What’s New in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 (Video)

During this recorded webinar, we highlight 5 new financial features that are planned to release in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1.

Topics discussed during this session include:

  • General Ledger Entries Dimension Corrections – 2:20
  • Bank Reconciliation Improvements – 18:30
  • Streamlined Bank Statement File Import – 19:40
  • Default Dimension Restriction Settings – 29:40
  • Payment Reconciliation Journal Improvements – 33:05

To see all complete list of all the new features, please see Microsoft’s documentation about What’s New and Planned for Dynamics 365 Business Central.

During the Q&A portion of the webinar, we mentioned our Tenant Management blog and recorded webinar. Please see the following links to see view those resources: Tenant Management in Dynamics 365 Business Central blog and our 15 minute Tenant Management in Dynamics 365 Business Central (Video) recorded webinar.

The intended audience for this video are Dynamics 365 Business Central users, Dynamics GP customers using the EP-CSP offer, and Dynamics NAV users.

Contact us if you have any questions about new features in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Transcript below:

Tess: Hello, everyone, and thank you for taking some time out of your schedule today for our “What’s New in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1” webinar. My name is Tess and I’m the facilitator today. Before I pass it over to our presenter, I want to remind you that if you have any questions during the webinar, please type them into the questions area in the control panel on the right-hand side of your screen. And we’ll answer those questions at the end of the presentation. This session will be recorded and shared with you after the event. So I’d like to introduce you to our presenter today, Will Haber who is a solution specialist on our Dynamics 365 Business Central team here at Encore. So, Will, I’ll pass it over to you.

Will: Thank you, Tess. So today, what we’re gonna be going over mainly is what’s new, and like the new features that I wanted to highlight in Dynamics 365 Business Central, the Release Wave 1 of this year. So, before I get into it, there’s a few different features that I really wanted to highlight on the financial side. To kind of get a better aspect and a better overlook in, to what the new features are that Microsoft is focusing on and how they can be applied to your environment. So let’s get into it.

So the first or the main five features that I wanted to go over today is one, the general ledger entries, there’s an ability to correct dimensions now. Two, there’s multiple bank reconciliation improvements that they’ve outlined. Three, the streamlined bank file import the statement file import, so you can now map your bank statement File Import feature and functionality. You can also do the default dimension restrictions. Microsoft has made that available for code mandatory features on dimension for default. And I also wanted to highlight the payment reconciliation journal improvements that they’ve made. Now, it’s something that a lot of customers…we don’t really see, typically a lot of customers utilize that. But it is something that Microsoft is focusing on. So I just wanted to highlight that there.

So now to get into the features, so basically, the general ledger entries, dimension corrections. So I’m gonna go into my business central demo environment and kind of show you how each one of these features work. So, for example, if I have a sample transaction here in the general journal, but I’m gonna go into business central and actually show you how it works. So this is my version 18 Sandbox environment. And I’m gonna go over to the general journal.

And we’re gonna go ahead and post a few transactions with specific dimensions. So right now we have in this general journal, we have a payment made to a vendor, for example. I’m going to add the vendor Fabrikam, for example, in the demo environment, a payment of $300. I’ll add an additional line for a different vendor. So we’ll do Worldwide Importers. And we’ll do a $250 payment.

And so what we can do now is we can actually look at the dimensions right here. So essentially, this is basically where you can view the different dimension codes and how you can correct them. Well, this is the beginning of how you can enter the dimension. So, for example, in this department, I have three different dimensions, I’m gonna do the admin dimension, and for a large company and the customer group. And I’m gonna do a different dimension here, sales and for a medium-sized company. So I’m gonna go ahead and put a balancing account here as well, just so we can balance out the costs. Actually, I just…and I’m gonna preview the posting. So we have to add a balancing account here. So that’s what I was adding before. So we’ll add an accrued interest account for both of these. And within that, I’ll add the dimensions over here that we were gonna specify here. So we can get some dimensions on our transaction.

Okay, so now we have on the posting preview, we’ll actually see if these dimensions will post through. So I’m gonna go ahead and post these transactions in real-time here. So it’s been posted. So now when I filter these dimensions in the general ledger entries, so the second step is once the transactions are posted, let’s say I wanted to correct, for example, for one of the transactions, the sales for a medium-sized company. I wanted to create a sales admin for a large-sized company, for example, I didn’t wanna have those dimensions tied to that second transaction. So what I can do is I can go to General Ledger Entries. I’m gonna go ahead and filter for those transactions, so it’s the posting date. And so the transactions that I wanted to filter to are right here, so I’m gonna actually filter to the balancing account of $13,300. So that’s the balancing account over here, right here $13,300. So we have two transactions here.

