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Account Numbers

A quick and simple feature to consider is the size and segmentation of the product's account number structure. Often you can eliminate an inadequate product by first checking this feature. A summary of the account number structure for selected accounting software products is listed below:

Products Account Number Structure

For the low-end market

ACCPAC Simply Accounting 4 characters, 1 segment
BusinessWorks Gold 11 characters, 2 segments
M.Y.O.B.  4 characters, 4 segments
Oracle Small Business Suite 
(by Netledger)
15 characters, 15 segments
One Write Plus 6 characters, 2 segments
Peachtree 2000 5.0 11 characters, 4 segments
Peachtree for Windows 7.0 15 characters, 15 segments
Peachtree Complete Accounting 2003 15 characters, 15 segments
QuickBooks 2000 13 characters, 1 segment
QuickBooks Pro 2002  13 characters, 1 segment
For the middle market
ACCPAC Advantage Series 45 characters, 10 segments
ACCPAC Professional Series  24 characters, 6 segments
Microsoft Dynamics 7.0 66 characters, 10 segments
Macola Progression (Exact) 15 Characters, 3 segments
MAS 90 and MAS 200 9 characters, 3 segments
Navision Attain 3.0 (Microsoft) Unlimited characters, unlimited segments 
Platinum for Windows by Best 32 characters, 30 segments
iScala 2.1 120 characters, 10 segments
Solomon IV 5.0 30 characters, 9 segments
Traverse  30 characters, 7 segments
Visual AccountMate SQL 5.0 30 characters, 9 segments
For the beginning enterprise market
ACCPAC Executive Series  81 characters, 9 segments
Axapta (Microsoft) Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
MAS 500 100 characters, 15 segments
Microsoft eEnterprise 7.0 66 characters, 10 segments
e by Epicor 32 characters, 4 segments
Macola Progression (Exact) 15 Characters, 3 segments
SAP Accelerated Financials R/3 Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
Solomon IV 5.0 30 characters, 9 segments
For the enterprise market  
ACCPAC Executive Series  81 characters, 9 segments
Axapta (Microsoft) Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
Microsoft eEnterprise 7.0 66 characters, 10 segments
e by Epicor 32 characters, 4 segments
JD Edwards One World Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
Oracle Financials Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
PeopleSoft Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
SAP Accelerated Financials R/3 Unlimited characters, unlimited segments
Solomon IV 5.0 30 characters, 9 segments


A Brief Discussion About Account Number Structure

One feature can knock a product out of the running instantly: the account number structure. If that structure is inadequate—no matter how superior the product in every other way—the software should be rejected. It's important to understand what's behind that statement.

Originally, DOS-based accounting systems were developed with PCs in mind. In those days, hard disks had little data-storage capacity, performance was slow and the critical RAM was significantly limited. At the time, those limitations were hardly considered a serious problem: After all, in the 1980s most accounting software developers never envisioned their products being used by large companies—that is, with sales in the tens of millions of dollars and with multiple, even global, operations. As a result, software developers didn't seriously consider the need to add additional account numbers for large organizations.

Of course, the capacity of the low-cost PC has grown exponentially, meeting the needs of even the largest companies. But when developers later tried to modify the account number structure to accommodate more segments and larger numbers, they found it was difficult, if not impossible, without completely rewriting the underlying program code.

There are many reasons why it's important to have a larger account number structure. Today's larger companies often have subsidiaries and divisions that must be identified in the accounting system by a fourth, fifth or sixth segment in the account number. In fact, most large not-for-profits need at least four segments in their account number structures—for the account, sub-account, department and program. Many government agencies need at least four segments in their account number structures to identify the account, sub-account, department and fund. 

 

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