Changing the methods your organization uses to execute financial transactions is a process that’s easier said than done. But, with a dynamic system foundation that supports financial arrangements and offers improved access to security and reporting functions, this process can actually be very rewarding when you leverage Workday.

Using the Workday FDM (Foundation Data Model) solution to record financial transactions sounds daunting at first glance, but it plays a critical role in ensuring your company’s financial management success.

Read on to learn more about the critical concepts of Workday’s FDM and how our senior-level consultants can help your organization manage data more efficiently and maximize your investments.

What is Workday FDM?

Workday’s Foundation Data Model lies at the heart of the Workday platform.

The FDM supports financial transaction processing and is the foundation for all Workday organizations and Worktags. It also provides a multifaceted structure of Workday accounting and financial reporting capabilities, making it easier for companies to analyze data, define taggable business dimensions relevant to multiple different organizational areas, and improve business process efficiency across the board. 

Additionally, it enables the development of a dynamic and expandable security architecture that serves the entire organization’s needs. The Workday Foundation Data Model integrates Ledger Accounts, Organizations, and Worktags, sharing the necessary configurations and resources across HR/HCM and Finance departments.

Why is the FDM Important?

You can consider FDM as the foundation of a “financial” house; it can support all accounting and financial processes and even some specific human capital management processes.

The quality and amount of Workday Worktags represent the most significant distinction between Workday’s Foundation Data Model and other previous charts of accounts in Workday or other external software systems.

Gaining more insight on  Workday financial transactions will:

  • Improve financial management
  • Optimize reporting and data analysis functions
  • Consider  overlapping data requirements between systems
  • Influence current systems and newly developed business processes

What are Worktags?

Worktags are specific Workday keywords used to group account fields and subfields within the system. Worktags identify business characteristics, enable customizable reporting and inquiry functions, and serve as the foundation for Workday’s new chart of accounts. Worktags can also be used to represent financial and non-financial transactions for improved reporting.

Examples of Worktags within the Workday landscape include:

  • General ledger accounts
  • Cost centers
  • Spend categories
  • Revenue categories
  • Locations
  • And more!

Benefits of the Foundation Data Model (FDM) for Financials

Workday’s Foundation Data Model is the base of the Workday system, providing seamless integrations between separate areas of the Workday ecosystem, like human capital management (HCM), payroll, cost center reconfigurability, supply chain management, Worktag limitations, security, and other core finance and accounting capabilities.

Most integrations in other business areas across Workday use Worktags maintained by the FDM and leverage the “Reference ID” as a unique way to recognize them. 

FDM is used to build Worktag relationships, manage Worktag configuration, and improve task management across the entire organization. For example, Workday users can leverage Worktags to find, access, and connect bank accounts that manage banking conversions or locations used for finance and supply purposes.

Workday allows flexibility within reporting by using combinations of Worktag values to help users find exactly what they’re looking for in a shorter amount of time. This allows users to report on various dimensions and replace multi-purpose legacy dimensions by combining smaller number values from each individual dimension

How Does FDM Work?

To define transactions for reporting and analysis, Workday users can add Worktags using pre-built FDM functionality. When data exchanged between different business sectors (finance, HR, and payroll, for example) is correctly tagged with Worktags, organizations can analyze and report on business-critical data more efficiently.

The FDM structure comprises supervisory organizations and job profiles as the core of HR data to facilitate more accurate and efficient data management and exchange across teams and departments.. The FDM also unifies all Worktag definitions and values across the organization, eliminating the need for “user-defined” tags.

These adjustments balance reporting, security, and commercial transactions, which are three essential tasks throughout the Workday system. This leads to “cleaner data,” or data that is more accurate, transparent, and compliant.


  • Standardized reporting in real-time
  • Drill-down features for advanced data analysis
  • Easily filter and analyze financial and non-financial data
  • Automatically triggered alerts and notifications


  • Start, examine, and approve role-based transactions
  • Improve transparency of business transactions
  • Monitor and manage which users have access to transactions

Business Transactions

  • Accounting diaries
  • Sporadic payments
  • Customer bills
  • Requisitions
  • Supplier bills
  • Financial settlement

Effective FDM Design

Businesses often go back and forth with designing an effective FDM to include all necessary Workday concepts and leverage Worktags efficiently and effectively.

A well-designed FDM will:

  • Drive growth while staying in line with business views, products, and markets
  • Allow sufficient time for financial closing processes
  • Remove manual data administration to support external  financial reporting requirements
  • Streamline analytic capabilities and deliver more accurate Workday reporting dashboards
  • Perfect  details recorded for each financial transaction
  • Allow adequate internal control over reporting capabilities

How Can We Help?

Whether you’re looking for a robust data model to execute financial transactions efficiently, additional support to facilitate more informed decisions across teams, or just an extra hand getting started with Workday, Surety Systems can help.

Our senior-level Workday consultants have the skills, experience, and functional expertise to help you successfully implement, integrate, upgrade, or enhance your Workday system, no matter the complexity of your project or organizational structure.

Contact Us

Ready to learn more about Workday FDM and where our consultants can fit in your organization? Contact us today to get started!