Do you practise good housekeeping with your Sage 50 Accounts Data, or your Sage Instant Accounts?  We have regular enquiries from clients with errors in their Sage data which have to be sent away to be fixed, but with good housekeeping this cost could be avoided.

So – what is ‘good housekeeping’ in Sage?  What should you be doing on a day-to-day basis to help prevent errors, or give you the ability to return to ‘clean data’?

File -> Maintenance

Sage recommend that you check your data regularly, always before taking a backup, and after restoring your data too.  I would also add that data should be checked when data has been imported.  You check your data by going to File -> Maintenance then clicking the Check Data button.

Sage then runs through your data, checking for input errors, internal inconsistencies, missing data and invalid nominal account types, and presents you with the  File Maintenance Problem Report. The report contains 3 pages – Errors, Warnings and Comments.

File Maintenance Problems Report
  • Errors show data problems.
  • Warnings indicate serious problems which should be attended to but are not as serious as errors.
  • Comments are usually the least serious, and often refer to inconsistencies which probably exist just because of a perfectly valid way that you are using the data – e.g. future dated transactions, negative budgets or negative balances on the sales or purchase ledger.  ****Update – read my post  When a Comment is really an Error – Sage File Maintenance
I would always recommend that you seek help from your local Sage Reseller, or from Sage Support  if you have Errors or Warnings – and you should NEVER carry on using data with Errors, but immediately seek assistance. See my post Argh – my Sage has Errors – what shall I do?

The File Maintenance Problem Report will look different in Sage 50 2012 and newer versions compared to older ones.  In 2012  and above you have Recovery Tools and in earlier versions there is a Fix button.  I will go into more detail on what you should do if you have Errors in a later post.

 If you always do a data check before running a backup, and back up when you have done any data entry, then when you find errors which can’t be fixed using the Recovery Tools or Fix button you will always have the option of restoring your last known clean data and then re-keying your recent transactions.  The problems arise if you back up without checking data first, so all your backups may well also contain the error.  This is the point at which your data needs to be sent away to be fixed.

So 3 simple rules for Good Housekeeping in Sage Accounts:

  • Check your data
  • Back up your data
  • Stop for Errors

If you follow these rules you should find you never need to send your data away to be fixed.  And sod’s law states that if you do practice good housekeeping then your data will never corrupt!  Get in touch if you do get problems as we can provide a Data Fix Service quicker and cheaper than having Sage Cover if you do need it.

5 Responses to Good Housekeeping in Sage 50 and Instant Accounts
  1. […] Following all these steps should improve speed and performance of your Sage software.   For more Good housekeeping tips, read Good Housekeeping in Sage Accounts. […]

  2. […] If you are a Sage 50 or Sage Instant user and don’t actually know what I am talking about – then you need to learn some Sage housekeeping basics. […]

  3. […] more hints and tips about Good Housekeeping in Sage, and advice about the  Sage Manager Password  then see my previous blog posts.  And […]

  4. […] prompted to do this check each time you close the software – and my previous post on Good Housekeeping in Sage Accounts explains […]

  5. […] But don’t panic, as if you have a copy of Sage Instant accounts which you are happy using, then you can continue to use the software, as it won’t stop working on 1st February.  You should make sure you are extra careful and take regular backups of your software, and regularly check for data errors and warnings each time you back up, as described in my Good Housekeeping post. […]


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