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

Garrett Steppat

The Microsoft Dynamics AX/D365 Support Team at Avantiico is focused on solving our client’s problems, from daily issues to large and more complex problems.

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Welcome to my blog post about how to setup the “Financial period close configuration” in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO). This blog takes you through the most important steps in the financial period close configuration process.

If you’re more interested in, “how to use the Financial period close workspace”, then you came to the wrong site, but you reach it by clicking here. Otherwise, let’s find out how to configure our magical workspace.

This blog is going to be focused on running through the Financial period close configuration with the goal being able to create a functional and useful workspace that will help your financial period close become more efficient, visible, and resourceful.

To navigate to the Financial period close configuration, General Ledger→Period Close→Financial period close configuration

We will start from the bottom tab (Closing Roles) and work our way up from there.

Financial Period Close Configuration- Closing Roles in D365

Closing roles are dependent on the organizational setup and roles involved in your company. This is where you need to plot out all the different roles or job titles involved in your closing process. Closing roles will also provide a way to filter your tasks when we start digging into the Financial period close workspace.

Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration

Resources in D365

This is where you define the people who are involved in the closing process. Resources are added by:

  1. Click the  bottom
  2. Select the Employee drop down window and search for the desired employee involved in the Financial period close process. If the desired employee does not show up in the list, you’ll need to create them as a new employee by heading to Human Resources→Workers→Employees.
  3. Hit Add under the Closing roles title.
  4. Add the Closing roles that apply to that employee.
  5. Assign the companies that specific employee with that closing role is involved in by selecting the companies from the drop down.
  6. Assign a view from the drop down:
    1. If you choose “All tasks and status”, the specific user will be able to see all tasks and statuses involved in the financial close process across all companies involved in the financial close process. These users can also make changes to closing tasks from within the financial period close workspace (outside of the Financial period close configuration screen). However, any changes made from the financial period close workspace will not carry forward (discussed further when we reach the Templates tab).
    2. If you choose “Only assigned tasks”, the specific user will only be able to see the tasks related to the companies that have been linked to the closing roles assigned to them.

All steps are indicated in the figure below.

Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration

Task Areas in D365

Define task areas based on the closing roles you are creating. Task areas should logically reflect the different types of closing tasks that are involved in your closing process. For example, if one of the tasks involved in your closing process is to review vendor invoices, you may want to create a task area for Accounts Payable. (Learn more about account receivable reconciliation on our previous blog)

Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration

Calendars in D365

The Calendars tab is where you setup the Calendars for task scheduling. Do you and your staff work more than a 5-day schedule during the financial period close? This is where you would create a calendar to define the days during each week you and your staff are working.

Calendars for task scheduling are also important for deadlines. Let’s say you create a Calendar for task scheduling for your financial period close that is based on a 6 day week (Monday through Saturday). When we start setting deadlines for our closing tasks and that deadline would fall on a Sunday, the due date will be moved to the next working day. Once the calendar has been created, you can edit it as you wish and remove holidays as well.

To demonstrate how to create a calendar for task scheduling, let’s create a calendar based on a 6 day work week:

  1. Click
  2. In the Calendar box, give a short form description, such as “6 Day”.
  3. In the name box, give a long form description, such as “6 Working Days”.
  4. Select the start date that dictates when the calendar can start being used.
  5. Select the end date that dictates when the calendar can no longer be used.
  6. Select the days of each week that staff will generally work during your financial close process.
  7. Hit create.
  8. Once created, you can highlight the specific calendar for task scheduling created and click edit.
  9. Scroll through the list of dates and uncheck any specific days like holidays, employees will not be working on.
Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration

Templates in D365

Templates are going to be the main tab that ties together most of the configuration components we’ve reviewed so far. Templates is where you add all of your tasks involved in the period close, their due dates, add links, as well as other details defined in other areas of the financial close. When we get to the closing schedules tab where we define our closing periods, we must attach a template to each closing period we create. To get familiar, let’s go step by step in creating a new template along with at least one task:

Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration
  1. Start by clicking the plus button  to create a new blank template.
  2. In the new dialog box, type a name for your template and then hit create. We’ve now created a new blank template.
  3. Let’s create a new task line by clicking on .
  4. Starting from the “Area” column on the left, click the drop down and select one of the options that you created in the task area tab.
  5. In the task column, type a task that is related to the task area.
  6. In the “Due date relative to period end date (+ / – days)” column, you can leave it as zero. Leaving the field as zero tells the system that you want the tasks to be due on the closing date of a period. So, if you were closing the period of October 2018 and you set your closing date as 10/31/2018, leaving this column as zero will have that task due on 10/31/2018. If you wanted to have a due date that is before the close of the closing date, you would input a negative number.
  7. In the Due Time column, type in a time you want the task to be due on its due date. This field will always default to 12:00 AM.
  8. In the Closing Role column, assign one of the roles you created from the Closing Role tab.
  9. In the company column, select the drop down menu, click under the checkbox column to select companies that will be involved with the specific task line. Be aware, if you select a company that was not assigned to the Closing Role via the Resources tab, D365FO will give you an error when you try to create a new closing period via the Closing Schedule tab.
  10. Under the task link column, you can create a link that will take you to any form required to complete the task. If you click the drop down menu, you’re given the option to chose a form from any module available in D365FO.
  11. Under the Dependency column, there will be an indication by a checkmark  if a task has a dependency. If a task has a dependency, another task or tasks that were set as the dependency, must be completed before the task with the dependency is completed. You can set a dependency onto a task by clicking on the three dots under the template drop down selection and clicking set dependency (see the figure below). When you click “Set dependency”, you’ll see all the other tasks that are currently setup in your list, organized by the task area assigned to each task. 
Dynamics 365 Financial period close configuration
Dynamics 365 Period billing
  1. Under the “Attachments” column, a paperclip icon will indicate something has been attached. Attachments can include a:
    1. File
    2. Image
    3. Note
    4. URL

Good to note is that you can also attach links to custom financial reporter (formerly management reporter) reports by opening any specific report, copying the URL of the generated report, and attaching it as a URL.

Multiple templates can be created, and you can even duplicate any of your templates by selecting the desired template from the drop down menu, and clicking .  Afterwards, add a name to your new template.

Closing Schedules in D365

Dynamics 365 screenshot

Closing Schedules are where you define the period or periods that you are closing and assign the logical template as well as Calendar for task scheduling that would logically apply to that closing period. Let’s start by running through the creation of a new Closing Schedule (Closing Period) based on the period of 10/1/2018 – 10/31/2018:

  1. Click
  2. Starting from the top, enter a short description into the Closing Schedule box, like Oct2018.
  3. In the description box, enter something longer like October 2018 Close.
  4. Enter the starting date of the period you are closing.
  5. Enter the ending date of the period you are closing. Be aware the due dates for each task will be based around the ending date of the period.
  6. In the Template drop down menu, select the appropriate template that applies to the period.
  7. In the Calendar drop down menu, select the Calendar for Task Scheduling you created that applies to the period.
  8. Select the Company drop down menu and select the companies that are involved in this particular period close.

After you successfully create a Closing Schedule, you should now be able to open the workspace by heading to General Ledger→Period Close→Financial period close and checking to see if the workspace populated. If that sounds about right, then congratulations! You’ve setup your first Financial period close workspace. Ready to learn how to navigate the workspace you just configured? Click here to get started on navigation.

Need help solving errors? Then please read on!

Common Issues & Workarounds in Configuring the Workspace

Issue: I can’t assign two people with the same role to a company.

Roles can only be assigned to one employee per company. An easy workaround would be to number the roles involved under the Closing Roles tab and then assigned the two roles to the applicable people under the resources tab.

For example, let’s say you want to assign two people with the role of staff accountant to the same company:

  1. From the Closing Roles tab, create two roles with the names, “Staff Accountant #1” and “Staff Accountant #2”.
  2. Head to the Resources tab, add the roles to the two desired employees, and then assign the companies associated.

Issue: When I try to create a Closing Schedule, I receive an error that someone has not been assigned to a company in my template when I do have them assigned.

Check that the roles you have assigned to your template under the “Templates” tab, match up to the companies assigned to people’s roles under the “Resources” tab. Make sure you click the drop downs to ensure that the proper companies have been selected by clicking on the line, under the checkmark column.

Dynamics 365 screenshot

Issue: I am unable to see anything in the workspace after selecting a closing schedule.

 

Try the following solutions:

  1. Check your view permissions and companies assigned to someone’s role
    1. Navigate to General Ledger→Period Close→Financial period close configuration.
    2. Under the resources tab, make sure that the specific user has been added as a resource. If the desired view setting is set to only see tasks assigned, ensure the companies attached to the specific roles match up to the companies shown under the template you are using for the period.
  2. If #1 does not work, let’s check system user details:
    1. Navigate to System administration→Users→Users
    2. Search for the specific user you are experiencing the issue with, click their line, and then click their User ID in the first column to open their details.
    3. Click edit at the top left of the screen.
    4. Click the drop down menu under Person towards the right of the screen (see below screenshot). Select the desired employee.
    5. Click save at the top of the left screen. The user should be able to see the workspace populate with information.

And that’s it, thanks for reading my blog about financial period close configuration! I hope it answered all of your questions. If you need additional help with the financial period close configuration or other D365 modules, would like a training proposal or to schedule a demo, feel free to send us an email and we will contact you asap.

You can contact us at info@avantiico.com or call (619) 483-4180 and we will assist you. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will do my best to answer them quickly.

If your organization is considering a move to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operation, you can watch this upgrade tutorial where Michael Oakes takes you through the different upgrading paths –

How to upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operation?

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