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Getting started in Sage 50

Are you new to Sage 50? This section introduces the basic features of Sage 50 Complete Accounting. If you have not yet installed Sage 50, begin by referring to the apporpriate Installation topic in the Software section of this Learning Center.

In this section you will use the sample company, Bellwether Garden Supply, to familiarize yourself with the layout of the main window in Sage 50 and learn how to enter basic information into Sage 50, including how to change some global options in Sage 50. You will find out how to create a new company, set the system date in Sage 50 and change accounting periods. You are then shown how to amend your chart of accounts to match your business needs and then enter the beginning balances of these accounts. How to enter a transaction using the general journal is also covered, which is useful for when you record adjusting entries. Finally, you will discover a whole world of information at your fingertips with the reporting functions in Sage 50.

For a brief introduction to the features available in Sage 50 you may find it useful to watch the video tutorial below. An additional video tutorial demonstrating how to create a new company in Sage 50 is provided on the Create a new company page in this Learning Center.

The topics covered in this introductory section are summarized in the Key Topics list below. To view our step-by-step instructions and screen illustrations of a particular topic, just click on that topic link now.

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Helpful Hint!

If the Sage 50 software is asking you to activate, remember to follow the activation instructions we have provided.

Key Topics

Exploring Sage 50

If you are using Sage 50 Complete Accounting, we recommend you to read this topic to find out how to explore the data files of the sample company, Bellwether Garden Supply, and navigate in Sage 50.

Entering information into Sage 50

Now that you are familiar with the Sage 50 main window and parts common to many Sage 50 windows, let's learn how to use your mouse and keyboard to enter information into Sage 50.

Changing global options

This topic shows you how to modify the default settings that determine how data is displayed in Sage 50. In particular, you will learn how to use the Global Options functionality to display general ledger account fields in various task windows.

Create a new company

Learn how to create a new company data file in Sage 50. This section shows you the information you need to build your company data files using the Create a New Company wizard.

Changing the system date & accounting periods

Sage 50 divides a fiscal year into a number of accounting periods. Learn how to choose the correct accounting period and know how to modify the system date in Sage 50.

Modifying the chart of accounts

Whether you are setting up your chart of accounts for the first time or just need to make a small change to match your business' changing needs, this topic shows you how to add, modify or delete a general ledger account from your chart of accounts.

Entering beginning balances into the accounts

If you are transferring your existing accounting records from another accounting system into Sage 50 for the first time, after setting up your chart of accounts you will need to enter the beginning balances of the accounts into Sage 50. This topic shows you how!

Using the general journal

This topic shows you how to use the General Journal Entry window to record an entry into the general journal in Sage 50.


Sage 50 allows users to run various types of reports. Discover how you can use the Reports & Forms menu to display and customize reports.

Video tutorial: Getting started in Sage 50

This video from Sage University provides a general introduction to using Sage 50. You can view other videos from Sage by visiting their Sage 50 YouTube channel.

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Helpful Hint!

If you are completing the Sage 50 Practice Set, you need to be be aware that the instructions on how to perform certain tasks in Sage 50 in this video may be slightly different than the instructions provided in this Learning Center. Additionally this video may contain information that is not relevant to your practice set. However, you may still find this video useful as an introduction to using Sage 50. If in doubt, always follow the instructions in your practice set and in the helpful hint boxes provided throughout this Learning Center.

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