Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper

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1 Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper Microsoft Axapta 3.0 and Service Packs Version: Second edition Published: May, 2005

2 CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT INTERNAL USE ONLY Contents Introduction...1 Inventory Closing-Related Issues in Microsoft Axapta...1 How to Detect Issues in Inventory Closing...2 Potential Triggers of Inventory Closing Issues...2 Proposed Solutions...4 Inventory Closing Red Delivery...4 Inventory Closing Yellow Delivery...7 Inventory Closing Green Delivery...7 Other Inventory Closing-related Issues and Recommendations...8 Simplifying Inventory Closing in Future Versions of Microsoft Axapta...8 Pre-closing Data Report...8 Partial Production Order Costing Beginning the Inventory Closing Process Unintentionally Inventory Closing Technical Documentation Performance Considerations in Inventory Closing LIFO in Microsoft Axapta Balancing Performance with Accuracy When Closing or Recalculating Using More Clients to Enhance Overall Performance Handling BOM Levels Handling Transfers Between Warehouses Quarantine Order Functionality On-hand and Physical Inventory and Financial Inventory Dimensions Impact of the Include Physical Value Field on Transaction Dates Marking in Microsoft Axapta Multi-User Inventory Closing Based on Number of Transactions Multi-User Inventory Closing and Cost Calculation Minimum Throughput Adjustment Different Average Cost Values Within the Same Period Using the Weighted Average Date Cost Model Different Results of Recalculation and Inventory Closing Modified Date and Consistency Check Readjusting Inventory Adjustment During Closing and Recalculation Running Inventory Value Reports Error Messages When Using Multi-user Inventory Closing Status of Known Issues (Red Delivery) Conclusion References About Microsoft Business Solutions About Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta... 46

3 Introduction This white paper will describe issues reported by a few customers and partners regarding inventory valuation, re-valuation, and the inventory closing process in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 and its associated service packs. It will also explain the steps that Microsoft Axapta development has taken and expects to take in the future to address these issues. This white paper also describes various scenarios for upgrading from Microsoft Axapta 2.5 to Microsoft Axapta 3.0, including specific configurations that customers should avoid. Furthermore, this white paper describes how Microsoft Axapta development teams expect to address inventory closing-related issues in service packs such as Microsoft Axapta 3.0 Service Pack (SP) 4, as well as necessary updates for Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 and SP3. Note that customers will need to use Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 or later in order to take advantage of the updates described in this document. Updates that address inventory closing-related issues will be divided into three deliveries, referred to here as Red, Yellow, and Green, depending on the content and distribution plan of the updates. The Red delivery is a package of code that has been made available for download. The Yellow delivery consists of an internal tool that will be available for service personnel in order for them to help partners. This Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper, second edition is also considered part of the Yellow delivery. The Green delivery consists of new ways of performing inventory closing that will be integrated into future releases of Microsoft Axapta. Note that different number formats have been used in the screen shots. For example, 36.0 may be displayed as 36,000. Inventory Closing-Related Issues in Microsoft Axapta Under certain conditions, Microsoft Axapta 3.0 can return incorrect inventory values in the general ledger as reported from different modules within Microsoft Axapta. It is also possible that some Customers may have issues running an inventory closing routine, under one or more specific conditions. Finally, under certain conditions, the value of the inventory as reported from the Microsoft Axapta Financial Management module may not match the values from the inventory status reports. The functionality of inventory closing and related recalculation routines is described in the section Recommended Method of Using Inventory Closing later in this document. The details of the logic behind calculating inventory value is described in the Technical Information document: Recalculation: Simulated Inventory Closing on the Microsoft Axapta 3.0 installation CD. Inventory closing-related issues are important because, if not addressed, they can potentially prevent customers from financially closing their books and creating financial statements. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 1

