Intercompany Customer Invoicing for Project resources sharing in CU7 and AX 2012 R3

Intercompany Customer Invoicing for Project resources sharing in CU7 and AX 2012 R3

Hello,

Multinational Professional Services firms often share workers between their legal entities to staff the projects with the right skill sets. When the workers of one entity works on the projects of another entity of the same organization, they bill their time and expenses to those legal entities for which they work on the projects.

Microsoft Dynamics AX has introduced several enhancements to this area over the last few releases to facilitate how these business scenarios can be easily accomplished in the ERP solution.

In one of my earlier posts, I explained how the intercompany timesheets and expenses works in AX 2012 R2 CU6. With the release of CU7 and the R3, AX has taken a step forward by enhancing this feature and adding the capability for the legal entities to be able to invoice each other for the resources they share for projects and also allow them to stay true to the compliance and the legal requirements of tax liabilities etc. Until the CU6 release, the intercompany transaction was directly handled in the ledger transactions only and the ledger accounts were updated as soon as the timesheets were posted. In the R3 release with the introduction of this new functionality, the companies can adjust the amount which are charged between them.

In today’s post let us take a look at this new enhancement which has been introduced in the CU7 and the R3 release.

Throughout the demonstration in this post we will consider “USMF” as the Resourcing entity(Lending company) and “USSI” as the Contracting entity(Borrowing entity). Sandeep Chaudhury is a full time employee of USMF, and works on the project of USSI as he has the desired skill set required for the project.

Setup and Configurations:

  • The first thing to notice is the necessary setups which are needed for this new functionality to work. Go to PMA > Setup > Project Management and Accounting Parameters form.
  • Notice the new “Intercompany” tab link which contains the required setup parameters for this new functionality.
  • You can setup the option of ‘Accruing the revenue’ in the resourcing entity for each of the entities to which the resources are lend. When the ‘Accrue revenue’ check box is marked, the revenues in the resourcing company will be accrued immediately when the intercompany timesheet is posted and these revenues will reverse automatically when the intercompany project invoice is posted.

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  • The next setup is to establish the trading relationship between the resourcing and contracting company. This means that the Contracting company needs to be a Customer in the resourcing entity and the resourcing entity needs to be setup as a Vendor in the Contracting company.

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  • The other miscellaneous setup are to setup the Transfer prices and the necessary ledger posting profile for the Intercompany accounts in the resourcing company. You will notice here that there are several sales price models which you can now specify for the transfer pricing between the entities.

Timesheet Submissions and Ledger Posting:

  • Sandeep Chaudhry submits the intercompany timesheet as shown in screenshot below.

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  • Below screenshot shows the voucher transactions and ledger account postings when the above timesheet is approved and posted. Notice that system has updated the “Intercompany cost” and the “Payroll allocation” amounts for each of the timesheets lines and also notice that the “revenue is accrued in the designated ledger account” (marked in screen below) and intercompany revenue is not yet updated. This will get updated when the intercompany invoice is posted.

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  • At this point you will also  notice that there are no transaction created in the “Contracting legal entity” for the Project and the general ledger. The timesheet transactions will appear as Pending Transactions and are not yet posted.

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Intercompany Project Invoicing and End Customer Invoicing:

  • When it is time to bill the end customer, the resourcing company will generate the intercompany invoice to the contracting legal entity and this will automatically create a Vendor Invoice in the Contracting entity. Let us now see how the Intercompany project invoice is initiated.
  • In the ‘Resourcing Company”, go to Project Management and Accounting > Common > Project Invoices > Intercompany Customer invoices.

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  • Click New > Intercompany Customer Invoice to launch the “Create Invoice Proposal” form. Note that this is not the typical project invoice proposal form of the standard Project invoicing process. This is specifically designed for the Intercompany customer invoicing. (This works like a Free Text Invoice)
  • Select the Legal entity and other applicable filters such as Project Contact, Project, Start and End dates and also Select the transaction types which you want to include in this invoice (Hour/Expense/Vendor Invoices) and click the Search button. The below screenshot shows the transactions which for the timesheet for Sandeep Chaudhury which was posted above.

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  • Select the transactions which you want to include in the invoice and click OK button. The system will generate the “Intercompany Customer Invoice” open the invoice details screen. Notice that Customer details are auto populated from the trading relationship which we have setup above.