So the first thing to look at is when you wanna like do, a dimension correction, you can look at the entry. And you can look at Correct Dimensions. So what this will do is this will open up a page for dimension corrections. And it’ll basically specify your ability to correct dimensions now in the updated version. So when I click this, it’ll basically take me to this specific transaction. But if I wanted to do multiple transactions, for example, I can select all these, go to Entry, Correct Dimensions. So essentially, what we have here is we have the two transactions in the selected ledger entries over here. And these two transactions essentially are going to be tied to these dimensions.

So it gives you an idea of what the dimensions are on each transaction. And so it gives you a dimension changelog here, you can enter a description for the dimension correction. So I’m gonna do Test Corrections on this description. It also gives you a date and time when the change was modified and also when it was created as well, and who modified and who created the dimension. So this is critical and important, obviously for change control. And this will actually have a history table of dimension corrections as to who corrected which dimension, which user corrected which dimensions within the system. You can also update analysis views within this dimension corrections tool. And so at the end of the correction, it will basically update the analysis views if you already have them created for a dimension correction. So if you have any analysis views tied to those dimensions.

So what I’m gonna do here is on the dimension value code of departments, for example. So on the admin and sales right here, so we have two different dimensions. So like, let’s say I wanted to only make sure that these two transactions were under the administration department, what I can do is I can actually change this over here. So the new dimension value code will be administration. So that’s a change. So right now it highlights this line, and it says, “Change the administration.” So let’s say I wanted to change this customer group, this dimension to the medium businesses, for example. I can change the administration, I can also change this to medium. So it pulls up a list of your dimensions associated with that specific dimension code. And you can change it to medium, for example.

I can also leave these as no change to as well. So there’s either change or no change and then the change will be the dimension codes we just specified. The no change will basically leave the dimensions as is. So we have the selected ledger attributes, we have the change of dimensions. So what I can do is I can do one of two things. I can first validate the dimension changes. And by validating the dimension changes when I click that, it’s gonna basically run a job or report that’s gonna validate all these dimension changes and see if they’re okay to actually correct within the system. And if there are any errors, it will be paused. So this will be successfully scheduled. So essentially, that’s validating the dimension changes, right now.

So I go back to the Correct Dimensions. And actually, let me go back to the history of dimension corrections over here. And so right now, currently, this is the table where this would be historical transactions of historical dimension corrections. So right now, I can actually add to this table, I can delete from this table, but I can’t…so basically, a lot of it was dimension corrections, more or less. So within the dimension corrections, if I decide to actually correct the dimensions, instead of validating the dimension corrections, what I can do is I can go back into Dimension Corrections, I can do the same dimensions, same description as well. I can do the business group…well, actually, no, not the business group, the customer group and the department. So the customer group, what that’ll be, is that’ll be medium in this case. So just to verify those dimensions. So we’ll change that to medium, and then, for the department, we will actually change this to admin.

We’ll go ahead and change that to administration. So now we have these two-dimension correction changes. So now what I can do is, I can actually run this dimension correction. And when I click Run, it’s gonna open up a window. And it’ll basically open up the maximum amount of attempts to run, the earliest start date and time. So right now I’m gonna select because my system date is 1:12, I’m gonna run it for 1:12 p.m. on April 13. And so I’m gonna run immediately. And so what that does is it immediately runs if it has three attempts, more than three attempts, it’ll actually, it won’t run anymore at that point. But it’s at…the maximum number of attempts to run is three and duration, it can last up to 12 hours total for the report, but the report runs pretty quickly.

So now we go back into the entries. We go to History of Dimension Correction. And so right now it’s actually scheduled to run. So if I go to Correct Dimension so this one was changed to medium. And so essentially, what I can do is now, it should populate the actual entries of the history of the dimension corrections once I ran it. Let me try that one more time actually. Change to medium, change this to large, change this to admin, and then so essentially, I will go ahead and… So there’s a couple of different things you can do here as well. You can add related entries as well. But I’ll go ahead and actually run this for now. If I run this… Actually, let me…

All right, so bear with me one moment here. I’m just gonna go ahead and review the dimensional corrections.

