Dimensions and their items
Procountor’s dimensions are tools for management accounting that can be used to track different kind of targets and objects. Items, that are under each dimension, are determined for the dimensions. The items are then added to accounting entries. Allocating dimensions to accounting is always done on the level of items; therefore, items have to be created for each dimension.
Reporting is possible on the level of dimensions: this way the reports show the total value of all items under one dimension that have been used in accounting. Reporting is possible also on the level of items: this way the reports specify the values for each item.
Dimensions can be added to created or received receipts, such as sales invoices, purchase invoice, bank statements and journal receipts.
The maximum amount of available dimensions is six. The amount depends on the used Procountor’s contract / product type. Two dimensions are named by default: Project and Person. However, the names of the dimensions can be edited freely to fit the purposes and need of the user organization / company. For example, dimensions can be named as Cost Center, Department, and City.
The amount of items for one dimension is unlimited. The items for the dimension of Department could be for example Sales, Finance and Research & Development. These items can then be used to allocate business transactions for different departments of the organization / company. The items of Person dimension can be for example everyone that belongs to the personnel of the organization / company (items are the names of the individuals).
Dimensions can be set for whole receipts or more specifically to single transactions. A single receipt or transaction can include various different dimensions. It is not compulsory to allocate accounting entries to all of the available dimensions and items; the dimensions and items can always be chosen freely according to the situation at hand. Since the use of dimensions is voluntary, it is not possible to set dimensioning as obligatory. Dimensioning can be automated with default dimensions.
Dimensions do not have a hierarchy: all dimensions are evenly matched and equal. It is not possible to use dimensions across each other, which means using items from different dimensions at once. One dimension’s items must always form the total percentage of 100. For example, if an invoice is meant to be allocated to an item “Project A” of the dimension Project with only 70 percent, the remaining 30 percent must still be allocated to another item within the Project dimension. If it is not possible to allocate the remaining 30 percent to another actual project item, it is useful to create an item named “Non-allocated” or “Other”. This item can then be used with all the remaining percentages that are not suitable for the actual project items.
What are the benefits of dimensions?
Dimensions can be used to create specific and detailed information about e.g. projects. When earnings and expenses in accounting are allocated to the right project items, dimensions act as important tools for project management. In addition, presenting project budgets and calculations for external stakeholders is also very effortless with dimension reporting.
Because the maximum amount of parallel dimensions is six, a single business transaction can be tracked from a lot of different aspects at the same time. For example, if the organization / company wants to examine the business from the aspects of office, sales campaign and salesperson, the dimensioning can be done in the following way:
- Office: Helsinki – Espoo – Vantaa – Tampere – Turku
- Sales Campaign: Spring Season – Super-SALE – Hottest New Releases – Mother’s Day
- Salesperson: Kimmo – Nella – Jaana – Eemil – Albert
The previous example includes the following dimensions: Espoo as the Office, Hottest New Releases as Sales Campaign and Kimmo as Salesperson. This kind of observation makes it possible to locate the profitable combinations and functions of the company. At the same time, it can be used to locate also the combinations and functions that are in a need of development and evaluation. By combining different kinds of dimensions, the business activities can be observed from useful new perspectives.