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  • Notice here that you can Add or remove the lines from the invoice. You can also adjust the amounts (Prices) which are charged between the companies. After verifying all the details of the invoice, Click Post and print the invoice and send it to the Contracting company.

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  • After the invoice is posted, notice that the revenue which was accrued in the resourcing company has now been reversed and the Actual intercompany revenue is updated.

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  • The next step is to verify that system has now automatically created. Navigate to the USSI legal entity > Accounts Payable >  Vendor Invoices > Pending Vendor Invoices.
  • Notice that the vendor invoice for the Resourcing company is automatically created and ready for validation and posting.

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  • Once you validate and post the vendor invoice, the system will also post the Project transactions updating the Project Cost in the Contracting entity and also creating the transactions which can be ultimately billed to the end customers.

Well, this is it for today. Stay tuned and keep learning…Till next time..

-Sandeep

Audit Trial on Project Timesheets Entry and Reporting in CU7 For AX 2012 R2

Audit Trial on Project Timesheets Entry and Reporting in CU7 For AX 2012 R2

Hello Friends,

It has been hectic two months and I have not been able to spend time to write here. Hope you all are up and running on your AX learning curves.

Here I am back today ! and in today’s post, we will discuss about the new audit trial features, which are introduced for the Project Timesheets functionality in the CU7 release for AX 2012 R2.

This new feature allows you to setup audit trials on all the timesheets which are submitted by the workers of your organization by which you can record all the changes which are made by the workers to the timesheets. This new feature also includes the option of blocking future timesheet entries, except for the planned absences of the employee.

Let us now see each of these new enhancements in action.

1. Parameter Controlled: The first step in this is to enable the necessary controls in the Project Management and Accounting Parameters form. You can always choose whether to enable the audit trials or not.

    Notice the various check boxes you have under the “Validation” group highlighted in screenshot below.

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2. Block Future Timesheet Entries: In CU7 and later versions of AX 2012, you can now “Block the entry of timesheets for the future period”. This is a very useful enhancement to have good control over the employee timesheet entries. However, you employees can enter planned absences for the future with this parameter enabled.

  • Go to PMA > Common > My Timesheets and create a new Timesheet for a future period which is 04/21 – 04/27 and then create a new timesheet line for a project except for the planned absences.

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  • Notice that, system will block this with a warning message as shown below.

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3. Validate Absence Categories and Validate Absence: With the “Block future timesheets” enabled, if you do not select the “Validate Absence Categories” check box, then the workers cannot enter future absences in a timesheet for a future period. Notice in screenshot below that with these checkbox marked and worker is able to enter a future absence  for a future period.

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4. Require Timesheet Audit Trial: When you enable only this checkbox, your workers will not forced to enter a Reason for timesheet changes such as Deletion, or editing after Submitting. But, the Timesheet Audit trial will be maintained. This means that if workers update anything in an original timesheet, the audit trial will be stored for future references.

  • In the example below, Julia submitted the timesheet for period 04/13.

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  • The reviewer of the timesheet has rejected the timesheet asking for additional comments on the timesheet lines. Julia then adds  more comments and resubmits the TS.

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  • The Project Accounting Team or the Timesheet Reviewers can see the complete audit trials history of the timesheets by clicking the Manage Versions button on the ‘All Timesheets” list page. System maintains a complete audit trial of the timesheet to track what happened to it since creation.

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  • Additionally, you can also compare the various updates by clicking the “Compare” button to know what exactly was changed in the TS version.

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5. Allow Timesheet Change Reason: When you select the Require timesheet audit trial check box, then you can also select to tell the system if the worker can enter a reason for change when they change timesheet.

  • In the screenshot below, notice that, a new field is shown the timesheet line for entering change reasons, when you enable the “Allow Timesheet Change Reason” parameter.

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  • Workers can enter reasons for changes, but it is not mandatory to enter the reason for change, unless you mark the “ Require Timesheet Change Reason” checkbox.

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6. Require Timesheet change reason: When you mark this, workers are needed to enter change reasons for every change they make to the timesheets.

  • If we Reject the timesheet which Julia submitted above with this parameter enabled, Julia will need to enter a reason to be entered before resubmitting the TS.
  • Notice that when Julia changes the #hours to 4 from 3 and tries to save or submit the timesheet, system gives a warning message asking for the reason to be entered.
  • When the workers enter the change reasons and resubmit, then complete TS history along with the change reasons can be seen in the Timesheet versions form.