4 How to Detect Issues in Inventory Closing Detecting inventory closing-related issues in any given Microsoft Axapta installation can be done in three ways: 1. If inventory transactions exist that have an unrealistically high cost value, it could indicate an inventory closing issue. 2. If the re-calculation and closing routines run for an unusually long time, it could also indicate an inventory closing issue. This is because the closing routines may enter into a loop due to incorrect data and extend the inventory closing process. 3. If the financial statement shows incorrect values for the inventory balance accounts. Looping Routines in Inventory Closing Issues involved in inventory closing and adjustment routines can cause incorrect cost values. These incorrect cost values could potentially escalate over time, due to the way the calculation routine works, resulting in a further increase of the incorrect cost values. The principle behind this process is the method Microsoft Axapta uses to try to adjust cost values based on historical transactions. In short, this method can mean increasing cost values. In extreme cases the method can result in database errors because the cost value fields on the inventory transactions cannot contain the extremely large values that the program calculated incorrectly. A few partners have reported trying to solve this issue by changing the length of the database fields, so the fields can hold the extremely large costing numbers. However, this method does not solve the underlying technical reason for increasing cost values and may mean that the inventory closing routine can run for months before the issues become apparent. Other inventory closing-related issues can be caused by a lack of knowledge of how the inventory closing works and of the impact of various parameter settings. A few Microsoft Axapta installations have had serious issues due to incorrect use of inventory closing functionality and improper configuration of the installation. In some situations, manually closing open transactions and resetting the inventory was needed to address the issues. Potential Triggers of Inventory Closing Issues Two of the main triggers of inventory closing issues are recalculations and closing in previous periods, and looping. Recalculation and closing in previous periods is described in detail in the section Recommended Method of Using Inventory Closing later in this document. The idea of the looping functionality is described in the Technical Information documentation called Recalculation: Simulated Inventory Closing, which is provided on the Axapta 3.0 installation CD. Parameter Settings Inventory closing and recalculation can be a very complex process. Running the same scenarios with different parameters or inventory model settings can result in substantially different cost situations from the inventory closing. Changing parameter settings when users have transactions that have not been settled yet, and then performing inventory closing, can give results that can be hard to explain or understand. This is not a technical issue (the figures are correctly calculated) but rather a best practice accounting issue. The following parameter-related practices may cause issues with inventory closing: Incorrectly applied dimension parameters, for example, checking financial inventory or physical inventory when not necessary, or allowing blank values Changing dimension parameters when transactions exist, making it very hard to compare results Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 2

5 Changing item groups on items can lead to incorrect inventory values after reconciling to the ledger, if item groups form the basis for the selection of ledger accounts Incorrectly applied inventory model group parameters, for example, setting up service items as regular items or checking the Include physical value field without a business reason Changing inventory model group parameters can cause confusion, although this is not a technical issue Incorrectly applied inventory closing parameters, for example, users should not apply settings so that average cost is calculated using the FIFO inventory model, or use average instead of the best choice, Weighted average date inventory model Invalid Data The trigger that causes looping is not the looping functionality in itself, but rather the existence of erroneous start up data before running inventory closing. Due to the functionality looping over the inventory transaction set, the routine will try to correct the values, but instead of correcting the values it will end up with an incorrect result. Incorrect data has been seen as a result of importing old data, as well as from the manual entry of data. In both cases, the incorrect data is usually entered during the initial implementation of Microsoft Axapta. Having invalid or nonoptimal data before running an inventory closing or recalculation can cause different kind of issues: Unexpected high or low, or even negative cost prices Purchase orders not fully financially updated Adjustments of incorrectly selected transactions Returns with incorrect values for the ID of an item lot that is returned to the inventory Production order costing not done or done before raw material costs are known Excessive looping, resulting in performance issues caused by incorrect parameter selection Database value out of range errors due to large numerical values if first introduced to the system. This can be caused by an incorrect import of data, incorrect data input, or by upgrade issues (see the following section). Upgrading If users are using Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 or SP3 or have just upgraded to these, it is recommended that they install the Red inventory closing delivery package. As part of the Red delivery, two jobs: updateinventtransidreferencelot and updateinventtransidreturn are installed. These two jobs correct markings and returns, correcting issues that might have been introduced from elsewhere in the system. Customers should run these two jobs after installation. They must run the updateinventtransidreferencelot job before the updateinventtransidreturn job. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 3

