New enhancements in Cash and Bank Management Module of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

New enhancements in Cash and Bank Management Module of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Hello,

Today, I wanted to discuss few of the enhancements which have been introduced in AX 2012 in the Cash and Bank Management module. Most of us must be already aware of these, but I just want to discuss these in this forum as I found these enhancements very useful.

AX 2012 Icon

Follow the points below which describes the major enhancements.

  1. Additional validation on the Bank account number and routing number(USA and Canadian Bank accounts):
  • Earlier in AX 2009, there was no real-time validation on the bank account number and routing number fields and users could enter any random values into those fields.
  • In AX 2012, new validation have been introduced where only valid bank account numbers  and routing numbers are accepted.
  • These validation are triggered based on the “Address” which you select for the bank account. If the Country of the address is USA, then the bank account number and routing number validation are thrown accordingly. If the Country of the address is CANADA, then the bank account number and routing number validation are thrown as per Canadian bank validation.
  • To verify this go to Cash and Bank Management > Common > Bank Accounts.
  • Select USA OPER bank account.
  • Verify that routing numbers and bank account number fields accept random values with no validation.
  • Now specify an address for the bank under the Address fast tab and System will throw the necessary validation errors/warning for the bank account number and routing number fields when you save the record(In Conjunction with routing number type).

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2. Bank Credit Limit check during vendor payments with bank as the offset:

  • We can now define credit limits and credit limit tolerance thresholds for a bank account in AX 2012. These credit limit check gets triggered during making a vendor payment(with bank as offset).
  • System will check for the available balance in the bank account and will throw required tolerance message as per the credit limit specified for the bank.
  • We can define Credit limit related parameters in the Cash and Bank Management parameters form.

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  • Define the credit limit for a selected bank account under General fast tab.

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  • Note that the available balance in the USSI OPER bank(CONTOSO demo data) is $72771678.46. We will now record a vendor payment journal with an amount $7277378.46(Bank balance + Credit Limit) and validate the journal. System will successfully validate the journal and say It is Ok.

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  • So system now allows you pay an amount which is within the (Available balance+Credit limit) range of for the bank. If we try to make a payment for an amount $727737946, this will exceed the credit limit and system will stop us from validating and posting it.

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       3. Inactivate a Bank account:

  • In AX 2009, there was no way to deactivate or close a bank account from the Bank sub ledger. The only way possible was to close the GL account(Cash account) related to the bank account.
  • Now in AX 2012, we can inactivate bank accounts from the bank sub ledger. The steps below explains this change.
  • Go to Cash and Bank Management and Select a bank account.
  • Expand the General fast tab.
  • You can provide a from and To dates for which the back account will be active.
  • Additionally you can set bank account status to 3 different options such as

Active for all transactions – Bank account is active and transactions are allowed.

Inactivate for new transactions – Bank account is inactive and no new transactions are allowed.

Inactivate for all transactions – Bank account is inactive and no transactions are allowed

BankAccountStatus

    

   4. Bank Account Statement Import and advanced reconciliation

  • A much-needed functionality. AX 2012 now allows importing electronic bank statements and then performing advanced reconciliations.
  • To be able to use the back statement import and reconciliation functionality, you will need a series of one time configurations. Below are the high level steps to do all required configurations .
  • The first step is to configure the setup required for the electronic bank statement import which includes the parameters, bank statement format, transaction code mapping and bank reconciliation matching rules etc.

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  • The next step is to set up the required AIF inbound ports(Services) and import formats etc.

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  • After all the setups are done, finally we can import the electronic bank statements(XML/XSLT) formats and perform advanced reconciliation.

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In my next post, I will explain in detail the step by step procedure for setting up bank accounts for statement import and advanced reconciliation  procedure.

Till next time !! keep exploring.

Regards

Sandeep

Automate enforcement of audit policy rules to smoothen the flow of your business with the all new policy framework of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is powerfully simple yet again. The NEXT big thing in the ERP market !!!

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Microsoft dynamics AX has been offering new promising, powerful and exciting features and functionalities over the various releases which helps businesses in many different ways.

One such exciting functionality is the all new policy framework, which comes with Microsoft dynamics AX 2012. This framework helps business stakeholders to create and setup policy rules in several areas of business such as,

  1. Employee expenditure controls.
  2. Vendor invoices policies.
  3. Procurements policies.
  4. Document approval policies.
  5. Organization audit policies etc…

The policy framework can be used to enforce rules for the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 users to help improve the business process. Below are the three key components of the robust policy framework in AX 2012.

