Cloud Accounting Sage

Beginners Guide to Sage Live

Written by Kate Jones

So, you have already taken the plunge and got on board with Sage Live. Awesome, this gives you a fantasticSage Live platform to push on and really make a success of your business, allowing you time and freedom to focus on those parts of the business that really need you.

Getting started on a new accounting system can get scary even for a team of accounting software specialists like us, so we’ve put together this article, which outlines everything you need to know about the system to get you started!

This is the third article in an ongoing series on Sage Live. To view the previous articles, go to: How Sage Live Can Get You to Analytical Accounting and Three Great Sage Live Integrations.

Understanding the Concept

The first and most important point to come to grips with regarding Sage Live is the concept. Sage Live is very different from previous Sage products, and although you may be familiar with Sage 50 or Sage 200, the whole concept of Live is extremely different.

The purpose of Sage Live is to automate as much as possible, making those mundane tasks like data entry and reconciliation a thing of the past. This should free up the time to focus on the second focus point, reporting.

Dimensions and Tags

These provide you with the capability to track and measure pretty much anything you want! Once these are set up in the system, and you are processing transactions, you can then focus on getting the reporting that you would like out of the system. This has much more value than you sitting matching transactions from your bank and accounts, right?

Transactions or Journals?

Within Sage Live, you have transactions and journals. Inside these categories, you then have transaction types and journal types. The only difference between your transaction and journal is that a transaction contains a document. Transactions and journals post in the same way, you can import them in the same way, and you can report on them in the same way.

So your transaction type would be, for example, a Sales Invoice. These transaction/journal types then have assigned Posting Rules. The way the system works is that when you enter your information into your transaction/journal type, and you click the Post button, the system goes to the Posting Engine. The posting engine then looks at the posting rules and determines where to post what values!

Your posting rules may define a specific ledger account, or they may say “Look to dimension A for the associated ledger account.” If it can’t find the correct posting location, the transaction won’t post.

Setting up Accounts & Products

As I’m sure you’re aware, Sage Live is built on the Salesforce1 Platform and so shares some fundamental properties with Salesforce. One of these shared properties is the use of Business Accounts. All customer and supplier accounts in Sage Live are effectively Salesforce Business Accounts. However, they are also tags to the Sage Live Customer or Supplier Dimension.

The same logic applies with Products in Sage Live. You are required to select a product when creating a new invoice. What you are selecting here is the Sage Live Product Dimension. This is, however, linked up to the Salesforce Product Object, as shown in the graphic below.

Sage Live

So, when creating new Accounts or Products in Sage Live, it is important that both sides of this are set up. The easiest way to ensure that this happens is to enter new Account or Product from the Sales or Purchases tab within Sage Live. When you do this, both the Salesforce Object and Dimension Tag are created.

Adding a New Transaction

When you are entering any transactions in Sage Live, the process comes in two parts:

Part 1

First of all, you enter the Header information. This includes information like:

  • Customer/Suppler
  • Invoice Date (Date of Invoice)
  • Posting Date (Date of Ledger Entries)
  • Tax Treatment
  • Reference
  • Any dimensions required on the Header Posting Rule

You are not required to enter any values in this section.

Part 2

Once this is complete, you can click Save & Add Item. This allows you to add lines onto the invoice. Here, you are prompted to choose a Product, Price & Tax Code as well as any dimensions required on a line level. For example, this may include Project, Department, and Consultant, to name just a few.

Once you have saved the Line Item, you are able to add more or complete the transaction. Once completed, the transaction will appear on your list as unsubmitted. You can then select the transaction and click the Post button. This will then make the ledger entries as per the posting rules.

If for any reason, you need to change the details of this transaction, you can click the Unpost button, edit and the repost! Easy as that!


Sage Live is a very easy to navigate system that ultimately provides users with flexibility and more time to focus on value-added tasks. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand a little more about how and why the system works the way it does. If you would like more information about Sage Live, or would like some more in-depth training, get in touch with us at itas.

About the author

Kate Jones

Kate Jones is the Lead Sage Live Implementation Consultant at UK-based ITAS Solutions, an Award Winning Sage Implementation Partner. A native of Wrexham, Wales, Kate is an AAT Qualified Mathematics Graduate from Liverpool John Moores University with a keen interest in Data, Reporting, and Analytics. Kate has worked with many Sage Products including Sage 50, Sage 200, and Sage Live.


  • Sorry Kate. I’ve been in this business for 40 years, and your article does not make me want to try Sage Live. Do a youtube of the procedure, and then do some related entries. If you are telling us that this procedure should make things faster, show us. By the way you wrote the article, I cannot see any evidence that what they have is any better than anything else.

    • You are absolutely correct, Scott. I have looked at some YouTube videos of the product myself (take a look at the video illustrating “how to create journal types”) and it is actually very complex – apart from being very different from sage 50, 100 and 200 (formerly MAS line) which I have used for over 20 years.
      This in turn will take up time – precious time that bookkeepers and accountants do not have, not to talk of the small business owners it is geared to.

  • Hi both, thank you for your comments! Like any new product, Sage Live takes some getting used to as like you say it is very different from Sage 50, 100 and 200. One of great things about Sage Live, is that the system is extremely configurable and this requires knowledge to set up. Our role as a Sage Live Business Partner is to configure the system, setting up things like Journal Types for you so that the system is optimised for your business use. After this is first set up, you should not need to configure things like transaction/journal types on a regular basis. Instead, the system is configured in such a way that you are able to move away from data entry and instead spend time on analysis and reporting. Customers are often surprised how much time can be saved from a properly configured system! 🙂

    • Kate –

      I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. Like you, I am a Sage Live Implementation Partner, and have worked on larger ERP systems (Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft) as well. And the earlier comments are normal as people “look under the hood” of the software and decide the it is much too complex. It is the job of the implementer to do the heavy lifting and make a seemingly complex system easier to use. The implementer shields the end user (and even power users) from the rudiments of the set up and make Sage Live simple to use. So simple in fact, that expense reports, journal entries, even sales invoice generation can be performed in a few taps using the Sage Live mobile app. Add to that the freedom that this cloud computing solution provides, and I can say that I wish that Sage Live were an option when I was an accounting manager.

  • Sage Live: Sage Live you’ll save time. So you can spend it on important things. Like taking a break every now and again. Sage Live, users can receive live news feeds and notifications directly on any device, including mobile phones. Sage Live offers multiple report templates that can be branded and customized with company logos for business reporting. The solution fully integrates with third party CRM solutions including Sales force to access every business data from one central place and seamlessly exchange information across applications. Sage Live is a very easy to navigate system that ultimately provides users with flexibility and more time to focus on value-added tasks. Sage Live has a plan that fits every business model.

  • Just to clarify, when creating a transaction record (be it a Sales Invoice or a Bill), the Account (Customer or Vendor) is a required field.

  • Hello Kate,

    My business implemented Sage Live in April’17 and as at Oct’17 we still cannot complete a bank reconciliation – I can see already how great Sage Live can be but we need support to configure properly. Could you give me a call to discuss this?

  • Nice article! Agree with most of the comments on here but if I was going to break down the benefits of Sage Live over Sage 200, for example, I’d highlight that it is a Subscription only, browser based mobile app. It’s global meaning there are language packs and it supports local territory tax rules. Not only this but it’s also Consultant based allowing for codeless customisation. Thanks

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