Tables in Dynamics AX 2012 are divided into different categories: Main tables such as Customers, Ledger Accounts, Vendors, Items, etc, Transaction headers such as Sales headers, Purchase order headers, etc, and transaction details such as Sales lines, PO lines, etc. These tables are all related to each other through keys. For example when a sales order is created for customer A123, the customer, sales header and sales line are all linked to each other.
Occasionally one or more of these transaction records can be abandoned, meaning the parent data was deleted but the transaction still exists. We call these orphans because they exist in the database but are not connected to any other record. While these orphans by themselves cause no problem, they take up space in the database and given enough time, a lot of these orphaned records can cause performance issues.
Dynamics AX 2012 has a tool to spot and remove these orphans. It’s called the Consistency Check tool. It basically runs through the entire database and locates transaction records that do not have any parent record associated with them. The Consistency check tool is located under System Administration > Periodic > Database > Consistency Check
When running this tool, you will first be presented with a series of options such as which modules you would like to check for orphans in, what to do with orphans found (check or fix) and a starting date to perform the search on (if you run this tool every 90 days you can select a day just 90 days back in order to speed up the search process).
The tool will take an hour or more to run, be sure to run this after hours.
AX does a great job of keeping track of transaction data and removing automatically when any parent data is removed, but, as with any ERP, different scenarios may come up in which records are left orphaned. Using the Consistency Check tool on a regular basis is a great way to clear these records and keep your system running smoothly.
We often get asked the question from our customers and prospective customers, “What will the future hold for Management Reporter and how does Microsoft Forecaster fit into that future?” There are big plans for this reporting tool from Microsoft. As many of you know Management Reporter just released their latest version, Management Reporter 2012. There were many needed enhancements to Management Reporter included in this new release, highlighted here . However, there was no functionality added that involves forecasting or collaborative budgetting for Management Reporter for Dynamics GP or Dynamics AX (as well as other Microsoft ERP products).
What about financial forecasting and collaborative budgetting? What are the plans for Management Reporter and these important areas? I spoke to a reliable resource close to the Management Reporter and Microsoft Forecaster teams and I was told that there are no immediate plans to add this functionality into Management Reporter. The team will continue to support this functionality in the existing Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 tool, and for the foreseeable future they will rely on this product and the other 3rd party applications out on the market to meet this need.
Look for more exciting enhancements to Management Reporter, but don’t look for a collaborative budgetting or forecasting tool any time in the near future.
If you do business in several tax jurisdictions, or in complex states, it can easily become more than a full-time job just to keep up with the ever changing tax rates and product taxability rules. Not only is compliance difficult to maintain, but even the simplest of mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars if audited.
Although you, or Tridea Partners as a Dynamics partner, can configure Dynamics GP or Dynamics AX to handle complex tax tables, we recommend using one of the third party solutions that handles the tax updates automatically.
One of the leading solutions is by Avalara (www.avalara.com), the creator of AvaTax – a cloud-based system – to help address your unique sales tax challenges. With complete integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics AX, AvaTax removes the difficulty of managing sales tax compliance by helping to eliminate the tedious work and complexity that goes into calculating, reporting, filing and remitting taxes.
Sales tax automation software can help:
• Achieve full end-to-end sales tax compliance
• Automate manual processes involved with managing tax tables and updates
• Eliminate compliance holes associated with using a flat state rate or zip code-based systems
• Reduce your audit exposure through ‘bullet-proof’ compliance
• Outsource all of your sales tax filing requirements
• Automate the paperless collection and management of certificates
Managing sales tax can be complex and time consuming. Depending on your unique requirements, a sales tax software application may dramatically simplify things for your organization.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant (Magic Quadrant for ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies, December 2010). Microsoft Dynamics AX’s ability to execute is proven by a long track record and above-average growth rates in the midmarket, its intuitive user interface, and by its functionality. The new Gartner Quadrant is scheduled to be released later in 2012.
Gartner’s report highlights Microsoft Dynamics AX as specifically being targeted at midmarket and upper midmarket organizations. It offers broad and robust functionality in distribution, manufacturing, professional services, retail and public sector, and delivers low TCO through bi-directional integration with other Microsoft products and technologies. Microsoft Dynamics AX can serve multinational companies in the core and the upper midmarket with out of the box functionality. Microsoft Dynamics AX allows support of multiple sites or business units in one single instance, including those that operate in different countries and need country-specific localizations and currencies.
Magic Quadrant for ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies
Financial Dimensions in AX 2009 and AX 2012 provide a means to create additional segments to the main or natural general ledger account in order to track revenues, costs or expenses by a specific attribute, without having to have the segment be imbedded in the natural account itself. Additionally, these dimensions can also be linked to vendors and customers in order to facilitate the dimension tracking for a multitude of transactions.
Standard functionality in AX 2009 offers the three predefined dimensions of Department, Cost Center and Purpose. A big upgrade in AX 2012 is the ability for users to create an unlimited number of Financial Dimensions and link them in any combination to vendors, customers and the chart of accounts, creating one or more Financial Dimension sets or structures. These dimension sets can then be used to establish reporting structures, as well as in the validation of data entered for transactions, minimizing errors. Financial Dimensions offer the flexibility to continue to customize your chart of accounts and data analysis based on your business’ growth and needs.