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.