6 Proposed Solutions As described previously in this document, Microsoft Axapta development has split the updates into three deliveries Red, Yellow, and Green. Inventory Closing Red Delivery A number of known issues for Microsoft Axapta 3.0 from SP2 and later are addressed in the Red delivery. Most of these issues have been previously addressed in either earlier hot fixes or previous updates designed to solve specific issues at individual customer sites. Some of these issues have been addressed in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP3. For a more detailed description of and solutions for these issues, see the section Status of Known Issues (Red Delivery) in this document. The goal of the Red delivery is to align the updates in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 and SP3 by back-porting the updates, hot fixes, and customer-specific updates made in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP3 to Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2. The inventory closing-related updates included in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP3 are also expected to be included in the new Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP4. Recommended Method of Using Inventory Closing In order to avoid potential issues, customers using Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2, SP3, and SP4 are strongly recommended to perform the following actions when closing their inventory: 1. Verify that physically updated transactions, when including physical value, and, as in Figure 1, financially updated transactions, do not have any abnormally high cost amounts. For more information, see the section Report to Check for Receipts with Incorrect Cost Price. 2. Check if purchase orders that are not yet financially updated can be updated. 3. Check if production orders that are not yet costed (financially updated) can be cost updated. Another potential issue is the possibility of partly cost updating a production order. An example could be that the order is started for 100 units and two out of three operations are completed for the whole quantity, but only 10 units are reported as finished. The total cost consumed will burden the cost price for the 10 units that are already reported as finished. 4. If possible, clear the Financial negative inventory check box for the inventory model group. This means that issues cannot be financially updated unless there is positive financial on-hand to fulfill the quantity. When an inventory model group uses financial negative inventory, users can, for example, sell items they physically have in the inventory without knowing the cost price. If the business process does not need this functionality, looping can be prevented during closing or recalculation. This should increase performance. 5. If possible, clear the Physical negative inventory check box for the inventory model group. This means that items cannot be updated until the on-hand inventory physically exists. When an inventory model group uses physical negative inventory, users are allowed to transfer more items from one warehouse to another than are actually in the inventory and therefore might not know their cost price. If the business process does not need this functionality, inventory closing might takes less time if this parameter setup is not used. As described in the section Handling Transfers Between Warehouses, a transfer can end up in a loop where running an inventory closing or recalculation may take longer to run. 6. If possible, avoid using batch or serial numbers. When using, for example, serial numbers, the transactions will be posted for each serial number. Inventory closing Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 4

7 and recalculation may take a long time due to the fact that the program will have more data to work with. Customers might be using batch and serial number dimensions even though, from a business perspective, they are not needed. For example, the batch number dimension could be being used instead of the marking functionality. The setup of dimension groups could also not be detailed enough, for example, all items could be using the same inventory dimension group with the serial number dimension. 7. If customers find that recalculation or closing takes too long to run and/or uses too many system resources during normal working hours, they can set it to run using the Batch functionality at a more convenient time, for example, at night or at weekends. 8. Cancel all recalculations from the inventory close date and onwards (see the section Cancel Recalculations). 9. Run inventory closing before closing finance. 10. If possible, change the closing parameter for looping (Maximum throughputs) to five at the most (assuming there less than five BOM levels). (See the section Reduce Looping to a Maximum of Five.) Report to Check for Receipts with Incorrect Cost Price (Recommendation 1) A standard report to find the receipts with an incorrect financial cost amount can be used, as illustrated in Figure 1. To open the report, click Inventory management > Reports > Transactions > Inventory transactions. In the example shown, the limit has been set to 1,000,000, but in practice this number needs to be set according to the data in the actual ledger. The best check would be to take the price per unit into account. Unfortunately, this is not possible in the standard report, but is expected to be part of the overall solution for the Service Packs for inventory closing. The report should be run before the closing, where transactions are still open. Figure 1: Report to check for receipts with incorrect cost price Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 5

