The records in the Account Period File or ACCPER File are used to store the debit and credit totals for each account/sub account in each year/period/division/department in which the “account” is posted to. The records in the Account Period File are much like the ledger sheets that were used in manual accounting systems. This is especially true in light of the fact that an account cannot be posted to (a journal entry cannot be written) unless the account period record (ledger sheet) for the account exists in the year, period, division and department you are attempting to update.
ACCPER records are created by one of two methods. In a batch, when creating a new set of accounts for a new division, department or accounting year (using the Create New Accounting Year Program), or for an individual account, when an account is added to the Account Description File (using the Maintain Account Descriptions Program). The batch method is normally used when creating a new department or creating account period records for a new accounting year.
The system does not restrict the number of account period records that can be created for a given account. For a given account in a given division and department, you can create only 1 period record, or you can create 12, 13, or 99 period records for the account. In most situations, 12 or 13 periods are used for each account in each general ledger year. Periods 1-12 are used to post to the account on a monthly basis, and period 13 can be used for closing or other adjustment activity that does not necessarily apply to a specific calendar month.
To use a simple example, an expense account such as Account 780 –0 (Telephone Expense) might have 12 records in the ACCPER file for the current year of 2004, if the company were running a 12 period year and had only one division and one department. If the same company maintained two departments and wished to be able to post to the expense account in both of the departments, a minimum of 24 account period records would be required (12 records for division 1 department 1, periods 1-12, and 12 records for division 1, department 2, for periods 1-12). If the same company wished to maintain a period 13 record for each account, a minimum of 26 account period records would be required.