  1. Policy Types.
  2. Rule types.
  3. Policy rules.

A Policy type constitutes a collection of rule types which can be applicable to a particular feature area or a module of dynamics AX. For example, the Travel & Expense Management module, Procurement and Sourcing module etc.. A policy administrator role ( For e.g., the Procurement and Sourcing Manager) can be assigned with permissions to setup various policies for the procurements in the organization.

A Rule type categorizes the rules which can be that can be setup in a given module or feature area of dynamics AX 2012. For example, the Airlines and Hotel can be the rule types under the expenses management area. Different limits can be setup on these expense categories for employees in different positions of the organization. One good example of such a limit can be that the employees can incur a maximum of $1500 on airlines for their travel and they have to provide necessary justifications if their airlines expenses exceeds this limit.

The last component of this framework is the actual Policy rules which holds that essential data which defines how the policies will be enacted or evaluated. The example of limit on airlines expenses given above is a real-time example of a policy rule.

Leaving these core definitions and meanings of the policy framework, let us now take a look at a real policy rule in effect, inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

To demonstrate this, I will take an example of defining “A policy rule in the expenses management area where the employees can enter a maximum of $1500 when they submit an expense report for their airlines expenses and see how system will enforce them to enter a justification if they exceed this limit.

Follow the steps below.

  1. Create and activate new policy under Travel and Expenses Management.

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2. Assign the legal entities to which this newly created policies will be applicable. Please note that you need to define an organization hierarchy and then select companies or legal entities to be associated with this new policy. The beauty of this functionality is that, AX 2012 allows policies to be affected for the sister legal entities automatically when you define a proper organization hierarchy.

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3. After you are done assigning the organizations, create the actual policy rule for the airlines expenses. Select Airlines on the left list and click Create policy rule button. Also note that, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 makes it possible for you to keep a complete audit trial of all your organization policies of the past and current and future. A policy once created can only be retired but not deleted.

Also, make a note of the various policy rule types which comes out of box with AX 2012.

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4. Setup the data required for this policy rule which is as shown below.

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The Policy now is created for this above scenario and make a note that the policy needs to be active for this to be in effect.

Let us now see how this policy comes into work when Ahmed Barnett, a Senior Manager in the Dynamics AX division of the organization enters his airlines expenses.

1. Ahmed logs into the Employee self-service portal and creates his expense report for the airlines expenses which he incurred when he was on site at a customers place and tries to submit it.

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The policy framework’s warning icon gets activated and gives a message to the employee which we have setup back in the expense policy for airlines. (See above screen ).

Ahmed will now have to the go to the expense line again and enter a justification for this expense exceeding maximum allowed amount, for him to be able to submit the expense report.

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The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012’s policy framework is flexible enough to define any number of very simple to complex audit policies across your organization under the Expense Management, Vendor invoices, purchase orders etc. areas, there by allowing your admin staff and reviewers focus on their day-to-day work more, rather than spending time in evaluating business processes violations manually.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any queries or comments about the policies in Dynamics AX 2012.

Till next time !!!!

Sandeep

Process Automatic Recurring Free Text Invoices with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Very easy to set up, process and use ! This new, small but exciting functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 enables a customer to be invoiced with automatically generated recurring Free Text invoices.

Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Miccrosoft Dynamics AX 2012

Assume an example where your organization has rented Office space to one of the customers for 2 years of time period and sends a free text invoice every month to the customer for the office area rent. Now that , this invoicing is going to happen every month, at least until next 2 years, it makes sense to just automate this process and let system take care of invoicing when it is time.

This new functionality of AX 2012 allows to automate this whole process.

Let us take a quick look at the screens and forms to understand , how do we setup these and how they get processed periodically.

1. Create a free text invoice template which looks similar to the standard free text invoice line except for the “Date” and “Customer account “fields. (This is because the invoices can be on different dates being periodic and may be used for several customers also).

Create this under Accounts Receivable > Setup > Free Text Invoices Templates.

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2. Assign the FTI template to customer account in Customer master.

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3. Setup few parameters required for the recurring of the FTI, such as recurring pattern, interval, billing start date, end date, max. cumulative amount etc. as shown below.

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4. The next step is to process the periodic invoicing under AR > Period > Recurring Invoices.