8 Cancel Recalculations (Recommendation 8) The reason for this very important recommendation is explained and illustrated in Figure 2. In this example, inventory is recalculated monthly (R1 R8) and closing is done today (dated at R6). The inventory value will be correct at R6 but incorrect on date R7 and later. The correct way to close inventory in this case would be to cancel the recalculations R7 and R8 before running the inventory closing. The recalculations R7 and R8 can then be executed afterwards. This would give a correct inventory value. For more information, see the flow chart in Figure 33, which shows the new closing and recalculation process. You can also refer to Figure 34 to help you address any other issues. Inventory Closing Periodic Closing and Recalculation R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Day 0 Today Closing Date Incorrect inventory value Inventory is recalculated monthly R1 R8 and closing is done today dated at R6. Then the two recalculation R7 + R8 will have adjustments that are incorrect after the closing. 4 Figure 2: Periodic closing and recalculation Reduce Looping to a Maximum of Five (Recommendation 10) A very low maximum throughputs parameter can eliminate the loop in inventory closing and recalculation. Customers who are experiencing looping in inventory closing may find that changing this parameter to a lower value can increase program performance. Looping may occur if items are transferred between warehouses without having the items present physically or financially (depending on the setup). The Maximum throughput parameter determines the maximum number of calculations. If looping occurs, calculations will continue until adjustments are below the minimum throughput adjustment value, or if the number of calculations is exceeded. The parameter ensures that calculations are not repeated indefinitely if the minimum throughput adjustment value is very low. The following example shows how transfers between warehouses using an estimated cost value are adjusted when only some of the items are financially updated. The adjustment must then be applied to all of the looping items, so that the estimated cost of the transfer transactions is updated for items to the new known cost value per piece. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 6

9 Warehouse Physical & Financial date Reference With a Maximum throughputs parameter of two, the final adjustment will be equal to the result of the first calculation, making only one adjustment to the updated items. This leaves the estimated cost for the items that have not been financially updated unchanged. Receipt - Issue Qty Cost amount Lot ID Physical Cost amount Financial Cost amount Adjustment Profit & Loss, posted amount Settled quantity Cost 2 loops Cost financial updated purchase (Qty 10 Cost 100/pcs.) MW Transfer 3 Sold GW Transfer 3 Purchased MW Purchase 18 Purchased GW Transfer 4 Sold MW Transfer 4 Purchased MW Sales 17 Sold This example shows 1 item physically received and then 10 items are moved from warehouse MW to warehouse GW and then back to warehouse MW. Then 1 item is sold at a cost value of EUR 10. Now the purchase invoice is updated for the 1 item at a new cost value of EUR 100. When running inventory closing, all the looped items must be adjusted to the new cost of EUR 100. The last column shows the cost after Purchase 18 is financially updated with a quantity of 10 and a cost of 100 per unit. In order to improve performance when during a recalculation it is recommend that you specify a low Maximum throughput value. However the value should be greater than the maximum of BOM levels used. When doing a closing, the maximum throughput value should be set to 100 in order to get accurate cost values, therefore the limit should not be reached during a closing. Note: There is a new closing procedure, for more information, see Figure 33. Inventory Closing Yellow Delivery The Yellow delivery consists primarily of tools that internal staff at Microsoft can use to analyze customer data. For example, it explains how customers can check their data and setup before running inventory closing. Inventory Closing Green Delivery The Green delivery will consist of further code updates that are expected to be included in Microsoft Axapta 4.0 and future releases. Industry Setup Templates (Four Vertical Choices of Inventory Setup) Product Managers can make suggestions about how to setup inventory according to the business target group and industry-specific setup templates are expected to be provided to guide customers through a best practice setup process. Safe Mode Parameter Administrators can set up a safe mode parameter to restrict users from configuring Microsoft Axapta in ways that may result in incorrect inventory closing values. Parameters can t be changed on an item a new item has to be created (a warning should be displayed). Default Configuration Log File The database logging system must be set up by default, to allow users to investigate the history of changed inventory closing parameters. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 7

