Part 2: How to Reap the Benefits of Dimensions in Business Central - Catapult
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Part 2: How to Reap the Benefits of Dimensions in Business Central

Now that we have gone over the basics of what Dimensions are and how to set them up, we can dive right into some of the real benefits from Dimensions in Business Central. For this part, we will look into Dimension restrictions and how they can aid in your data consistency. In the final part of this series next month, we will get into using Dimensions for reporting.

In Business Central, there are a few different ways to use Dimensions to apply posting restrictions. For this, we will look at Dimension rules on G/L Accounts, Default Dimensions and Dimension Combinations. All of these can play a valuable part in maintaining the data consistency needed to get the most out of your financial data.

For G/L Accounts, there are 3 types of rules we can apply:

Rule 1

Same Code = You can choose a Dimension Value for a Particular Dimension that has to be used when posting to a particular G/L Account. (Note: You can select 1 Dimension Value for each Dimension per G/L Account).

Example:

G/L Account: 62540 – Telephone Expense.

Rules: Department – Admin – Same Code

Division – Operations – Same Code

This means when posting anything to the Telephone account, you must have the Department set to Admin and the Division set to Operations to ensure all advertising expenses go to the desired Department and Division.

Rule 2

Code Mandatory = This means any Dimension Value for the specified Dimensions can be used, but a Dimension Code must be entered, it can’t be blank.

Example:

G/L Account: 61100 – Advertising Expense.

Rules: Department – Marketing – Same Code

Division – Code Mandatory

This means that, like above, Department must be set to the specified Department. This means that all Advertising postings must go to Marketing, however, the Division can change depending on what Division the Advertising expense is for, a Division just has to be entered.

Rule 3

No Code = When posting to the specified G/L Account, no Dimension Value for the outlined Dimension can be entered, it must be blank.

Example:

G/L Account: 65270 – Office Supplies

Rules: Department – Admin – Same Code

Division – No Code

This means all Office Supplies must have the Admin Department entered. However, we don’t want the cost of Office Supplies showing up against any of our Divisions, so we set it to ‘No Code’ to specify that it must be blank.

The next type of Dimension restriction we will look at is Default Dimensions. This is where you add a Dimension to a Customer, Vendor, Job or Resource card. You can add the same rules as above, or just enter a Dimension and Dimension Value with no rule (The reason I recommend no rule on these cards is to avoid a clash of rules with the G/L Accounts). This means whenever the card is used (IE Customer Card gets entered on Sales Invoice) the Dimension Value will be populated to the Value set on the card.

Example:

Vendor: V10005 – Telus

Rules: Department – Admin

Division – Operations

This means the Department and Division will be automatically populated on the Purchase Invoice for your phone bill.

The final Dimension restriction we will cover is Dimension Combinations. This is where you can block the use of Dimensions or specific Dimension Values. This is great when you have Dimensions that are only used for specific things.

This means that to use an Engineering Code, the Engineering Department must be entered. Engineering codes are blocked against all other Departments.

All of the rules and restrictions covered above play a role in ensuring that the appropriate data tags are attached to all of your financial entries. This consistency and accuracy is hugely important to maximize the reporting benefit of Dimensions that we will cover in the final piece of this Dimensions series. If these rules are not in place, then you will be missing data at the reporting phase and this then carries less value for your stakeholder’s decision making. Keep an eye out for our final Dimension piece to see how Dimensions can give you far more insight into your reporting!

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