Alternatives to Person Accounts

In this post I will discuss some of the alternatives to using Person Accounts and what the advantages/disadvantages are.

Whenever a business operates under a B2C model its common for Salesforce consultants to review wether Person Accounts should be enabled. Lets quickly get an overview of the different options. Well, thats until Person Objects becomes GA

Person Account

  • Person Accounts (PAs) provide one method for organizations needing to track “Business to Consumer” (B2C) relationships in Salesforce.com. Â
  • Person Accounts allow you to utilize the existing Account object to model the relationship side-by-side with the standard “Business to Business” (B2B) Salesforce model. Â
  • Person Accounts introduce a new ‘Account Record Type’ to your Salesforce.com instance. This record type (called ‘Person Account’) provides new fields on the Account object that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.
  • Person Accounts are not enabled by default, and instead need to be provisioned by Salesforce.com Support by logging a case. Â
  • When a new Person Account is created, a ‘matching’ Contact is created, but is not accessible to the user or Person Account.

One-to-One Model

  • The 1-to-1 account model works by creating an Account object for each Contact you create (i.e. "1 contact, 1 account").
  • The Account is automatically created when you create a new Contact, and the name of the new Account is identical to the name of the new Contact.
  • The Account object itself, however, acts "invisibly" behind the scenes, and exists for the sole purpose of conforming to the standard Salesforce Account model (which requires all Contacts be associated with an Account, otherwise the user creating the contact is the only individual that can view the contact)

Household Model

  • The Household Account model is very closely aligned to the standard Salesforce account model. In the Household Account model, the standard Salesforce Account object acts as the household
  • Is the account model that Salesforce.org strongly recommends for Nonprofits can i.e. can be useful for managing donations etc.
  • You create a new Household Account by creating a new contact in Salesforce. That is to say, whenever you create a new Contact record, the system automatically creates a new Household for you.
  • By default, uses a naming convention for the new Household that aligns with the name of the new Contact. In the Contact Details section of your Contact record

Bucket Model

  • In the Individual account model, all Contacts are associated with a single Account, as if all of your contacts have been dumped in one "bucket."
  • The name of this gigantic Account is "Individual." In other words, you have one great big Account that holds all of your contacts.

Account Model: Advantages & Disadvantages

Person Account

Implementation Options

  • Request Salesforce to enable
  • Configure Page Layouts & Record Types accordingly

Advantages

  • Native Salesforce feature

Dis-advantages

  • User experience is not ideal (transition between individual & contact)
  • Irreversible once enabled in Production
  • Impacts data volumes as it counts as 2 records in Salesforce
  • Lags behind in support when Salesforce releases new features

One-to-One Account Model

Implementation Options

  • Custom code or
  • Download already built code from Salesforce.org as managed package

Advantages

  • Compatible with Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA)
  • Consistent and fully supported with Salesforce features

Dis-advantages

  • Custom code
  • Impacts data volumes as it counts as 2 records in Salesforce
  • No longer recommended approach

Household Account Model

Implementation Options

  • Custom code or
  • Download already built code from Salesforce.org as managed package

Advantages

  • Compatible with HEDA
  • Consistent and fully supported with Salesforce features

Dis-advantages

  • Custom code

Bucket Account Model

Implementation Options

  • Create 1 record
  • Simple custom code

Advantages

  • Consistent and fully supported with Salesforce features
  • Simplest to implement

Dis-advantages

  • Data skews can occur when dealing with data volumes > 10K
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