Most people who are using the free version of SpendMap want to track and report on their spending based on one or more account codes or account code “segments”, such as a cost center, general ledger account, department, business unit, project, fund, etc.
We’ve had a few support tickets from people who seemed a bit mislead by our default terminology for the account code fields. Most commonly, people are using the Project or Job Fields, when they could get more benefit using the Cost Center field instead.
So in this blog post, we’ll discuss a few options for setting up the account code fields in SpendMap. For more details, check out this section of the Online Help…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Master Files > Account Coding (Overview & Guidelines)
SpendMap includes 5 user-definable fields that can be used for coding Purchase Orders and other transactions. By default they are labeled as;
- Cost Center
- G/L Account
But you can change the names of these fields, so please don’t feel obligated to use the default field titles.
And you do not need to use all of these fields if you don’t want to. Most small businesses that are using the free version of SpendMap will use only Cost Center and maybe G/L Account, while Project, Job and Request-By are typically only used by larger organizations with more complex account coding needs, such as larger public, government or non-profit organizations.
Don’t use Project or Job unless you’re already using Cost Center for something else
With very few exceptions, everyone should start with the Cost Center field, as this field has the most functionality, the best reporting, etc.
As it explains in the Help section referenced above, a Cost Center generally refers to who or what is using the item being purchased, that is, the “end-user” of the item. Aside from “Cost Center”, commonly used terminology for this field includes Charge-To, Department, Business Unit, Project, Job, etc.
So, for clarity, if you only need to track charges by Project or Job, you can rename the Cost Center field to “Project” or “Job”, and then rename the existing Project or Job field(s) to something else, such as “N/A” if you no longer have a need for them.
Again, by using Cost Center for your Project/Job tracking, you will have access to better functionality and reporting than if you used the default Project or Job fields.
That said, again, you can use additional fields if needed. For example, if you are using the Cost Center field to track charges to, say, your Departments, but separately also track your spending by Project, then by all means use multiple fields, as needed.