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7. Deleted Timesheet History: This new feature also allows to keep complete track of all your deleted timesheets. You can track the reasons why workers deleted the timesheets.

  • In Screenshot below Julia deletes the timesheet as she created it for a future period by mistake. When Julia clicks Delete, notice that she needs to enter a reason.

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  • Navigate to PMA > Common > Timesheets > Deleted Timesheets History list page to see the list of all the deleted timesheets along with the reasons. You can also trace the versions of the timesheet from this screen.

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8. Submitting Timesheets Into a Closed GL Period: Another great addition you will notice is the “Allow Date Corrections On Timesheet” functionality. This allows you to submitting timesheets into a GL period which is already closed or On-Hold.

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  • Screenshot below shows the ledger period 08/01 to 08/30/2013 is Kept “On-Hold”.

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  • When you submit a timesheet for this period and try to post the timesheet, system did not allow the posting earlier and system would block this saying the Period is not open.

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  • With the “Allow date corrections on Timesheets” checkbox marked, you can now post the timesheet, and system will automatically post the ledger transactions into an advanced period which is Open subsequently. However, the Project transaction dates will remain as the original timesheet line dates.

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  • Notice that system posted the ledger transactions automatically to the next period which is Open, i.e. 09/01/2013.

image IMPORTANT NOTE: You might find that the “Project Transaction date” also gets populated with the next open date which is “9/01/2013”. This was an issue in the CU7 release and a HOTFIX  KB 2922713 was released around January of this year. Please make sure you install the hotfix to see the correct results. Well, that’s it for today! Stay tuned.. Keep Reading…

Enhancements to the Project Resource Scheduling Functionality in AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 7

Enhancements to the Project Resource Scheduling Functionality in AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 7

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you found my earlier post on “Enhancements to the project management functionality in CU7” useful. As mentioned in that post, today I will take some time to explain the new enhancements to the “Project Resource Scheduling” functionality in the latest release of AX 2012 R2, which is the CU7 release.

For a professional services firm, the workers of the organizations are the key assets and are also the key sources of revenue generation. When your organization grows in size and number of Projects you manage grows, you ill need effective tools to manage and schedule the workers on projects to ensure that the skilled and most available people are assigned to the project tasks, to ensure optimized cost management and realize better profits.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 provides you with such functionalities under the Project Management & Accounting Module. Let us take look how this functionality has evolved over the last few releases of AX.

  1. Project Roles: The Project Managers can now create “Project Teams” for each project and include appropriate project roles to the team. The project roles/project role templates basically act as pre-defined roles, where you can specify the required competencies such as “Skills”, “Certifications” and ‘Education” for that role, which ultimately will help in the resource search operation for the project.image
  2. Create Project Teams: For today’s demonstration, I have created a sample Time and Material project for a Website development project. Let us now see how the project managers can create the project team by adding project roles. For this project, I will need one software architect,  one Java developer and a QA engineer.
    • Go to the project details screen and expand the Project team and scheduling fast tab.Specify the project start and end dates.
    • Note that these days might not be always accurate, but the PM can specify the approximate start and end dates.
    • Click Add roles button and select all the roles you will need in the project by creating new records. Note that you can specify how many workers you will need in each project role.
    • Reserve workers immediately : If you mark this check box, then system will open the resource reservation form as soon as you click OK button.image
    • See the screenshot below where I have added all the three roles I need in the sample project.image
  3. Reserve the workers for the project: The next step is to find, identify and reserve the most suitable workers for this project.
    • Click the “Reserve worker” button to open the Worker reservations main form.Note that the project manager has several options on this form such as editing the worker competency criteria, search workers by role, by name, department, legal entity.
    • Also they can view the worker’s availability in the specified duration of the project by Days, Weeks and Months. Additionally they get to see the worker’s availability statuses such as ‘Available’, ‘Partial available’, ‘Booked’, ‘Overbooked’, ‘Non-working day’ and ‘Soft booked’ in different colors, with an indicator of what each color means. Screenshot below highlights each of these options.
    • The worker search criteria (Competency) automatically populates from the roles selected, but the manager can always override them on this form.
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    • The ‘Display remaining capacity’ checkbox allows the project manager to see the available capacity of the worker in terms of Hours for each Day/Week/Month.
    • The PM can either hard book or soft book the appropriate workers for the project by selecting the required options on the Hard book > and Soft book > buttons.
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    • In my example I have reserved the software architect, java developer and the QA engineer to their full capacity in the full duration of the project. Below screenshot shows the results after the reservation. The #hours the workers are reserved for the project is now update in the Hours reserved column. Also, notice the color code of availability for the workers now have changed on the Worker reservations form.
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    • Notice that the Hours assigned column still shows ZERO as the PM has not yet assigned these workers to the project tasks or activities (WBS).
  4. Assign workers to the Individual tasks of the Project: The next step for the PM is to do the detailed assignment of the workers (Project team) to the individual tasks or activities of the project on the work breakdown structure form.
    • Go to Plan tab of the project detail screen and click Work breakdown structure button.
    • Select the workers for each of the tasks under the Worker column. The PM can select one or more worker for each of the tasks and assign them.image
    • Notice the Hours assigned column of the project details screen now. It automatically shows the #hours the worker is booked for the project by calculating it from the assignments done in the WBS screen.
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  5. New forms to show project resources and availability: Two new list pages are now available to help the project resource management function.
    • Project resources – This new form under now allows the project managers to see the project resources quickly without having the need to navigate to the HRM module.
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    • This form also allows to view/edit several worker related data such as cost price, sales price, assigned projects, categories, competencies etc.
    • The PMs can also initiate the hard/soft booking of the workers to projects by clicking Hard book or Soft book buttons.
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    • Resource availability: This list page shows one stop snapshot of the worker’s availability, everything at once :). This form also lets the PM to initiate the Hard/bookings for the resources.
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  6. Inquiries: At any time in the duration of the project, the PMs can see the detailed analysis of the resource assignments. Let us see it for one of the workers “Sandeep Chaudhury” whom we booked in the example above.
    • Navigate to PMA > Inquiries > Resource Scheduling > Resource assignment analysis –by worker.
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Well ! That was a pretty long write up !!! But it deserved it :) In my next post, I will explain all the new enhancements in the Project Timesheets functionality in the CU7 release.

