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Sage - How to produce a detailed P&L account

I tried Sage as a bookkeeping package some 10 years or so ago and did not enjoy the experience. Since then I have avoided using Sage for clients bookkeeping and used other packages instead. However recently I decided to do one client on Sage and see how things have improved.

I have versions 12, 14, 16 and 18 to choose from and as 12 was loaded on the machine my bookkeeper sits at I opted for that one.

We have accepted the default Chart of Accounts and have entered a meaningful amount of data using the codes on the default Nominal List. Our client would like a P&L print out to show how he has done this month and the aggregate income and expenditure for the year.

We have gone to [Company][Financials][P&L][Preview] selected the whole year as the period and printed out the report.

The report includes the amount spent on

7100 - 7199 Rent and Rates  Period £5,000 Year £20,000

Now both my client and I know that the R&R figure is made up of three elements

7101 Rent Period £4000 Year £16,000

7103 Water Rates Period £200 Year £1,000

7104 Council Tax Period £800 Year ££4,000

What he would like is a report which shows these figures individually and not grouped together

I rang Sage and thought I had explained what I wanted. In fact I tried hard to explain it several times.

The Sage Support told me that the only way this could be achieved is if I completely rewrite the Chart of Accounts 

Sage Support also told me that they would pass my idea of a disaggregated P&L Account to the Implementation Team for possible inclusion in future releases.


I cannot believe that my client is the only user of Line 50 ever who would like a detailed P&L account. Surely I don't have to rewrite the complete Chart of Accounts to achieve this. I can see how that is done, and indeed I have started to do so but this is just re-inventing the wheel

Can you tell me if there is a report on Sage which will give the client a breakdown of what he has spent on all his different overheads - I have just picked Rent & Rates as an example but all other overheads have been similarly grouped up. The ideal is a P&L with the figures separated out

I have opened the data file in version 18 to see if that helped but the report was the same

If I really do need a new CofA can I import it from somewhere/someone else to save having to rewrite it

Many thanks 



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06th Mar 2012 18:42

P&L Report

As the P&L gets it's 'groupings' from the COA, the only way to get a more detailed P&L (at least without resorting to ODBC and Excel) is, as Sage have suggested, to expand the Chart of Accounts which, to be fair, isn't that big a job (I reckon you could create a COA that broke the P&L down in to each code individually in less than half an hour)...

You can't import Chart of Accounts (albeit if someone did have one there are ways to get Sage to recognise it), it is unlikely someone else will have one that will match your criteria.


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By thacca
06th Mar 2012 19:13

No help

Profit and and loss and balance sheet reporting in sage is bad and always has been. Yes im also suprised after all this time they havent improved it. What most people (who have the ability ) do it take the sage TB to excel and categorise how they want to produce management accounts.

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Why reinvent the wheel

thacca wrote:

What most people (who have the ability ) do it take the sage TB to excel and categorise how they want to produce management accounts.

Completely agree, why bother with pivot tables and ODBC (when you aren't familiar with them) when a quick cut and paste will do the job.

Of course the best solution would be to move to xero.


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By tom123
06th Mar 2012 19:17

ODBC and Pivot Tables can be impressive

The sage report designer (in the version I used to use) can only group consecutive nominal codes. Fine if the list is sensible, but over time you often get some random ones in there.I think, also, you cannot show months side by side - although this could have changed.


You can get some very effective results using ODBC links and pivot tables, which refresh in a few seconds, and you can use your own grouping - although that will need lookups to add the group names to the nominal ledger balances.

It is not easy to explain this here - but from experience I found the best and quickest routes to flexible reports to be pivot tables - the software packages I have worked with have not generally been that great at reporting directly,


Good luck,

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By stevie
06th Mar 2012 19:46

with tom

You need to know a few things about Excel but the ODBC link is really quick and effective. I set up monthly P&Ls that refresh with 2 clicks of the mouse.

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By thacca
06th Mar 2012 20:18

Pivot Tables

I agree re Pivot Tables being a solution. However in general I think it is bad useful report aren't available direct from sage.

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07th Mar 2012 09:51

Re: Sage - How to produce a detailed P&L account

This thread seems to have got a little out of hand with pivot tables. export to excel etc.

There is a perfectly good report already in Sage that does exactly what you want


then Profit&Loss Reports on the left

choose Transactional Profit & Loss and enter the from and to dates

it's exactly what your client wants and yes that is in V12

Edit: just tried this in versions 13 to 18 and this report now groups the costs the same as the normal P & L. However it is easy to extract a report from one version and put it into another, so if anyone wants it I can email it




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06th Mar 2012 21:55

Rent and Rates Year wrong

The three accounts don't add up to the total.

Regarding the chart of accounts: I don't see a problem with having more lines - it's easy to do.

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By mtm0066
06th Mar 2012 22:40

detailed P&L


Unless some particular asks for a detailed P&L I avoid changing the COA as usually what happens is they then have a P&L which rambles on for 3 or 4 pages.

When someone asks for the detail for the P&L, I give them their P&L, which may have been tweaked slightly, eg. showing breakown of sales, but then along with that report give them the nominal activity for the same period so that they can refer to this for more detail.


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07th Mar 2012 14:12


Why not just attach the TB to the generated p&l, if they want a breakdown of a specific section it's all there

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07th Mar 2012 17:42

Financial Reports ad Tidy up COA


I have to agree with John above ,it takes the most about 30min to add a new COA.    

I provide management accounts for a lot of businesses.   There are numerous ways to produce various levels of detail, and there is no reason not to , as we all work differently.  

For years I have always been aware that different managers and different directors, accountants all have very different needs in the way they read reports.  

For example 

For Accounts Production for Companies House or for a client to pass on to their Accountant. 

1) I group all the headings to read in the same way as Companies House. 

2) A Layout for a Director who wants to spend 10 seconds looking at it . 

3) And a detailed version for owners who really like to see detail. 

No one client is the same. 

The point is you can have as many versions of a COA as you like.   I do not understand the need to keep it to one. 

It has been mention as time goes on and codes get added that the P&L can go out of order .  This is easily resolved by using the F7 button to insert a line between codes already set up , this means you do not lose every thing already set up  with in the COA.  There  was a very good article in Sage user Group about the shortcut keys that useful for all areas with in sage for COA repetive entry extra  (See Link )


I know there are members that like to use excel, it is also very easy to use Sage Intergration Reports please see link below as this was covered in the Sage User Group and the excel discussion Group.

This article by John has other links in relation to sage and Excel.

It has been also mention about the months reports along side each other I have attach an image to show the reports were this can be done . 

Kindest Regards Sarah Douglas. Douglas Accountancy and Bookkeeping Services Glasgow 


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By Old Greying Accountant
07th Mar 2012 23:57

You beat me Sarah

The report PNL_MTH is most excellent.

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By bro0010
13th Nov 2012 20:52

Posting removed



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18th Apr 2013 16:28

Lack of P&L graph output on Sage 50 Accounts 2012

Excellent tip from Old greying Accountant. Was just about to purchase Sage 50 Accounts 2013 upgrade for the benefit of Windows 8 Sage Pulse App (shows nice updated P&L bar chart monthly display amongst other tweaks) - financial report PNL_MTH saves me 300 pounds for upgrade - can easily export this report to excel for similar graph output. Thanks for this...

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