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This sounds like it should be super simple; and I can't believe I can't find documentation to support my assumption. I have a field, MDID (managed department ID) on the contact level, and I'd like that same value ported over to the same named field on the account level. I thought I'd be able to do something simple like a workflow rule and field update, but doesn't look like it. Should I be looking at the Process Builder or is there perhaps a simpler option.

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  • And what behavior do you want for multiple child records? Save the most recent value? Concatenate all of them together? – Adrian Larson Dec 4 '17 at 18:54
  • In theory, that MDID value is going to be the same for any contact on an account. That value is being passed from our user chat application, to a custom field on the lead, and mapped to a custom field on the contact, when said lead is converted to a contact. Does that make sense? The number, the MDID, is essentially an "account number". – Devin Pearman Dec 4 '17 at 19:04
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Workflow rules can only affect the currently processed record. However, the Process Builder can indeed update a related record. When you create the Process Builder, start with "When a record is modified", choose "Contact" as the primary object, and choose to perform an immediate update on the related Account.

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If Managed Department ID is the same for all contacts in an account, then you should use a cross-object formula field in Contact to reference the account's MD ID. That's the point of using a relational database; the child can inherit the parent's values.

To get a value into the Account MD ID field, you can make a conversion mapping of the Lead MD ID field to the Account MD ID field.

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  • Hey David- Thanks for the reply! If I understand your suggestion, you're saying I can have the child inherit the parent's value. Isn't the "contact" the child and account is the parent? If so, I need it to go the other way; the contact has the value and I need that value to be copied up to the account level. – Devin Pearman Dec 4 '17 at 21:54
  • If MD ID acts like "account number" then it should be managed at the account level, not the contact level. Think of it like the account name field -- would you fill in the account name field on the contact record and then update the account, and then update all the other contacts with the account name? – David Cheng Dec 5 '17 at 1:14
  • Oh I totally agree! I just don't have a way to get this value, the MDID, automatically to the account level. I only have Intercom (our client chat app that grabs certain attributes,) to SFDC contact/lead level syncing. So Intercom can grab that value, the MDID, and map it to a field on the contact/lead object. That's why I need to surface it from the contact to the account level. Intercom, where this MDID is being grabbed from, doesn't populate to the account level. – Devin Pearman Dec 5 '17 at 19:10
  • Are you converting all leads to contacts? Or is the chat integration updating contacts directly as well? – David Cheng Dec 6 '17 at 5:23
  • Not all leads become contacts; the chat application will only create leads I believe, as opposed to creating contacts. – Devin Pearman Dec 6 '17 at 21:42

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