I like to get my facts right, so I googled ‘dancing on the head of a pin’. I’ve heard the phrase ‘an elephant dancing on the head of a pin’ and my understanding of this is that it means to do something impossible. Unfortunately, my googling wasn’t very helpful. I could only find references to angels dancing on the point of a pin which apparently means something trivial or irrelevant. Well, I’m sorry Google, but I prefer my definition and that’s the one I’m going with.
Right. Now that we’ve got that out of the way …
Working with customers is great. We love to help them to find solutions to the problems that they’re having and to show them cool and neat ways of achieving things that had previously been complex and time consuming. A good example of that is a report we created to manage accruals of training revenue month by month. It’s the sort of thing that traditionally would have involved exporting data and wrestling with pivot tables in Excel spreadsheets. Now they can just open a report. Well, we made that easy, but the question we got the other day was something of a curve ball.
“Ok. So that’s a great report,” our customer said, “but it’s useless to us, because we don’t work in calendar months. All of our accounting periods are either four or five weeks and end on a Sunday.”
Hmm. Google again, but this time it was a lot more helpful. Now I like to think I know quite a bit about Salesforce and I even have certifications to prove it, but I didn’t know that Salesforce had a feature called Fiscal Years. Well it does and it’s great. At least as far as my customer is concerned. Setting them up is a piece of cake. A quick word of warning – it’s an irreversible step, so don’t do this in your live org unless you know that this is what you want. But anyway, you just enable them in setup and then if necessary fiddle about a bit to get the periods to agree with the ones you use and you’re done. You have to do this for every year, but it takes minutes.
Back to that report. Now I can group my dates by fiscal periods instead of calendar months. Ten minutes and my customer has the perfect solution. If our app wasn’t built on Salesforce, that request could have been with development for months. Frankly, if that isn’t dancing on the head of a pin, then I don’t know what is :-)