Okay. So I’m gonna go ahead and test the corrections again. I go ahead and validate these changes.

So I’m gonna go ahead and select these. Go ahead and correct dimensions as well.

Okay. So essentially, this is what creates and generates an entry. I think the reason why it was actually not running before, is because I didn’t select the actual date time in the future that was running the job, because that’s like the current time, it wasn’t actually running the report. So I go ahead, and I click Edit here.

So this actually changes the dimensions to Large and Admin. So this was completed. So essentially, what I can do is I can either undo this dimension change if I want to, and I can actually look back on the actual dimensions. And I can look at the dimensions themselves and see that there’s admin and then there’s large as well. So they currently created this dimension correction. So the way you can do controls around this is that you can actually have historical changes of changelogs of what the dimension corrections were, who created them. And it’s an entry table essentially. So they have all the dimension changes, they have this modification, they will have when it was created, when it was run, and what the changes were on each dimension. So that’s essentially the feature, the first feature I wanted to highlight and really go over.

The second major feature that I wanna go over and this is the bigger portion, of what the improvements were done by Microsoft, was the bank reconciliation, functionality, improvement. So in order to start with bank reconciliation, I wanna go to my Bank Account Reconciliations. And so I have a couple of different bank account reconciliations here, one for my checking, and one for my savings. So right now what I can do is there’s a couple of different things that I wanna highlight here, the checking account and the savings account.

So if I go into the checking account for the bank statement, there’s a few different things that I really wanna highlight. So the bank account ledger entries, you have this standard bank account statement that you can actually view and look at the total balance, the last statement balance, as well as the statement ending balance. You can also look at the bank statement lines which are currently blank.

And so one of the major features that Microsoft introduced was the ability to customize your bank statement import through a bank statement import wizard. And this Bank Statement Import Wizard will actually map your bank statement import, so that when you click Bank and Import Bank Statement, it now has the ability to map to a CSV file or a flat file when you import your bank statement into the reconciliation. So what I mean by that is, if I go to the Bank Import Export setup, and I go over to… I have a couple of them mapped ready. So essentially, the ones that I had mapped was a Test Check Bank Import and these two bank imports over here, but if I go to Actions, and I go to Bank Statement File Format wizard, what this is, is essentially when I click on it, it’s a wizard. It’s like an assisted set up within the system. And you can actually download a bank statement file like a sample one by standard. And so if I click this, it downloads for me a CSV file, and what I need to map my transactions to look exactly like this when I’m testing my bank statement file import.

So essentially, this is what the file would look like. So we would want to have a date, the account name. The sort and account number isn’t as important for this file. The amount and the description are really what’s very important as well. So the account name, the amount, and the date, because those are the three fields, and also the transaction… Well, the transaction details would be more important in that case, because the transaction details are the description. So what I mean by that is, when you’re going through the assisted setup, there’s three fields that you really wanna lookout for, the date, the amount, and the description. Because those are the fields that you’re gonna map to when you’re doing your import file.

So if I go back into Business Central, I can go through the assisted setup, I’ll click Next, you can upload a bank statement file. So I’m gonna go ahead and upload one. And so I have this file. So I’m gonna go ahead and upload that. So it’s successfully uploaded. So now I can define the bank statement layout myself. And I click Next. So the header lines are skipped. So what this means is, the first part of the setup is that there’s a header line, if there’s headers on the data you wanna define this as one here. And basically what that means is there’s one header row and then there’s all the data that it contains underneath it.

So in my case, there’s one header row. So I’m gonna go ahead and do one. Some files, they have just data involved with the bank statements and what the bank gives you. So we’re gonna go ahead and choose zero in those cases. So there’s no header lines to skip it. So go ahead and click Next. My column separator is gonna be a comma, in this case, so basically, that’s the comma-delimited file, the CSV file that we’re referring to. And in my case, if I look back on my actual file that I’m importing, I get to look at how many columns there are in the file.

So in this case, there are four columns, as denoted by the file. So what I can do is go back to the Business Central, and I can define this as four. I click Next. The date column, this is what I’m gonna need my file open for. So the date column, as we can see, we can put them side by side, the date column right now is one, the amount column is four, and the description column is three, so it’s gonna be one, four, three.

