If you work for an organisation that uses Salesforce, the latest version of FinancialForce accounting has a new trick that may be of interest to anyone with a desire to really understand what drives their profitability. How come? Well the clever people at FinancialForce have added the ability to link invoices (sales and purchases) to any other Salesforce object. So what? If you get this right it allows you to directly connect income and costs to whatever drives the business. The obvious example is projects, if you have a separate Salesforce object tracking projects then linking purchase and sales invoices (or journals) to a Project record gives an easy way of reporting profit by project. Not only does this remove the need to set up project codes in the accounting system (no duplication, no meaningless codes), it also allows you to report on profit by any field held in the Project object, such as Project Manager, or Client, or region or….. you get the point. Combine this with native Salesforce and/or new FinancialForce reporting, drill-down and dashboard capability and you get a rich and easy way to view and slice and dice profitability. I’ve only scratched the surface of what could be done in this post, swap Project for say Opportunity and you instantly know the profitability of each sale. I set up this kind of reporting using an earlier version of FinancialForce so I know it works, now they’ve made it really easy to implement. To my mind this is the future for accounting systems and we’ll look back and chuckle at the crude categrisation of income and costs currently used in an attempt to understand what drives profitability.