The very first time you sign in, you'll be prompted to enter some basic details about your business. This includes your business name and whether you're registered for VAT.
Your Business Name is the one you entered when you first signed up. If you need to change this, please email us at [email protected] from the owner's email address for your Sage account.
To check your business details:
- From More, and Business Settings, then About your business.
- Check your address is correct. This is the address we print on any sales documents you send your customers. If you are a limited company and your registered address is different, enter this further down the page.
- Check your Business type is correct.
If your business is a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) and your business trading address is different to the address registered with Companies House:
- Clear the Registered Address check box
- Enter your registered address
Set your financial year
This makes sure you can run reports and view transactions that reflect your business year.
- From More, choose Business Settings.
- From the Financial settings section, choose Accounting dates and VAT.
- Enter the last day of your financial year as the Year End Date. If you're not sure you can come back and change this later, even after entering transactions.
Set your lockdown date
Set a lack down date to stop anyone accidentally entering or changing transactions for a previous financial year.
This is useful when you get towards the end of the year as it stops new transactions being added after you've run your end of year reports.
For example, if your financial year ends on 31 December, enter 31 December as the Year End Lockdown date. You can then only enter new transactions from 1 January onwards.
Set your start date
This is the date you want to start entering transactions from. Once set, you can't enter transactions, apart from opening balances, before this date.
Once set, we automatically set opening balances for the day before this date.
For example, if the start date is 1 April, your opening balances must have a date of 31 March or earlier.
Set up VAT
If you are registered for VAT, make sure you enter your VAT registration number, select the correct VAT scheme and authenticate Sage Accounting with HMRC.
- From More, Business Settings, then Accounting Dates & VAT.
- In the VAT Details section, check or enter the following:
- VAT scheme. Check you have selected the correct scheme. For Flat rate schemes, enter the Flat rate % supplied by HMRC
- Submission frequency Choose how often you submit a VAT Return to HMRC. This depends on how you registered with HMRC
- VAT number - Your VAT registration number
- HMRC user ID - You only need to enter this if you are exempt from Making Tax Digital (MTD). Read about who is exempt from MTD
Want to know more about VAT, read VAT in Sage Accounting
Authenticate with HMRC
All businesses are now automatically signed up to Making Tax Digital (MTD) as part of the VAT registration process.
Unless you are exempt from MTD, you must authenticate Sage Accounting with HMRC. This allows you to submit your VAT returns.
You need your Government Gateway credentials to sign in to the Gateway as part of this process
- From the Making Tax Digital section, select Authenticate.
- Select I am signed up with HMRC for Making Tax Digital then select Authenticate. This takes you to the Gov.uk website.
- Select Continue when prompted, and sign in with your Government Gateway credentials.
If you’re a VAT agent, enter your agent services account ID and password.
- When prompted, select Grant authority. You are returned to Sage Accounting Start. When you see a confirmation message at the bottom of the page, that's it, you're done.
When you record transactions like money coming into and out of your business, you'll want categorise your transactions so you know what you're spending money on. For example, when you buy printer paper for the office, you choose the Office supplies category. This way you track your total spending on office supplies over a period.
In Sage Accounting Start, all of these categories are known as ledger accounts, and the full list of them all is called the chart of accounts.
We set up a common chart of accounts when we first started your business. You can continue to use our defaults or set up your own to suit your business.
Check the chart of accounts
- From More, choose Business Settings.
- From the Financial Settings section, choose Chart of Accounts.
TIP: You may see ledger accounts referred to as nominal codes, category codes, or ledger codes instead of ledger accounts. Don't worry, they all mean the same thing.