So we go ahead and click Next. These are the column numbers, date format. Now, this is where it gets interesting. So essentially, there’s a couple of different date formats here that I want to kind of bring to light and bring to note. So essentially, within the bank statement file imports, there’s different formats that the dates can actually take, and dates can actually have. In most Canadian banks, where the bank statement file is gonna be set up, it’s gonna be lowercase. In this case, the format will be four lowercase ys, a capital M and a lowercase d. And so this is basically just defining the date format of what your transaction dates are.

So in this case, it’ll be a dot, the European format would be a comma in this case, so it’s a little confusing in terms of how it’s defined within the date format and the decimal separator. And so this is the key section that you really wanna focus on and pay attention to because this is where a lot of people or a lot of mappings can be misconstrued and can be definitely affected by the date format that you enter here.

I go ahead and click Next. Now, I’m gonna go ahead and test the bank statement file import, I’m gonna go ahead and upload, test the import. So it’s gonna give me a preview of what the actual bank statement is gonna look like. So it’s right now successful because there’s no red on any of the columns. So it will successfully import. So I go ahead and close this. And click Next. And now what if I was to define a bank account that this was linked to, I can give it a custom name, and I can link it to my existing bank account. So I’m gonna go ahead and not do that just because I already have it linked to a bank account. But essentially, this is how you can set up your file mapping within your bank statement import. And feel free to ask me questions after the webinar in terms of this because this is a very critical, I think this is a very important feature that I wanted to highlight.

So go ahead back into the Bank Account Reconciliation. So I already had this set up, I’m gonna go ahead and go into the reconciliation. So in the reconciliation, I’m gonna go to Bank, Import Bank Statement. And so I’m gonna select the file to import. So my first file that I have, that I want to import. And so based on the mappings, it’s actually gonna import that file that we just previously looked at. And so it imports into the bank statement line. And so this is how you can set up the mapping behind the bank statement import in a more streamlined way, instead of having a data exchange definition where you have to manually go into the data exchange and update that. This is kind of an assisted setup for that.

So there’s a couple of different features that I wanted to highlight as well on the Bank Account Reconciliations. There’s one main feature in general, on the bank account statements, the ability to undo a statement, that I think is very powerful if you post a bank account reconciliation that is incorrect for whatever reason. So if I go ahead and go to a statement here and so now you see on the top, I have the ability to undo, I have an Undo button now available. And this Undo button, what it’s gonna do is it’s gonna actually reverse the bank account and create a new reconciliation with the same information that I had before posting. And that bank statement that is right here, this will be deleted.

So if I go ahead and go Undo, and I click Yes, this will be removed from this list. And it’ll bring me to the bank account reconciliation of statement number, 29 in this case. So this is the reconciliation that was removed, or that was undone. In this case, you have that ability to look at the bank account reconciliation, and you can undo a bank statement to get to a bank account reconciliation that you wanna repost, essentially.

So now I go ahead and go back to Bank Account Reconciliations. So let’s go ahead and go back to that page. And there’s a few more features that I really wanted to highlight over there. So there’s a feature called or the feature to change the statement number. So in this case, when this would be useful is let’s say you have a statement number that’s out of sync, or that’s out of order. Or you for whatever reason you wanna change the statement number on a bank account reconciliation, Microsoft now gives you the ability to do so.

So if I go ahead and Action and go to Change Statement Number, I can change this, for example, it pre-populates with the current statement number. And I can select a new statement number, let’s say it’s 31 in this case. I click Okay. And it automatically updates that statement number that I was on to 31. And this is a pretty powerful feature as well. They’ve really worked on the bank reconciliation and the file import improvements, Microsoft has, within the past update.

So the next feature that I really wanna highlight is related to default dimensions. And so within default dimensions if I go back to the customer, for example, and I pick a customer here. Let’s say customer number 10,000, I wanna populate. And I go back to the dimensions, like the related customer dimensions over here. So what this is now, this feature is, for the area dimension, for example, I have the dimension value code of 70. If it’s set the code mandatory, what Microsoft has allowed you to do, is it allows you to enter the allowed dimensions or the range of dimensions that you can allow on a transaction.

So, for example, this is set to 70 as a default, and this is from America, like North America and South America. But if I were to have a European dimension, what this system would do essentially is like, let’s say I wanted to have a Europe north, for example. So I go ahead and go 30 here, it’s gonna throw an error, essentially. And so what this error is, is it’s saying that this dimension area is not allowed for this customer, because of the allowed values in the filter.

