Business Central Go Live Data Import

Business Central Go Live Data Import

Your Dynamics 365 Business Central go-live date is fast approaching. You have configured your environment for training and are comfortable through the user acceptance testing. What next?

By Rob Grubbs

Your go-live date is fast approaching. You have configured your Dynamics 365 Business Central environment for training and have gotten comfortable through the user acceptance testing.

Let’s look at the Dynamics 365 Business Central tools and strategies needed to get everything recorded and buttoned uptight. We will specifically focus on:

The General Ledger

This process requires some decisions before kicking off. You will want the balances on the go-live date to replicate precisely the balances in your legacy system. But there are additional concepts to consider here:

  1. How far back do you want your historical balances to go? Understandably, you want to keep that legacy data. You have spent the business’s life compiling it and will continue to rely on them to give you insight into trends and patterns.

Once historical data is loaded into the Business Central general ledger, you will have the ability to run comparative financial reports to judge current performance to that from prior periods.

Also, to consider, will you maintain access to your legacy system so that you can access those amounts as needed? If not, you may consider bringing over the balances as far back as possible for future reference.

  1. What level of detail do you want to bring in for those historical periods? There are typically two options to think through:
  • Transactional data replicates each general ledger transaction, along with descriptions, etc. re-entered into Business Central. This could lead to a voluminous amount of data that could extend time and energy to convert the entries into the new general ledger and dimension format.
  • Net Change data: Instead of each transaction, merely upload the monthly change by general ledger account into Business Central. With the smaller number of transactions to upload, data and conversion errors will be kept to a minimum, and the time needed will vastly be reduced.

A best practice here depends on several factors, but a general recommendation would be to upload the net change amounts. If you are doing an implementation early in a company’s fiscal year, you might consider in that case bringing over data at a transactional level.

Once those decisions are resolved, what is the best practice for getting the information into Business Central?

The General Journal will work perfectly for this task. To get your data into the general journal, you have options:

  • Copy and Paste from Excel to the General Journal – You can copy one or more rows from an excel spreadsheet (using the CTRL+C function and then paste into the general journal using CTRL+V)
  • Edit in Excel from within Business Central – From within the General Journal, utilize the edit in Excel functionality, copy your data into the Excel document, and load it back into the journal.
  • Configuration Package – Create a configuration package for Table 81 (General Journal Line) and export it to Excel. Copy your data into the Excel document and import the data back into Business Central. Be sure to remember to Apply the package after you have verified the data.

The final step is validation. Run a trial balance from the legacy system and the freshly loaded data in Business Central for accuracy. Investigate differences and correct accordingly.

Accounts Receivable

To begin receiving and applying payments against open invoices in Business Central, you will need to import all open receivable transactions at go-live date with a sales journal.

A key point to remember with this and every sub-ledger balance that is being imported in: “The general ledger balance for this sub-ledger has already been posted through the G/L upload process.  Transactions that are brought into Business Central to populate the receivables ledger need to have NO G/L effect.”

Therefore, when posting the sales journal that will contain the entire A/R balance, make sure the balancing account is set to the same account that your customer posting group is pointing to. The goal is to create an entry that does not affect the G/L balance at all.

Just as with the General Ledger Upload, you have three options:

  • Copy and Paste from Excel to the Sales Journal
  • Edit in Excel from within Business Central
  • Configuration Package for Table 81, and make sure you indicate Sales Journal Line.
Items

In Business Central – the opening entry for items on hand at cutover is brought in via an item journal.

The item journal process can be a bit trickier than the sales journal, especially if lot numbers and serial numbers are being utilized. That information must be entered in a sub-page for each inventory line.

  1. Therefore, the most efficient way is to use a configuration package to upload all items. A configuration package for Table 83 has a separate column for each respective lot number and serial number being introduced into Business Central.

The same reminder for posting the transaction to the G/L applies to the item journal. “The general ledger balance for this sub-ledger has already been posted through the G/L upload process. Transactions that are brought into Business Central to populate the item ledger need to have NO G/L effect.”

