Automated Workflows in Human Resources Management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Automated Workflows in Human Resources Management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

If you are a customer looking to implement or using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and use major aspects of Workforce management under the Human Resources Management, there are some Out-Of-The-Box workflows under HRM module that you can leverage to complete/automate several key processes such as Hire a worker, Transfer a Worker, Terminate a worker etc. You could use these new workflows build the complete on-boarding process for the new hires into the workflow.

In this post, I will explain a little bit about these workflows and how you can use them in AX 2012 R3.

Note: You will need to activate the Personnel Actions Configuration Key for HRM, to enable these new functionalities in the system.

Workflow For Actions on Hiring a New Worker:

For this demonstration, Let us say there are 3 steps in completing the on-boarding process for a worker before their hiring process can be completed in AX and a worker record can be created.

Step1 : Complete background checks and fill Form A and attach filled in Form.

Step2:  Complete online test for on-boarding for the new hire and attach test results.

Step3:  Final Approval and worker creation in AX.

  • The screenshot below shows the workflow setup which has 3 distinct steps for performing several tasks related to new hire’s onboarding before the worker record can be created in AX.  The final step of the workflow is the approval of the worker record after all the prior tasks are completed by respective team members.


  • The workflow is setup and is activates now in the system. The next step is to configure the Personnel Action type. You can configure as many personnel action as you want/need and associate each action type with a personnel action and then link it to the workflow it should follow. In our example, I have created a simple action called Hire New Worker and linked it to the workflow we created above. Screenshot below shows the Personnel Action Type.

Personnel Action Types

  • Let us begin the hiring process from All Worker Actions list page. Navigate to HRM > Common > Actions > All Worker Actions.
  • Click New Action button and select Hire New Worker as the Personnel Action Type and click Create Action.

Create Worker Hire Action

  • On the next screen, you will notice all the required fields you will need to enter to submit the Hire New Worker action request to the workflow. Select various data fields such as Action Requested by, Worker’s name details, entity in which he is employed, Worker type, employment start date, Position assignment details etc. under the corresponding fast tabs.

Worker Action Details

  • You can also enter additional comments for the reviewers in the workflow about the new hire under the Comments fast tab.


NOTE: You can customize this form to automate the setup of several other data attributes for the workers such as financial dimensions, addresses, contact information and any other key data fields on the worker record, so that those can be embedded into the workflow of onboarding and upon completion, the values will be setup already on the worker record.

  • When you are ready to submit, click Submit button. This will get the worker action into the Hiring Workflow and will be routed to required teams for processing. The standard AX workflow engine can also be used to send the email notification within required instructions for completing the steps of on-boarding.
  • When it is submitted, it will get assigned to the person responsible for Step 1 of on-boarding. They can then review the checklist for the Step 1 and take required actions and mark the Step 1 as complete. If they wish to request a change of data information from the submitter, then can chose that option as well in the workflow. Screenshot below shows the workflow is now assigned to the person responsible for  Step 1.

Step1 Review

  • They can review the checklist for the step 1 under the workflow step instruction section. Once the person complete the Step1, they will click Actions > Complete.

Step 2 Review

  • As soon as Step1 is marked as Completed, the workflow is now assigned to person responsible for Step 2. The Review process details fact box on the right shows the current step the process is in. Person responsible for Step 2 will then complete the online test and then will attach test results to the action record and mark the step as Complete.

Step 2 Review1

  • At this point, the workflow gets assigned to the final reviewer of information, who is the HR Manager. He can review all the details on the worker hire action and Approve the New hire action. Upon successful approval, a Worker record will be created automatically in the Worker master under HRM > All Workers.

Final Review

  • Once the Action is completed, you can see an overview of all the worker actions on All workers list page.

Worker Actions listpage

  • Now navigate to the All Workers form under HRM and Verify that the Worker record for John Doe will be created with all the details that were entered on the hire action.

Worker Details Created

Workflow For Actions on Transferring a Worker & Terminating a Worker: Just like we created the workflow for the Worker Hire action, you can also leverage the transfer and termination workflows and configure all your required steps and continue to use the Transfer and Terminate worker actions.

Hope this quick information was helpful !! Till next time…..