10 By default, the record setup for the tables related to inventory closing, for example, InventDimSetup, should include the Last changed field and the Changed by field. Customers can modify the program s security setup in order to limit the ability of others to change configurations related to inventory closing. By default, users and administrators can t change the inventory models and dimensions, and so on. Improvement of the Online Help and User Assistance As part of the Green delivery, it is anticipated that the online Help and user assistance will be updated to include guidelines and illustrations that are easier for the end user to understand. There will be more examples backed up with conceptual and procedural help text. Other Inventory Closing-related Issues and Recommendations Simplifying Inventory Closing in Future Versions of Microsoft Axapta There are a number of plans to make inventory closing in Microsoft Axapta 4.0 easier for customers to use and also improve the fit with specific business markets. The intention is to improve functions and features for using standard costing. These improvements are expected to include overhead costs for time and material, plus a new module for variance analyzing. The following describes other potential ways to simplify inventory-closing functionality in future versions of Microsoft Axapta. Quarantine Order End Functionality Simplifying the way scrap items and credit notes are handled in quarantine orders is being investigated. Cutting the Connection Between the Include Physical Value Field and Physically Updated Transactions Configuring Microsoft Axapta so that it is possible for users to include physically updated transactions, regardless of whether the physical value is included when estimating the cost price, would make the functionality more visible. Inventory On-hand Adjustments and Locking of Cost Value When an on-hand adjustment is zero, it would be useful for users to have the option of locking the cost value so that no further adjustments are made when closing the inventory. For more information, see the section: Readjusting Inventory Adjustment During Closing and Recalculation. Weighted Average with Receipt Adjustment Rounding in settled quantities and settled cost values could cause inaccurate cost prices. Pre-closing Data Report Customers can create a checklist report before inventory closing. Such a report could contain warnings about transactions that are not financially updated before the closing date. For example, the report could warn about an inventory transaction from a purchase order that is not fully posted financially because the vendor invoice has not yet been received, or about a BOM component included in a production run on a higher level that is not financially posted, resulting in the subproduction not being cost calculated. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 8

11 Warnings are provided to alert users about transactions that are physically updated but not financially updated before the closing date. Examples of situations that produce warnings include: If an inventory transaction from a purchase order is not fully received financially, but the items are received and perhaps used in a sales order or a production order (but the vendor invoice has not yet been received); If the purchase order is received but is not invoiced, the closing will only do an update of the physical value if the Include physical value check box is selected in the inventory model group. In this case, a later update of the purchase order to the status Invoiced with an adjusted purchased cost value will not settle any issues until after the next closing, and will not be part of the current period cost contribution. Customers can run reports to examine these issues. Figure 3 is an example of this type of report. The report must display the critical transactions before the closing date. Figure 3: Pre-closing data report, purchase lines In the update journal report illustrated in Figure 4, the production order is not yet financially posted. However, the items are reported as finished and have perhaps been used in a sales order or another production order. If all consumption is reported for a production order and the production order is reported as finished then the production order must be finally costed. It is recommended that the specified date of costing is the same as the reported as finished date. Avoiding such a situation can help ensure that the value from Item in Progress (IIP) and Work in Progress (WIP) is posted to the finished item warehouse. The report must display the critical transactions before the closing date. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 9

12 Figure 4: Production orders reported as finished In the examples illustrated by Figures 3 and 4, it is important that purchase and production receipt transactions for an item are financially updated before closing, if the transactions are physically updated. In Figure 5, production order BOM lines are not financially updated, but the finished produced items are reported as finished. A production order can only be updated with the accurate cost during closing if all of its sub-assemblies have been costed. Figure 5 is an example of the output for this part of the report. The report must display the critical transactions before the closing date. Figure 5: Pre-closing data report, production with open subproduction For an example illustrating that the correct inventory value can only be obtained at the inventory close date, see the section Running Inventory Value Reports in this document. Pre-closing Report Search Criteria The report should check that: The posted quantity (financially updated quantity) of the item is less than zero within the financial dimensions on the closing date. When this case exists, it will not be possible to settle all issues against the receipts. Marked issues where the corresponding receipt(s) are not financially updated. Partial Production Order Costing This section describes what happens when costing a production order and running the inventory closing. In Microsoft Axapta, costing a production order results in financially updated inventory transactions, even though the production order has not ended. It is possible to perform a costing of a production order after the production order has been started and a quantity has been reported as finished. If the costing is done without selecting the parameter End job, the production order is actually financially cost updated as if the parameter was selected. This behavior has the following impacts: The inventory transaction is financially updated for the production order according to the reported finished quantity. This means that all costs are put on the reported as finished quantity, even if this is only a small part of the total production quantity. The cost price can therefore become incorrect. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 10

