Chapter 7. Accounting

Financial analysis spans a variety of accounting applications, including the general ledger and detailed subledgers for purchasing and accounts payable, invoicing and accounts receivable, and fixed assets. Since we've already touched on purchase orders and invoices in this book, we'll focus on the general ledger in this chapter. General ledgers were one of the first applications to be computerized decades ago, given the need for accurate handling of a company's financial records. Perhaps some of you are still running your business on a twenty-year-old ledger system. In this chapter we'll discuss the data collected by the general ledger in terms of both journal entry transactions and snapshots at the close of an accounting period. We'll also talk about the budgeting process.


Chapter 7 discusses the following concepts:

  • General ledger periodic snapshots and transactions

  • Year-to-date facts

  • Multiple fiscal accounting calendars

  • Budgeting process and associated data, including net change granularity

  • Consolidated fact tables that combine metrics from multiple business processes, such as actual and budget data

  • Role of online analytic processing (OLAP) and packaged analytic financial solutions

Accounting Case Study

Since finance was an early adopter of technology to better run businesses, it comes as no surprise that early decision support solutions focused on the analysis of financial data. Financial analysts are some of the most data-literate and spreadsheet-savvy individuals ...

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