If you haven’t already heard, Intacct is all about dimensions! Hello simplified Chart of Accounts, buh bye subaccounts! It’s easy for a chart of accounts to get out of control and before you know it you have 40,000 accounts! Intacct is all about simplifying the chart by taking away all those subaccounts and tagging data through the use of dimensions. Now, that’s no secret, but the tough part is deciding how to use each dimension. If you’re thinking about switching to Intacct, that is a HUGE part of building your system. The problem is that everyone knows that they have 8 dimensions (Vendor, Customer, Employee, Department, Location, Item, Project, and Class) and that you can re-purpose some of them BUT how exactly should you go about doing that? What dimensions are best used for what? What can and can’t you do with them? How are they used in reporting? These were all questions I had! I wanted to know exactly what is possible and what’s just way out there. So this is my attempt at putting together an overview of the 8 dimensions and what can and cannot be done. Hopefully helping you decide how to use your dimensions along the way.
Before we go about repurposing all our dimensions and thinking Intacct is a magical Jeannie that will do anything we want with an “I Dream of Jeannie” knod of the head, let’s go through these dimension so we have a basic understanding of their attributes, how they can be grouped, and most importantly how that plays into reporting.
So lets jump right in with Customers – part one of our series of posts on the 8 dimension.
Customer (or Donor for Non Profits) – yes, you can rename this dimension!
What a Customer Dimension looks like:
- There are certain attributes that are standard like ID, Name, Phone Number, Address, etc.
- A customer dimension can also have custom fields added to it. In this example User Count and Start Date are custom fields but this can be anything you would like! A date, a text field, a picklist, a checkbox. Think of it as another piece of information you would like to track, and also group by. Which leads us to ……
Groupings and Hierarchies:
- Customers can be organized in 3 ways: Hierarchy, Customer Groups, and Customer Dimension Groups
- What’s the difference?
- Hierarchy is the most basic way to organize customers. This is a parent child relationship where one customer is the parent and can have as many children as needed. There can be multiple tiers as well (parent, child, grandchild, etc).
- Customer Groups can be formed in 2 ways: choosing specific members or creating filters based on attributes (fields) on the Customer Record (ex: Customer Type = Funder, Customer State = CA, Start Date > 01/01/2015). The groupings can be based on any field within a customer record – even custom objects you added to the record! (Amazing!) Now, Customer Groups are not automatically available in reporting. You have to check the Dimension Structure box. (Managed in the Accounts Receivable Module).
- Customer Dimension Structures are used in financial reporting. You can create a hierarchy OR you can create a group of groups. A group of groups takes multiple customer groups you had created and puts them together (for example if you wanted to include CA customer and WA customers you could do that here). (Managed in the General Ledger Module).
- What does that mean for reporting?
- You can expand any financial report by the Customer dimension within columns. Thus splitting out the report by customer along the columns. You can also expand the rows by the customer dimension (shown below). (Rows or Columns Tabs)
- You can also filter by a certain dimension group or customer group. (Filter Tab)
- We can include Customer Dimension Attributes in a financial report or dimensional report. (Amazing).
Example: Below, is an example of using the Financial Report Writer to create an Account Report. Expanded by Customers on Rows and Items on columns. (yes, you can expand by more than one dimension!)
This report shows month over month revenue by customer including customer specific details like start date, sales rep, user count, etc. and items purchased.
I hope this help give some insight into what a Customer Dimension actually looks like, how they can be grouped, and how they can be reported on. (And if you need help with reporting, I would love to help! Even outside of work if you want some tips on how to do something – I’d love to help!)