Dynamics GP Vs Dynamics 365 Business Central – Account Segments and Dimensions

Introduction

This is another blog in a series I’ve been writing comparing functionality in Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

In this post I’m looking at account segments in Dynamics GP compared with dimensions in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

The configuration of Dimensions and Account Segments can become quite a in depth subject, so in this post I’m just going to briefly outline what I regard as the basics in both products.

**Please note you can extend the analysis in Dynamics GP with Multi Dimensional Analysis (MDA) or Analytical Accounting (AA) which I won’t cover in detail in this post. For example you might require additional analysis for a particular project which can be achieved with MDA or AA.

Dynamics GP – Account Segments

Dynamics GP supports a traditional account structure using account segments to describe a General Ledger code. You can create a maximum of 10 segments and the combination of those segments is the General Ledger code itself. For example in the demo data that accompanies Dynamics GP the General Ledger account code is comprised of 3 segments. This is shown below in the “Account Format Setup” window:

In this configuration there’s a “natural” segment, or main segment, and then there’s segments for “Division” and “Department”.

These additional segments can be named in the “Account Segment Setup” window.

Therefore the GL code below of 300-6170-00 can be described as the Repairs & Maintenance code for the “Sales” department. (the Sales department being department 300)

As I’m used to this configuration I do find reporting off the back of this configuration quite easy, however I’ve found one drawback is if I want to create a new department I’d tend to create this for all combinations of the natural code, so could end up with lots more codes that might not be used.

Dynamics 365 Business Central – Dimensions

In Dynamics 365 Business Central the main account code is made up of one segment, which is the natural code, and additional dimensions are created for analysis.

You can create a maximum of 2 Global dimensions and an unlimited number of shortcut dimensions.

Global dimensions are special as they are stored on the ledger entry tables so can be used to easily filter and analyse data throughout the system whereas shortcut dimensions are stored in a sub table.

For example below is a GL code (6110) from the Cronus data in Dynamics 365 Business Central which is a Sales Code described in one segment.

I can then assign dimensions at Customers/Suppliers/GL Code level to add my extra analysis. For example I’ve assigned the dimension “Customer Group” to the customer below with a value of “Large”. (you can also edit the analysis prior to posting)

Now when I post a transaction for this customer the dimension analysis will be posted onto the Ledger Entry tables for the transaction so you can perform additional analysis. (** As mentioned above Global dimensions are stored on the main Ledger Entry tables and shortcut dimensions on a sub table)

If I was replicating the demo company account setup from Dynamics GP I’d have the natural segment as the GL account, and two dimensions. One for the department and one for the division.

There’s also the flexibility to make the dimensions mandatory, require the same default code to be used, or have no code entered.

Finally, you can also set code mandatory or defaults at the table level for speed of setup. For example, I could setup a default for the customers table, so all customers require analysis. i.e. below I’ve set the system so every customer needs analysis to the CUSTOMERGROUP dimension

Conclusion

I’m used to the account segments in Dynamics GP, so seeing and using dimensions did take a little getting used to. However all in all dimensions offer great flexibility and if used correctly can keep the chart of accounts clear and concise.

Thanks for reading!

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