Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Traditionally, the 2 primary methods of revenue recognition for a fixed price project were the “Completed Percentage” and the “Completed Contract” methods. I have explained how these work in Dynamics AX for revenue recognition of fixed price projects in my earlier posts.

With the AX 2012 R3 release (CU 10), the straight line method for revenue recognition was introduced, which I also elaborated in this earlier post.

When you work with the Completed percentage method of revenue recognition, there are multiple ways to determine the percentage completion of a project. Some of these options are,

  1. Manage percentage completion on a manual basis
  2. Use project budgets or forecasts to the system automatically keep track of % complete.
  3. The new method to calculate % completion on a project is based on the WBS percent complete. In this quick post, we will how this works.

The first step for this is to setup the Cost template and select the Completion based on as “Work percentage complete”. See screenshot below.

Cost Template Setup

Once you have that, associate it with the project group. See screenshot below.

Project Group

The next step is to setup the fixed price project and establish the project plan, which is basically the work breakdown structure. Once you have your WBS defined and the cost estimates established, Dynamics AX will automatically keep track of the “Percentage completion” for the project based on the WBS estimates vs the actual transactions. I have setup a very basic WBS for this walkthrough.

WBS

After I have progressed in the project and transactions (Timesheets, Expense reports, Purchase orders, journals etc.), Dynamics AX automatically starts tracking the % complete for the project at each task level of the project. See screenshot below.

Percent Complete

Let us say, at this point you are ready to run the revenue recognition for this project for the Month of August 2016.

Navigate to the Project revenue recognition screen and click Create. You will notice here that “Work progress percentage” is a new option under the “Cost to complete method” dropdown. But we will just leave it as default (From cost template).

Notice that after we have run the revenue recognition, system automatically shows the Percentage completion based on the WBS work percent complete.

Revenue Recognition Percentage

The process after this is pretty straight forward and as you would run the revenue recognition typically for the fixed price project.

NOTE: The intention of this blog post was not to explain the end to end process of revenue recognition for fixed price projects. I have explained these in detail in my earlier posts. This post was specifically a quick tip to highlight the new method of automatic work percent complete calculation.

Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics AX Workspaces

Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics AX Workspaces

Social media today (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer and more) are probably the most important as well as primary source, for one to stay up to date on news , information, updates on what is happening the professional world. Viewing and managing these social media feeds and social media intelligence right in your ERP on which your users spend most of their time on a workday, can open up tremendous new ways of approaching to work for those users and will also help them in certain business decision makings sometimes. That is not the end of it !

In the post below, Murray Fife explains how to make sense of adding and managing these feeds in the Dynamics AX workspaces. A good read!! Thank you Murray.

With Update 1 of Microsoft Dynamics, a new feature was introduced which allowed us to inject social feeds into the Workspaces. Initially this was just for Yammer and Twitter, but with Update 2, LinkedIn was also added as additional feed options, allowing us to add tiles for User Profiles, Company Profiles, Company Insider information and […]

via Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics Workspaces — A Tinkerers Notebook

MasterCard partners with Microsoft to streamline secured online payments in Dynamics AX ERP

MasterCard partners with Microsoft to streamline secured online payments in Dynamics AX ERP

Today MasterCard announced the integration of it’s “Simplify Commerce” solution, a cloud based payments platform, with Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution.

Existing and future customers of Dynamics AX can now take advantage of this to streamline their online and call center payments and will get access to one system that connects their end to end planning with online commercial sales.

Read more on the news HERE.

Regards,

Sandeep

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

 

 

 

Dynamics AX Tip: How to Personalize forms and workspaces in New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Dynamics AX Tip: How to Personalize forms and workspaces in New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Hello Readers,

Until AX 2012 version, personalizing the forms and adding/removing data fields on them was a very important and widely used feature used by customers.

This quick post will help you understand how “Personalizing” looks in the new Dynamics AX. Let us take a look one by one.

When you are on a form or a navigation page in the new Dynamics AX,  you can bring up your favorite Personalize options using the “Right click > Personalize:Form section” option. For example, I navigate to the Accounts Receivable > All Customers > Customer Details form/page > General fast tab and right click on it.

How to add a new data fields on a form/page:

  • Navigate to the form that you want to Personalize.
  • Right click > Personalize: Form section, i.e Personalize:Customer

Personalize Form

  • Click + Add a Field to load the field list form.

