Everything you wanted to know about Unit4 Financials Chart of Accounts

But didn't know who to ask...

By providing a central record of all your company’s accounts, the chart of accounts (CoA) is the foundation for your business’ recordkeeping. Get it right, and the CoA will help to steer your key accounting processes, make it easier to follow financial reporting standards and provide a useful picture of the overall financial health of the business.

So how do you optimise your CoA so it becomes a financial reporting asset? This is where Unit4 Financials proves to be particularly useful. Thanks to its flexible elements structure, the solution offers huge scope to customise your CoA, so it is fully aligned to your requirements, enabling you to stay on top of both statutory reporting and internal management accounting.

To help you get the most out of Financials, read on to get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions linked to chart of accounts…

Is there a way to download a chart of accounts with numbers and descriptions?

Yes.

Because Unit4 Financials uses metadata, it’s easy to locate the information you need by entering descriptions or codes into a generic browse master. Select the data view that you want to use and then use a presenter and selector to bring up a list of all relevant elements.

Depending on the view you use, you can use the browse master to retrieve more than just codes and descriptions. For example, you could use it to get information such as addresses and bank details.

Flexi-fields provide an easy way to define, capture and retrieve key information within Unit4 Financials. If you utilise the flexi-fields function, you can use it to create a view that will pull in key ancillary information against the elements. For instance, let’s say you have a project that is set up as an element. Using flexi-fields, you should be able to design and create a view that would not only just pull in that element, but also all the flexi-field information assigned to that element (e.g. attributes such as project manager, project type, start and finish dates etc).

Tip: for more information on this, take a look at our flexi-fields guide here.

Can you have different Charts of Accounts for different companies inside Unit4 Financials?

Yes, you can have different chart of accounts (element strings) for different companies within U4F.

And of course, it’s worth remembering that you could have two GL code structures relating to the same company; one being a local structure and the other being a corporate one using element substitution.

Each company has its own reporting and accounting requirements. For most, a single CoA is all that’s needed. If, however, you require more than one CoA, this is possible to set up within Unit4 Financials. Remember, that you can also have a different element string in each company but common GL code structure to enable consolidation reporting.

I’ve used a finance system that allowed the use of what were called ‘posting and reporting attributes’ and allowed the creation of relations between different attributes. Is there something similar in Unit4 Financials, and would this include element groups?

Element groups within Unit4 Financials can give you this capability. What’s more, a similar end result can also be achieved through flexi-fields, as this function enables you to create a relationship between different elements.

A word about Chart of Accounts design

There are two aspects to this.

The first is to ensure you get the element structure correct, otherwise the CoA will fail to include the information required by your organisation.

The second is the use of wildcards (*). The GL code structure should be configured to facilitate this. For example, if you need to retrieve fixed assets account information, it is a lot easier to enter a * in the box than to stipulate that you need to see all assets in the range of, say, 1,000 to 1,999.

Chart of Accounts demonstration

Our Spotlight video demonstrates optimal CoA design and configuration, showing you how to extract precisely the information you need directly from Unit4 Financials. Watch it here…

Is your Chart of Accounts still fit-for-purpose? Optimise the easy way with Millennium Consulting

Especially after corporate reorganisation or a shift in business focus, a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable.

Millennium Consulting can help you design a new CoA and element structure to ensure alignment with current business needs. This includes expert workshops to understand your reporting and accounting requirements, along with creation of an element structure and CoA that’s customised for your organisation.

To discuss your options, please do get in touch.

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Unit4 Financials Consultancy, Development and Support Brochure

Unit4 Financials Consultancy, Development and Support


At Millennium Consulting, we are experts in business transformation, accounting, software development, regulatory compliance, and the impact of business and technology change.

For over 25 years, Millennium have provided global solutions and services across the world’s most demanding industries, with customers in finance, retail, logistics, construction, and manufacturing.

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ESG in focus: your essential guide

ESG trends, reporting frameworks, challenges, and opportunities


In this whitepaper, we outline the ESG trends, reporting frameworks, challenges, and opportunities. Including the what and why of ESG and what opportunities lay ahead with a strategic lever.

