GL, SLA, SOB, COA, BSV, CCID, LE - What's in an acronym?

I'm sure that nearly every company has as many internal acronyms as Oracle, but it is sometimes problematic for us because we often assume that our customers operate with the same understanding of acronyms and terminology that we do.  Even internally, we are not all on the same page when using some of these acronyms and terms.  I'm going to attempt to clarify some of these terms & acronyms, and if I get them wrong, I'm sure that I'll get some comments!

  • GL -  usually pertaining to the General Ledger product.  Sometimes you'll hear "in GL" which more than likely means "not some other product" like payables, receivables, subledger accounting, or intercompany.
  • SLA - subledger accounting (architecture).  In Release 12, we introduced subledger accounting, the centralized rule-based accounting engine for all subledgers.  Oddly enough, the product prefix for SLA is XLA, so you if you see references to tables and forms that are prefixed with XLA - it's SLA related.
  • SOB - Set of Books, grouping of journals.  In Release 12, SOB has been renamed "Ledger", luckily it's only one word, so there's no need for an acronym.  You'll typically see SOB written, but not spoken - saying SOB makes people giggle.
  • JE - typically, "journal entry"  in GL.   However, JE is the also the product prefix for the EMEA localizations, so it's helpful to know if you're talking Europe or accounting.
  • COA - Chart of Accounts.  Technically speaking, COA is the set of valid combinations of values that make up your accounting flexfield.  Frequently, we hear customers speak of "a single COA" when they really mean "a single COA structure".  The difference is slight and can greatly impact a conversation.  "A single COA" implies that there is one set of valid combinations that is uses by all SOBs or ledgers.  "A single COA structure" says that all of SOBs have the same segment names, but there may be multiple valuesets for a given segment (ie- the Cost Center segment in  the US is made up of "ABC","DEF", "GHI"; whereas the Cost Center segment in the UK contains "E11","E12","E13")
  • BSV - Balancing Segment Value.  The value part of this is frequently misused.  Accurately use, the BSV is the value of the segment of the combination that is qualified as the balancing segment (in the Vision instance, "01", "03","99", etc.)  However, it's often used in conversation to mean the segment name (in the Vision instance, the balancing segment name is usually "Company").
  • CCID - Code Combination ID.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people use this acronym because it's a technical term, but it's usually used in a functional way. The CCID is technically, the ID of the record in the GL_CODE_COMBINATIONS table that represents a combination of values in the accounting flexfield.  For example, the account combination of "01.2500.36.C12" could be stored in the table with the ID of 384569.  Typically, people are referring to "01.2500.36.C12" not 384569 when speaking of the CCID.
  • LE - Legal Entity.  This is relatively new term in Release 12 because legal entities play a more prominent role  Legal Entities are used to determine tax as well as the difference between intercompany (between LEs) and intracompany (within LE) trading and accounting. In R12, BSVs can be mapped to LE as part of the accounting setup.
  • Account - depends on whom you ask.  On most of our user interfaces, "account" refers to the complete accounting flexfield ("01.2500.36.C12").  However, when defining your COA structure, one of the segments must be qualified as the Natural Account segment (possibly segment 2), and sometimes people refer to just this segment value when referring to "account" (if segment 2 is the natural account segment, then in the context of the combination "01.2500.36.C12", the term "account" would refer to just "2500").
In upcoming posts, I'll attempt to bring some deeper meaning to some of these terms and acronyms.  If there are any terms or acronyms that you'd like added or discussed, leave a comment, and I'll add them to the list.

Comments:

Joe, thanks for clarifying the acronyms - their interpretation is often a source of misunderstandings. I remember (long ago) when I was completely new to Oracle Financials, and was unaware of "General Ledger" as an accounting term. In the UK, it was referred to as the nominal ledger, where you recorded (posted) the accounting double entries from your sales and purchase day books etc.

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