What are Dimensions?

Along with The Chart of Accounts and Posting Groups, Dimensions could be considered part of the backbone of this ERP system. Dimensions are a colossal feature, with excellent capabilities and one of the biggest reasons businesses chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. But what are they?

Dimensions are “values that categorize entries so you can track and analyze them on documents, such as sales orders.”

Essentially, they are data tags that you add to the financial entries in your system. They allow you to group and categorize data for analysis. For example, your company’s Financial controller may want to analyze the expenditure for each department. So, instead of setting up separate general ledger accounts for each department, they can set up a department dimension.

 

For each dimension, there will be several dimension Values. These are the different possible values for any dimension you can add to your financial entry.

career shutterstock 1239724990 scaled

Dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a tool used to help categorize data – if there is something you wish you could report on, it could probably be a dimension.

 

They make it simpler to perform analysis on your data. For example, categorizing your data enables users to get an in-depth look at their company’s financials. They are a categorization or data tag that can be associated with your financial entries in the system.

 

Dimensions consist of Dimension Values. A Dimension Value is a “subcategory” or a “tag” attached to data to conduct meaningful analysis. A Dimension can consist of any amount of Dimension Values.

 

Click here to read more about working with Dimensions from Microsoft – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-ca/dynamics365/business-central/finance-dimensions

Where can Dimensions be used?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central uses Dimensions in journal entries, documents, budgets. Dimensions can be used with the transactional headers and or line level.

Dynamics screens

Why Use Dimensions?

Dimensions inside of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provide excellent detail of your company’s financial picture allowing you to make more accurate decisions for your business.

Woman business success

What are the benefits of Dimensions?

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central there are 4 critical benefits:

  1. Streamline chart of accounts
  2. Set Default Dimensions
  3. Restrict Dimension Combinations
  4. Retire Dimensions if they become obsolete or create new dimensions without making a chart of account change.

%

Companies use cloud based ERP

What types of Dimensions are there?

In Business Central, there are two main types of dimensions: global dimensions and shortcut dimensions.

auto mechanic success
  1. Global Dimensions — the most critical dimensions for your business. Unfortunately, in Business Central, you can only have two global dimensions, and they are located on the same table as your master records.
  2. Shortcut Dimensions — allow for six additional analysis categories, called shortcut dimensions, which you can assign to other categories relevant to your business. These are mainly used as filters on journals and document lines.

Although Business Central can only have two global dimensions and six shortcut dimensions, the dimensions themselves are entirely customizable. It is up to you, as a company, to determine your worldwide dimensions. When it comes to shortcut dimensions, the number you may have is six, but you don’t have to use all six straight away. For example, you need to set up three shortcut dimensions if you only need three when you first start, and you may add more as needed. It’s also up to you to figure out what they’ll be and how you’ll put them to use.

What are Account Schedules?

Account schedules are tools we can use to arrange accounts listed in the chart of accounts in ways suited for presenting information about those accounts. You can set up various layouts to define the information you want to extract from the chart of accounts.

 

Business Central allows users to export their account schedules into Excel quickly as a Microsoft product. In addition, exporting them directly into PDF to attach to an email as a report pack is also possible.

 

Account categories can be used to alter the appearance of your financial statements. The underlying account schedules for the key economic reports are updated once you set up your account categories in the G/L Account Categories box and choose the Generate Account Schedules action. New totals and subentries are added based on your changes the next time you run one of these reports, such as the Balance Statement report.

 

We use Account Schedules to get visibility into the financial chart of accounts data stored in Business Central. As a result, reports like income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows are generated. Account Schedules aren’t quite as old as Business Central. Because Business Central is based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, those familiar with or have worked with NAV may already be familiar with Account Schedules. Because Account Schedules are accessed and used directly within the Business Central program, report creation relies on proprietary code, layout, and formulas.

 

You can use the sample account schedules provided by Business Central or create your rows and columns. Account schedules, for example, can be used to compute profit margins based on dimensions such as departments or customer groups. Unfortunately, while you can construct as many account schedule financial statements as you desire, they are only available within Business Central unless and until they are manually exported to Excel using an export option.

Watch Dimensions in action

We love dimensions so much that we needed two webinars to go over all of the great features that this powerful reporting tool has available. Our team of experts will demonstrate how to set up dimensions and some great tips along the way too.

Why We LOVE Business Central Financial Reporting: Part 1 Dimensions

In the webinar we will answer these questions: 

What are dimensions? What are the benefits of dimensions? How do you create Examples of Dimensions How do create different Dimension combinations? What are the Default Dimensions? How do you make corrections to a Dimension?

Why we LOVE Business Central Financial Reporting: Part 2 — Account Schedules

In the webinar, we will answer these questions: 

What are Account Schedules? How can Analysis Views enhance my reporting? We will wake through what an example report looks like by using Dimension to slice and dice data. These reports will give you in-depth information on how your business operates and where gaps might exist.

Ready for Digital Transformation?

Explore the Microsoft Dynamics business application platform and transform how you do business.

  • Learn about D365 Business Central (Cloud – ERP)
  • Explore D365 Customer Engagement (Cloud – CRM)
  • Discover Power Platform to build and automate low-code business solutions.
  • Discuss how the TruNorth Dynamics team and Microsoft Dynamics platform can solve your unique business problems.

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 

finance shutterstock 725895037 scaled

Microsoft Dynamics 365 isn’t just one thing, but rather a vast array of technology solutions that enable companies to advance their business in a wide variety of ways. Microsoft Dynamics 365 isn’t just one thing, but rather a vast array of technology solutions that enable companies to advance their business in a wide variety of ways. Unify data across the organization connecting people with continuous insights so that every decision, every action moves you closer to your vision. Having a new world of possibilities can be a bit overwhelming.

Read more…