What should be an Account? The Rule of Thumb I have used in the past is that an Account is a place that has a physical address, people work or reside there and the location can receive postal mail. An Account can be a national headquarters or someone’s house – size does not matter. Even my rule of thumb can get fuzzy. For example, what about a floating oil rig? People can get mail and work there! Maybe it’s an Asset or a Custom Object?
How do you incorporate personal Contacts into your Business Org? I personally don’t like “orphaned” Contacts in my org. I think every Contact needs to be nested under an Account. When your dealing with individuals as business contacts it gets more complicated. For example, let’s say you’re a financial planner and you deal with individuals, households or even trusts. How do you organize these Contacts? In the past I have made the “Family” or “Household” the Account and individual family members Contacts.
For more on this topic, see our ShellBlack Whiteboard episode – Overview of Leads, Accounts and Contacts – The Salesforce Data Model.