Account Codes sometimes take alphanumeric sometimes not

I noticed that in Settings >> Chart of Accounts the account code only accepts integers (examples 1, 2, 22, 5534, etc.). It will not accept such codes as 1.1.3, 1-2, bank of america, or anything else that is not an integer.

However, in Cash Accounts, I can put anything. I can put 1, 5, 2.3, pnc bank, and even plain integers.

Regardless of whether account code is or is not restricted to integers, the sorting of the account codes takes precedence. So, I can use account codes to control the order of the accounts. Using the same account code for several accounts results in grouping the accounts. The accounts are alphabetical within a group.

I would guess that account codes taking alphanumeric or integer only is a setting on the database field. What I don’t know is whether changing the account code field to take text instead of integer would cause people a lot of work reworking their Manager Accounting account codes. What I am trying to consider is whether there is an example in which integers would sort different from text.

If it sorts exactly the same, then maybe you could consider making all account code fields text instead of having some integer. This would allow people to use account codes in creative ways, perhaps differently than originally intended–which would seem to be a good thing.

In any case, I would leave the cash account codes as text fields. Since cash accounts are useful as both assets and liability accounts (such as credit card and credit line accounts), the account codes can be used to group, order, and additionally to identify clearly. For example, Bank of America could be a credit card and Capital One could be a savings account. Without the account codes, they would sort so the liabilities (credit card) are before assets (savings account). If you have a lot of checking accounts and a lot of credit cards, you could wind up with a listing with credit cards mixed with checking accounts.

You could have an account code of 1 asset and a code of 2 credit cards to make the checking accounts sort before the credit cards together. That’s the way Account Manager is now. I think it is good to be able to group.

If you change anything about the account codes, I hope you change them to all text fields. But really, Account Manager account codes are already plenty good they way they are.

I’m interested in whether there could be a sorting issue (integers sorting different from text). Maybe there could be a space and performance issue?