If you are evaluating ADempiere or iDempiere as a viable ERP, it is worth spending some time on the concept of a Charge. The Charge is ADempiere’s map from a document (like a Vendor AP Invoice) to the general ledger (GL).
One of the most common questions when learning iDempiere is “Why can’t I map a document directly to the GL? Why do I need to use a Charge?” This is a great question. Here are a couple of answers:
- There are times when you need to expose accounting related options to non-accounting folks, and an appropriately named charge is the best solution. An example includes performing cycle counts. When using charges, you can create nicely named options for how to account for variances between what the system thinks and what really exists. The alternative is to expose GL account names like “5430 – Inventory Offsets”.
- There are times when you need to create multiple choices for the same GL account. Charges give you the ability to create this many-to-one relationship and still maintain your ability to report on what option the user/document selected. This situation is valuable for expense reports.
- Charges give you the ability to map a single user option to multiple accounting schemas. If you need to create financial reports via multiple standards, using ADempiere’s multiple account schema capabilities is tremendously advantageous. You can define “freight” to go to account XYZ in accounting schema 1, and you can define it to go account ABC in a different schema. iDempiere will maintain both accounting schemas simultaneously.
If you are not using a Charge, you are setting a Product. Here is a tutorial of how ADempiere maps product transactions from purchase to sale.
It is impressive that open source ERP and open source accounting can support complex tier 2 and tier 1 ERP solutions. The Charge is one of the fundamental reasons ADempiere is capable of performing so well as a multi-national ERP system.
Please note that iDempiere is a fork from ADempiere. iDempiere has the same abilities mentioned above.
About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.
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