Intacct: Finding Field ID’s for Smart Rules, Smart Events, API, and imports!

Today’s post will be a short one: A cool trick to help you in writing Smart Rules, Smart Events, API, and even imports!

You’re probably already familiar with the Intacct Catalog (found under Platform or Customization Services). It’s where you usually go to find your merge fields when writing Smart Rules, Smart Events, and anything in this format: {!PROJECT.NAME!}. (The object is the part to the left of the period, while the field id is anything to the right of the period. We’ll give you a tip today on finding the ID to the right of the period).

Catalog

Now that you know where that is, I thought I’d share an easier tip (which changed my life) to help you find these field ID’s (since the catalog, while useful, is not too fun to play around in).

Whenever you are on a page in Intacct and you would like to know what the field’s ID is, you can right click and select “Inspect Element”.

Inspect Element

A small window will appear either in the bottom or right side of your screen and highlight the field for you. In that line you’ll see a part that says “id=_obj__PROJECTTYPE “. Anything to the right of the obj__ is your field id. Easy as that!

Inspect Element Open-1

Intacct Dimensions – Items

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A while back I promised a series on Intacct dimensions and different ways to use them. We covered the Customer Dimension in May, now let’s venture through the world of Items.

Items is one of the tougher dimensions that is often mis-used. So let’s approach the explanation of the Item dimension through a real-world example. Imagine we work at Apple in their accounting department and our team has decided to move to Intacct. We’re working on restructuring our chart of accounts and have just been asked what we would like our items to be. (You probably think – why do we need items? What exactly are items? Especially if you’ve never thought of your company as selling “items”). Let’s say your revenue accounts look something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.38.51 PM

You’ll notice right off the bat – each account represents a different revenue item. What if you could simplify your chart of accounts? What if every time you add a new product, you wouldn’t have to change your chart of accounts by adding a new account? Those Apple press conferences would be a lot less painful for you as the accountant and you could actually enjoy the cool new products those engineers are coming up with! Intacct helps with this with it’s Item dimension.

I define the Item dimension’s mission as:

The Item dimension allows you to simplify your chart of accounts, while allowing you to still track item differentiations. We leave your chart of accounts with the responsibility of managing the high level umbrella of item categories (revenue streams) and allow your items to specify actual variances of these revenue streams.

In our Apple example, your new Chart of Accounts would look like this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.53.09 PM

Your Items would be:

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.05.04 PM

Each Item is tagged with a GL group which is then tied to your GL account in the Order Entry Posting Configuration. (If using standard process workflows, it’s directly tied on the item – even easier!).

Then, in reporting you can report on these individual Revenue streams summarized, or you can expand by items showing details. Below, is a sample report which shows sales by customer expanded by items.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 8.19.24 PM

Also, just like the customer dimension you can add custom fields, group items, and create dimension structures with your items.

Intacct: Customization Documents & Custom Invoices

Invoice requirements vary from one company to another. While a standard invoice may work well for most companies, often times your customer’s invoice requirements dictate your invoice format (especially if your customer is a government body or simply your largest customer). And, well, if you like having a positive number in your bank account, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to argue with your clients. So you are faced with two options: spend your time editing a document outside of your system (and let your coffee get cold in the process) or let your accounting software customize invoices for you! That becomes possible in Intacct with Custom Documents.

This post will be an introduction to customizing your Invoices citing one of the more popular requests I have come across: displaying a “Paid” stamp on a paid invoice.

The Problem: When printing an invoice, no payment stamp displays at the top of a paid invoice. Four simple letters you would think would be so simple to add! Yet, they are not there.

The Solution: Custom Documents using Merge Fields and IF statements.

First, where are custom documents managed?

Customization (or Platform) Services > Custom Documents

Custom Documents

That brings you to the following list screen – so now what?