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Millennium Raising Futures Kenya Golf Day 2022

We raised £4,500 for Raising Futures Kenya

There’s something about the annual Millennium Raising Futures Kenya Golf Day that seems to bring out the best in the UK weather and this year was no exception. Of course, bright sunshine is normally accompanied by grey clouds and this proved to be the case on Friday at Westerham, Kent.

The players assembled to compete for the coveted Millennium Golf Challenge trophy and this year it was the Europeans who emerged victorious, ably captained by Ray Seamer, a legend in Millennium circles.

The individual scratch winner was Gordon O’Malley on 77 and Stableford winners were Derek Mcateer and Jane Keet with 42 points apiece. Other prizes were awarded for the longest drive, closest to the flag and best turned out team.

A post-round dinner followed the golf and afterwards Kirsty Erridge of Raising Futures Kenya provided an insight into the activities taking place on the ground in Kenya and demonstrated the value of the support we provide.

Thanks are due to our corporate Sponsors, Unit4, ICorp, Hennessy IT Consulting, Sound Integration and Arbonne International as well as the gifts many of the players such as Fiskars Group and Derek Mcateer provided on the day.

Here are some of the highlights:

The day generated £4,500 for Raising Futures Kenya and the money will be put to good use helping young Kenyans.

We look forward to reconvening in 2023 for the next event and the date and location will be announced in the coming months. We welcome new participants so if you would like to play next year then contact the Millennium team who will be happy to update you with the details.


Looking at the Diary Function in Unit4 Financials

Discover how the diary functionality within Unit4 Financials helps ensure that key tasks are actioned or followed up at the right time…

What is the diary function?

The diary function can be used with Documents and Elements in Unit4 Financials. You can use it to record actions you have taken, as well as for setting reminders for new events and follow-up actions.

Credit control is an obvious area where the diary function proves particularly useful. For instance, you can create a diary event as a reminder to check the payment status of a specific invoice or to telephone a particular customer. You can also create diary events to record the fact that an action has been taken (e.g., the date on which a chasing letter was sent to a customer).

More generally, you can use the function to set reminders for events such as appointments and submission deadlines.

Accessing the diary function

Diary events can be applied to a whole debtor account, an element, or to an individual transaction (a Document).

The diary is available in the following areas:

• Browse details & matching. This allows notes to be applied to individual transactions.

• Age debt reports & account summary. This allows notes to be applied to whole accounts and individual transactions.

Every diary event is assigned to a relevant financial user. The assigned user is then responsible for ensuring the event is actioned.

To edit events for an element or document, you need write access to the element master.

For a document line, you must have ‘write’ access to the line. When you attempt to save a diary event or make changes to that event, validation checks are made. If the event is not valid, the reason for the error is displayed.

Viewing diary events

You can view diary events associated with any company or element you have access to.

Your personal diary can be viewed by going to Finance > Enquiries > Diary. This provides a simple view of your diary events, allowing you to quickly identify which events are due, along with the priority status for each event (high, medium, or low).

Watch the diary function in action

In this Spotlight video, we illustrate how the diary function works in practice. We also take a closer look at how to use your personal diary, along with the masters behind the diary.

For further advice on configuring your diary or any other aspect of Unit4 Financials, our consultants are always happy to help. To put our expertise to work, contact Millennium Consulting today.

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Unit4 Financials 2022 Q2 Release

Unit4 Financials 2022 Q2 Release

Unit4 Financials 2022Q2 was made available on 7th June 2022.

The new release contains all the previous Unit4 Financials functionality and new features. Plus, many additional customer requested fixes, highlighting the importance of logging enhancements via Unit4’s Community 4U.

