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How to Analyze Your Financial Data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

May 27, 2019

One major benefit of using a system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is being able to report on and analyze the financial performance of your company. In Business Central there are two main concepts when setting up the system that will determine how you are able to analyze your financial data. These two concepts are the structure of your chart of accounts and dimensions.

Chart of Accounts

The chart of accounts in Business Central is where you set up your general ledger accounts that all financial results of your transactions post to. Every transaction in the system that has a financial effect needs to post to accounts from the chart of accounts. 

The chart of accounts is what I would consider the main financial master record. When you’re setting up your chart of accounts in Business Central, I recommend keeping the chart of accounts very simple and just setting up your natural account numbers. Below is an example:

How to Analyze Your Financial Data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dimensions

In Business Central you can also set up an unlimited number of dimensions, which can be used to slice and analyze your financial data. The dimensions that you set up in Business Central are the different areas that you want to break out and analyze. Below is an example:

How to Analyze Your Financial Data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

You then are able to set up dimension values, which are the values that you want to break out and report on under each dimension.

How to Analyze Your Financial Data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 

When you post transactions in the system, the financial effect will be posted to the chart of accounts, but you can also tag the effects of the transaction with the different dimension values for each dimension. By tagging the transaction with different dimension values, the dimension information can then be used for breaking out reporting and analysis by the different dimension values (as seen in this gross profit report).

How to Analyze Your Financial Data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Gaining the Reporting You Need to Improve Decision-Making

In summary, by using a chart of accounts and dimensions together in Business Central, you are able to keep a very simple and neat chart of accounts while still being able to report and analyze the different areas of your business using dimensions. This should help simplify your accounting processes and give you the reporting capabilities you need to improve decision-making.

If you have questions about Business Central and its different features, contact the Microsoft Dynamics 365 specialists at Wipfli.

Author(s)

Connor McNamara
Connor R. McNamara, CPA
Senior Consultant, Financial & Operational Systems
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