Dimensions play a valuable role in accounting by helping users organize their transactions. As businesses evolve and finance leaders pursue digitalization and predictive analytics, finance and accounting systems must offer solutions to support these objectives. In this post, we explain how Sage Intacct’s unique approach to dimensions allows for more operational and financial analysis.
What are dimensions?
Dimensions are values that classify your data by categorizing, labeling, or tagging transactions. They can be grouped and budgeted. Dimensions aren’t custom fields or free-form text fields; they’re pre-defined. Most finance professionals are familiar with the traditional general ledger dimensions – time and category. Sage Intacct moved away from a complicated account structure by offering more dimensions with expanded capabilities.
Sage Intacct’s eight standard dimensions include:
- Item (product)
You can use these standard dimensions as-is or rename and repurpose them to fit your business. Further optimize your dimensions with attributes, groupings, and parent/child hierarchies. Plus, Sage Intacct gives you permission to create and define custom dimensions – enhancing your ability to organize and report on data unique to your business activities.
How do Sage Intacct dimensions work?
Once you define which dimensions you need for your business, you’ll create a list of values within that dimension category. This establishes a hierarchy and allows you to add specificity to your transactions.
- Example 1: A restaurant with multiple locations adds each restaurant under the location dimension. The finance team can track operational and financial transactions to the specific restaurant and compare their performance. They may also choose to group certain locations by geographic region.
- Example 2: A nonprofit may work with various funds and choose to rename the class dimension to funds. This allows them to tag revenue and expenses to the appropriate fund.
After setting up all the dimensions you need, you can tag every financial transaction to all relevant dimensions. Don’t forget to consider your reporting goals and how you want to categorize data!
What are the benefits of dimensions?
Overall, dimensions offer more meaningful classifications and give more context to transactions. Sage Intacct’s approach gives users the following benefits.
Simplified chart of accounts
Most financial solutions have a hard-coded structure. If you add a new location, you’re forced to add hundreds of accounts to that location. With Sage Intacct, you establish primary account codes. When you need to add a new value to your financials, you create it under the appropriate dimension, and all account codes are available to it. You maintain a manageable set of codes and create reports with minimal effort.
Financial transactions are similar, but businesses vary widely. Sage Intacct dimensions allow you to tailor dimensions to your business without ongoing maintenance or programmers.
You identify the products you sell, the vendors you work with, your departments, etc. Then, tag any financial transaction (receivables, fixed assets, payables) to the dimension. You can rename and define the dimension for further visibility if you need an industry-specific categorization.
Smarter, more robust reporting
With a broad range of dimensions, you can manipulate your data and build reports to show exactly what you want to see. And, you can skip Excel.
With Sage Intacct, you can see profitability by office, department, and employee. Or, you can see donors ranked by importance and donation amount. Expenses and revenue by fund. Sales by item and customer. These types of reports – and more – rely on the multidimensional infrastructure.
Financial insights to support business decisions
Dimensions and robust reporting lead to financial insights about business performance. Analyzing insights allow you to make decisions or recommend solutions to improve your business.
If you see a low-performing product, do you cut it? Bundle it? Who are your top-performing employees? How can you replicate their success? Who are your best and worst customers? Dimensions offer these questions for consideration, giving executives and finance teams the opportunity to increase profitability and adjust business strategies.
Have questions about how you could use Sage Intacct dimensions? Let’s talk!