Microsoft Dynamics 365: Improving the Accounts Receivable and Collections Process

When it comes time to choose an ERP system, you have a number of options. Microsoft Dynamics 365 should be one of your top contenders. Why is that?

Dynamics 365 features better accounts receivable and collections procedures. Those in turn allow you to get paid faster, so you can improve your planning, budgeting, and cost management processes.

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Financial Dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

As you are surely aware the financial dimensions in AX 2012 are a bit more complex than in previous versions. Recently I was asked to fetch a description of the custom financial dimension value. Values and descriptions of financial dimensions can be found in various tables in the system depending on the dimension type. If the dimension is designated to use values from an existing table, all the financial values can be found in that specific table. On the other hand, if the dimension is designated to use values from the Custom dimension, the user is required to provide the set of values with their descriptions to be used as a custom list.

All the custom values are stored in the table named DimensionFinancialTag. Following you can see the simple method which returns description for a custom dimension value. The example shows the relations between tables responsible for custom financial dimensions.

/// <summary>
/// Find description for custom financial dimension value
/// </summary>
/// <param name="_dimensionValue" />
/// Financial dimension value
/// </param>
/// <param name="_dimensionAttributeName" />
/// Dimension attribute name
/// </param>
/// <returns>
/// DimensionValue description
/// </returns>
/// <remarks>
/// Only for custom financial dimensions
/// </remarks>

public static Description findDimensionValueDescription(DimensionValue _dimensionValue, Name _dimensionAttributeName)
         DimensionFinancialTag dimensionFinancialTag;
         DimensionAttributeDirCategory dimensionAttributeDirCategory;
         DimensionAttribute dimensionAttribute;

         select firstOnly Description from dimensionFinancialTag
         where dimensionFinancialTag.Value == _dimensionValue
         join DirCategory from dimensionAttributeDirCategory
         where dimensionAttributeDirCategory.DirCategory == dimensionFinancialTag.FinancialTagCategory
         join RecId from dimensionAttribute
         where dimensionAttribute.RecId == dimensionAttributeDirCategory.DimensionAttribute
         DimensionAttribute.Name == _dimensionAttributeName;

         return dimensionFinancialTag.Description;


Adding Dimensions to Columns in Financial Reports

Did you know that it is possible to create statements with financial dimensions expressed in different columns?

I recently discovered this interesting feature of Microsoft Dynamics AX while I was trying to help a customer with financial reporting focused on different financial dimensions. In our situation, the client is a medical institution with multiple clinicians on staff. The client needed statements calculated per each clinician so they can compare financial results during certain periods of time. For this client, Clinicians are custom made financial dimensions.

As in every other statement, the date intervals and raw definition have to be defined prior to creating the statement. Once defined, we have to generate financial statements and define their basic structures (General ledger>Setup>Financial statement>Financial statement). In the upper pane of the screenshot below, you can see that we give the statement a name and description – and then we can connect it to primary and secondary dimension sets (in this example, we only used primary dimension sets).

In the lower part of the screen, we can create columns that are going to show up on the statement we print out. In this client case, we set the account number in the first column and the account definition in the secondary column. Now, in our next three columns (or more), we can add our clinicians (or dimensions). For each of those columns we choose current as Column type and setup desired time intervals in setup tab.

After the statement structure is created and the columns that will present dimension data are defined, we can go ahead and add dimensions to them (General ledger>Reports>Transactions>Financial statement). The first tab is Financial statement tab, and under Identification we chose the financial statement we created before, and add to it the dimension set and row definition.

Under the columns tab we choose one of the columns we setup before (in General ledger>Setup>Financial statement>Financial statement). Click on the "Select" button in the upper right corner.

A new window will open. The upper pane is a graphical representation of tables and their connections. In lower pane we can add the desired dimensions to the chosen column (in our case that was one of clinicians). First we have to pick the Field (custom made dimension – Clinician) and then the Criteria (desired clinician to be represented in that column).

This is a great feature to compare and review different dimensions and it can be a great resource when creating complex financial reports.