The Account Description File or ACCDES File contains the descriptive information for each general ledger account. This information includes the account number, the sub-account number, the account description, the account type, sort sequence, account status, and additional control information specific to each account.
Each "account" in the Account Description file is uniquely defined by the combination of the Primary Account Number and the Sub-Account Number fields. Each Account Description record can be used in numerous divisions and departments, and each account description record must be used consistently across all divisions and departments in which the account is posted to.
For example: If you use an account number 710-5 for Salary Expense in division 1, department 1, then this account/sub account combination must be used for the same purpose in division 2 or department 2. The Account Description records can be compared to the Chart of Accounts in a manual accounting system, and the information in the Account Description record, including the account description itself, carries across in all divisions or departments in which the account is used.
All financial statements, except the Trial Balance, are produced based on the sorting information that is stored in the Account Description File. The primary sort sequence is defined by the combination of the SORT field (Numeric, 4 digits on either side of the decimal point), the primary account number and the sub-account number. Within each "account" the division and department activity is presented in sequence of division then department. This allows for easy divisional and departmental consolidation.