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Financial Period Close Configuration in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

I’m sure most of you are at least aware by now of the new concept of ‘workspaces’ in D365FO.  I’ve highlighted functionality of these workspaces in previous blogs, but I wanted to touch on the financial period close workspace specifically as this brings in entirely new functionality and concepts.  Many end users develop their own internal checklist to ensure all tasks are completed at month end, quarter end and year end.  However, many times that checklist can only be completed after constant and tedious emailing between coworkers.  Also, since some of these tasks are only completed once a month or even once a year, it can be difficult to remember where you need to go in the system to accomplish your tasks.  The financial period close workspace in D365FO eliminates those issues with a fully transparent, drill-down functional, and task-dependent area to quickly and efficiently close your financial periods.  Firstly, let’s walk through the setup to show how this workspace is configured.

You first need to configure some setup in the Financial period close configuration, which can be found in the general ledger module.

You are going to want to start at the bottom with the Closing roles form.  As you can see from the demo data, these roles are like your typical AX security roles, but they are different as they do not share the same functionality as the security roles and are user-defined.

Next, go to the Resources tab and assign each closing role to a user.  As you can see, I setup my user with the closing role Accounting Manager and setup my view to All tasks and status to view all the tasks of the month end checklist.  Also, be sure to assign the legal entities that the employee is responsible for.

Next is the Task areas tab.  These are user configured areas where you can designate certain tasks to.  The demo data mimics the different modules in D365FO.  These will be utilized in the templates form later.

Moving on to the Calendars page, this is where you will setup your calendar that will be associated with your financial period close.  You can determine which days of the week are considered during the close period.  This operates independently from your fiscal and ledger calendars.

Finally, we are at the meat and potatoes of the configuration, the Templates form.  As you can see below, the demo data has a Month end template already created by utilizing the different forms that were discussed prior.

Click the New button to create a new task.  I’m going to choose Fixed Assets and name the task ‘Create new asset records’.  The Due date relative to the period end date is 0 so that means it will be due by the last day of the period at the Due time of 12pm.  I’ve chosen the accountant as the Closing role to handle this.  Don’t forget to add the companies relevant for this task as well.

In my Task link I am choosing where in the system the user will be directed to when they start this task.

Finally, I will click Set dependency on the ‘Process asset acquisitions’ task so that any new fixed asset records must be created before the user financially acquires them.

The last step is to create a Closing schedule for each month end or year-end financial period.  Below I have created my January 2016 month end closing schedule for all legal entities in the system.

The financial period close workspace is clearly an innovative and necessary functionality for the companies of today’s world.