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Workday® Financial Data Model Rebuild

Workday® Financial Data Model Rebuild

Does your organization lack the reporting capabilities it desires due to early design decisions?

Is your organization dissatisfied with the setup of your basic Financial Data Model elements such as account posting rules, ledger accounts, and spend categories?

What if you could go back in time and start all over again without having to re-implement in a new tenant?

What if you could do all this on your own…NO implementer account or iLoad needed!!!!

Well…one of Workday’s very first Financials clients came to Kognitiv asking exactly that: could we help them rebuild their FDM in their existing tenant? We are happy to report after a successful go-live the answer is YES it can be done.

We started by creating entirely new companies. Along with that went the set up of these new companies, mirroring their legacy counterpart except for the important difference of selecting our new account set – more on that later. Company accounting details, actual ledgers, ledger years/periods, asset books, inter-company profiles, and tax IDs are just part of the laundry list of items that needed to be configured as part of the “new” companies.

Workers were then “stuck” in their old companies. Off of each of the legacy companies we took a related action to use the task ‘Move Workers’ from their old company to new. In fact, we were able to effective-date the move in the future so this was a task that could be done in advance of go-live, reducing  work down the road. Then, off of the “All Companies” hierarchy, we had to assign roles to workers. Off of the companies themselves, owners and General Manager roles were assigned since they varied company by company and therefore could not be assigned off the hierarchy.

Back to ledger accounts: we began by creating a new Ledger Account Set “Parent” shell and a “Child” underneath it where our new ledger accounts sat. It was this new “Parent” account set we added in the accounting details of every new company. With new ledgers in place, we also created new ledger account summaries from scratch with reporting in mind flowing from “All Ledger Accounts” to “Total Income Statement” and “Total Balance Sheet”. Later, once more configuration was updated (cost centers, spend categories, etc.), we created new Account Posting Rules with new default ledger accounts and conditional rules. This exercise cleaned up and greatly reduced the number of rules compared to the previous account posting rule set.

To further improve the tenant’s functionality, next to tackle was the re-creation of the core FDM items of spend categories, revenue categories, cost centers (again, off of each legacy cost center, we had to move workers to their new corresponding cost center). We worked with the client to best re-populate these items and their hierarchies in a way that worked best for them while consolidating where possible. Many EIBs later, these new items sat in their respective hierarchies, which were up to 6 levels deep. Once these items were mindfully added to the tenant, we could use the new hierarchies for cleaner, more granular reporting.

Once the new FDM items were live, there was a huge effort to prevent legacy items from being used post go-live. We began by adding ZZZ to the name and inactivating old items. Then in the Maintain Worktag Usage task, we disallowed inactive worktags when possible. For spend categories, we removed usages so that legacy categories would not even be an option for workers to pull in. We also added many custom validations to prevent legacy items from being used post go-live or new items from being used in the past.

In many ways, we treated this project as if we were doing an implementation from another system into Workday. With this in mind, we did various conversions with the help of Excel macros that mapped old items to new (companies, spend categories, cost centers, etc.). This method was used for the conversion of journal balances and supplier invoices/supplier invoices adjustments that were to be loaded to the new companies. For business assets we had to register all the legacy assets to the new companies with updated details and then dispose of the existing assets in the old companies. The Excel macros made this conversion process much easier when it came time to create the massive EIB files.

Finance and Payroll are inevitably linked. With this in mind, there were a few tasks we had to complete to prevent any impact on payroll runs. Off of each company we had to configure the company’s local, state, and federal taxes. Once that was complete, we copied worker’s tax elections, withholding orders, and arrears from their old company to their new one via EIB.

Banking in Workday is like an onion – it has many layers. Since this client was re-using their existing bank accounts, we had to update the company allowed on the bank accounts and remove the old one. We then had to update the company’s inter-company profiles and bank routing rules. Finally, the numerous Ad-Hoc Bank Transaction (AHBT) templates needed to be updated with the new FDM items.

There were also miscellaneous tasks that the client wanted to complete in conjunction with the FDM rebuild. These included: all new expense items and expense groups, new locations, additional hierarchies for reporting purposes, new security groups based on the new items, maintaining worktags usages, and adding new custom validations.

Prior to and right after go-live, there were many clean up items that needed to occur. Integrations and business processes had to be audited to ensure they did not contain hard-coded legacy companies, spend categories, ect. Old procurement documents needed to be closed out in mass. Reports with legacy items in filters/prompts also needed to be updated or new reports had to be created entirely due to the many changes.

If your organization is currently pulling their hair out over the current FDM set-up due to early configuration decisions, fear not. It IS possible to start from scratch without a new tenant.


  • Francesca Moran

    Francesca has a background in Finance and has now been working in the Workday Financials ecosystem for a year. She has worked with a number of clients across different industries and specializes in FDM, business assets, and reporting.

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