New Features and Functions in the latest Dynamics AX

The global launch of the new Dynamics AX is set for March 9th and registration is now open. In terms of Financial Management, there are plenty of new features, functions and value adds for AX 7. Read an excerpt below from the blog AX for ERP sharing some of the new and changed financial features:

  • Account structures simplified: Creation of account structures has been simplified in AX 7 and an option to export the account structures to Microsoft Excel is provided. Previously, the creation of account structures is a bit complex and export to excel functionality is not supported. AX 7 also supports viewing all the advanced rule structures and ledgers associated with an account structure at a single place.
  • Journal entries through Excel: This is a considerable relief for many. The AX 7 comes with an app for Microsoft Office. This allows the users to make the entries in excel itself. There is an option available in within the General Journals namely “Open lines in Excel”.
  • Simplified terminology for Item Posting profiles: The technical jargon for the item posting profiles setup such as sales, inventory, purchase and production (in AX 2012) are done with. The new terms used in AX 7 are very simple and directly on to the point and easy to understand from the finance posting perspective.
  • Closing sheet adjustments & closing transactions: The Trial balance list page in AX 7 provides an option to view the closing sheet adjustments and closing transactions in separate columns. This is in a way helps the finance team to better report the adjustments.
  • Layouts for Budget Planning: Previously the budget planning layouts are not available within AX 2012. The user needs to export the budget plans to excel and view information in the required layout. AX 7 provides an inbuilt feature where in the user can create custom layouts on the go as desired for budget plans and view them both in AX 7 (and also in Excel).
  • New Module for Taxes: The taxes are consolidated into a new module and separated from General ledger section. This is a good move. However, there is glitch in the groupings. A new grouping namely indirect taxes is created. Sales Tax & Withholding tax setup is grouped under Indirect taxes. Withholding Tax is not an indirect tax and this grouping seems to have been done with limited foresight. A subject Matter Expert must have been consulted for this new grouping before release of the preview version. Let us hope that Microsoft changes this grouping before the product releases in March.
  • Management Reporter (rechristened as Financial reports): AX 7 has the Management reporter embedded within itself and is renamed as “Financial reports”. a separate integration to MR (Installation of MR & Data mart related stuff) is not required any more unlike being done in AX 2012. However the designer is still required to edit or design a report. The Web based MR means wide availability of reporting and enables reversed tracing to transaction origins.
  • Filters for Financial reports: The MR reports (now rechristened as Financial reports) come with filters for financial dimensions, attributes (ledger reasons, journal & voucher numbers), scenarios (Actual, cash flow forecasts) and dates. This is a considerable value add, previously this has to be pre-defined on the report design itself.
  • Vendor Invoice transactions report includes detailed due day list: AX 7 has a report for Vendor invoice transactions that includes detailed due days. Previously in AX 7 these were 2 separate reports and if a customer requires it as a single report, the partner needs to customise this as per customer’s requirement.
  • Changes to Workflow: The workflow is no more a yellow ribbon in AX 7. It comes as a button within the button grid with the options to Submit, recall, approve etc.
  • Changes to Organization Hierarchy chart: The newly refurbished Organization hierarchy chart comes with tile view and we can view the chart with calendar date and effective date perspective.
  • Reports generation in PDF format: The regulatory reports are now available in PDF formats as well. The report can directly be generated as PDF. Previously users need to generate the report on the screen and later on export it to PDF. Now this extra step can be avoided.
  • Sales Tax settlement process as a batch: A batch job can be created for the sales tax settlement process. This will be helpful to automate the settlement process. This will be especially helpful for bigger entities having large volumes of transactions. They can schedule a batch to run in the background to complete settlement, thus saving a user’s time.
  • Workspaces: A new concept is introduced in the AX 7, where in users have their workspaces with all the respective content for a user role available on the home screen. The user can perform all his tasks from the workspace. These workspaces are available module wise as well. Some of the important workspaces for finance users are Budget Planning, Ledger Budgets and forecasts, General journal processing, Fiscal year closing, Customer & Vendor Invoicing, Vendor payments etc., and new workspaces can be customised based on requirement.
  • Improved PowerBI for financial data analysis: The AX 7 provides a function namely “Monitor financial performance”. This is linked to the PowerBI content pack “Dynamics AX – Financial performance”. This eases the deployment of PowerBI into ax for creating powerful financial analysis dashboards.
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