5 things Salesforce admins should know about Person Accounts
It's now odd to think of a world where B2B companies are all there is. Especially in recent years, B2C commerce has become an enormous part of the business ecosystem, with many success stories about connecting end-users with providers. Thankfully, Salesforce has the perfect feature for tracking customers that are not a company: Person Accounts!
'Person Accounts store information about individual people by combining certain Account and Contact fields into a single record' this is the definition provided by Salesforce for Person Accounts.
With Person Accounts, Salesforce joins the relevant fields from the account with those of the contact into a single record. Once created, you can reference this record in every contact or account lookup field.
Here you will find five things every admin should know about Person Accounts.
1. Enable the feature.
The first thing to point out is that switching on Person Accounts in your org requires contacting Salesforce Support and asking for this feature. Also notice that it's available for Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer Editions
- Before logging the case, you should make sure that:
- The account object has at least one record type.
- User profiles that have read permission on accounts have read permission on contacts.
- The organization-wide default sharing is set so that either Contact is Controlled by Parent or both Account and Contact are Private.
- If profile filtering is enabled, you need the View All Profiles permission to enable person accounts.
- Check if your Salesforce org has the following standard profiles: Authenticated Website, External Apps Plus User, or External Apps Plus Login User. If so, you have to mention it on the person account activation support case, as an additional process must be run before activation by Salesforce Support to correct object access on these profiles.
Also, you have to enable Allow Customer Support to enable Person Accounts in Setup. In the Quick Find box enter 'Account Settings'. At the bottom of the page, you'll find the checkbox.
Once you check the option, you can create the ticket with support. They will reply with further instructions or questions.
Once enabled, under Accounts, you will find a Person Account Record Type that you will have to assign to the corresponding profiles.
2. It is a one-way trip.
Once you have enabled Person Accounts in your org, there is no way to disable it. This is because the Person Account record is an account object that shares fields with the contact object, allowing it to be treated both as an account and a contact, but it entices that disabling the feature could result in data loss. Thus, Salesforce takes away the option altogether.
Because of this, it's more than fitting to first enable and test the impact on a sandbox environment before committing to the change in production.
3. Relate person accounts to Contacts or Accounts.
Person Accounts can't have a direct relationship with other Accounts (Business or Person accounts) or Contacts.
Notice that this is true for direct relationships; if you have Contacts to Multiple Accounts enabled in your org (if not, you can see how its done in this post), you can set up indirect relationships with other Person Accounts, Business Accounts, or Contacts.
4. Cases and Person Accounts.
As mentioned before, once a person account is created, it can be used almost anywhere as an account or contact record is used. It can have Tasks associated, be invited to Events, and of course, be the related contact or account in Cases. In this last relationship, the person account record related to the case can be added on the contact lookup, on the account one, or in both!
5. Person Accounts are not actually an object.
Although it sometimes looks like it, Person Accounts are not an object; it is more of a mix between the Account and Contact object, having some (but not all) fields from these objects.
- Here is where things get interesting:
- If you have to query for Person Account Records, you would go through the account object and filter those with 'IsPesonAccount' field set to true.
- You could create a custom field both on the account or contact object page, and it would be an available field for the person account page layout. The rule of thumb for where to create it is to think whether it is more of a 'human' property (I would add it to the contact object) or a company attribute (to add on accounts).
- Even when Person Account is not an object, you can define page and compact layouts (to add the fields created before), and even record types, from the 'Person Account' object in the object manager.