Add a field

  • Select the data fields you want to add and click Insert button.

Select Data Fields

  • Another way of adding a data field on a form is to select “Personalize this form” option after right click and Personalize.
  • Note that you can also launch the Personalization pane by navigating to Options > Personalize this form button.

OptionsPersonalize

Personalize this firm

  • Click the + button to load the data field list form. Select the data fields you want to add and click Insert button.

Personaliation Pane

How to change properties of a data field:

  • Once you are on the Personalize form screen, select the “Arrow’ button to enable the property changes for various data fields on the form.

Data Field Property

Data Field Property 1

Hide: Mark this to Hide the selected data field on the form.

Include in Fast Tab Summary: Mark this to show the value of this data field on the Fast tab header summary of the fast tab, under which the data field is present.

Skip in Tab key sequence: Mark this to skip this data field on the tab key sequence.

Don’t edit: Mark this to block editing of this data field.

For example, let us mark the Include in fast tab summary for the  Classification group field and see that it appears on the fast tab Summary.

Data Field Property 2

How to rearrange or move around data fields on a form:

  • Once you are on the Personalize form, select the MOVE option on the Personalization pane and just drag and drop fields to move them around on the form as shown in screenshot below.

Rearrange Data Field

How to show/Hide data fields on a form:

  • On the Personalization pane, Select the Hide/Show button.
  • Now mark the data fields that you want to Hide/show.
  • If you had already made a field hidden, when you try to Hide/Show next time on the form, you can see those fields as marked for Hidden.
  • For example if I want to hide the ABC Code field hidden on the customer details form, I can mark that and upon refreshing the form, the field will be hidden.

Show Hide Data Field

How to add fields to show on the collapsed fast tab summary:

  • On the Personalization pane, Select the Summary button.
  • Now mark the data fields that you want to add to the fast tab Summary when collapsed.
  • For example, I have added the Language data field on the General fast tab.

Add Field to Summary

How to change the display name of a data field:

  • On the AX form/page on a specific data field, right click and Personalize.
  • You can type in the name that you would like to see as the display label for the data field.

  • For example, I have renamed the Search name field to My Search Name on the Customer details form.

Change Display Name

How to block editing of a data field:

  • On the form Personalization pane, click the Edit button.
  • Mark all the data fields that you would like to be shown as Non-editable fields.
  • For example, on the Customer details form, I want the Classification group field to be shown as non-editable.

Block Editing

Block Editing1

How to Reset/Clear out all my Personalization:

  • If you decide to clear out all your form/page personalization,  click on Manage > Clear button on the form Personalization Pane.
  • Reload the page.

Reset Personalization

Reset Personalization1

How to add form data as a Tile onto a workspace:

  • You can also add a filtered data view, i.e. data on a particular form as either a Live Tile or as a list on any workspace you like.
  • For example, I can add the Timesheets for my review as a Live tile to the Manager Self-service workspace.

Add to workspace

Tile on MSS

Additionally, you can also Import and export form personalization using the Manage > Import/Export option on the form Personalization pane.

Export Import Personalization

So, that’s it for today’s quick tip on the new Dynamics AX !!

Regards,

Sandeep

What is New in Business Intelligence in the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

What is New in Business Intelligence in the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP has evolved over several versions starting from AX 2.5, AX 3.0, AX 4.0, AX 2009, AX 2012 and all the way through the New Dynamics AX (Aka AX 7). In each of these versions, this ERP from Microsoft , has undergone several changes and enhancements in terms of architecture, technology, depth of functionality and support for industry verticals etc. The journey from the Client only AX 3.0 version to the fully web enabled version (The New Dynamics AX) has been phenomenal.

As the technology behind the application kept on evolving, so did the Business Intelligence (Analytics) framework for each of these mentioned versions.

In this post, we will discuss a little bit on the evolution of Analytics/Business intelligence framework in Microsoft Dynamics AX and we will also discuss about what are the various Analytics options we have in the most recent release, which is the New Dynamics AX.

The picture below shows a quick snapshot of the evolution of analytics framework in Dynamics AX.

image.png

In the initial releases with version 4.0, the concept of “Perspectives” was introduced which basically presented the ERP data schema to the end uses in a format, that they can use to build analytics. In AX 4.0 the SMDL Model along with the SQL Report builder was primarily used for business analytics building.

