Friday, June 4, 2010

Making the Account Number SMALLER

We all know that we can increase the number of characters in an account segment up to the maximum number allowed in the Account Framework. However, if we need to REDUCE the number of characters, all of the documentation tells us we cannot.

Once upon a time there was not an option to display an expanded account width. Therefore, if you wanted to use an alphabetical character instead of a number, the alphabetical character would not be displayed if it was wider than a number. The only way around this limitation was to make the segment an extra character long.

After the ‘display width’ option was introduced, it was desirable to remove the extra character(s) from the account segment. All questions to Microsoft (then Great Plains) tech support said ‘NO’ you can’t do that.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can!

Making it Smaller: Setting it up

First, you need to make sure that you do not have any characters in the position(s) that you want to reduce. For example, if you want to reduce a segment from 5 characters to 4 characters, then each of your accounts must not be more than 4 characters long in the segment you want to reduce.

If I want segment two to go from 5 characters to 4 characters, your accounts must include a blank character for position 5 of that segment.

Before account size reduction:
555-6588 –000

After account size reduction:

Notice that the second segment includes 4 characters and then a ‘blank’. If your accounts are not in this structure, then you might want to invest in the Professional Services Tools Library’s Account Modifier/Combiner tool in order to align your accounts to the necessary structure.

Making it Smaller: Executing the change

Once your accounts are in the specified format, simply run the System Reconcile Utility (Microsoft Dynamics GP >> Tools >> Utilities >> Reconcile) against the Account Format Setup table.

The length of the account segment will be reduced from 5 characters to 4.

And they said it couldn’t be done . . .

Until next post!



Mariano Gomez said...


Then it's just about right to clarify that this will only work for chart of accounts with blank characters in one (or any of the segments) and that's assuming that the blank character is in the same position throughout all accounts for the conversion to work. Typically, I have seen this to be the case, that is, an extra blank character added to accomodate for "future growth".

This technique will also work if you take the time to blank out a character in a segment, for example, if the account number is 100-56000-4000 and the intention is to end up with something like 100-5600-400, you could potentially change segment two, before running the conversion, to "5600 -" and segment 3 to "400 ". Note the blank spaces.

This assumes however that the consultant or system admin (note the use of the words consultant and system admin, rather than user) is familiar with how accounts are stored in GP.

Mariano Gomez, MVP

Anonymous said...

We have also used this completely remove a segment if is no longer needed. Example you want to go from 4 to 3 segments:


Once again after you modify the account number (using tools) to have blanks in the last segment and run reconcile the last segment is removed.



Dynamics Confessor said...

Hi Joel,

Great point!

If you do completely remove a segment you need to do one more thing. Be sure to modifity the Account Number String field in the Account Index Master file to remove the trailing account separator. For sure this can cause a problem for anyone trying to do a 'Divisional' close to Retained Earnings.

The process that checks to make sure you have the requisite accounts set up will 'burb' if those trailing separators have not been removed from the Account Number String field in the Account Index Master file.

Thank you for the comment!

Anonymous said...


Great Post, but I have a scenario that I want to change the Chart by shortening completely,
5000-FRU-DIS-10100-00 to
Is that possible using the Professional Service Tools


Dynamics Confessor said...

Hi, responding to:
"I want to change the Chart by shortening completely,
5000-FRU-DIS-10100-00 to
Is that possible using the Professional Service Tools"

Yes, first you need to set your account format to 4-5-3-5-2 (from 4-3-3-5-2). Combine any accounts you need to so that you have a unique number when you convert to 4-5. Create a text file that has old account, new account. Your new account will be 4-5-bbb-bbbbb-bb with the 'b' characters representing blanks.

Once all of your accounts only have characters in the first two segments, run a reconcile (Administration | Utilities | System | Reconcile) on the Account Format Setup. This should remove the blank segments from your Account Format and shorten your account structure. Be sure to check your account format setup and mark your main account. You'll than want to run checklinks on the Account Master and do a reconcile in the Financial Utilities. Good question, thank you for commenting.