– Sandeep

Absence/Leave Management in Human Resources Management–Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Absence/Leave Management in Human Resources Management–Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

I have been contacted by many of the readers requesting a post regarding the absence management functionality of AX 2012. In today’s post I will cover the key features and benefits of the absence management functionality along with the setups and processes involved in it.

Workers are the key assets for every professionals services firms and gaining control over the workers capacity cost and workers availability is always a key to success. Moreover managing employee leaves/absences is always a key aspect of Human resources operations for every organization. Organizations always looks for a flexible and effective leave management system, when they choose an ERP to implement.

The Human Resources Management module of AX 2012 provides a very effective absence management functionality which is simple to setup and use and also enables organizations to have their employees to use enterprise portal to submit and approve leave/absence requests.

Microsoft Dynamics AX-Powerfully Simple

Key features and Benefits:

Below few points represents the key features and benefits of Absence management functionality of AX 2012.

  • Simple to configure and easy to use.
  • Easily group absences and associate absence codes with them.
  • Register past absences.
  • Request for future absences.
  • Setup validation rules for absence types such as, employee’s cannot avail more than 3 casual leaves consecutively.
  • Option for absence administrators to register absence for multiple workers acting like a delegate.
  • Option for workers to request absences  and approvers to approve them in the Enterprise portal, when away from office/work.

Configuration and Absence management Process:

This section of the post will explain the necessary setup required to enable absence recording in AX 2012.

  1. Absence Groups: The first step is to create Absence Groups. The absence groups are used to group various absence types such Holidays, Sickness, Jury duty etc. Absence groups are mandatory information for setting up absence codes.
    • Navigate to HRM > Setup > Absence > Absence Groups.
    • Create new record and enter absence group id and a description.
    • Additionally enable Registration to enable absence recording in Time and Attendance process.


2. Absence Codes: The absences codes represents the reasons for the employee absences. These are are the codes against which employees will register absences. Additionally several validation rules can be setup on the absence codes as per requirements. Example of absence codes are Sick, Injury, Jury, Vacation, Leave etc.

    • Navigate to HRM > Setup > Absence > Absence Codes.
    • Create new absence codes such as Jury, Sick, Illness etc.
    • You can also setup validation rules which will enable validation such as an employee can take only 3 days Funeral leave in a series etc..


3. Absence Setup: It is required sometimes to have multiple absence administrators, multiple absence period frequencies, multiple working times(Hours, Days) for different groups of workers. The absence setup allows to accomplish this. The Person in charge is the Absence administrator who will review and approve/reject/cancel the absences.

    • Navigate to HRM > Setup > Absence > Absence Setup.
    • Create new records and setup Person In charge, Period unit( Month, Week, Month-Fixed and No Period), and Working time.
    • Absence setups are attached to workers to enable them for absence registrations.

4. Absence Setup for Worker: The Absence related parameters needs to be setup in the Worker details form as shown in screen below.


We are now done with all the setups necessary for absence registrations. Let us not take quick look at how employees can register absences. In AX, employees can register absences both in rich client and Enterprise portal.

Recording Absences In AX Rich Client:

  • Before employees can register absences in a given absence period, the absence journals must be created by the absence administrators for that period. Absence journals can also be setup to be created in batch.
  • Navigate to HRM > Periodic > Absences > Create absence Journals to create the absence journals for workers.


  • To register absences, go to Home > Absences > Register Absences.
  • Create new records and enter dates and absence code for each day.
  • You can also create a absence series such as Vacation for 5 days/10 days etc..
  • The Notes section will contain the notes from the absence registrar and absence approver if any.


  • After creating the absences, Click Transfer to transfer the absences for approval. This will transfer the absence details to the approver for review and approval.
  • The Approver can go to Home > Absences > Approve Absence Requests.
  • Approver can click Approve/Reject button to approve or reject the absences.


Using the absence management function, employees can also can request for future absences, and one absence admin can register absences for multiple workers as a delegate. I will not explain those all here in this post.

Recording Absences In AX 2012 Enterprise Portal:

Below is a quick video which I have prepared for the employee absence management in the enterprise portal of AX 2012.

That is it for this post. Please contact me in case you have any queries with regards to absences management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.