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Beauty about this is the availability of batch functionality for this periodic job. This will make the users worry free and will keep generating the invoices in batches as per the schedule specified. The info log below ensures that the recurring invoice generation was successful.

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5. The next step is to post the recurring invoices under AR > Periodic > Recurring Invoices > Post recurring invoices.

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Note that, this screen will show all the generated invoices and you can see the actual invoice lines by clicking the Lines button. Now validate and post the invoice by clicking Validate and Post buttons.

The info log below shows the successful validation and posting of the invoices.

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Key benefits of the recurring free text invoices functionality:

Before winding up, I would like to mention few of the unique benefits of this functionality in AX 2012.

1. The automatic invoice generation can be run as a batch, which means this is fully automated and invoices are created automatically as per the batch schedule which the user has specified.

2. System has all the validation in place and does not create duplicate invoices of you run the invoice generation process twice manually by chance. Rather, if you have forgotten to run the invoice generation for one month, then system will automatically validate that during subsequent month’s invoice generation and create the previous months invoice also. Pretty NEAT !

3. User has the option to change the invoice amounts in the invoice templates at any point of time if the business requires it.

Very simple yet meaningful functionality. Till next time !!!

Keep DAXING.

Sandeep

An insight to the new and improved Timesheets Management Functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Powerful, Simple, Agile

Hi Friends,

I thought of writing about one of the most talked about enhancements in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 which is the employee timesheets functionality in Project Management and Accounting module.

Recording the employee’s times(hours) and expenses is one of the key processes in any services industry today, especially the IT consulting and Management services firms. These firms always look for a timesheet management system in the ERP system which they evaluate for their organization which can make it efficient and easy for their employees to enter their timesheets and expenses.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 empowers the professional services industries with a powerfully simple employee services portal refered to as the Enterprise portal which is based on the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 foundation server, one of the most successful products that MS has released ever.

Now let us discuss about the various capabilities and improvements of the Timesheet system in AX 2012.

Few of the pre requisites for the timesheet functionality to be working are as below.

  • Setup timesheet periods. ( Ax 2012 supports Daily, Weekly, Bi-weekly, Semi-monthly and Monthly etc. periods for registering hours/times).
  • Setup the project management setup for the workers. ( Employees and Contractors).
  • Create required user relations.
  • The project management and accounting module setup. (Projects, activities, categories, line properties etc.).

Assuming that all of the above required setups are done, employees of the organization can log into the employee services portal and start entering timesheets.

The Home page of the employee services portal displays role tailored information depending on the user profile/role which is assigned to the employee.

When an employee/contractor who has system administrator role logs into the enterprise portal, the screen looks as shown below. This shows all the various capabilities and functionalities present on the enterprise portal of AX 2012.

Employee Services Portal

However, assuming the case of a typical service industry/IT consulting services industry, where employees (both salaried and hourly based) deal mostly with timesheets, expenses and their approvals, I have customized a role to prepare the employee services portal to look as below. Ax 2012 provides the flexibility of customizing the enterprise portal content the way you want it.

Role customized Employee services screen - AX 2012

Timesheet Management functionality Highlights in AX 2012:

  1. Provides flexibility for defining different timesheet periods depending on need.

Timesheet Periods

2. Timesheets overview screen displaying details of exiting timesheets.

Timesheets Overview Screen - AX 2012

3. Option to set timesheet favorites/favorite lines and functionality to load timesheet lines

these from favorites.

Timesheets Favorites Management

4. Option to create new timesheet by copying an existing timesheet (Previous).

Copy timesheets Function

5. Setup delegates for timesheet submission, who can enter timesheets on your behalf in

your absence and manage your timesheet delegates and timesheet favorites right on the

web enterprise portal.

Manage Timesheet Delegates

6. Record time on each individual task/activity or the project by entering suitable internal

and external comments for the description of the work. Week summary to date fact box

which displays the total number of hours entered in the week.

Timesheet Entry Screen AX 2012

7. Employees will have to spend less time in entering comments for each line with the consolidated comments entry screen.

Consolidated Timesheet Comments

8. Automatic workflow can be setup for timesheet approval/review. When timesheets are

submitted, they  get automatically assigned to the respective reporting manager’s queue

for review.

9. Print your timesheets right from the enterprise portal.

Print Employee Timesheets

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Apart from the timesheets management functionality, the enterprise portal  in AX 2012 provided several other powerful business process capabilities and this will definitely help every organization in a very great deal.

Till next time !! Keep exploring. 🙂