Before we discuss ChartFields in PeopleSoft, let us discuss two terms before that – Account and Chart of Accounts.
What is an Account?
An account is a separate record of each type of asset, liability, equity, revenue and expense.It shows the beginning balance, increase and/or decrease and ending balance for a specific time period.
For example, you as an individual have several accounts like savings account, checking account, home loan account, brokerage account etc. Just like an individual, a company also has several accounts.
What is Chart of Accounts?
The Chart of Accounts is a listing of all the accounts a company owns and each of these accounts is identified by a description and/or a reference number. Once you have all the accounts listed for your company – the accounting system for the entire company will start to take shape.
Chart of Accounts is organized or grouped by major types of accounts that include assets, liabilities, equity, revenues and expenses, all in one place and broken down into subcategories. All this information also is found in both the balance-sheet accounts and income-statement accounts of the company.
For example, in case of a small business, the chart of accounts might include a checking account, savings account, petty cash balance, accounts receivable, undeposited funds, inventory assets, prepaid insurance, vehicles, buildings, stockholders’ equity, the company credit card, accounts payable, payroll liabilities and much more. It is not unusual for even a small company to have dozens of accounts in its chart of accounts. The bigger the company becomes, especially in case of a global organization, the larger and more complex the chart of accounts will be and can run into thousands in number.
Reporting requirements can affect how a company structures its chart of accounts, but it is important to keep the chart of accounts the same from year to year to make accurate comparisons of the company’s finances across time.
A good example to understand chart of accounts can be Mint or Personal Capital. Personal software like Mint and Personal Capital help you manage all your accounts in one place. What you’re looking at is basically the same thing as a company’s chart of accounts. You can see all your assets and liabilities, like your checking account, savings account, certificates of deposit, credit card accounts, student loans, auto loans and anything else, all on one page.
What is ChartFields in PeopleSoft?
All the attributes in a Chart of Accounts is known as ChartFields in PeopleSoft. Just like chart of accounts, the number of chartfields needed by an organization depends on its business requirements. Having few chartfields makes the recording and reporting process simpler, but does not offer much insight into the
recorded accounting data. On the other hand, having more chartfields provides a more meaningful picture of the accounting transactions, but comes at a higher cost of maintenance and performance.
A particular ChartField always represents only one category of data, it stores many values that you use to further categorize that same data.
PeopleSoft Financial applications offer the following 25 chartfields:
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Some chartfields such as Account, Alternate Account, Project Costing Business Unit, Affiliate Chartfield are reserved for specific purposes and cannot be used to record any other value other than its intended purpose.
For several organizations, these delivered set of chartfields may not satisfy their requirements. In that case, you may need to perform chartfield configuration.