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Do you have to use Accounts??


Has anyone successfully deployed salesforce without using accounts?

For example in the case of a retailer selling directly to customers (created as contacts) with no company (created as accounts) involvement. Would their be any serious problems with this setup?

Any information / help would be greatly appreciated!




Hi JT,

Hmm... Why not consider each customer an account?  This would provide better billing address/shipping address type of functionality. 

I think the question you should ask is how does this account-less implementation work with campaigns, reporting and the other moving parts.  The seriousness of the problems that may arise depend on the importance of any of the features that you requre that may depend on accounts.  You will need to make that decision.



The Campaign and Opportunity functions are essential to us, though I don't seem to be able to assign an opportunity directly to a contact.

We could reverse the proposal and not use Contacts though then we would have to create custom fields for name parts (Title, Firstname, Lastname etc) and that would raise the question "Can you generate the Account name field from the name parts automatically?". Also can you make an Account a member of a campaign?

It is obviously very handy to have reports already setup for most scenarios, though whichever route we go down I presume we will have to create custom reports to replace those that are standard to produce the same results?

Many Thanks



JT;  I think that you will find that you don't want to ignore any object (Account or Contact) in your scenario.  By doing that you may cause issues with leads, lead conversion, campaigns etc.

I would recommend just using a unique portion of the contact name as the account name (i.e. Glenn_Wilson_Toronto) and then use the contacts as usual. 

You can use the API to rename the account names if you wish (from the first found contact) and even update the address fields from the contact record.

One other reason you may want to stay away from using Accounts only is that you could end up with an uncontrollable duplicate situation.



Duplicates are not an issue for the API interface I have created (in VB.NET) as it incorporates a clever piece of de-dupe software.

It is piece of cake to create both an Account and Contact at the same time from the same source data using the API - I was thinking more from the point of view that not all of our users will be using the API interface to create records for customers and will have to go through a lengthy process of double entry.

I believe that if you create a lead and then convert it Salesforce will create an Account and Contact automatically so I will focus the capture process around this function.