Time and Attendance Registration functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Time and Attendance Registration functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Hello Everyone,

I had been away from my blog since over a month time because of my work and long vacation. It feels nice again to write here and share knowledge with you all. We all thrive to learn new things always and so do I. Today, I decided to get my hands dirty on the new “Time and Attendance registration” functionality which is introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and share what I have learnt so far. Hope everyone finds this post useful.

Dynamics AX 2012 has been amazing with its all new exciting range of features. I found the Time and Attendance registration feature pretty useful and decent and I am sure Microsoft will make it more powerful in the coming versions. Let me first explain you what this functionality is and how it can benefit organizations.

Organizations of all sizes use Time and attendance systems to record when their employees start and stop work, and the department where the work is performed. It’s also a  common practice to track meals and breaks, the type of work performed, and the number of items produced. The Time and attendance functionality of AX 2012 enables organizations to track the time and attendance including the jobs on which the workers are working on a given day. Using this functionality the workers can register various types of times such as Clock in, Clock out, Absence, Breaks, Flex time, Overtime etc. This functionality will find a lot of traction in the manufacturing industries where lot of the workers are paid based on their working profiles and make time registrations.

The below diagram depicts the overall flow of the worker’s time registration process in Dynamics AX 2012.


Now that we know an overview of the Time and attendance functionality, let us look at the setups which we need to make in order to use this functionality.

Basic setup for T&A:

There are a bunch of setups present under the Time and attendance form in the human resource module. Each of these setups as a significance and I will not explain those here as I will primarily highlight the process of the time and attendance recording in this post.


Calculation and Approval groups:

  • The calculation groups are a way to categorize the workers. For example, workers working in ‘same shifts’ or workers working in ‘same teams’. This helps the team lead/manager who calculates the time registrations for approval, to calculate the time registrations for a bunch of workers falling in same calculation group and this ensures reduced time in calculation.
  • Navigate to HR > Setup > Time & Attendance > Groups > Calculation groups and create a new record.
  • Optionally, you can password project the calculation groups by providing a password under the General tab.


  • An approval group is logically same as the calculation group and typically consists of a set or group of workers.
  • Navigate to HR > Setup > Time & Attendance > Groups > Approval groups and create a new record.


Indirect activities and Absence codes:

  • Dynamics AX 2012 enables workers of an organization to register time on several indirect activities which they may work on a given day and it also allows to register hours on absence codes if they are absent from working hours. Few examples of indirect activities are “Meetings”, “Travel” etc. .(Activities which are not directly related to projects, jobs)
  • Four different types of time registrations are allowed for the indirect activities which are “Job”, “Break”, “Switch code” and “On call”. Indirect activities are ideally configured under an activity group.
  • Go to HRM > Setup > Time & Attendance > Indirect activities.
  • Create a new record and select the Registration type from the four option as per your requirement. In my example, I will select Job.


  • Click Activities button.
  • Create new indirect activities such as Test1 and Test 2.
  • Check the Registration check box under General tab and specify account and offset account if needed.


  • You can also setup cost for the indirect activities by clicking the Cost button. Refer to screen below.


  • Similarly absence groups and codes can be configured for recording time for absence from work. If “Education break” is an example of absence group, then absence codes under it could be “ Training”, “Workshops”, “Long term education” etc.
  • Configure the absence groups and codes under HRM >  Setup > Absence > Absence groups.


Setup Worker/Employee for Time Registration:

  • Now that we have done most of the setups required for the Time and attendance function, let us setup the a worker and enable him for time registrations.
  • AX 2012 allows the workers to make time registrations in two forms. The Electronic timecard form and the Job registration form. In this case, we will just enable a worker to make registrations in Electronic time card form.
  • To do this, go to HR > Common forms > Workers > Workers.
  • Select any worker and double-click.
  • Click the Employment tab and expand the Time registration fast tab to set up parameters related to activating the worker for time registrations.


Setup Work Time Profiles:

  • Different work time profiles can be configured for workers working in different working hours and tasks. The worker time profile basically identifies the nature of time registrations which the workers is supposed to make in a given day. For example a worker can clock in, work for standard working hours, take a break, work overtime and clock out. The work time profile basically will contain these profile types.
  • The work time profiles are configured and setup for group of workers usually. For example, workers working on Day shifts may be allocated with a  “day shift” profile and workers working in “evening shift may be allocated with a “evening shift” profile.
  • When the work time profiles are setup in the worker time registration, then the time and attendance system automatically detects the profile depending on the clock-in time of the employee. The work time profile functionality and concept is large and I will cover this in detail in one of my upcoming posts.


