Chart of Accounts

Why do we list Chart of Accounts as an EPM topic?  Simply because, in our experience, it is one of those terms that gets thrown around in meetings and discussions but when someone (usually us) tries to pin down exactly what everyone means by the term, it becomes apparent that everyone meant something slightly different.  Recipe for doubt, confusion, mistakes, arguments, cost etc.

It doesn't really matter what the 'real' technical or business definition of the term is - you won't find a single consistent definition anyway.

What matters is recognising that there are a whole set of inter-related topics that fall within the overall banner of Chart of Accounts and which need to be correctly identified, separated, discussed and co-ordinated.  These include:

  • The definition of the segmental structure of the account code in multi-segment systems such as Oracle Financials
  • The list of posting-level codes making up the natural account segment of a ledger's account codes
  • The list of codes making up any of the segments of a ledger's account codes
  • The full hierarchies of any of these segments
  • The definition of the dimensional structure of financial reporting systems (including management reporting systems and financial consolidation systems)
  • The list of posting-level codes making up the accounts dimension of these systems
  • The full hierarchy of the accounts dimension of these systems
  • The mapping between the chart in ledger systems and the financial reporting systems
  • Putting in place the rules, procedures and systems to support the maintenance of all of these - see Master Data Management

We have experienced the difficulties that arise from lack of recognition that people are talking about different topics when they use the same term.  Chart of Accounts is not the only example (alas), but it is one of those most directly relevant to all of what we do when implementing and advising on EPM solutions.

If it sounds like we're speaking your language, Please contact Nigel Dahl through LinkedIn using the button below, or call him now on +44 (0)7799 664165.

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Who's behind epmgurus?

Nigel Dahl

Nigel Dahl,

Managing Director of epmgurus, brings 30 years of diverse experience to bear in helping organisations and teams through change – of size, structure, systems, management or ownership.

Nigel has run, advised, supported or worked with Finance functions from one-person operations up to globally dispersed Finance departments of several thousand people. He knows what good (and bad!) looks like.

View Nigel Dahl's profile on LinkedIn

What is EPM?

Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is a broad term covering any business process that seeks to improve performance through a continuous loop of data collection, reporting, analysis and, most importantly, informed and targeted action.

In practice, Finance EPM is generally considered to cover at least Strategic, Financial and Operational Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting, Management Reporting (MI), Financial Consolidation, Statutory Reporting, Profitability and Cost Management, including Cost Allocation.