I hope you all will find this post useful. keep reading !!

Regards,

Sandeep

Enhancements in the Project Planning Functionality in AX 2012 R2 CU7

Enhancements in the Project Planning Functionality in AX 2012 R2 CU7

Hello Friends,

The scope for enhancements to an ERP solution(In fact any software solution) is always never-ending. And so is the case with Microsoft Dynamics AX. It has been witnessing continuous improvements over the last few releases.

Better project planning is the key to ensure profitable project executions for professional services firms. Today, I will take time to explain the several enhancements which have come with the “Project Planning” functionality in the Cumulative Update 7 release of AX 2012 R2.

In today’s post, let us start with setting up a new project and then setup the project work breakdown structure and then discuss about the enhancements in this area.

In the screenshot below, I have already created a new project which is for a Website development for the CONTSO company.

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The next step is to define the detailed breakdown of the project tasks. Go to Plan Tab and click “Work breakdown structure” button.

Note that Microsoft Dynamics AX seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Project Server so that Managers can manage and schedule their projects in Project server. I will not explain this functionality in this post. Click Here to learn more about Project Server integration.

You will notice that the WBS form now looks completely different and has several new functionalities. We will discuss each of those below in this post.

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You can create tasks for the project work broken down to as detailed as possible. In the screenshot below, I have created the task breakdown for a simple project called “ Website Development”. You can use the options such as “Outdent”, “Indent”, “Move task up” and “Move task down” to create the complete hierarchy of the tasks.

Also, you can set “Predecessors” for each of your tasks to setup necessary dependency of the tasks on each other.

DIFFERENT VIEWS OF THE TASK BREAKDOWN TO HELP PROJECT MANAGERS:

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The above screenshot shows the “Project planning view” of the project task breakdown. Note that there two other views which can help the Project Manager to track the cost and efforts in the project more effectively.

To see the Cost tracking view, click View > Cost tracking view. This view shows a complete snapshot of the project cost tracking details such as “% Cost consumed”, “Actual cost”, “Complete to cost”, ‘Estimate at complete”, “Planned cost” and the “cost variance”.

Cost Tracking View of the Project Plan:

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Note: Since we have not posted any transactions on the project yet, the values for the % cost consumed and Actual cost are shown as Zero.

To see the Effort tracking view, click View > Effort tracking view. This view shows a complete snapshot of the project effort tracking details such as “% progress of the project”, “Actual efforts in hours”, “Remaining efforts”, ‘Effort at complete”, “Planned effort” and the “effort variance”.