Time and Attendance Registration Process in AX 2012:

  • In this post of mine, I will cover only the time registration process using the Electronic time card functionality. I will try to discuss the Clock-In/Clock-Out time registration functionality in posts later.
  • As we have set up Ahmed to register electronic time cards, we will now see the steps which he will follow to make time registrations.
  • Go to Home > Time and Attendance > Electronic Timecard
  • Select the worker. (Ahmad in this case)


  • System will automatically show the profile for the worker and the profile date will default to the current date/day. You can modify the profile date.
  • If you want your registrations not to be modified by team lead or your manager, then you can Lock the profile date by clicking the Lock button.
  • See the screen below in which I have entered a standard day’s time registrations.


  • After filling in the time card, click Check button. System will validate that all your time registrations are fine and checked for any violations.
  • Finally, Click Transfer to, transfer the time registration for calculation and approval.

Calculate and Approve Time & Attendance Registrations:

  • The next task is for the supervisors or the team members to calculate the time registrations done by their workers.
  • During the calculation, the worker time registrations are calculated against the work time profile. If there are any missing registrations, then it is automatically detected during the calculation and system will generate errors indicating these. The team lead or supervisor can then correct and recalculate the registrations.
  • To do this go to HRM > Common > Time and Attendance > Calculate.


  • Select the calculation group and date. The calculation group will enable the supervisor to mass calculate the time registrations for the workers here.
  • Click Ok button.
  • Note that, system may prompt for password if you have configured in the calculation group setup.
  • On the Calculate form, verify all the information and click Update > Calculate button and then click Ok on the


  • After the time registrations are calculated and verified, it needs to be approved. Approval is ideally done by the HR manager/Payroll manager. This is to ensure that the time registrations looks all correct before they are committed and posted in other modules.
  • To approve the time registration, Go to HRM > Common > Time and Attendance > Approve.


  • On the Approve form, click Update > Approve and then click Ok on the batch job.


  • You will get a confirmation that the registration for approved without errors.
  • The next task for the payroll manager or whoever approves the time registrations is to transfer the time registrations. This will ensure that all the transactions are posted successfully to the jobs on which registrations were made.
  • To transfer the time registration click Update > Transfer and then click Ok button on the dialog.


  • Notice that the TR lines will get transferred from the Approve screen.


  • Not let us verify the postings in the different modules. For example in this time registration Ahmed had entered time on the project 10001. So if you go to project 10001 and then to Posted transactions, you will find the the transactions created by the TR system. See screen below.


In this post , I covered,

  • The overall set up required to use the time and attendance system in AX 2012.
  • How to enable workers to make time registrations.
  • The actual time registration process.
  • And the calculation, approval and transfer process for the time registrations. Consider these as the first step to learn this new functionality. I am breaking it down as this is getting way too longer now. Smile

In my next post, I will cover the remaining part of this functionality.

  • More about the absence management.
  • Time and attendance workflow.
  • And the complete integration with pay agreements and payroll process.
  • Time registration using the Clock in/out punch clock
  • Which industries types can use and benefit from this ?

Well ! That is it for now.

Till next time…Keep exploring.



Now Process your U.S.Payroll In-house with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Now Process your U.S.Payroll In-house with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Microsoft Dynamics AX is POWERFUL yet again !

With the strong enhancements to the global talent management functionality and introduction of end to end U.S. Payroll processing functionality within AX 2012, in the R2 release, Microsoft Dynamics AX now gets even more powerful.

Below are few of high level capabilities of the U.S. Payroll functionality in AX 2012 R2 release. Read the MS Product team’s blog Here for more details about this.

  • Seamless integration of the U.S. Payroll functionality with the Human resources management allows one time setup of all payroll related data and parameters such as “Deductions”, “Benefits”, “Compensation” etc.
  • Seamless integration with Financials management module facilitates printing of pay checks or direct deposits into employee’s savings/checking accounts.
  • Employees can view their Pay statements on the Employee Self-services portal.
  • Easy tracking of the regular pays and the exceptional based earnings such as Paid time off etc.
  • And More…..