Christmas in April for Dynamics 365 Business Central users: Improvements to financial dimensions

March 19 2021

With each Dynamics 365 Business Central Wave release, it’s like waking up Christmas morning to find what presents you got, only these are in the form of new and improved features. You know the gifts I mean, the ones you can’t wait to start using immediately and show off to others. Other features are like that pack of white socks your mom bought you—useful and practical, but not as exciting.

If you haven’t already taken a peek at the 2021 Wave 1 release features and notes, check it out here.  The list is divided into different areas: Administration, Application, Power Platform, etc. There is a little something for everyone!  It only takes a few minutes to look around and see what cool things you might find. Microsoft has given us some pretty fantastic presents that are sure to make your life easier, and I am excited to show a couple of these off to you in this article. 

Two of these new features relate to more control and flexibility around the use of dimensions.  You know how powerful dimensions can be when it comes to reporting and analysis, but the pain comes when an incorrect dimension has been posted with a transaction.  We now have some new tools to help relieve this pain.  

1. More Control over Settings for Default Dimensions

What Microsoft says:

“Instead of allowing users to pick just any dimension value, when the dimension Value Posting is set to Code Mandatory, using Allowed Dimension Values in the Default Dimensions page, users can now pick from a predefined list of allowed dimension values that controlling, finance, or accounting departments choose as valid for particular master data, documents, or transaction posting in Business Central.”

What this means for you

If you are in control of creating and maintaining dimensions for your company, you can define one or more dimension values that you want to allow the user entering the transaction to select from on the master data.  If you are the one entering transactions, you will be restricted to selecting from this predefined list of values. 

Why Controllers are so happy

With this enhancement, more control can be exercised at the initial entry of transactions into the system. This means there will be more consistency amongst transactions and less errors, which means less work for you at month-end.  Taking 10-20 minutes to set up the Allowed Values on master data can help save an hour or more at every month-end and the headaches that result when reports don’t provide you with the meaningful data you need from your system.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 initial dimension entryImage taken from the Microsoft release notes

2. Dimension Corrections on G/L Entries

What Microsoft says

“On the General Ledger Entries page, the Correct Dimensions action lets you correct dimensions on posted entries by editing the dimension value, adding new dimensions, or removing them. Administrators can also lock dimensions for corrections, specify that corrections must respect closed accounting periods, and view a change log for a given G/L entry in order to revert the entry to its original value.”

What this means for you

This means that users (based on administration settings) will be able to add, edit, or remove dimensions on POSTED TRANSACTIONS.  This is something that users have been requesting for a long time, and it is exciting that it has finally coming to fruition.  Along with the flexibility of these changes, it looks like Microsoft is also adding some features to be able to maintain control of what dimensions can be changed and when, as well as view the original value and revert if necessary.

Why staff accountants are so happy

No more painstaking entries are needed at month-end to fix incorrect dimensions on general ledger transactions.  This means that less time will be spent on dimension corrections, and there will be a lot less clutter in your general ledger!

Release Notes

I mentioned earlier that you should take a peek at the 2021 Wave 1 Release Notes. Microsoft releases this advance preview 1-2 months before each major release (which are currently April and October of each year). What a great opportunity to make sure you are taking full advantage of the functions and features in the system you already own! My suggestion? Have someone from your team be the point person to review the notes, then share and discuss with the rest of the team.

To see the Microsoft release notes referenced in this article, check out the links below.

Keep in mind that we haven’t been able to fully test out this new functionality yet and that this article is based off of the notes and screenshots Microsoft has given us.  We are excited to try each of these features in the near future!

Ideas of your own?

Don’t forget that anyone can let Microsoft know what functionality or features you’d like added here.  Microsoft takes all feedback into account when coming out with the new planned release features.  You might just wake up next Christmas to find that you got exactly what you asked for!

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Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

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About Cari Corozza

For the past decade Cari Corozza has relished driving smarter processes and more efficiencies with the accounting and finance teams she’s worked with, developing a deep background in month-end reporting, accounts payable, and financial consolidation. She is a Certified Public Accountant and an experienced Microsoft Dynamics NAV User. As a trainer with New View Strategies, she enjoys sharing her past NAV experience to guide other users toward finding the best way to accomplish daily and monthly tasks and goals. Cari is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and holds the Microsoft Office Specialist: Excel Expert credential.

At New View Strategies, we’re big fans of doing more with what you already have, so much so we just released 2 Business Transformation ScorecardsTM so you can assess how much of the system you’re using (and NOT!) – it will also provide for some great discussions with your team. All our experts have “been there, done that” – we are experienced, former users who have walked in your shoes. We know how to improve the utilization of your Dynamics 365 Business Central / NAV system, thereby increasing cash flow, facilitating growth, and creating a better experience for your users. We can help with your business processes, drive real change, or skill up your team with over 60 classes at https://getyournewview.com.

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