Therefore, when posting the item journal that will contain the entire inventory valuation balance, make sure the balancing account is set to the same account that your inventory posting group is pointing to. The goal is to create an entry that does not affect the G/L balance at all.

Accounts Payable

The payable upload process mirrors the receivables process in many ways. To pay invoices via your accounts payable check runs and EFT applications, you must import in all open payable transactions with a purchase journal.

A key point to remember with this and every sub-ledger balance that is being imported in: “The general ledger balance for this sub-ledger has already been posted through the G/L upload process. Transactions that are brought into Business Central to populate the payables ledger need to have NO G/L affect.”

Therefore, when posting the purchase journal that will contain the entire A/P balance, make sure the balancing account is set to the same account that your vendor posting group is pointing to. The goal is to create an entry that does not affect the G/L balance.

Just as with the Sales Journal Upload, you have three options:

  1. Copy and Paste from Excel to the Purchase Journal
  2. Edit in Excel from within Business Central
  3. Configuration Package for Table 81, and make sure you indicate Purchase Journal Line.
Fixed Assets

The import of fixed assets from a legacy system into Business Central is a two-step process.

  1. Set up Each Individual Fixed Asset Card (Each specific Asset needs its own card) From here, you set:
    i.    Description
    ii.    FA Class
    iii.    FA Sub Class
    iv.    FA Location
    v.    Serial Number
    vi.    Depreciation Book Code
    vii.    Depreciation Posting Group
    viii.    Depreciation Method
    ix.    Depreciation Starting Date
    x.    of Depreciation Years
    xi.    Depreciation Ending Date
  2. Record the Cost and accumulated depreciation at go-live date to each individual Fixed Asset Card.
    The asset cards (Step One) can be brought in three ways:
    i.    Manually Enter Each Card – the most time-intensive and least attractive method.
    ii.    Edit in Excel from the Fixed Asset List.
    iii.    Configuration Package for Table 5600.

Once the cards are uploaded, the values (Cost, accumulated depreciation, salvage value, etc.) are entered through a Fixed Asset GL Journal. This entry DOES NOT post to the general ledger, it is only essential to ensure you get the correct amounts and posting types included.

Again, you have the same three options here:
i.    Copy and Paste from Excel to the Fixed Asset G/L Journal
ii.    Edit in Excel from within Business Central
iii.    Configuration Package for Table 81, and make sure you indicate Fixed Asset G/L Ledger

Bank Reconciliation Outstanding Items

At go live – there will be reconciling items from the last month of the bank reconciliation from the legacy system. These will need to be added so that your first bank reconciliation from within Business Central will be accurate and reflect all transactions, not just those generated from within Business Central.

Obtain a listing of reconciling items (outstanding checks and outstanding deposits and enter those into Business Central. (Remember, these transactions have already been recorded previously; we only want to bring the outstanding nature of the transactions, not the amounts themselves into the general ledger or bank balance).

To bring in the outstanding items, you will use a general journal and ensure that the Account Type is the Bank Account the transaction originated from. Also, use the G/L Account for the specific bank account as the balancing account. This will ensure the transaction does not adversely affect the general ledger.

You have the same three options to import:
i.    Copy and Paste from Excel to the General Journal
ii.    Edit in Excel from within Business Central
iii.    Configuration Package for Table 81, and make sure you indicate the bank account name as the account type.


Rob Grubbs

Rob Grubbs

Rob Grubbs is a Senior Consultant and brings a singular blend of accounting expertise and ERP experience to the role. His passion for technology and attention to detail, along with his real-world experience of platform implementations as both user and consultant, enable Rob to provide unparalleled client support in integrating the processes and tools essential to growth and success.

At sa.global, Rob collaborates on Business Central implementation projects. He is proficient in Dynamics to Business Central conversions, construction accounting; month-end close processes; and warehousing.

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