How to Assign Default Dimensions to GL Accounts in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Default dimensions in Dynamics 365 Business Central can help you categorize and track your G/L accounts. Assigning default dimensions to your G/L accounts will save time on entries, as well as maintain consistency.

With default dimensions, your dimensions will be automatically assigned when transactions are entered, or you will be thrown an error message as a reminder to attach the specific dimension before posting.

I will show you how to assign default dimensions to your G/L accounts and how they are applied in purchase invoices.

Creating Default Dimensions

Begin by navigating to the Chart of Accounts under Finance and Chart of Accounts. Alternatively, you can search for this in the search bar at the top-right of your screen.

Screenshot in Finance & Operations highlighting "Finance" and "Chart of Accounts".

In your Chart of Accounts window, you can begin selecting the accounts you would like to assign dimensions to. Next, click the three dots on the top menu bar and select Account, then Dimensions-Single:

Screenshot in the Chart of Accounts highlighting the elipsise and "Dimensions-Single".

Note that Dimensions-Multiple is used if you select more than one account and want to assign the same criteria to all of those accounts.

Default Dimensions Criteria

Within the Dimensions-Single page, there are a few areas that you will need to fill out.

Screenshot in the dimensions-single page highlighting the options menu.

Dimension Code: here you will enter the dimensions itself.

Dimensions Value Code: enter a value if applicable.

Value Posting: here you have a few options:

Screenshot in the G/L account highlighting Value Posting drop-down options.
  1. Blank: if you leave Value Posting blank, it will not present any restrictions on what can and cannot be selected.
  2. Code Mandatory: a user must select any of the dimension values permitted within the specified dimensions. An error will appear if the dimension is not selected prior to posting.
  3. Same Code: the dimension code and dimension value must be indicated, and the GL account will require both when this specific GL is selected. This sets the default values and makes them a required value.
  4. No Code: the dimensions would be considered blocked. A user cannot opt to add the dimension or dimension values on a specified criterion.

In the example above, I have entered the department code as well as the admin value code, but no value posting. I will go over some account examples with different requirements:

For my miscellaneous expense account, I have DEPARTMENT as my dimension code and Code Mandatory as my value posting:

Screenshot of a G/L account with dimensions populated.

For my depreciation expense account, I have the value posting as Same Code, BUSINESSGROUP as my dimension code, and OFFICE as my Dimension Value Code:

Screenshot of G/L account with fields populated.

Applying Dimensions to Purchase Invoices

Let’s take a look at how this applies to purchase invoices. Navigate to Purchasing in the top menu bar and select Purchase Invoices:

Screenshot highlighting Purchasing in the top menu and Purchase Invoices in the purchasing drop-down menu.

Begin by entering a new purchase invoice:

Screenshot in the purchase invoices window highlighting "New" in the top menu bar.

In the new purchase invoice window, enter your vendor’s name to populate vendor details.

Note that a red star icon will appear next to all required information.

Screenshot in the Purchase Invoice window highlighting "vendor name" and the red star icon.

Indicate the Type as G/L account:

Screenshot in the purchase invoice window highlighting G/L account as an option value.

Enter your expense number in the No. field and additional information will populate:

Screenshot in the Purchase Invoice window highlighting "No." and "Description" fields.

You can scroll to the right to view additional required fields.

Looking at dimensions or the “Department Code” field in this example, admin has been automatically assigned. This is because the value posting was set to Blank. You can change this, and it won’t present any errors:

Screenshot in Purchase Invoice window highlighting "ADM" code.

When you enter a G/L account that has been set to Code Mandatory for department, you will see that no code has been assigned. In this case, if you try to post it through, an error message will pop up advising that, for that specific G/L account, we need to indicate a department dimension.

Screenshot in the error messages window.

Once a department dimension is assigned, you can preview your posting and no error message will appear:

Screenshot in the posting preview window.

Note that, if you’ve entered a required business group and receive an error message, ensure that the dimension value code is correct.

Once all the errors have been corrected, your purchase invoice is ready for posting.

You can also assign default dimensions to any master records; it is not limited to G/L accounts. It can be added to vendors, customers, items, and more.

For more information about how dimensions and dimension values in Dynamics 365 Business Central can make it simpler to perform analysis on documents, read this blog.

For further details, watch this video:

If you have any questions about your Business Central environment, please contact us.

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