13 The items in process and the work in process accounts are deducted and the finished goods account is increased as if the production order is completed. If the quantity reported as finished doesn t correspond to the reported consumption, then the accounts are affected with values that do not correspond to the actual situation. For example, a production order can be reported as finished with a quantity of 20, but the material consumption corresponds to 100 items. An Example of Partial Production Order Costing The following example shows how an apparently incorrect cost price on an issue transaction, which is caused by a partial costing of a production order, can actually be corrected by running the inventory closing after ending and finally costing the production order. The example is as follows: A company begins a production order of five units. When two units are produced on the production order, a sales order with a demand for one unit is created. In order to fulfill this sales order, two units of the production order are reported as finished and a partial costing is carried out. The partial production order costing is done to help ensure the most accurate cost on the sales order transaction. This example shows that this cannot be achieved until the production order is ended and finally costed, and the inventory closing is run in order to settle and adjust all the transactions involved. A production order with a quantity of five is created for an item. The item has a Bill of Material consisting of one item and a route with a single operation. Figure 6: Create the production order of five units The production order is cost estimated in order to get an overview of the cost associated to the production order. In this case, the cost price per unit is Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 11

14 Figure 7: Estimated cost calculation The production order of 5 units is begun with the parameters set up as shown in the screenshot in Figure 8. Figure 8: Start of the production order A sales order has a demand for 1 unit from the production order. In order to fulfill the sales order demand, the production order is partially reported as finished with the quantity of 2. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 12

15 Figure 9: Report two units finished The production order becomes partially costed. Users must clear the End job and Report as finished check boxes on the Costing form in order to do additional reporting on the production order to complete the remaining three units. Figure 10: Costing of the two units After costing the production order, the sales order for the single unit becomes invoice updated. The cost amount for the financially updated and costed production order line of two units is This is actually the cost amount for the complete production order. The cost amount for the sales order line of one unit is 33.75, which is half of the cost amount for the entire production order of five units. The transaction for the three remaining units cost amount does not become updated. At the moment, these values are incorrect and they will first be corrected when the final costing of the production order and the inventory closing have taken place. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 13

16 Figure 11: Transaction for the item The remaining three units on the production order are reported as finished and the production order is ended. The production order is finally costed and the cost amount for the two production order transactions are adjusted and settled according to the quantities of the two transactions. That is, two units for the first transaction and three units for the second transaction. Cost amount for the first transaction = 67.5 x 2/5= 27 Cost amount for the second transaction = 67.5 x 3/5= 40.5 The cost amount for the sales order transaction is still not correct. It is still and the cost amount will be corrected when the inventory closing has been run. Figure 12: After finally costing the production When closing the inventory the cost amount of the sales order transaction gets settled and adjusted to the correct cost amount of 13.5, as shown in Figure 7, under Estimated Amount, in the Total cost price per unit field. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 14

17 Figure 13: After closing the inventory This example clearly illustrates the issue with incorrect cost amounts on sales order transactions, when items are issued from a partial costing production order. Beginning the Inventory Closing Process Unintentionally In Microsoft Axapta 3.0, the Inventory close form has the OK button set as the default, therefore, if the Enter key is pressed after typing in one parameter field, inventory closing or recalculation will begin. It is anticipated that code will be designed to update this function and will then be released as part of the Green delivery. Until the update is released, it is suggested that customers take care not to unintentionally begin an inventory closing. Inventory Closing Technical Documentation Performance Considerations in Inventory Closing This section explains in detail how performance of the inventory closing functionality in Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 and onwards is affected by different parameter settings, in connection with the different inventory evaluation methods that are supported by Microsoft Axapta. The section also contains a technical description of the calculation techniques involved (focusing on calculating the cost of goods sold) and explains why looping or circularity is necessary to get the correct values. The Fundamental Costing Issue The fundamental costing issue is that companies do not necessarily know the cost price of their items when the items are sold. Companies are often forced to operate with estimated and forecasted cost prices if they do issues of items before the purchase order (or production order) for the items are invoice posted (or costed). The fundamental challenge regarding inventory costing and valuation is therefore to design a strategy to deal with this uncertainty. There are generally two ways companies can handle this issue. They can either operate with a politically selected cost price (standard cost), or they can recalculate and adjust the used (estimated) cost price when they learn the actual price of the receipt. Microsoft Axapta supports the following inventory evaluation methods: Inventory model FIFO (First In First Out) Definition Item issues are always balanced against the first items received in inventory, based on the date of the inventory transaction. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 15

