Take the 2-minute tour ×
Salesforce Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Salesforce administrators, implementation experts, developers and anybody in-between. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question already has an answer here:

I have a client who is a event organizer and his clients are both corporates as well as individuals. I have a few questions on how should i organize his accounts

  • When should one use person accounts?
  • Do we need to specifically enable person accounts? If so how can we do it?
  • When a lead is converted how does it decide if the account needs to be a person account or Business account?

Thanks

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by eyescream, Samuel De Rycke, Bartley, James Loghry, sfdc_ninja May 29 at 21:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I started a community wiki regarding B2C options: Which B2C option to choose?

I'm in Higher Ed where Person Accounts are popular. To answer your questions:

  1. Person Accounts are useful for modeling B2C behavior when there is no obvious relation using the default Accounts and Contacts (such as a student applying to your school; using Contacts and Accounts, what Account would you link the person to?)
  2. Yes, you do need to specifically enable them (and they cannot be disabled. It is a permanent change.) The requirements are simple and documented in the implementation guide
  3. Leads become Person Accounts if the Company field is blank at conversion. The easiest ensure this is by utilizing Record Types; remove the field from your PA Lead page layout and a validation rule to ensure that if Record Type equals PA Lead then Company must be blank.

Another option would be the Non-profit Starter Pack (NPSP) which has two other B2C models (again, see my wiki link.)

share|improve this answer

I am currently administrating and developing for an organization that uses Person Accounts. I would weigh this decision very heavily before enabling Person Accounts for the following reasons:

  • The change cannot be undone
  • Person Accounts often lag behind regular Accounts as far as updates/bug fixes are concerned
  • Person Accounts often get very screwy when using cross-object formulas because some of the fields technically reside on the Account object, and some of them reside on the Contact object
  • Person Accounts also get screwy when using Campaigns, which work with Contacts, despite the fact that you will, in general, be using the Account object
  • Makes it more difficult to use apps from the App Exchange
  • It makes writing test classes for triggers more complicated because of the way you need to link the Accounts and the Contacts when creating test cases

I am currently working with a consultant to try to get my company to move away from Person Accounts, despite the fact that this will require us to migrate to a completely new org.

share|improve this answer
    
Very good points! Would you update the community wiki linked in my answer to reflect these negative aspects? –  Mike Chale Oct 10 '12 at 14:19
    
Oh, they also impact Triggers; I don't think they fire any Contact-based triggers. –  Mike Chale Oct 10 '12 at 14:20
    
@MikeChale Sure, added! –  jackerman09 Oct 10 '12 at 14:25
1  
If your organisation is predominately dealing with individuals and not other company's how are you going to handle that requirement? –  Steven Herod Jan 27 '13 at 4:05

You need to contact Salesforce support to enable this feature. There are certain things you need to change on the configuration prior to them enabling the feature, like creating a new account record type and changing your organization wide default settings.

From the implementation guide:

'A person account is an individual consumer with whom you do business, such as a financial services client, an online shopper, or a vacation traveler. Person accounts are applicable to organizations that operate on a business-to-consumer model as opposed to a business to-business model.'

All the information you may want on this is on the link below:

http://login.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/salesforce_B2C_implementation_guide.pdf

share|improve this answer

Let me explain this taking an example

Consider a pharma industry now the Account can be the hospital as a whole or an Account can be doctor as well.

Now hospital is Business Account or company having many doctors as contacts

or the Account can be the doctor himself its the person Account .

Hence if the Account can be an organisation or can be an individual we will have to enable person Accounts

The link to the implementation guide

http://login.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/salesforce_B2C_implementation_guide.pdf

share|improve this answer

Person Accounts make sense for a B2C business model, where most of your customers are individual consumers, rather than companies.

Yes Person Accounts need enabling on the org.

http://www.miiworks.com/support/faqs/40-how-to-enable-person-accounts

"If your organization uses person accounts, you can convert leads to either person accounts or business accounts. Leads with a blank Company field are converted to person accounts. The default person account record type for your profile is applied to the new person account."

share|improve this answer

IMHO, PersonAccounts are only useful if you must collect Leads, must convert them and must track Opportunities for B2C, otherwise, everything can be done using Contacts.

With PersonAccounts enabled, you:

  • Incur 4kb per PersonAccount record instead of 2kb per Contact
  • Lose Record Level Security and Sharing settings on Business Contacts w/o an Account

    in addition to these problems below listed from @jackerman09 & @Mike Chale comments above (quoted here for a comprehensive list)

  • The change cannot be undone

  • Person Accounts often lag behind regular Accounts as far as updates/bug fixes are concerned
  • Person Accounts often get very screwy when using cross-object formulas because some of the fields technically reside on the Account object, and some of them reside on the Contact object
  • Person Accounts also get screwy when using Campaigns, which work with Contacts, despite the fact that you will, in general, being using the Account object Makes it more difficult to use apps from the App Exchange
  • It makes writing test classes for triggers more complicated because of the way you need to link the Accounts and the Contacts when creating test cases

  • They don't fire Contact triggers

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.