Custom Documents List Screen

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Filtering Reports & Dashboards for Current User

Sorry for disappearing for a little while – I haven’t abandoned the blog quite yet! So now back to your regularly scheduled Intacct program …

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It’s 10pm, you close your laptop, close your eyes and then suddenly you remember the project managers are expecting to receive a report on their projects P&L. Your eyes scrunch closed trying to erase what you just remembered from your memory. That didn’t work. So you open your eyes and open up your laptop to Intacct (at least you switched to the cloud so you can do this from home instead of waiting until the morning). Alright, here we go let’s create 10 reports. But wait! Remember Intacct’s spring 2015 release? Didn’t they say something about filtering reports and dashboards for current users? That caught your attention. So you think to yourself: “I can create 1 report and just filter for the project manager!” Done. So let’s do this!

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Creating Value That Doesn’t Exist … Yet

Every business ever started, every invention ever created, began with one question:

“What do I know; what valuable information do I possess somewhere in my brain that would be valuable to someone else that they do not have?” 

I learned that lesson in this podcast on Pat Flynn’s website called Smart Passive Income (which if you’ve never heard of – he’s awesome! not just because he’s from my hometown of San Diego. Go listen to it – you’ll be inspired!).

I was listening to this on New Years Day and still remember this part:

Pat was interviewing Joseph Michael (the Scrivener Coach). Joseph Michael (not his real name) was talking about how he had gotten started. He had first created an eBook on topics he knew, SEO and that type of thing – he described it as the most beautiful eBook that no one ever saw. He spent months on it, thinking that’s what people wanted, people were going to love it! Turned out, nobody wanted it. That’s when he learned his first lesson:

You have to survey your audience. You have to build what they want, not what you think they want.”

So one day, he was struggling with teaching his daughter how to tie her shoes. (Something so instinctive that most people forget how they even learned.) So he did some research. He then did a post on teaching his daughter to tie her shoes (of all things). That post went viral! This beautiful eBook he had spent months on creating, no one read, then this post on tying shoes goes viral! That’s an important lesson: It solves a very specific problem that people really need. He went on to create the Scrivener eBook (during his lunch breaks in his car and after work), and was able to quit his job.

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Intacct: Smart Events – API Calls

What is a Smart Event API call? A call that phones Intacct to send you free pizza? Sadly, no, it’s not a real phone call that orders you pizza – I wish! )Accounting would be a heck of a lot more fun!) An API call talks to Intacct and has it update fields within a transaction/record. (Not as fun as pizza, but stay with me.) It’s like a Smart Rule but instead of resulting in a warning or error (or in the case of a Smart Event Email, an email) it results in an action that takes place in Intacct. Powerful, right?!

The Situation: 

We are tracking Orders in the Project Dimension. The problem: With hundreds of orders a month, the amount of projects could get out of control. (We need to track this piece of information in Projects in order to be able to run a profit and loss by order (project). Holding this data in a reference number field will not allow for running a P&L by orders). How do you manage that crazy drop down list of projects? Do you really want to have someone deactivate fulfilled orders one by one? Probably not. Do you want to search through the list every time you receive a new order? Not ideally, no. Why not automate the process? Let Intacct take care of inactivating orders that have been delivered for you.

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Intacct: Financial Reports – Expanding Columns, Report Groups, & Scheduling

Expanded ReportFinancial Reports are only as relevant as their timeliness. The longer a report takes to build, the less relevant the information in it becomes.

The purpose of building financial reports is to gain insight into your company allowing you to make decisions in a timely manner – keeping you ahead of the game and not trying to catch up from behind. The problem is that sometimes reports become complex creatures and start to take on a life form of their own taking a long time to create. It’s very likely that one day you were on a report-building roll and created a report masterpiece for someone. Next thing you know, they want this report every month (and likely they want you to add more to it). That’s time consuming and probably not possible every month.

Think of the amount of work you put into creating a financial report as the input in the Law of Diminishing Returns: While at first, the more time you put in increases the benefits you see from the report, eventually you start to see diminishing returns because as the report takes longer to create, the data becomes stale and renders the report not as relevant.

Intacct not only gives you the power to create effective reports that guide business decisions, but most importantly makes creating reports in a timely manner easy. How does Intacct make report creation easy? Well let’s get to it! We’ve already reviewed the Financial Report Wizard, now this post will cover the second variable to successful financial reporting: timeliness. Intacct has built in to the system key features that make report creation in a timely, efficient manner attainable so let’s get started with two of them: Expanding Reports and Report Groups. Continue reading