You may have noticed the Parent Account field in the Account form in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. That’s there so we can make our database reflect when one of our Accounts has a real-world relationship with another. For example, if one Account represents a division of a larger organization, which we also keep as a separate Account. 

When one or more Sub-Accounts are related to one Parent Account in Microsoft CRM, all activities and history for the Sub-Accounts are “rolled up” to the Parent Account. That means, when you are looking at the history of the Parent Account, CRM Online also displays the history of the attached Sub-Accounts. This provides a more complete picture of the interactions between the various records in your system, helping your business to understand your customers so that you can tailor your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts accordingly.

In this walkthrough, we create a parental relationship between two sample Accounts called “Best o’ Things” and “Child o’ Things”.

This task can be performed by users with any of the default security roles in Microsoft CRM Online.

Open the Account that will be related as the Sub-Account. In this example, we navigate to Accounts in the Sales module (see below), and open the “Child o’ Things” Account by double-clicking it.

When the Account record opens (see below), click the lookup icon in the Parent Account field.

In the Look Up Record dialog (see below), to designate the Parent Account, check the corresponding box and click OK.

The dialog closes automatically, returning you to the Account form (see below). Notice in the Parent Account field, that “Best o’ Things” is now related as the Parent Account of this Account.

When you open the Best o’ Things Account, notice that Child o’ Things is the Sub-Account.

Relating records by establishing Parent Accounts and Sub-Accounts is a simple, yet important functionality. If you are interested in learning more about the extensive capabilities of CRM Online, invites you to join our CRM Success Portal. There you will find numerous Microsoft CRM tutorial videos that will improve your CRM Online skillset.