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If you are not particularly accounts orientated but understand the basics then Sage is very easy package to learn and use. The Instant Accounting versions are the lower end of the Sage Accounting packages and you can purchase a copy for around the £125 mark. Each year a newer version is released but it is not necessary to purchase any updates to benefit from the package. Although it is the cheaper package this does not detract from it`s abilities and the reports and calculations are accepted by Accountants and Government officials (dreaded Inland Revenue and HM Customs) alike. General Overview ---------------- As with any accounting system there are various sections or ledgers. In the old days we used to use seperate book ledgers for sales, purchases and general expenses. In the computerised package these are all available so that you are able to enter transactions quickly and easily. Sales Ledger ------------ The Customers icon allows you to set up customers giving them each a unique identifier. You can input their addresses and contact numbers as well which is useful for sending statements and chasing outstanding amounts. You post (accounting term) or input all your customer invoices here splitting VAT were applicable. After you have entered the detals you then press save and the information is written to the customers account. You can then view an up to date balance or print a statement for them. Purchase Ledger --------------- Very similar to above except this is where you set up all the people that you buy from. Once done you can post all your purchase invoices and find out who you owe what to. Nominal Ledger ------------- This used to be called the General Ledger years ago and will include postings such as wages and expenses claims that don`t have a specific supplier to go against. Bank ----- This area allows you to post monies received onto your
customers accounts as well as pay suppliers. You can also reconcile the petty cash and the company credit card. Financials ---------- This is the area to go to process your VAT return or print an up to date Profit & Loss Account. You can also check your Balance Sheet actually balances (quite important !!) and look at all the postings that you have made in the audit trail. There are various other sections but I feel that it would be unfair to bore you further, hopefully I have given you a general outline. If you have had the foresight you may well have purchased the optional Sage Cover with your package at approx. £80 and this gives you unlimited access to the help desk should you require it. The cover also allows you 10% off any future purchases direct from Sage such as accounting stationery or other accounting programs.