18 LIFO (Last In First Out) LIFO date Weighted average Weighted average date Item issues are always balanced against the items received last in inventory, based on the date of the inventory transaction. Item issues are always balanced against the items received last in inventory, based on the date of the inventory transaction. However, an item issue is never balanced against an item receipt that falls after the date of the issue. If, however, there is no item receipt before the item issue, the issue is balanced against any issues falling after the date of the item issue. Item issues are valued at an average value, based on the items that make up the inventory value at the time of the item issue. An item issue is balanced proportionally against item receipts. Users can decide on the minimum quantity to be balanced against, either in the Inventory parameters form, in the Minimum average quantity field, or directly for the individual item in the Item form, on the Other tab, in the Minimum average quantity field. The same principle as Weighted average, although the inventory value forming the basis for the average value consists of open item receipts falling before the item issue. The inventory evaluation method is expressed by selecting an inventory model group that must be attached to any item. In the model group, users can enable the use of a standard cost price in combination with any of the inventory evaluation method described. The effect of the selected inventory model can be seen when closing or recalculating the inventory. For more information on inventory models, see the following sections in this document: Weighted Average Date Inventory Model, LIFO in Microsoft Axapta, and Different Average Cost Values Within the Same Period Using the Weighted Average Date Cost Model. LIFO in Microsoft Axapta In the inventory model LIFO (last in first out) item issues are always balanced against the items received last in inventory, based on the date of the inventory transaction. Figure 14: Order of settlements in Axapta LIFO As Figure 14 shows, the order of settlements for the LIFO cost model in Microsoft Axapta, where PO stands for purchase order and SO stands for sales order. For example, settlements with PO3 would be made starting with the latest sales order (SO3) and working back through SO2 and then SO1. In this way, Microsoft Axapta can take account of negative inventory. Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 16

19 Balancing Performance with Accuracy When Closing or Recalculating This section focuses on multi-user inventory closing supported by Microsoft Axapta 3.0 SP2 and onwards. The aim of enabling multi-user inventory closing was to solve two performance related issues, these being: Performance in general, and particularly when the Weighted average inventory model is used Very large fluctuations in the actual cost price average when physical value is included in the calculation Expected Performance The precise level of performance that will be achieved at each individual customer installation cannot be calculated in advance because there are too many company and architecture-specific factors that can affect the result. In each individual situation, users should consider how the inventory closing parameters should be set in order to reach a sensible compromise between the ultimately correct cost value and the desired level of precision in inventory calculations. Running Recalculations and Closing with Less Precise Parameter Settings: Initial Recommendations The following are the initial recommendations for running recalculations and inventory closing: If average cost is used as the inventory valuation principle, the parameter Minimum settle quantity percent should be set to approximately 10 percent, but not below 5 percent. A value below 5 percent can have a substantially negative effect on system performance. Inventory closing should not be performed during normal working hours. If needed, the inventory closing process can be interrupted and resumed again later. The following sections describe the reasons for these recommendations in more detail. Closing and Recalculation The Closing and adjustment form is where users can initiate calculations: Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 17

20 Figure 15: Closing and adjustment form where calculations are initiated When users click Close or Recalculation, the following expanded dialog appears (the dialog for recalculation has an additional section for selecting items): Figure 16: Expanded Close inventory dialog At the bottom of the dialog, under the Weighted avg. group, are two fields that are only relevant for average inventory models (the Weighted average or Weighted average date inventory models). The Minimum settle quantity percent field and the Minimum settle amount field minimize the number of settlements and therefore the risk of fragmented settlements, which can result in poor program performance. Together with the fields described in the next section, users can use the settings in these fields to make a compromise between performance and precision. Compromising Between Performance and Precision It is possible to compromise between program performance and precision results, by setting different values in the following fields: Maximum throughputs Minimum throughput adjustment The item-specific Minimum average quantity field, which has a fall back value in the global inventory parameter Generally it is not recommended to set the Minimum throughput adjustment parameter below the value of 1. The Minimum settle amount field has a default value of 5. The lowest value that can be selected is calculated by rounding the default currency multiplied by 10. The value will need to be adjusted according to the local currency, average purchase prices, and quantities. If purchase prices are below 5, a smaller amount must be used. For Microsoft Axapta Inventory Closing White Paper 18

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