Account codes ... analytical codes. The power of relational analysis is maximized by the design of the analytical codes. This is the key to easy analysis, and relatively easy to do for a relational database. Frequently, however, it is ignored and easy analysis then becomes impossible.
An experience accountant can tell a lot about an organization simply by looking at the account codes ... and the logic of the account codes.
Over a period of years, I did consulting work that involved the World Bank, the IMF, the UN and bilateral donors in developing countries, some of which were English speaking and used Anglo Saxon accounting and some French speaking using the French Plan Comptable.
Mostly the accounting was treated as a necessary evil, and the account codes were disorganized. Not surprisingly the accounts and the financial reporting was equally disorganized and not very useful for any analytical purposes. A gift for those with evil intent!
Rather disconcertingly, the IMF's recommended code of accounts for many years for government accounting was very badly formatted, making it difficult for government accounts to be easily analyzed using the account codes.