Transactions flowing through a company’s general ledger (GL) may stem from varying sources and are specific to certain lines or types of business. Stakeholders often need to analyze statements, statistics and reports that contain more detail than the summary financial statements. This detail can be tracked and managed using individual dimensions or combinations of dimensions.
By using dimensions, you can analyze trends and compare various characteristics across a range of entries. You can define as many dimensions as your company needs, and you can define an unlimited number of dimension values for each.
You can use your defined dimensions on entries in journals and documents, as well as in dimensions-related reports and batch jobs. We’ll continue our series on dimensions in Dynamics 365 Business Central by reviewing some important points to consider prior to configuring the dimensions.
- Global dimensions are the most accessible.
You can choose up to eight dimensions to store with your GL entries. These eight can be found in most ledger entry tables. The first two dimensions assigned are referred to as “global dimensions”; the other six are called “shortcut dimensions.” The main difference is global dimensions are carried on the actual ledger entries and posted document tables. All remaining dimensions will be stored in separate tables, while global dimensions are in both places.
- Shortcut dimensions are used to streamline data entry.
Shortcut dimensions can be assigned directly to journal, sales or purchase lines. They also can be assigned to master data, e.g., customer, vendor, item, etc.
- Dimensions can be set at a master record level and flow to transactions.
As mentioned above, dimensions allow us to track additional detail on GL entries. Dimensions can be assigned by the user at the time of transaction entry, but they also can default down to the transaction automatically if the master record used has default dimensions assigned.
- Dimension combinations security is open, but it can be restricted.
When you initially set up your dimensions, all dimension values are valid with all other dimension values by default. However, users can put restrictions on associations using the Dimensions Combinations function. Dimension combinations help control accuracy when dealing with dimensions, as they can prevent you from combining dimensions that don’t belong together and from posting something that doesn’t belong where it’s being coded.
- Dimensions can be configured with built-in totaling.
Designing your dimension structure can be as simple as listing individual dimension values, or users can leverage the built-in subtotaling functionality. Creating a structure from the dimensions allows for subtotaling on reports according to the defined structure, as well as simplifying the dimensions in the system when viewing reports.