Highlights of the release include:

Finance

  • Browse Transactions
  • Statement Processing

Billing

  • Billing Browse

Console

  • Client Secret

Administration

  • Customiser
  • Print Formatter
  • Workflow Designer
  • XL for Finance and Procurement
  • Removed feature – XL Scheduler

General Fixes/Updates

  • The AppParams WebService no longer fails with the error “Invalid document version”.
  • Customiser now allows the height to be changed for the comment object on an account summary.
  • In Generic Browse ‘Select all lines’ is no longer limited to the current page.
  • Customiser can now open customisations when container managed authentication is used.
  • Webservices licence is no longer required for Print Formatter and Workflow Designer.
  • Metadata upgrade now sets the object definition key type correctly.
  • Performance has been improved in Billing Browse when opening sales invoices with a large number lines.
  • Billing can now issue/reissue invoices without attachments, when ‘Send related attachments’ is set on the output device master.
  • Authorising an element with an attachment no longer fails with a database deadlock.
  • Budget Check and Commitments are now calculated correctly for companies with Financial Periods not matching calendar months.
  • WebServices/XMLi has been has been changed to disallow an unbalanced match when matching and using commit.
  • Element Template number ranges are now set correctly when using copy company and using the target save function across companies.
  • Element authorisation now can handle more than 10 left or right list entries.
  • Bank reconciliation no longer loses the selected status on rows when ‘Include selected’ is used.
  • Pay write now handles values with more than 2 decimal places correctly.
  • Pay write now handles very high values correctly.
  • Drill down to commitments from Browse Balance now returns data correctly.
  • Element Table Link has been changed to handle larger volumes of updates without having an ‘out of memory’ error.
  • ITK can now handle extracting and transforming larger volumes of data.
  • Punchout no longer fails when an invalid lead time is received.

The Release Notes detailing the fixes and features within this release can be found in the Documentation area on Unit4’s Community 4U.

Read here to find out when Financials updates are scheduled for 2022, along with important information for legacy V13 and V14 users.

Is it time to upgrade?

Find out more

Using Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials

In the first part of this blog series, ‘Introducing Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials’, we showed how the flexi-fields function can significantly enhance the quality of information you can hold on any element or transaction in Unit4 Financials. In case you missed it, read the article here.

As a follow-up, here is a closer look at how flexi-fields can enrich your reporting and other key processes…

How do flexi-fields tie into Unit4 Financials reporting and browsing?

Unit4 Financials has built flexi-fields into all its reporting functionality.

For generic browsing, you can incorporate flexi-fields into a metadata table. Through metadata, you can produce a generic browse report.

The same applies to browse transactions. Again, this function is dependent on metadata, so if you build the flexi-field into the data view, you will be able to browse the transactions through that facility.

Unit4 has also built flexi-fields into older reporting facilities such as browse balance, browse details, browse ledger and aging and account summary.

If you are looking at selectors, presenters or browse balance masters, you will see that the option is there to add flexi-fields into those reports.

How do you add the flexi-field?

In all the instances above, it is simply a matter of creating the flexi-field and adding it to the appropriate report master.

How is flexi-field information shown in outputs?

For items such as invoices, remittances, customer statements and reminder letters, you can build flexi-fields into your print formats. The one main exception where flexi-fields are not available is in connection with procurement and invoice matching. Within procurement you can integrate user-defined fields, which work in a comparable way.

How do flexi-fields benefit your business?

This handy function effectively transforms Financials from a set of interconnected ledgers into a fully-fledged information system.

Previously, users were limited to just a handful of reference fields for documents and elements. Now, through a combination of element and transactional flexi-fields, there is no limit on the categories or volume of information you can attach.

Best of all, this information is both reportable and browsable – and can be automatically integrated into key outputs such as invoices, remittances, and reminder letters, helping to reduce your transactional burden even further.

How do you add the flexi-field?

In all the instances above, it is simply a matter of creating the flexi-field and adding it to the appropriate report master.

How is flexi-field information shown in outputs?

For items such as invoices, remittances, customer statements and reminder letters, you can build flexi-fields into your print formats. The one main exception where flexi-fields are not available is in connection with procurement and invoice matching. Within procurement you can integrate user-defined fields, which work in a comparable way.

How do flexi-fields benefit your business?

This handy function effectively transforms Financials from a set of interconnected ledgers into a fully-fledged information system.

