How to Do a Journal Entry in Dynamics 365 Business Central (If You’re Used to GP)

Many of the Microsoft Dynamics GP customers I talk to are starting or considering a transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central. And one of the main questions I hear from customers is how to do the basic functions you’re used to in GP in Business Central. So below, I’ll show you how to create a journal entry inside Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Overall, the good news is that the interface and the basic concepts are similar, with one big difference (dimensions vs segments).

Now, a lot of journal entries will get done for you automatically by Business Central’s system (just like GP). For instance, when you post a payment or a receipt, Business Central will handle the journal entry on the backend for you.

But sometimes, you will have to do journal entries manually or with an Excel import. I’ll show you both methods.

How to Manually Create a Journal Entry in Dynamics 365 Business Central: 4 Steps

In this case, let’s imagine we want to enter a travel expense — maybe one of our salespeople flew to New York for a meeting with a client.

1. Navigate to the Journal Batch

Within your chart of accounts, you select Journals.

Select Journal Batch inside Business Central Chart of Accounts

Then you can select General Journals and then the journal batch. In this case, we’ll use the default journal batch.

2. Choose Account

And then in the big pop-up window you choose the account number from the dropdown list.  You can also enter it manually, much like in GP.

Select Account from Dropdown

3. Add Dimensions

At this point, we could post the transaction without any additional steps. However, our company needs to track expense by department. We want to know if it’s sales, support, or some other team racking up the travel expenses.

We’ve got the ability to use dimensions in Business Central to assign that. In GP, we have a segmented chart of accounts. Business Central has a dimensional chart of accounts. To learn more about dimensions, please see our Dimensions in Dynamics 365 Business Central blog article.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with our customers about this — how powerful a dimensional chart of accounts can be. It allows us to analyze our data a lot more efficiently than a segmented chart of accounts.

So, once you’ve got the account and the amount selected, you can click this option here to assign a dimension:

Navigate to dimensions

Then you’ll get another pop-up in which you can choose the dimension. The dimension code in this case would be department.

Select the dimension code from the dropdown

And then the dimension value code would be sales.

Select the dimension value code

4. Post the Journal Entry

Then you can press the close button in the bottom-right corner of the Dimensions pop-up, so you can see the General Journals pop-up in full again. Once you’re there, just press the Post button on the left-hand side.

Post the journal entry

And that’s how you’d manually post a journal entry in Dynamics 365 Business Central.  Now if you were to open the detailed trial balance, you could see our transaction posted there.

See trial balance

How to Use Excel Import to Create a Journal Entry in Dynamics 365 Business Central: 4 Steps

Next we’re going to do the same task but via an Excel import with Office 365 integration.

In this example, we’ve purchased a packing machine and some supplies for it.

1. Navigate to the Journal Batch

The first step is the same. Within your chart of accounts, you select Journals, General Journals, and select your batch.

2. Select Edit in Excel

In the General Journals pop-up window, you choose the account number from the dropdown list.

And then on the General Journals pop-up, you choose Edit in Excel.

Choose Edit in Excel

That opens up a specially prepared Excel sheet for Dynamics 365 Business Central journal entries, like this:

Journal entry Excel sheet

That calendar will pop up on the right hand once you highlight the posting date (in the first column on the left). Then you can select your posting date.

3. Enter All the Data in Excel

Then you enter all your data in the appropriate columns. This will include your batch number and your dimensions. Not all of the many columns are mandatory, and you may want to hide some of them in Excel for easier navigation.

4. “Publish” the Changes

When you’re done, just click the “publish” button on the right near the bottom. Note that in an Excel import, when you “publish” the changes Dynamics also “posts” the journal entry to the account.

You’ll get a little pop-up confirming your changes. Double-check that, then click “Yes.” Then you can minimize or close the Excel window and go back to look at your batch.

Business Central Journal Entry Review Batch

And that’s it! You’re done.

For other ‘how to’s’ in Dynamics 365 Business Central when you’re used to Dynamics GP, check out the following blog articles:

Contact us if you have questions about Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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