Effort Tracking view of the Project Plan:

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Note: Since we have not posted any transactions on the project yet, the values for the % progress and Actual efforts are shown as Zero.

You also have the option of expanding or collapsing the task breakdown view to any level or see all levels with by clicking Expand to Level > Level 1 to 9.

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AUTOMATIC SCHEDULING ASSISTANT:

The options under the Task Scheduling helps the project managers to automatically correct any scheduling conflicts. You can optionally switch ON/OFF the “Automatic Scheduling Assistant”. Keep the Scheduling assistant ON and let us see how it can help to automatically scheduling discrepancies.

Let us change the Effort for the “Planning”  task to 16 hours. You will notice that the Finish date automatically changes to 01/29/2014.

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You can also use the Fix all scheduling discrepancies option to correct any discrepancies in the task breakdown automatically.

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WBS Management:

There are options to export and import the WBS templates.

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Well, this is it for today’s post. In my next post, I will discuss the “enhancements in the “Project Resource Scheduling” functionality in the CU7 release of AX 2012 R2.

Till then…Keep reading.

Regards

Sandeep

Missing Timesheets Report – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Missing Timesheets Report – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I would like to wish you all very happy and prosperous holidays and hope you all are enjoying with your families and relatives.

And, So do I ! I took a long vacation from blog writing and work and had wonderful time with family and I am back again here.

In today’s post, we will discuss a very small report/functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX, which is the “Missing Timesheets Report”” under the Project Management and Accounting Module.

Timesheets are critical for any service industry to be able to invoice their customers effectively on time, as they are the source for the invoices. Making sure that all the employees submit their timesheets on time is very important for the service industries in terms of project management, accountability, invoicing customer and getting paid.

AX 2012 provides a a report called “Missing Timesheets” which tells which employees have not submitted their timesheets for a given period, so that you can communicate with them to make sure the timesheets are in.

Let us take a look at how this is configured in AX and how does it look like.

  1. To begin with, I will need to ensure that all my configurations and setup for worker and timesheets are correct.
  2. Navigate to Workers > Project Management Tab and make sure there is a timesheet period attached to the worker.

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   3. The next step is to make sure that the “Worker timesheet periods are updated along with billable and efficiency hours data.

   4. Go to PMA > Setup > Timesheet > Periods, Select “EmplWeek” and Click Update worker periods.

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    5. Now, the worker “Alan Brewer” has not submitted his timesheets for the week 12/23 to 12/29. Let us generate the Missing Timesheets report and see how it looks like.

    6. Go to PMA > Reports > Timesheets > Missing Timesheets. Let me explain the options on this report.

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    Period Code: Select the timesheet period code for which you want to generate the missing timesheets.

   Start date: Select the start date of the Week/Bi-Week(Depending on what is your timesheet period).

    All Employees: Mark this check box if you want the report to list all the employee who have already registered their hours.

    Send e-mail: This check box misleads by its name. It does not really send email to the employees for whom the timesheets are     missing in the given period. For me, this is limitation and you could write custom code (Will not be complex) to send emails.      When you mark this check box, the “E-mail sent” column will show “YES” if the an email id is setup for the worker in the worker     master and will show “NO”, if there is not email ID.

   7. Finally, let us see how the final report looks like.

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   See that, Alan Brewer is listed in the report, as he has not submitted his timesheet for the week 12/23-12/29. Also, there is no email ID specified for Alan, so the “Email   Sent” column shows “No”.

When you write the custom code to send emails, you could also set this report to run automatically at end of every timesheet period, so that the report can be automatically sent to the accounts receivable team for their action for follow ups and also an automatic email can be sent to the employees directly asking to submit timesheets.

NOTE: Please see the conversation below between myself and KK, where he says the CU 7 now has the functionality of sending emails. This means that you will no more require to write custom code for this. Thank you KK for providing this information.

Thats it for today’s post. Till next time !!!

Lifecycle Services for Microsoft Dynamics – More Control over your ERP implementation from Presales to Go-Live

Lifecycle Services for Microsoft Dynamics – More Control over your ERP implementation from Presales to Go-Live

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services provides a cloud-based collaborative work space that customers and their partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects from pre-sales to implementation and operations.

Based on the phase of your project and the industry you are working in, the site provides checklists and tools that help you manage the project. It also provides a dashboard so that you have a single place to get up-to-date project information.

Click HERE to get started.