Previously, users were limited to just a handful of reference fields for documents and elements. Now, through a combination of element and transactional flexi-fields, there is no limit on the categories or volume of information you can attach.

Best of all, this information is both reportable and browsable – and can be automatically integrated into key outputs such as invoices, remittances, and reminder letters, helping to reduce your transactional burden even further.

Watch flexi-fields in action

For a flavour of what flexi-fields can do in the context of a project (just one of many possible applications), look at this video:

For further tips on getting the most out of flexi-fields, upgrading from legacy versions or any aspect of process optimisation, our Unit4 Financials expert consultants are always glad to pass on their knowledge.

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Introducing Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials

Flexi-fields in Unit4 Financials gives you an easy way to define and capture key data within your Financials management system. This function helps deliver more complete and relevant information, helping your people make better decisions faster.

Read on for the full lowdown on different flexi-field types, and how you can put them to work.

What are flexi-fields?

Flexi-fields first appeared in Unit4 Financials in Version 13. These were element flexi-fields. A further category, transactional flexi-fields, was added in Version 14. Here’s a closer look at each category:

You can use this type of flexi-field to define an attribute (i.e., a characteristic or feature) of an element. An element can be, for example, a particular supplier, customer, department, or project.

Against each element, you can use flexi-fields to define multiple points of information. In the case of an element relating to a customer for instance, you could set up flexi-fields relating to customer type, geographic location, source, date of first purchase (among many others).

Element flexi-field information is fixed against that element. You can alter the attributes of the element at any time, but until you do so, it will remain fixed.

Transactional flexi-fields are an extension of transactional information. Rather than being fixed, these fields are dependent on the actual document you are inputting.

What form can a flexi-field take?

There are various data types:

• Flexi-fields can be formed of text, either in free format or set up in a drop-down list
• A table (this applies to transactional flexi-fields only)
• A number, either with or without decimal places
• A date
• An element – i.e. you could have an element flexi-field linked to another element/
• A checkbox

How can flexi-fields be used?

Projects:

Having set up an element for a specific project, you can use flexi-fields to assign multiple attributes to it. Typically, these might include the project type, project manager, and start and finish date (among potentially many others).

Tables:

Again, taking the example of a project, you could manage milestones in a table. You can do this by making use of transactional flexi-fields to hold and manage further, more granular information that is specific to that particular milestone or ‘transaction’ – e.g. the consultancy type, consultancy grade and consultant name for the milestone.

Suppliers:

On an element flexi-field level, you could hold information such as the date the supplier was approved, supplier type (wholesale, retail etc), average annual spend and average lead time. Again, this can be used in conjunction with transactional flexi-fields for transaction-specific information.

Sector-specific example 1: Insurance Services

Let’s take the example of a marine insurer. If you assign an element to a particular policy, you can use element flexi-fields to cover all the ancillary information relevant to the policy. Example fields may include vessel name, gross tonnage, year built, policy inception date etc.

Sector-specific example 2: Logistics

A logistics specialist may find it useful to assign an element to each fleet vehicle. Element flexi-fields can then be used to log details such as vehicle type, date of registration and tax/MOT compliance information. Alongside this, information that needs to be regularly updated (service records, for instance) could be stored and managed in a table using transactional flexi-fields.

Find out more

For further information on flexi-fields and how they work in conjunction with reporting, take a look at our additional article, ‘Using Flexi-fields in Unit4 Financials’.

To see it in action, our Unit4 Financials Spotlight video includes a demo on how to use it.

For further practical advice on starting out with flexi-fields or optimising your current processes, our Unit4 Financials experts are always happy to help. To ensure you are maximising the full potential of your financial management solution, please do get in touch.


Unit4 Financials Product Focus Brochure

Unit4 Financials Product Focus Brochure


Best-in-class financial management with unrivalled flexibility, scalability, and interoperability.

No matter how demanding or complex your requirements, Unit4 Financials rises to the challenge. It delivers the “multi-everything” (country, company, currency, language, deployment, product lines and many other dimensions) capabilities that you need so that you both meet specific local accounting requirements and maintain global consistency, visibility and control.

Download Brochure to read more