Monday, July 27, 2015

Use Statistical Accounts to calculate meaningful Key Performance Indicators in Dynamics GP

It is not uncommon during financial statement design to create reports intended to monitor Key Performance Indicators. Dynamics GP's statistical account feature provides functionality, which expands this capability beyond simple financial ratios.

Statistical accounts (A.K.A. Unit Accounts) allow organizations to keep track of non-financial data in the General Ledger, like square footage, head count, machine hours, labor hours, quantities produced, inspected, rejected, sold, returned and/or serviced in summary or detail. 

Statistical accounts can be posted to without the need to balance the transaction, increasing or decreasing the balance of the account as necessary. These account balances can then be pulled into financial reports via FRx or Management Reporter and used in calculations to compute things like sales price and cost of goods sold per unit, cost of labor per hour, revenue per service call, etc.

In order to use this feature, Statistical Accounts must be created and maintained. Statistical Accounts are maintained in Financial > Cards > Financial > Unit Account

Unit Account setup is similar to Financial Account Setup; however, there are some additional settings available in this window.

Account Number is a required field, and can make use of the sub-account structure to track statistics at a departmental, divisional or product line level. 

Description is also a required field, so some value must be entered in this field. 

All other fields are optional. 

The Alias field can provide a shortcut to speed account entry.

Decimal Places allow for the configuration of from 0 to 2 decimal places for tracking statistical data.

Series allows for the selection of modules, in addition to the General Ledger, which will allow the entry of statistical data for this account. Options are Sales and Purchasing. It is typical for statistical information to be collected and imported or entered monthly.

There are also a pair of check boxes, one of which is only present in more recent releases of Dynamics GP (2013 & 2015).

The Inactive check box does precisely what it appears to do. Checking this box makes this account inactive, which prevents it from being used, but does not remove it from the system. One of the options in the Year-End close can automate the removal of inactive accounts, so be careful there.

The Clear Balance During Year-End Close check box was added in version 2013, and also does precisely what it appears to do. When this box is checked, the balance at Year-End Close is not treated like a typical Balance Sheet Account. Typically, Balance Sheet Accounts are zeroed and their balances are brought forward into the next year as beginning balances. This is not optimal when statistical/unit accounts are being used to track units of production or sales, where it is best if the beginning balance for the year be zero.

All other fields are used to view information about the account and cannot be edited in this window.

Once accounts are properly configured, statistical information can be tracked by posting entries to the General Ledger, which use posting date to assign transaction information to the appropriate fiscal period(s).

I have seen statistical accounts used to track numerous relevant statistics at many organizations (miles, gallons, trips, calls, etc.) The use of Unit Accounts in Dynamics GP is limited only by your imagination.

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