Last updated: January 4, 2021
This article explains the difference between dimensions and tags and how you can use them in your budget.
Dimensions vs. tags - what’s the difference?
Dimensions are simply a classification system of attributes that you use to organize, sort, and report on your budget information in meaningful ways. You can think of a dimension as a kind of identification type with a set of values you can associate to your budget, like location and department. You can add dimension with one or more dimension values to every budget line you enter.
Dimensions can be added manually or imported from Sage Intacct and Excel. They can also be exported from SIP to Intacct. For more detailed information, see Dimensions in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP).
Tags help you divide your budget lines into customized segments of nearly anything you want to keep track, and are more general than dimensions. Tags can be added manually, but conversely to dimensions, tag can’t be imported from or exported to other financial management systems.
You can use tags in all sorts of ways. For example, you can add a tag called PayPal to indicate when an online payment has been made for a subscription purchase. Based on this tag, you can then build model lines and calculate your company budget for online subscription sales that were paid using PayPal. Or, for instance, you may have a budget line for insurance where you can add tags, such as: Life, Car, Health, or Disability. These tags can be used to identify insurance expenses relative to car insurance or life insurance that you may have agreed to pay for your employees.
No matter what the tag, you can later filter your reports by tags to get a breakdown of the income or expenses you recorded with the same tag.
How are dimensions and tags used in my budget?
While one or more dimensions can be assigned to each budget line in your budget tree, dimensions are allocated when you add multiple dimension values for the same dimension type. (See How can I allocate dimensions? for more information.)
Tags are not allocated. You can add as many tags as you want to each budget line in your budget tree. When you add multiple tags, you are simply adding additional ways to segment the same budget line, without necessarily having any relationship between the different tags. As you add multiple tags, the OR condition is set by default to display the data that matches at least one of the tags. If you want to display data that matches all of the tags, click the Use AND checkbox to set the AND condition. The AND condition can be used in Advanced benefits, Per employee expense and Per new employee expense budget lines, and model lines.
You can choose from existing tags that appear in the dropdown of the Tags field, or type them in manually, as described below in How do I manage dimensions and tags in my budget?.
The following example shows how multiple tags appear in SIP:
How are reports filtered by dimensions and tags?
All of the sheets in the Sheets view, except for Model and Balance Sheet, can be filtered using dimensions and/or tags (if dimensions and tags are used in your budget).
To view, sort, and filter your budget data according to dimensions or tags, click on the Sheets tab and choose from the Cash, Profit & Loss, Bookings, or Headcount sheets. Select the display options from the values in the drop-down filters. By default, the dimension and tag filters are set to All.
For more information on using dimensions in reporting, see the Dimensions in reporting section of Dimensions in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP).
How are dimensions and tags inherited?
Data is inherited according to your budget structure hierarchy. For example, when you import or enter data in your budget, the data from inherited fields is automatically passed on to all of the child budget lines. For more information on inheritance, see Inheritance in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP).
Both dimensions and tags are inherited from the group or parent budget line. Inherited tags appear first in the dimensions and tags fields followed by those selected from a dropdown list, or added manually.
📝 Conversely to dimensions, tags that are inherited cannot be removed from child budget lines. To remove an inherited tag, it must be removed from the group or parent budget line to which it was added.
Can dimensions and tags be used in calculations?
If you have dimensions and tags in your budget, you can use them in your budget lines to retrieve data that is limited to the dimensions and tags you choose. For example, if you need to buy computers for certain employees in the Sales & Marketing department, you can add a Per employee expense line for Computers and choose dimensions and tags to filter the employees that you need. In this case, you would select the Sales & Marketing dimension value in the Department dimension, and you can select tags to filter your employees, such as: management staff, full-time employees (F/T), or regular employees. In the preview pane, you can see that there are 3 employees that match this criteria with the total calculated cost.
Dimensions and tags can also be used in your model line calculations when you select Take from budget or Headcount from budget as the Model type. Again, the data retrieved is limited to the dimensions you choose and either one or more of the tags you select.
How do I manage dimensions and tags in my budget?
Dimensions and tags can be added from the Dimensions or Tags tabs of your budget settings. For more information on adding dimensions, see the Dimensions settings section of Dimensions in Sage Intacct Planning (SIP).
Dimensions can be set up in a hierarchy to reflect how they are organized within your company. When you allow hierarchies, you can add multiple levels of dimension values to your budget structure. When you add multiple dimension values to the same dimension type, the dimension is allocated.
Tags, although varied, are flat with no hierarchical organization. As previously mentioned, you can add multiple tags to a budget line without the need to have any relation between the values.
All of the tags you create in your budget, whether they are used or not in your budget lines, are saved in the Tags tab of your budget settings.
To add tags to your budget settings:
1. Click on the Tags tab from the Settings ⚙ icon.
2. Click on the plus (+) icon to add a new tag name.
3. Click Save when you’re finished.
4. To delete a tag, click on the X to the right of the tag line and click Delete to confirm the deletion.
Alternatively, you can add new tags to your budget by manually typing the name directly in the Tags field of your budget line from the Inputs > Main tab. For example, if you type in the new tag name Credit and the value doesn’t currently exist in your budget, it is added as shown.
The new tag is also automatically added to the Tags tab of your budget Settings.