Dimensions in Sage Financials explained

Sage Financials help

When I started working with Sage Financials (Sage Live in those days) Dimensions seemed to popup in the oddest of places. One reason I found is so hard to get my head around them is that there are actually THREE different kinds of Dimension.

Analysis Dimensions

These are the easiest to understand – they work like ‘Department Codes’ but you can have as many as you want. You use these to analyse your expenses and revenue. ‘Projects’ is a good example where you could group sales invoices, with salary costs, expenses, purchase invoices. ‘Department’ could be used to analyse the costs by department.

The ‘Dimensions’ describe the kind of data, and the ‘Dimension Tag’ the value.

  • ‘Department Code’ is a Dimension
  • ‘Sales Department’ is a Dimension Tag

Here is a great video from Sage that describes these kind of Dimensions.

Configuration Dimensions

These are used extensively in Sage Financials to setup the configuration. Examples include ‘Payment Type’ ‘Bank Takings Item Type’, ‘Payment Terms’

Balance Dimensions

Dimension Tags can be ‘posted to’ like Ledger Accounts, but you don’t need double entry. Here is a simple example showing the postings for a Sales Invoice.

Sales Invoice Postings

Db Cr
1100 Debtors Control Account BS Total Amount
2200 Sales Tax Control Account BS Tax Amount
4000 Equipment Sales P&L Amount
Dimension tags:
Sales Invoice Number Total Amount
Customer Total Amount
Analysis Dimensions (eg Project) Amount

‘Sales Invoice Number’ is a Dimension, and the Tag will be the invoice number (eg: INV-00123). This posting will leave the Tag ‘INV-00123’ with a Db balance. Its the balance on the Tag that tells Sage Financials if an invoice has been paid or not.

Similarly the ‘Customer’ Dimension Tag (eg ‘ACME’) will hold how much a customer owes you. And when you raise a payment journal, or use ‘Bank Matching’ the balance on the Tags will be credited to zero.

The ‘Project’ Dimension Tag (eg: ‘Marketing plan for ACME’) is an Analysis Dimension and will hold the Amount (excluding VAT) so combined with purchase invoice postings can be used to measure the profitability of the project.

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