Then in AX 2009, Microsoft introduced the SQL Server Analysis services, which basically had the SSAS Projects/ CUBE Projects built for all the major areas of the ERP applications. These CUBES were then utilized to show data on the various pre-built dashboards on the role center pages. In AX 2009 you could also use Microsoft Excel to connect to the SSAS server and then build your own analytics.

In AX 2012, the SSAS Cubes framework was taken a step forward and Microsoft basically used the same technology and concepts, but developed several additional dashboards for the various role centers that were shipped out of the box. One of the major enhancements to the analytics framework in AX 2012 was done by introduction of Power View. Using Power View, you could simply leverage the analysis cubes and build dashboards, graphs, charts, tables, bars and any sort of analytics you wanted.

In the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (Aka AX 7) the analytics framework has evolved further and much better. In the new Dynamics AX, analytics can be primarily of 2 types.

  1. Real time built-in analytics on the workspaces
  2. Power BI analytics and integration with Dynamics AX.

1. Real time built-in analytics in the Work spaces:

Starting with AX 2009 till AX 2012 R3 release, most of the out-of-the-box analytics were contained in the Role center pages, which was basically the Home/landing page for the users when they launch AX client or Enterprise portal. In the new Dynamics AX, you will see something called as the “Workspaces”. You could compare workspaces with role centers, but the work spaces are designed keeping in mind a more process oriented approach.

  • The built-in analytics comes out of the box , as part of standard AX across various workspaces covering all major modules.
  • You can customize these further and create your own analytics in any of the workspaces.
  • One of the examples of such analytics is present under the Cost Administration workspaces. You can find these across all major business areas in the new Dynamics AX.

Cost Admin Dashboard

  • You can furhter click on the analytics to drill down on data right from the analytics and research the data further.

Drill Down.jpg

  • You also have additional option of presenting the data on the analytics by different parameters. For example you can view Top 10 Production variances by Production order number or By Produced Item Name.

Dashboard Options.jpg

  • Below screenshot shows all other workspaces that are available out of the box in the new dynamics AX which has built in real time analytics built-in.

Other Workspaces

2. Power BI and integration with Dynamics AX:

The second (and I think the most powerful and hopefully will be widely used too) analytics option in the new Dynamics AX is, the integration with Power BI, which is Microsoft’s business intelligence platform.  Below are some of the key highlights of the integration of Power BI and new Dynamics AX.

  • You can use Power BI Online to build complex data analytics from your Dynamics AX database. Using Power BI online, you can also connect to Azure SQL Server data base and build your content packs and  publish them with required permissions.

PBI Online

  • You can use Power BI Desktop app and also mobile apps to connect SQL server database of your Dynamics AX application and then build any analytics. For example, the screenshot below shows a simple analytics of sales by customer groups. I have built this using the CustInvoiceJour table. You can use the advanced reporting options of PowerBI to build complex queries and joins.

PBI Desktop 1

PBI Desktop 2

  • After creating analytics in Power BI Desktop, you can publish them into the Content packs in Power BI online.

PBI Desktop 3

  • Once you have your content packs are ready, you can Add power Bi analytics as tiles onto the workspaces in the new Dynamics AX.

Pin Tiles to AX

Auth PBI to AX

  • With the RTW release of the new Dynamics AX that was released during the Technical Conference (Feb 23rd to Feb 25th), Microsoft has released a few Pre-built Power BI Content packs for Dynamics AX (Primarily around Retail and Finance areas) that customers and partners can leverage for reporting. Partners can also build their own Content Packs as their intellectual properties, and make them available for consumption by customers. To access the Pre-built content packs provided by Microsoft for the RTW release of new dynamics AX, Sign in into your Power BI online account, Or launch Power BI desktop app.

PreBuilt Content PacksLong enough  post !!!! Smile

Note that this was not a Power BI specific blog post. I just wanted to highlight the key business intelligence options we have available in the New Dynamics AX and a very brief on how Power BI looks to be treated as a first class citizen inside the new Dynamics AX for BI and reporting. Stay tuned for future posts on How to build analytics for Dynamics AX using PowerBI and how to consume Content packs published by Microsoft or other partners.

Till then….Have a great time !!

Regards,

Sandeep