Why do Person Account not support "Parent Account" and "Reports To" fields? - Answers - Salesforce Trailblazer Community
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Martin KeatingMartin Keating 

Why do Person Account not support "Parent Account" and "Reports To" fields?

I've seen several resources referencing that this (see title) is the case including the official documentation:


Does anyone know why? I am about to create a custom field for "Reports To" for a Person Account to lookup to a Contact (or possibly another Person Account), and I don't want to do this if there is a good reason not to (perhaps why it's not supported with the standard field). 

The use case is that we are doing B2B and B2C and are building a B2C base from individuals that are Contacts in the B2B sphere. A Contact associated with a Business Account starts an individual customer relationship with our company and is therefore converted into a Person Account but still related to the Business Account using the Related Accounts feature in Winter '17:

The only clue I have so far as to why these two fields aren't supported is that they are both hierarchical in nature. I would think that it could work since you can use the 003 record for the Reports To and the 001 record for the Parent Account...
Jeff MayJeff May
A PersonAccount is really 2 records, an Account record, and a Contact record.   The user only sees 1 record, but that record can be used anywhere an Account OR a Contact is used.  You can certainly create custom relationship fields as you need, but you might decide to use a junction object instead so you can relate a Person to multiple other Accounts.
Martin KeatingMartin Keating
Thanks, Jeff. Understand the 2 records part. And we are using the built in functionality to related Contacts to Multiple Accounts (which now supports Person Accounts as of Winter '17) so no need to create a junction object at this point. 

It seems because there are the 2 records, Person Accounts would play fine with these two fields so I'm curious to why they are not supported.
Tom BlamireTom Blamire
It defeats the purpose of what a Person Record is. Essentially the Person Account record is aimed at an individual not the other people associated. If you need to associate people etc then you would need to either use the Business Accounts model (Accounts and Contacts seperated); Create a custom lookup field or junction object.
Martin KeatingMartin Keating
@Tom, thanks for the response. Yes, I agree in some cases, however the challenge remains if you need to do B2B and B2C with a C customer with a relationship to a B bustomer. If a business is a customer (e.g. business banking account), and an employee of that business is also a customer (e.g. personal banking account), there is a need to preserve relationships among them. If you just used contacts, you wouldn't be able to create an opportunity on a contact who is an individual customer if you wouldn't want that opportunity associated with the contacts employer (its account). This doesn't make sense if it's a personal checking account, for example.

If you're only B2C, then you wouldn't need to use Reports To for a Person Account, but if you have a hybrid B2B/B2C model, then using Reports To still seems to make a lot of sense for our use case and it would hold the previous value from the field when the individual existed as a contact before they were converted to a Person Account.

Salesforce enabled Person Accounts to work with the Contacts to Multiple Accounts feature which is perfect for us.

So I'm wondering if they disabled these fields because there is some technical limitation or if it was purely to separate these kind of relationships. If it's the latter, it would make sense to enable it to align with the new functionality that was released.