The reason I ask is that I asked a database modeling question that was also an accounting question, and it got closed.
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The question, as current, reads:
Let's say you're a car dealer, selling cars. When a customer buys a new car, he often trades in his existing car. Just wondering if it's: A) a deal with a sales order for the new car , plus a purchase order for the trade in B) a sales order for the car, with an adjustment for the trade-in on that sales order C) something else? Thanks!
So let's take this in turns:
Let's say you're a car dealer, selling cars. When a customer buys a new car, he often trades in his existing car.
Ok, so we've got the setup to a question, much as academics would do for assignments. This sounds wonderful. As a matter of fact, car sales are a commonly academically considered question, because they do tend to be highly specialized. There's dealers lots, commissions, manufacturers, vins, makes and models, it's all highly complex, so this is good.
Then you get to:
Just wondering if it's: A) a deal with a sales order for the new car , plus a purchase order for the trade in B) a sales order for the car, with an adjustment for the trade-in on that sales order C) something else? Thanks!
And this is where we have a problem with the question, which makes it vague. It sounds like you're asking us to help you define the business domain, and not a database design. So let's see if we can focus this down from domain design to database questions:
To start with, you're trying to decide which of two database models seems like it would work best, which is again a business domain issue (we don't know how your data is best represented, because we don't know what your processes are). But we can make an assumption about your data, and that is that every trade in must have an accompanying sales order. This doesn't account for new sales, which says that there doesn't have to be a trade in to purchase a car. Therefore, it makes more sense to have those as two separate entities, obviously. So the best thing to do is to represent trade-ins as a line-item adjustment on the car, from a data standpoint.
But, I have a feeling that there's actually a lot more nuances to this, so I'm going to suggest you talk to your business manager who would be most aware of the actual accounting paperwork to suggest how the business model works, and then ask them to help you actualize the data model as relations/models, and then build your tables off of that.
Hope this helps.
Of course. The question that you are referring to was written as a purely accounting question. As I mentioned in the updated comment:
If I read your question there is no mention of data modeling, design, or databases of any sort. Nor tables, or indexes, or relations. I understand what you are trying to get at but it needs to be clear in the question, and as currently written this could be in an accounting exam.
Bear in mind that part of our goal on the SE network is to make things clear an easy for future visitors - there is 0 chance that someone will find that question helpful for database modelling since they will never find it unless they are looking for how car dealerships handle accounting for trade ins (with no reference to databases).
YES, you most certainly may ask database modeling questions that have to do with accounting problems.
Our contention is that you didn't ask one of these. You asked an accounting question with database modeling implications. You shouldn't let database design drive the business model. Determine what is best for the business and then determine how to best implement that in the database.