices and print/email and then post to your ledgers.

Myth number three

“You can’t change the value on recurring invoices”

Although there is an element of truth in this myth, you can’t edit once you have clicked through to process. However, you can use the edit button once in the recurring items window to edit any of the recurring templates you have in the product.

Once you go into edit you can change any details and then save it. At this point, the template has been updated and still in the frequency you set up earlier.

You can then process knowing that the invoice amount has been edited.

Worst case if you forgot to edit before processing you can still manually edit the invoice on your list before print/email and posting to the ledgers – but you would still need to remember to edit the recurring item if this is an ongoing change.

Myth number four

“You can’t save Sales or Purchase Orders for recurring items”.

In both areas, this just is not correct. You have the same opportunity as in invoicing to memorise the order before saving it to the list. If you have the time, settle down with a Sausage Roll and have a look!

Myth number five

“You can’t check and authorise purchase invoices or orders coming into Sage 50 Accounts”.
Unfortunately, this one is a trick and is actually true! My best advice if you require this, the product for you is Sage 200 Standard. Not only can you set authorisation rules and allow your people in the field to raise purchase requisitions, but this pure Cloud product also allows you to review, edit and reject lines hitting your ledgers. You’d probably be surprised to learn that it doesn’t actually cost that much more to upgrade to Sage 200 Standard, and is a very common migration path for Sage 50 users.


I hope you found this blog useful, if you have any myths you need me to debunk please reach out at or 01824 780000 and feel free to ask us any questions! We have a range of useful Sage 50 content you may find useful, you can find our Sage 50 help guides here and our Sage 50 webinars here. All created to help you get the most out of your Sage 50 system!

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