Hands up, those of you who keep a large complex spreadsheet of re-charges and cost apportionments to make postings into your GL every month?
Hands up, those of you who are responsible for ensuring costs incurred by your main trading entity on behalf of other entities in the group are identified and properly charged back out?
Hands up, those of you who think this onerous, time-consuming process, is prone to errors and dream of automating it?
The good news is, if you’re a SunSystems® user (V4 or V6) you can! The Corporate Allocations (CA) module is probably one of the most powerful allocation engines around, yet it remains a bit of a mystery even amongst SunSystems® Users.
Let’s lift the bonnet and have a look at this number crunching “engine”…
Typical use cases
- Re-allocation of costs – Taking central costs / overheads and re-allocating these across the organisation based on a variable such as headcount, floor space or occupancy. A classic example is rent and rates where you may wish to allocate these costs across departments based on the amount of floor space they occupy or IT costs to cost centres based on headcount.
- Charges – calculation and posting of management and finance charges – in many operations management, finance, and other charges such as IT are levied on parts of the operation on a periodic basis. Those charges typically are based on variables such as revenue, profit, usage, or headcount.
- Inter-company – the bane of many an accountant’s life ensuring accounting entries made in the books of one entity on behalf of another are properly dealt with and reconciled. Short of making manual entries in both sets of books, this can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process and one prone to errors.
- Creating or seeding budgets – a spreadsheet is the classic tool for this, but once again with all the information already present in your GL whether it’s actual or budgets, calculations can be performed to take one set of figures, apply a formulae or rule and create another figure i.e a budget.
- Re-structuring the chart of accounts – probably the most time consuming and difficult task that you are likely to undertake, to change your chart of accounts \ accounting structures due to organisational changes such as mergers, disposal, or acquisitions.
Goodbye spreadsheet, hello CA module
In all the above use cases, other than the last, the most common tool would be a spreadsheet and we all know how difficult those can be to manage and ensure accuracy and integrity. In the last case, re-structuring data you’re probably going to have to bring in a database specialist who can in effect take your data, throw it into a data warehouse / ETL tool, manipulate it and feed it back into a new entity for you to check and reconcile.
The alternative is to use the CA module, a non-technical end user tool that takes data in your SunSystems® ledger, applies a calculation(s) to it and transforms it into a new dataset, which is essentially what is happening in all the typical use cases.
The Corporate Allocations routine
A Corporate Allocations routine can be as simple or as complex as you want and is made up of three parts.
- Allocation source – identifying the base data using various filters such as entity, actual, budget, period, journal type, account range, analysis code(s), allocation marker, etc
- Allocation ratio – the calculation(s) to be applied to the source data for example, a %, an actual amount or proportion of a value held in a memorandum account
- Allocation target – once the new data has been generated where is it to go, for example take the result and post it into the books of another entity such as a department, division, or company.
The CA module is an intrinsic part of your SunSystems® ledger application, and so, is already installed. It can be activated through a serialisation key, upon payment of the requisite license fee. Add to this some consultancy and training to help you set up some initial allocation routines and you’re ready to go and waving goodbye to those tedious monthly spreadsheet routines.
If you’d like more information about the Corporate Allocations module or would like to arrange a demonstration, then please contact your Account Manager or our Customer Success Team on firstname.lastname@example.org