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Your Chart of Accounts - If Dick Can Do It, So Can You!

If Dick Can Do It, So Can You!

Geez, how’d you do that?” asked Sally, the accounting assistant. Sally would spend hours retyping the Sales by SKU by Sales Team by Customer reports every month because Jane, the new CFO, wanted it that way. Now this new Financial Manager, Dick, was whizzing along and cranking the reports out.

Sally had been with the company for 30 years, having started in high-school as a part-time job. She'd stayed on ever since because she grew to love the whole gang. But things were changing.

YouNeedThisNow was, at this point, a $150M cleaning products company that sold everything from kids’ bath soap to shampoos for adults to dishwashing soap. They had hundreds of SKUs that represented just about anything you might need to get clean at a bargain price.

The way the former CFO had done things had worked fine until they'd sold the company and the new management, including Jane, had started asking for more and more reports. Then Jane brought Dick on board to get the accounting department humming. Yeah, so now it was ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ all day.

Jane wanted a report that could show which SKUs were their top sellers and which customers were driving the most business.

Dick had told Jane that, to get those reports, he would have to link many data downloads from the ERP system into spreadsheets because the Chart of Accounts was not designed to record information in a way that would allow for an easy ‘slice and dice’ by those attributes.

“Sally, bring me last year’s management report on Sales by SKU,” requested Dick. “I want to show you the difference between that report and the reports that we’re doing now."

Sure enough, the management report from last year was a slender statement of total sales. It showed no breakdown by Channel, Region, SKU Class, or even by Sales Team.

“This year's report is much more in-depth,” commented Jane as she joined in the discussion.

“You should see the pivot tables we have put together,” Dick proudly said to Jane.

Jane reflected on Dick’s comment. “But you two are taking data from the system and then adding information from outside the system, like SKU Class and Channel, in order to get these reports.”

“The ERP system was not set up to have a multi-dimensional Chart of Accounts,” Sally remarked, feeling great that she could hold her own in the conversation – she’d been reading about operational reporting.

“We would have to redesign the Chart of Accounts in order to get these reports out of the ERP system,” Dick said authoritatively.

“Is that possible?” asked Jane.

Read how to add reporting flexibility THROUGH the system with a better designed Chart of Accounts and multi-dimensional SKU numbers and Customer associations.

"Have a seat." Dick opened up the master tables in the ERP system. “I want to show you all the functionality that has been missed.”

Jane and Sally sat across from Dick as he brought up the Chart of Accounts and the SKU numbering system on the two large screens on his desk.

“See, we can add segments to the Chart of Accounts for Sub-Category, Division, and Department. Similarly, we can add additional SKU attributes such as SKU Group and SKU Class and even a deeper dimension for SKU Function to each SKU. Then we can jump over to the Customer Master File and add Channel Type to each Customer.”

Dick brought up a report that Jane had only been dreaming about up until then:


“Yes, that’s what we need. Can we get this now?” Jane was serious.

Well, it’s funny because our company is called YouNeedThisNow, and yet we don’t have it!”

They all laughed heartily. It was ironically funny.

“No,” said Dick, “we can’t get this now, at least not easily.” His serious demeanor changed to an enthusiastic show-off and he continued, “But give me two days, and I’ll have a report like this for you. Give me a month, and I’ll automate it through spreadsheets. Give me three months, and I’ll figure out how to get the reports directly through the system!”

“Why do you need to get the reports through the system if you can generate them with spreadsheets?” asked Sally. Why weren't the spreadsheets good enough? They'd been doing it that way for years.

“Because,” explained Jane, loving that Sally was asking the right questions, “we can’t audit spreadsheets and, more importantly, we want to see sales reports weekly, not monthly. The business is expanding, and we can’t be behind the trends. We want to get in front of business.”

Sally didn’t really understand, but she loved Jane’s determination. Count her in!

“So, I’ll start working on these sales reports, but promise me that we can undertake a real project to change the numbering scheme in the Chart of Accounts and in the SKU master files.” Playfully, Dick ventured a challenge.

“Only because you insist!” smiled Jane.

“It's good to see this camaraderie,” thought Sally. “This is the new management, and they are smart and thoughtful.” They were going to teach Sally some new tricks.

This is fun with Dick and Jane!” exclaimed Sally.

Dick and Jane burst out laughing.

They’d heard that line before!


Are you wondering how to get reports directly THROUGH the system instead of exporting to zillions of spreadsheets? You might need a new ERP, but instead, you might be able to use your current system more expertly along with a better Business Intellingence reporting tool.

Who are you going to bring on board to work with you to ‘re-implement’ your system to get the most out of reporting? Call us. We are perfect for the job!

We can work with you and your team to understand what you could be getting, redesign your Chart of Accounts, re-imagine your financial reports, and give you more insights into your business results.

We are experts at understanding your unique needs, finding perfect solutions, and fast-tracking your company to select and implement the right systems so that you can keep pace with the growth of your company.

We help you to identify process improvements, select the best software systems, and integrate ‘edge’ systems effectively.

We bring structure into the project and engage the staff to create an enthusiastic Project Team who are looking to the future for ways to operate.

We specialize in ‘best practices’ to help you to implement the systems that will help your company to grow.

Give us a call at 310-445-5300.

We will guide your Project Team to success.

We excel in managing the steps for ERP Systems Selection as well as the systems that need to integrate or stand-alone, we guide the Implementation to success while introducing Operations Improvements and overcoming the impossible while keeping projects on-schedule. We work to create a cohesive Project Team that will be the champions for the new processes within your company.

We're waiting to talk to you.

Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (RJMC) assists mid-market companies to evaluate, select, and implement ERP solutions including Financials, Manufacturing, Distribution, Warehouse Management, Supply-Chain Solutions, CRM, HCM, Trade Promotion, Demand Planning, and Data Analytics. We are skilled and experienced consultants who provide the Project Management that gets the project done. To start the dialogue, give us a call at 310-445-5300



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