Dynamics NAV \ Business Central – Thoughts on the Direct Costs Applied and Purchases Accounts


One thing I’ve noticed when posting Purchase Invoices with Inventory items in Dynamics NAV \ Business Central are the additional distributions to the Direct Cost Applied and Purchases accounts?

I’ve never been quite sure what the Direct Cost Applied account is, and when I’ve looked into it, I can’t find much information out there either. While researching for a previous post (here) a theory struck me for why the system might be posting to this account. Therefore, in this post I’ll detail my thoughts as to why Dynamics NAV \ Business Central posts to the Direct Costs Applied and Purchases accounts when posting Purchase Invoices using Inventory Transactions.

Purchase Invoicing in Dynamics GP

Firstly, I’ll go back to my roots – let’s see what distributions Dynamics GP creates when posting a Purchase Invoice with an Inventory Item. In this example we are receiving the Item and posting the invoice at the same time. Dynamics GP calls this a Shipment \ Invoice.

Dynamics GP – Shipment\Invoice Distributions

As you can see the distributions created are as follows:

Debit: Inventory

Credit: Accounts Payables

Debit: VAT

This would also create one General Ledger Journal in Dynamics GP (G/L Register is the NAV\BC equivalent) with one Source Document (Source Code is the NAV\BC equivalent).

I’m not an accountant but this makes sense to me. We bought something for £6 so we have a Credit postings to Accounts Payables. We have increased our Inventory so we have a £5 Debit to Inventory, and finally a Debit to VAT.

As this is not an expense invoice there are no P&L implications at this point. We will have Cost of Goods Sold postings when we sell the item.

Purchase Invoicing in Dynamics NAV \ Business Central

When I post a Purchase Invoice for an Inventory Item in Dynamics NAV \ Business Central the distributions created are below. (*Please note I have Automatic Cost Posting switched ON in Inventory Setup)

General Ledger Entries – Purchase Invoice – Automatic Post to GL switched OFF

There’s a couple of things to note here. Firstly, there are two more distributions when compared to Dynamics GP. We have distributions to the Direct Cost Applied account (7191) and the Purchases account (7110). Secondly, some GL Entries have a Source Code of PURCHASES and others have a Source Code of INVTPCOST.

Why the extra distributions?

If we dig deeper and go to the G/L Registers for this Purchase Invoice we can see the system has created two separate G/L Registers.

This G/L Register for the PURCHASES portion of the transaction:

G/L Register for PURCHASES

And this G/L Register for the INVPTCOST portion of the transaction

G/L Register for INVPTCOST

The system has created two G/L registers because in Dynamics NAV \ Business Central you can defer the INVPTCOST portion of the GL postings via the “Automatic Cost Posting” option in the Inventory Setup.

Because of this each of these separate G/L Registers needs a balancing entry in order for the debits and credits to balance and the posting to work. In the case of the PURCHASES G/L Register of the transaction the 7110 Purch, Retail account is used and for the INVPTCOST G/L Register the 7191 Direct Cost Applied account is used.

One Possible Conclusion

Based on these findings one theory I have for the postings to the Purchases and Direct Costs Applied accounts when dealing with Inventory Items is to accommodate the Automatic Cost Posting option in the Inventory Setup. (the ability to defer the posting of the Inventory portion of the transaction). It could also be because for other aspects of the costing engine that I haven’t delved into yet.

If this option didn’t exist, and Inventory postings were always posted in real time, I can’t see why there would be a need to post to these additional accounts.

This is just an observation. I have no clear evidence to back this up. I’m just a Dynamics NAV \ Business Central newbie wondering why this works differently to Dynamics GP.

Above all I’m here to learn so if there are other reasons for the additional distributions I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading