With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 many new features have become available. One of those functionalities is subledger and accounting distributions. Before I share my opinion and thoughts on this, I’ll summarize this functionality.
What does this functionality do?
With this functionality, Microsoft has made a step towards the separation of operational and financial activities. For example, a purchasing clerk no longer needs to think about the ledger accounts or dimensions. The purchase order line is entered as a single line and any distributions to (multiple) financial dimensions are registered by the appropriate person. This framework is implemented in some source documents in AX.
Also, the subledger entries can be reviewed before being generated in detail, which makes control before posting better than previous versions. It is possible to select whether the transactions in the General Ledger will be generated accumulated or in detail. Processing of the subledger entries can be setup as synchronous or asynchronous when posting the source document. A third option is processing to the General ledger periodically via batch jobs.
More than just functionality?
In addition to Microsoft’s strategy, which has an organizational separation between operational and financial affairs, this framework can, in my view, be the base for great future developments within Microsoft Dynamics AX. Choosing an asynchronous method to create the ledger transactions means there are performance benefits. The posting of a document itself is done faster, because the General Ledger is updated by a separate process. This provides time saving at workstations whereby the users can work more efficiently. I am a bit disappointed because not all source documents in AX are supported on this new framework. Personally I would have included the sales orders source document as well. Creating sales invoices as a daily process the becomes more efficient. To me it would make sense to have all source documents coming together within this framework.
During the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference last January, I have spoken with several people. Even though Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 at that time was still waiting to be released, I wanted to know which directions Microsoft would/could go after this version. The subject cloud computing was discussed. It’s not unthinkable that Dynamics AX is going to be offered as separate components. Companies can then choose to whether or not use certain parts of the ERP system. The following excerpt from the statement of direction alludes to this:
“Evolving from a monolithic architecture toward a suite or composite services, improving the flexibility and choice to outsource specific processes, as well as lowering the cost of integration between different applications.”
By combining this direction with the functionality of the new Subledger, this new functionality can play a major role in the future. For example a company can use only the logistics modules or only the production part without the general ledger in Dynamics AX. It will then be necessary to deliver the subledger entries to another system. Transferring the subledger entries will then be a service to create ledger transactions in Dynamics AX or another system. Also the other way around is possible. The Subledger is fed from another system and the transactions must be processed in Dynamics AX.
With the currently introduced framework in Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 I think it’s just a small step to have this available. Fiction or reality? The future will tell!
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That’s all for now. Till next time!