Navigating the Financial Period Close Workspace in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation

Navigating the Financial Period Close Workspace in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation

Financial Period Close Navigation like a Boss – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Let’s face it, everyone stresses out and dreads the financial period close for their organization. On top of that, you have the spreadsheets tracking everyone, the constant emails, constant phone calls, the extended hours, etc.  But what if I told you that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) has a tool that will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of time involved in your close AND grant enhanced visibility, so your team can spend more time analyzing results versus inputting data. The financial period close workspace in D365FO helps removes those issues with a fully transparent, drill-down functional, task-dependent design that allows you to reduce the amount of time to close the books, so businesses can make decisions faster using real time accurate information. Already have D365FO and need help with financial period configuration, then Click here. Otherwise, let’s jump into the magic that is the Financial Period Close Workspace.

We’ll dive into things by diving into the four main areas visible on the financial period close workspace:

  1. Period Close Selection (drop down box located in the top right under the title “Financial period close”)
  2. Summary Section
  3. Tasks and status section in the middle
  4. Links section

See figure 1 below highlighting the areas we will be discussing. It’s also important to keep in mind, that we will be looking at the workspace from the view of a manager who can see all tasks and statuses across all companies.

Figure 1 – The Financial Period Close Workspace

Financial period close - Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Period Close Selection

The drop down available here simply allows you to choose the period you are closing. Periods are tied to a template containing a list of tasks with detailed information by task of who is responsible, due dates, the companies involved, task dependencies, a link to the form required to completing the task, as well other important information related to the tasks. Upon choosing the period, the workspace will be populated with information related to the template assigned to that period and how other options related to that period were configured under the Financial period close configuration screen. Periods selected can be based on a calendar or fiscal period.

Summary Section

This section provides four tiles that will count tasks and show detailed lists of tasks upon clicking them, based on:

  1. Past due tasks
  2. Today’s remaining tasks
  3. Today’s blocked tasks*
  4. All remaining tasks

*Important to note that Blocked Tasks are tasks that can not be completed yet until another task has been completed, also called tasks with a dependency or multiple dependencies. D365FO uses an option called “Set Dependency” to turn a normal task into a blocked task but we will get into that later.

As stated, clicking a tile will show a task list based on that tile’s description. For example, clicking on the “Past due tasks” tile will generate a list showing all tasks that are past due. Clicking on the “All Remaining Tasks Lists” tile will generate a list showing all tasks that have not yet been completed. See figure 2 and 3 below, respectively.

Figure 2 – Past Due Tasks List

Figure 3 – All Remaining Tasks List

If you would like a full description of all relevant and applicable Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation benefits including a detailed license assessment for your specific Microsoft Dynamics license options, please contact our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Support Team and Microsoft Dynamics Licensing specialists at DynamicsSupport@Avantiico.com

Task List Details

Before diving into the other sections, let’s take a deeper look at some of the more important components and options for task lists. When you open any task list, you’ll see the same columns across the board with a portion being affected based on how you configured the workspace.  There are some important columns that will populate based on how you configured your template tied to the Period you chose. These include:

  • Task
  • Area
  • Company
  • Responsible (based on what role you assigned to a “resource” when configuring the template tab in the Financial period close configuration)
  • Due Date
  • Closing Schedule (towards the right in Figure 3 above).

Next to the due date column, you’ll see the Status column. Under the status column, you’ll notice one of two symbols:

  1. Exclamation marks , indicating a specific task is past due (the due date will also be marked in red).
  2. A lock symbol  indicating a specific task cannot be finished yet until the task or tasks you set as its dependency or dependencies are finished first (also known as a blocked task). Hovering over the status symbol for a specific task, will reveal what tasks need to be completed before the specific task is marked as complete (see Figure 4 at the end of this section). It’s also important to note, if a task with a dependency is past due, the exclamation mark will show instead of the lock symbol.

Next to the due date column, you’ll notice the Completed column. When you click a task, a checkbox will appear under the Completed column for that specific task. When you click the checkbox, the task will be marked as complete and disappear from the list. To show completed tasks in any task list, you’ll need to click “Show completed tasks” located in the blue action pane at the top of the tasks list.

You’ll also notice that there are two columns towards the right relating to attachments. If something is attached to a task, you will see a paperclip symbol . You can attach one or multiple items to a task and those attachments can include:

  1. File
  2. Image
  3. Note
  4. URL

It’s good to note you can attach a report created from financial reporter (formerly known as management reporter) by:

  1. Opening the specific report you want to link in financial reporter
  2. Copying the web URL
  3. Go to the task you want to attach the report too, and attach as a URL.

If you assigned a task link to any task during configuration of the workspace, clicking the task line and then clicking the task itself, will take the user to the specific form required to complete the task.

Lastly, looking at the blue action pane at the top of the task list, you’ll see a lot of the same selections you had when creating your template in the Financial period close configuration. Any task list will have these options available from within the Financial Period Close Workspace. However, it’s important to note that any changes to tasks made from within the task list will not carry forward to future period closings To edit your tasks and make your changes carry forward, navigate to General Ledger→Period Close→Financial period close configuration and edit your tasks under the template tab. Be sure you are editing the desired template if you have multiple templates.

Figure 4 – Hovering your cursor over a status indicating dependencies

Financial period close – Tasks and Status Section

This section provides different tabs that will show a list of tiles that will generate task lists based on different parameters. Each tile will count the remaining tasks and show percentage of completion in the top right corner. Note that at the top of each task list generated, you have the same options to make edits to the tasks or attach items. Again, it’s important to note that any changes made to tasks, will only carryforward if you make changes from the template tab, under the Financial period close configuration screen. Also, all .

The following figures 5-8 cover what each of the tabs look like.

Figure 5 – Task Lists by Company

Figure 6 – Task Lists by Area

Figure 7 – Task Lists by Person

Figure 8 – Task List showing all tasks involved in the period close

Links Section for the Financial Period Close

This section simply provides different links for navigating to various forms important to the financial period close workspace. This section makes it easy to jump to different screens that will allow you to manipulate how your Financial period close workspace looks like or to fix issues you may run into changing your workspace.

 

Important details related to the Financial Period Close Workspace

At this point, we’ve covered the main areas and some of the more important details related to navigating the financial period close workspace. However, there are two common issues users that may be helpful to cover.

Issues and Solutions

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.

Issue: I’ve made edits to my task list but they don’t seem to carryforward when I start a new period.

Already tackled in the blog but it’s important to mention again that if you want to change a task list and make it carry forward to future lists, you have to change your tasks from the desired template under the financial period close configuration screen.

If you like video more I did a recording of the Financial Period Close in the workspace

 

Summary

So there you have it! An overview of the most important sections of the financial period close workspace along with some basic issues people run into. This workspace is an absolute powerhouse tool that will prove to be immensely helpful to ANYONE looking for help on their financial period close. The financial period close workspace allows you to create an enhanced team experience that allows everyone to benefit and feel less stressed through the process. Interested in learning how to configure the Financial period close workspace? We have a blog on that here.

Need additional help? Looking for a partner in implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation? Send me an email with questions and comments at GST@Avantiico.com.

For a full description of all relevant and applicable Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation benefits including a detailed license assessment for your specific Microsoft Dynamics license options, please contact our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Support Team and Microsoft Dynamics Licensing specialists at DynamicsSupport@Avantiico.com

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