And that’s very key and critical for posting transactions, and for also setting default dimensions. So for example, if I change this back to 70, here, now this is within the range of allowed values. So if I go ahead, and I go to a sales order a sales invoice associated with this customer, and I try to post a transaction that’s outside of that range of allowed values, it’ll throw an error as well upon posting. And so that’s the critical part of this feature, and this is something that I would definitely encourage you to explore further. So, for example, if I add this, and just set up an invoice… If I go to related invoice dimensions over here, and I change this to 30, for example, it won’t throw an error on the actual. You can still change the dimension, Microsoft allows you to but when I go ahead and preview the posting over here, I’ll update the lines as well. And I go to preview posting, they’ll actually throw the error upon preview.

So this is the error. And this is where it’s associated with the allowed values filter. And so that was the filter over there, it gives you a link as well to go to support and see what the actual dimensions like the error, essentially “dimensions used in the invoice are invalid,” and it gives you a link to go ahead and edit that as well. So that’s the fourth change that I wanted to highlight here.

The last change that I really wanted to go over is the Payment Reconciliation Journal. And so if you utilize this feature, they now give you the ability to apply entries in the payment reconciliation journal to employee ledger entries. So if you’re using employees, if you have ledger entries that are associated that you wanna apply payments to for your bank, it now gives you the ability to do so. So in this case, there’s the process, if I do a manual application, or if I do apply automatically as well, I have the ability to apply for these entries from the bank to employee ledger entries.

So in this case, I’m gonna go ahead and go to my ledger entries over here. And so essentially, there’s a, I had a payment of a refund, let’s say for $100,000 to this employee, Jim Olive, and if I go to the account name, it’ll pull up the employee list. So it’s basically pulling up the employee ledger entries associated with Jim Olive, so this is the employee card of Jim Olive in this case. And this is pretty powerful because if you’re utilizing employees and you wanna apply payments against those employees using the payment reconciliation journal, you now have the ability to do so. So those are the main features that I kind of wanted to go over. There’s probably a few questions in terms of how those features impact the system functionality. So let me go ahead and hand it over to Tess. And thank you, guys.

Tess: Thanks, Will, yes, if anyone has any questions, please submit them into the control panel on the right-hand side of your screen and we have about 10 minutes to go over them. One question that’s come in, Will is are all of these a few features available now? Or are they available between now and October? How do we access them?

Will: Great question. So they’re available essentially when your environment updates to version 18. And I think that’s the latest update of the Release Wave 1. So once your environment is updated, either it’s gonna be updated automatically to the new rollout. And it should be available, I would say by end of the month. So be on the lookout for those changes.

Tess: That’s great. Thank you.

Tony: And I was gonna add we do have a blog post, as well as an accompanying video on our site that talks about how to manage your updates. So if you wanna try and get that update sooner to that version 18 with these new features, definitely, if you take yourself there to our blog on tenant administration, you can actually try and pick the day that you’d like this update to be applied. And you can apply it to your Sandbox before it goes to your production as well. So like I said, there’s a blog post on our website that kind of walks you through that tenant management piece to help get these features potentially sooner.

Tess: That’s great. Thanks, Tony. So no other questions have come in. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the Release Wave 1, Will, before we close off today?

Will: Yeah, so there’s essentially a link that I wanted to share. It’s essentially over here on this page. And so this basically will give you more information as to what the application improvements are on that new release. So, for example, you have different application environments or just different application improvements. So for example, assisted setup, there’s a lot of different changes that are actually available to you within the new release updates and the new release versions. So I would definitely encourage you to explore the Microsoft documentation associated with these different changes. And, yeah, that’s about it. That’s what I have.

Tess: That’s great. Thank you. So before we go, if you could go back to your slides, I just have a few things to cover before we wrap up today. So we have some upcoming webinars that…all those look like some older webinars, but that’s okay on our events page, that I’ll put the link in the chat pane where you can see our events going into May. And then if you go to the next slide, there Will, thank you. I’ll just put a link for our subscription preferences where you can opt-in to receive emails about our events, and/or our monthly newsletter, training opportunities, and product and service enhancements. And as well as a link for our Encore Care Support, and just more information about Encore Care Unlimited. So thank you, everyone, for joining us today. And thank you, Will, for sharing those five new features. And I hope everyone has a great day. Thank you.

Will: Thank you.

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