Sunday, January 4, 2009

Year end closing Retained Earnings validation

What's this? Two posts in a single day after weeks of silence? Hopefully this will be helpful for someone out there.

This is for those of you who do 'divisional' closings to Retained Earnings. That's where each 'division' has separate balance sheet and income statement accounts. This is a popular technique when clients want to keep several companies in the same database, yet close out each company to its own retained earnings account.

First of all, you can only (out-of-the-box) differentiate according to a single segment of the chart of accounts. So you can't close by the combination of segment 1 AND segment 2. Also, you need to have created an account for each segment whether or not you need it.

Before executing the close, GP searches through the chart of accounts to make sure you do indeed have a separate retained earnings account for each separate 'division'. The surprise to me was how the software determines whether you're good to go. Instead of looking at the account indexes or separate segment definitions, it looks at the Account Number String field in the Account Index table.

I discovered this last year when one of my clients tried to close and couldn't. Earlier in the year we had removed an unused segment from the chart of accounts (more on that later). The Account Number String field still had a trailing dash "-" left over from the deleted segment. So account number 100-4560-090 read in the field as 100-4560-090- . Once we removed the trailing dash from the field, everything closed beautifully. Go figure.

Another related item. The Account Number String field is used by Integration Manager too. When importing account numbers, you have to use the account separator or the integration will fail. Remember when you could just import the string of characters with no account separator? Not anymore. This was changed a couple of versions ago, so everybody who had strings of characters as the source has probably changed the integration by now.

Gee, and here I thought they created that field so we would no longer have to concatenate segments in reporting.

Enjoy those forms 1099 and W-2!



Past Expiry said...

lanny@tb said...

I have a client who needs to use a branch and division segment to get ret earnings right. by creating allocaton accounts for branches that are in another divison, you can get the same effect as if you could specify two segments.

Dynamics Confessor said...


Hmm... what did you have in mind. So long as you can narrow it down to only one segment you are good to go.

You CAN close to a fixed allocation account, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having divisional P&L. You're not allowed to 'cascade' allocation accounts, though I wish you could. When you close to a fixed allocation account it just divides out the P&L to other accounts based on fixed percentages.

You can't post to a variable allocation account, darnit.