Blogiversary Top 20 (#9) Where can I learn more about NAV analysis reports and analysis by dimensions?

We’re celebrating our one year blogiversary by reposting the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year, as determined by you, our readers! Follow this link to see the entire list. Enjoy!

Analysis reports and analysis by dimensions are the native reporting options that extend NAV reporting to the item ledger entries generated from the sales, purchasing, and inventory areas of the application. I find that many users don’t know that this reporting option exists and think it is one of the more underutilized areas by NAV financial users.

These reporting options can be found on the general ledger, sales & marketing, purchasing, and inventory menus.

The main advantage this reporting tool has over account schedules is that it reaches a further level of detail that just isn’t recorded on the general ledger. Being able to get to quantity information at the item or location level in addition to the dollar values posted makes these tools great as a way to get operational reporting.

What is the difference between the two?

Analysis by dimensions is a query tool. The key to using this tool effectively is to use aggressive filtering, especially if you have a large number of items. It can be a very quick way to get information about what may be going on with a single or small group of items. You can also export to Excel and it shows up in a pivot table.

Analysis Reports allow you to configure and save row setups and column layouts for later use, which makes it a reporting tool. These reports work a lot like account schedules, with some added features to accommodate the additional data you can reach because you’re reporting against the item ledger entry tables instead of the general ledger.

A few hints on analysis reports and analysis by dimensions:

  • Skip the analysis report on the general ledger menu and use accounts schedules; you’re not going to get any added value here.
  • When posting sales or purchase orders, you must be fully utilizing the sub module, i.e. do not allow any posting of lines to general ledger accounts on the sales or purchase order documents. Any posting that goes “around” these modules will cause your analysis report to show a lower number than what is on your general ledger. Avoid the argument of reporting credibility by understanding this, and either being able to explain the variance, or prevent it from happening altogether.
  • Know that analysis reports will not automatically update if you add new items. You’ll need to go in and do this manually to each report every time you add new items.

For those of you who are looking for more resources on Analysis by Dimension and Analysis Views, reference the documents below, found on Customer Source:

Documentation => User Guides => Overview of Training Manuals and Hands-On Labs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009

  • Trade in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 – Chapter 9
  • Business Intelligence for Information Workers in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 – Chapter 5

Documentation => User Guides => Overview of Training Manuals for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0

  • Trade in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 – Chapter 10
  • Business Intelligence for Information Workers in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 – Chapter 6

Blogiversary Top 20 (#16) Tips and tricks for a flawless budget load in NAV

We’re celebrating our one year blogiversary by reposting the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year, as determined by you, our readers! Follow this link to see the entire list. Enjoy!

Hopefully, you’ve completed your budget work for 2013 and all you need to do to finish is to load all that information to NAV so you can begin to report against your actual financial numbers. If you’ve done this before, you might already know that NAV’s budget tool can be a bit fussy and also a bit cryptic about why it won’t accept your carefully prepared data. Here are four quick tips to help you with getting that data into NAV quickly, correctly, and in one try.

1.  Export first, then import. This is the single most important detail about getting budget data loaded into NAV. You can choose to export an existing budget or even choose to export a blank new budget. Exporting a budget as your first step establishes a working template you can populate your data into, including dimensions. As long as you start with this template, you are already most of the way there to a successful NAV budget load.

budgetload

2.  If you’re using dimensions, validate your data against the provided drop downs. Make sure all budget lines that use dimensions are only using valid dimension names. Any deviation from the allowable values that already exist in NAV can cause your budget load to error out or load without balancing.

budgetload2

3.  Clear the formats from your numbers. Once you’ve copied and pasted or typed your numbers into your Excel template, use the Excel “Clear Formats” function on all cells that contain a numeric value to make sure they are all returned to a formatted status of general. NAV does not accept any other format than the one in the template, and use of other formats, including use of commas in the numbers, will cause the budget tool to give an error and keep you from loading your budget successfully.

budgetload3

4.  Use the “Add Entries” option for a brand new budget load and the “Replace Entries” option for a subsequent version. The add entries option should only be used for a brand new budget load, otherwise the entries will be added on top of the already existing entries, doubling or tripling them. If you need to load a second or third version or some type of correction, always use the replace entries option instead of the add entries option. If you really get stuck with a bunch of errors, the best thing you can do is delete your budget and reload from scratch.

budgetload4

Take one last look through your data to make sure it’s accurate and exactly what you expected. You can use the budget tool to do this, or even better, put together a quick account schedule that shows your entries using “G/L Budget Entries” instead of “G/L Entries”. Make sure to look at your total balances, balances by fiscal period, and balances with dimension filters applied. Once you’re satisfied that all your budgeted data has loaded correctly and completely, you’re ready to produce financial reporting showing actual versus budgeted numbers!


Tips and tricks for a flawless budget load in NAV

Hopefully, you’ve completed your budget work for 2013 and all you need to do to finish is to load all that information to NAV so you can begin to report against your actual financial numbers. If you’ve done this before, you might already know that NAV’s budget tool can be a bit fussy and also a bit cryptic about why it won’t accept your carefully prepared data. Here are four quick tips to help you with getting that data into NAV quickly, correctly, and in one try.

1.  Export first, then import. This is the single most important detail about getting budget data loaded into NAV. You can choose to export an existing budget or even choose to export a blank new budget. Exporting a budget as your first step establishes a working template you can populate your data into, including dimensions. As long as you start with this template, you are already most of the way there to a successful NAV budget load.

budgetload

2.  If you’re using dimensions, validate your data against the provided drop downs. Make sure all budget lines that use dimensions are only using valid dimension names. Any deviation from the allowable values that already exist in NAV can cause your budget load to error out or load without balancing.

budgetload2

3.  Clear the formats from your numbers. Once you’ve copied and pasted or typed your numbers into your Excel template, use the Excel “Clear Formats” function on all cells that contain a numeric value to make sure they are all returned to a formatted status of general. NAV does not accept any other format than the one in the template, and use of other formats, including use of commas in the numbers, will cause the budget tool to give an error and keep you from loading your budget successfully.

budgetload3

4.  Use the “Add Entries” option for a brand new budget load and the “Replace Entries” option for a subsequent version. The add entries option should only be used for a brand new budget load, otherwise the entries will be added on top of the already existing entries, doubling or tripling them. If you need to load a second or third version or some type of correction, always use the replace entries option instead of the add entries option. If you really get stuck with a bunch of errors, the best thing you can do is delete your budget and reload from scratch.

budgetload4

Take one last look through your data to make sure it’s accurate and exactly what you expected. You can use the budget tool to do this, or even better, put together a quick account schedule that shows your entries using “G/L Budget Entries” instead of “G/L Entries”. Make sure to look at your total balances, balances by fiscal period, and balances with dimension filters applied. Once you’re satisfied that all your budgeted data has loaded correctly and completely, you’re ready to produce financial reporting showing actual versus budgeted numbers!

This posting is one of the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year! Follow this link to see the entire list.