Financial Period Closing in the New Dynamics AX(AX 7) – Get real time status, Be more productive, Close faster

Financial Period Closing in the New Dynamics AX(AX 7) – Get real time status, Be more productive, Close faster

Financial Period Close is probably one of the most important task that the Corporate Accounting team of your organization spends most time accomplishing. Accounting Managers of your organization spend tons of time in creating and assigning various tasks needed to close financial periods and always end up tracking status manually in MS Project, MS Excel or by other means. Today your Financial Period Close and status tracking probably looks something like below.

Fiscal Period Closing Status - Excel

With this, you are not able to,

  • Know who is working on what task and when are going to complete it.
  • How much percentage the closing tasks are complete by operational area.
  • Who is having how much tasks remaining to be completed.
  • Know real time status of closing across all legal entities of the organization.

In today’s post, we will discuss the details of one of the workspaces of the New Dynamics AX, which is the Financial Period Close workspace and see how it can help you be more productive, track status in real time and close periods faster.

Workspaces in the New Dynamics AX are a new way of helping your users gain and do more in the ERP, all at one central location. The dedicated workspace for Financial Period Closing also intends to do the same and help your accounting team stay on top of their tasks for period close and get real time status updates at any time, so that they can act and escalate on delayed tasks.

Let us first see some of the insights into the some of the underlying setups before we discuss the workspace.

Configure Financial Period Closing:

  • Under General Ledger Module > Period Close , navigate to Financial Period Close configuration form.
  • Under the Closing roles tab, create period closing roles as per requirement of you organization. Note that these roles are specific to financial period closing and does not relate in anyways to AX Security roles. These are only required from the Financial Period Closing perspective.

Closing Roles

  • Under the Resources tab, define/select the employees from your employee master, who needs to be involved in the Financial Period closing process. Also you can set “What they will see when they go to the Financial Period Close workspace”. Additionally you can assign one or more closing roles of each of these resources.

Resources

  • Under the Task areas, define the different areas of the tasks for financial period closing. These task areas will be ideally your different areas such as AR, AP, Bank, Fixed Assets, GL, Inventory etc.

Task Areas

  • Under the Calendars tab, configure and set the calendar for scheduling the tasks of Financial Period Closing. Note that these calendars are different than the organization and resource calendars.

Calendars

  • Under Templates tab, create the List of tasks from scratch or from an exiting template. This is your master list of tasks that needs to be executed to complete the Financial Period Closing process. You can set up the Task description, which area it belongs to, when is it due (before the end date of the closing schedule).
  • Then assign each task to a Closing role (Which is linked to employees or resources) and select the Legal entities you want the tasks to be applicable for. Additionally, you can also setup dependencies between tasks and also set direct links to different forms of AX to complete the tasks.

Task List

  • Finally, create your financial period close schedule, select the start and end dates, the calendar applicable for it.

Closing Schedule

Now that we have gone though the setups and configurations, let us see how the Financial Period Closing workspace looks for an employee who is with certain closing roles and see how they can interact with the workspace in completing their daily tasks for period closing.

Arnie who plays the role of AR and AP clerk in the closing process, navigates to the Financial Period Closing workspace.

  • On this workspace, she gets to see filtered and actionable data for her task list in live tiles. She can she how many of her tasks are past due, how many tasks pending to be completed today, how many tasks of her blocked due to incomplete dependent tasks by others and all remaining tasks.

Task List Arnie Live Tiles

  • She also see the Task list that are assigned to her. For each of the tasks, she sees the due date, dependency and most importantly she can navigate to the destination form directly if needed by simply clicking on the task and take required action. For example she can click the Post Free text invoices task to directly launch the Free text invoices form.
  • Once she completes the task, she marks the task as Complete by marking the Completed checkbox.

Task List Details

Let us now see how the workspace looks like for an Accounting Manager, who is managing the status of the Financial Period Close process for multiple entities.

When Phyllis Harris, the Accounting Manager navigates to the workspace, she gets to see real time status updates in terms of % completion of the tasks by entity, task area, by person and more.

Workspace for Manager

  • So clearly, the manager gets clean, real time updates on the status of the tasks for period close. They can see the status by entity or by area and person in terms of how much percentage is completed.

