Next steps after conversion to Sage Accounting

We try to make your conversion as comprehensive as possible, aiming to save you as much time as we can. However, there are some things that we are not able to do because of limitations in the software process we use.

This means that there will be some post-conversion tasks that you will need to perform and this document is provided as a guide to completing these tasks. The post-conversion tasks should be done as soon as possible after the conversion. If you encounter problems or think something might not be right please refer to our troubleshooting page.


These are the tasks you will need to perform post-conversion:

Clean up VAT | FreeAgent corporation tax | Tidy foreign currency | Miscellaneous changes

Clean up VAT

We do not set your VAT number and return periods. This is something that you will want to correct before completing your next VAT return.

Go to Settings > Financial Settings > Accounting Dates & VAT


Accounting Dates and VAT settings

You can now set your VAT details as required.

File the most recent VAT period you’ve already submitted to HMRC. Sage will then be able to recognise any future transactions entered that are dated back into historical VAT period as “late” claims. These should then automatically be included in the next VAT Return.

Click the Reports menu and select VAT Return. If asked to authenticate for MTD choose not to do this. You will be able to do this at a later date once you’ve indicated to Sage that the a return has already been submitted

Pick the date for the most recently submitted VAT Return. Calculate the Return to show the appropriate details.

Reporting VAT
VAT dats

Sage Accounting will display if there’s any transactions prior to the calculated VAT Return that haven’t already been included in a VAT Return. Choose “Now – Include them on this return.”.

Include previous VAT trasactions

Now, choose Submit to HMRC by other means and then click Save.

submit to hmrc by other means

If the payment for this return period has already been made within the conversion period  then it will already have been converted. You will then need to leave this VAT return unpaid in Sage Accounting so as not to duplicate payments.

If the return has not already been paid in the conversion period you will be able to apply the payment without creating any duplicate. You may need to leave the return partially unpaid or enter a separate transaction to record any payment over the return amount.

You can then authenticate for MTD from the bottom of the Settings > Financial Settings > Accounting rates and VAT page

Accounting dates and VAT

Note also that when preparing your first VAT Return in Sage Accounting, it won’t include any unfiled “late” claims relating to prior periods and may be incorrect if we’d had to use some workarounds. We recommend you carefully check the figures in this first VAT Return. If the figures provided by Sage Accounting are different to those you need to file with HMRC you may need to submit an adjusted VAT Return direct to HMRC. This should only affect VAT Return yet to be submitted to HMRC that contain converted transactions. Subsequent VAT Returns should not require any manual adjustments. To read more about why VAT Returns may be different for the same period in the old and new software please click here.

FreeAgent corporation tax calculations

If you’re a company that converted from FreeAgent, the automatically posted journals relating to corporation tax won’t have been converted. The only one of these journals we do convert is where the year end has completed, but the corporation tax payment due date is in the future.

We recommend entering a manual journal in Sage for each year’s corporation tax posting in FreeAgent relating to the converison period. QuickBooks Online’s opening balance journal may also need amending for any opening balance on the Corporation Tax Liability account. The Trial Balances should then agree.

Access the Corporation Tax page in FreeAgent to review the calculations of each year’s corporation tax.

Review the “liability” figure for any historical year with a payment due date in the past. The liability for each of these years should be entered in Sage as a journal. The “Balance Owed” at the last year end before the start date of your conversion will need entering in Sage’s opening balances. This will be covered later on.


Before creating the journals in Sage, check that both a Corpration tax liability and a Corporation tax expense account exist in the Sage chart of accounts. If not create them as necessary.


The example to the right shows how you could create the Corporation tax expense account although customise this as you require.

Once you have the necessary accounts, add the journal to Sage. Choose the Create + button and then select Journal.

The journal date in Sage should be the same as the “Dated on” date from FreeAgent. The liability amount is posted to both the Corporation tax liability and Corporation tax expense accounts in Sage.

Enter a journal in Sage corresponding to the corporation tax liability of each historical year in FreeAgent where the “Payment due” date is in the past. If there’s multiple journals to enter in Sage, you may find it useful to copy one journal and amend the date and amounts as necessary.

Next, add a new journal in Sage or amend the Sage opening balance journal to include the opening Corporation Tax Liability balance. This balance can found in the FreeAgent Corporation Tax report. If your conversion was for the period 01/01/2019 – 31/12/2024 the “Balance Owed” at 31/12/2018 would be the correct figure.

Miscellaneous changes

Change names and numbers of acccounts

Tidy foreign currency (if applicable)

The recommendations below may not always be required or optimal for your user case. Please read them carefully and consider if they are relevant to you before attempting to apply them.

All bank accounts will be in base currency so create new foreign currency bank accounts. You’ll need to have setup Multicurrency from the Advanced Settings. Once the currencies are added, add the bank account.

Add currency
Add bank

Once you have the new foreign currency account you may wish to transfer the GBP balance into the new foreign currency account. Do this by navigating to the plus (+) icon in the top right and selecting Funds Transfer. Enter the date to be the same as the “convert to” date selected for the conversion. Apply an exchange rate such that the GBP account will be emptied and the deposit in the foreign currency account will reflect the correct foreign currency amount.


If you have any outstanding foreign currency invoices or bills at your convert to date, then these will also have been converted at their GBP equivalent value. You may wish to edit (or void / delete then re-enter) these to correctly reflect the foreign currency values owed or owing. To edit them you’ll first need to create a new contact and whilst doing so choose the appropriate currency in the payment and billing tab. You can then edit the invoice or bill contact and amount to be the newly created foreign currency contact and foreign currency amount. For further details on doing this click here.