Why Account Numbers Should Be Used
This short post shows my own opinion which came from the real experience of my daily job as to why account numbers should be used, especially for accounting purposes.
The above pictures show you how a sales report can be generated from MYOB, a well know accounting software. The sales report will list all the transactions such as invoices that have been placed by customers. For example, Company A has placed orders 001, 002, and 003. Company B has placed orders 004, 005, and 006.
The second picture shows that you have to select all customers or select each customer individually. What if I only want to select good customers who have paid on time and the ones who are active businesses. From the screen you can see you don't have much information about the accounts. The only way is to put a comment next to each account which is a very bad practice. Suppose you want to print address labels from your accounting software. All your comments will also show up in the address labels which is really bad.
Next there will be situations where you want to generate sales reports per territories or states. The second picture doesn't give you a clue how to do this. But if we have designed the account numbers better, we can group the customers by checking against their account numbers. For example, for customers who live in News South Wales, Sydney (postcodes starting with 2 such as 2010, 2033), we assign account numbers such as A2010, A2333. Hence, when we go through picture 2 and check the account numbers, we can easily select the right accounts. The following screenshot depicts this scenario.
Of cause there are better accounting software programs out there which can easily resolve these issues. Now if we have to synchronise account information between systems such as CRM (customer relationship management) and your accounting software, it would be much easier to use account numbers to compare and synchronise rather than using the name. Bear in mind that customers can change their business names but the account numbers will always remain the same.
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