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Improve efficiency by tidying up your Sage 50 accounts


If you find you have some quieter periods of the year, you should make the most of these to tidy up your accounts.  This can help improve efficiency during your busier periods.

Keeping your Sage Accounts tidy can speed up processing.  You can remove old record and reduce the size of your data files.

How can I tidy up my Sage 50 accounts?

IMPORTANT: Before you delete any records, you should make sure you have an archive of your data and take a backup.

Taking an archive

When you take an archive, this creates a read-only copy of the data which you can then access via File > Open.  This does not remove any data from the live company.

Having an archive means you can then delete old data and records from the live company, but you can then access the archive to view historical data and run reports. 

1. Click Tools then click Period End.

2. Click Archive Company.

3. If required, amend the description and folder name.

Taking an archive in Sage 50 accounts

NOTE: Certain alphanumeric characters can’t be used when creating a folder, for example, < > . \ ? % *

4. Click OK and click OK.

Clear audit trail

The Clear Audit Trail option removes all transactions that meet the following criteria:

  • Dated up to or on the date specified in the Clear Audit Trail option.
  • Date must be prior to your current financial year.
  • Fully paid.
  • VAT reconciled, if applicable.
  • Bank reconciled, if applicable.
  • If you use the CIS module, transactions must be CIS reconciled.
  • If the transaction is allocated, the linked transactions must also meet all of the above criteria.

Any transactions that don’t meet all of the above criteria aren’t cleared from the audit trail.

You can now follow the below steps to clear the audit trail:

1. On the menu bar click Tools then click Period End and click Clear Audit Trail.

2. Enter the date you want to clear transactions up to and click Clear audit trail

NOTE: This should not be a date within the current financial year.

3. To run a backup click Browse and select the required folder for the backup and click OK, then click OK and click OK.

4. To view the removed transactions click OK then click Close and then click Close again.

When you run a Clear Audit Trail, an opening balance journal is posted to replace the value of your removed transactions.

Now that you’ve completed the Clear Audit Trail, you may want to remove old records, invoices and orders.

Delete records, invoices and orders

You can delete customer, supplier and nominal records if they have no remaining balance, no transactions associated with the account and are not associated with a project.

Deleting a sales order, purchase order, invoice or credit does not delete the relevant audit trail transaction or adjust stock.

To do this:

1. Open the relevant module and select the records you want to delete.

2. Right click and then click Delete. To confirm deletion, click Yes.

Delete records, invoices and orders in Sage 50
Flagging records as inactive

You can also use the Inactive flag in Sage 50 Accounts to hide old and unused customer, supplier, product, nominal or bank records from your record lists without deleting them.

For further information on how to do this, take a look at our previous blog.

Compress the data

Deleting data and records from Sage 50 Accounts, doesn’t delete the space in the data files.  This can mean that the files may not be the correct size and data could show data incorrectly. To resolve this, you can run the compress data option which will reuse any previous deleted file space.

1. On the menu bar click File then click Maintenance then click Compress Data.

2. Clear the Compress All Data Files check box.

Compress data files in Sage 50

3. Clear the check boxes against the data files you don’t want to compress.
For example, to compress the customer records only, clear all the check boxes except Sales Ledger.

4. Click Compress then click OK, then click Close then click Close.

Further Information

If you have any questions about this or need assistance, then please contact the GCC Group Support Team on 0345 260 1151 or

Sage 50

Create a more agile, efficient & modern business with Sage 50 Accounts.

Sage 50 combines the power of desktop accounting with cloud computing, allowing you to access your critical information any time, from anywhere.

The automated data-capture, in-depth reporting, and built-in help & guidance offered by Sage 50cloud accounts makes it an accounting system for the digital age.

There are 2 variations of Sage 50cloud accounts available:

  • Sage 50cloud Standard
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Sage 50cloud Accounts gives you the ability to leverage & act upon accurate information – which is at the core of all successful business operations.

Speak to a member of the GCC team and find out more about Sage 50cloud.