Status by Area

Status by Person

  • She can even drill down to each tasks under each area, person or entity to get more status updates or modify anything as needed.

Task List Details

That’s it for today’s post. Stay tuned !!!

Best,

Sandeep

 

 

What is new in General Ledger Module – Top 5 enhancements in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

What is new in General Ledger Module – Top 5 enhancements in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone participated in the virtual launch of the New Dynamics AX on 9th March and got to learn more about the new fully cloud based ERP.

In today’s post, I will explain the top 5 enhancements that I witnessed and tested under the General Ledger area in the New Dynamics AX.

  1. Financial Dimension Activation
  2. Global General Journals
  3. Global Fiscal calendar management
  4. Dedicated Process driven Workspace for Financial Period Close
  5. Account structure related enhancements

Let’s get straight into it and see some additional details.

1. Financial Dimension Activation: Starting with the new Dynamics AX, new financials dimensions will now need to be activated by a specific role, which has the privilege assigned for dimension activation or by System administrators. The intention here is to simplify the database schema for financial dimensions so that the reporting and data extraction becomes easier.

  • When a new Dimension is created under GL > Dimensions > Financial Dimensions is created, it will be in “Inactive” status by default.
  • Before users can start using this new dimension, it needs to be activated, which can be only done by either a System Administrator or by a role which has the privilege for dimension activation.
  • When the activation is run, system will add the new dimension across all applicable tables in the database and the database schema will change. See screenshot below for reference.

Finnancial Dimension Activation

2. Global General Journals: This new feature will allow accounting team members to create and manage general journals in multiple legal entities staying in one entity, without having to change the legal entity each time when they create or edit the journals.

  • The new global general journal is located under General Ledger > Journal Entries > Global general journals.
  • When you create a new New journal, you can select the Legal entity and the journal name of that entity for which you want to create the journal entry.

Global General Journals

  • You can then continue to create the journal lines inside the current entity and you can directly Open the journal in the other entity if you wish to, or you can complete the entire journal entity, validate and post in the current entity and the unmoral entry will be created and posted in the destination entity.

Global General Journals 1.jpg

3. Global Fiscal Calendar Management: This feature will enable finance controllers and other related users of the accounting team to manage the the fiscal period status and Module level accesses for multiple entities which share the same Fiscal Calendar.

  • Navigate to General Ledger > Ledger Setup > Ledger Calendars.
  • Select the Fiscal calendar and the Fiscal year to see all the Periods under them.
  • Notice that you will now see all the Legal entities listed in separate rows , which share the same fiscal calendar.
  • You can change the Period status and Module level access for the required modules for one or more or all legal entities at once.

Ledger Calendar

Ledger Calendar1

4. Dedicated Workspace for Financial Period Close: The new Dynamics AX brings in a a new dedicated workspace for the financial period close tasks. You all must be very familiar with what workspaces in the new AX are. The purpose of this workspace is primarily to help the corporate accounting team and Controllers to manage their fiscal period closing more effectively and make the process more transparent, get real time insights with the status of closing and get more timely insight into your business.

  • Controllers can create Period Closing schedules and templates.
  • Under each template and schedule, they can create breakdown of the tasks for the period close.
  • Tasks can be assigned to to different team members with required due date and times.
  • Can be done for multiple legal entities.
  • This workspace helps the corporate accounting team to collaborate and update the status of tasks assigned to them and enables controllers to view the status of closing is real time and take required actions.
  • Explaining this topic will become a separate blog in itself. I will try to explain sometimes later in future with a new post on this. Screenshots below shows a quick snapshot of how this workspace looks like.

Closing schedule

Closing schedule 2.jpg

5. Account Structures related enhancements: In the new Dynamics AX, the over all view and arrangement of data fields and tabs on the account structure form makes it more intuitive and easy to use. You can see which entities are using the selected account structure staying in the same form. Most importantly you can now export Account structures to Excel. This allows you to make edits easily in bulk and push it back to AX from Excel.Export to ex cel

Export to ex cel 1

There are a few other minor enhancements under the GL area too, which I will leave up to you all to explore 🙂

That is it for this post !! Keep DAXing..

Regards,

Sandeep