In the previous post, I have mentioned about top 3 Vendor invoice automation features I was looking forward to. During this time, I had an opportunity to upgrade my environment to PU38 preview and wanted to provide a walk through of how these features can help automate some of the routine functions in AP.

Matching Product receipts to Pending Invoices lines: This has been one feature which we have managed to customize in 3 different versions of Dynamics (AX) (2009, 2012 and Dynamics 365 Finance). And to be honest, the requirement is pretty reasonable from an Accounts Payable processing stand point. There is no guarantee of receiving the goods before the Invoice is sent by the Vendor and there needs to be a mechanism to match receipts with Invoices keyed in. This feature – which utilizes the process automations framework feature is pretty neat , provides a single view of the process execution. Below is a quick view of what features the process automations framework provides

For this particular process, there is a background process that is already created/initialized in my environment and the one highlighted is the process that matches the Product receipts to Invoice lines. This is available under System administration -> Setup -> Process automations.

This background process is added to batch jobs with the recurrence that you choose, with the name as in the grid.

Here you can see how the batch job can be set for a particular process automation of background processes type.

You can also see the results by clicking on View most recent results.

There are a few parameters that would ensure that this job would run correctly:

  1. Enable Invoice matching validation under Accounts Payable Parameters -> Invoice validation: This is an existing parameter, which enables the matching policies , like 3 way match, Total matching etc., that you may choose for your organization.

2. Automatically match product receipts to invoice lines and Number of times to attempt matching under Accounts Payable parameters -> Vendor invoice automation: These are 2 new parameters that are added. The automatically match product receipts to invoice lines performs the matching of the receipts to the invoice lines that are pending and the number of times to attempt automatic matching performs the matching only that many times an invoice is attempted to match with product receipts. After that, it would exit from the matching logic and log the messages in the dashboard.

Newly added parameters
You can see here the number of times each Invoice was attempted and as in the parameters screenshot I only had set to attempt 3 times.

Now that I have explained how the process automation works and what are the pre-requisites for the job to execute, let us review my PO, product receipt and Invoice associated.

Purchase order with Line matching policy as 3-way match
Product receipt posted for the Purchase order

Purchase order Invoice that is created. Notice the quantity that is selected as “Ordered quantity” and as you can see there is no product receipt that is matched

The job has finished execution and you can see in the results that the matching was successfully.

And you can see that the invoice has been automatically matched with the product receipt and you can see that the quantity has been updated to Product receipt quantity.

So this concludes about one feature, using an automated process, how best we can achieve matching invoices to receipts, should the invoices arrive before the receiving has been performed at the warehouse level.

Pre-validation/simulation of posting: On similar lines of having a process of verifying if the a general journal is valid using the Validate option, a new button has been added that will aid the AP processors to perform validations before they attempt posting which would mean that they need to fix and try reposting.

Instead, they can validate the invoices and then process the posting, which would give them an additional check and also ensures that all data is keyed in correctly before attempting to post which would eventually rollback in case of errors. And in general, accountants are particularly not fans of encountering errors during posting, so this additional step will keep them happy ;).

A new button Simulate posting is added on the list page of Vendor invoices under the review tab. Note that, this option is available only in the list page view and not in the detailed view. The idea is to have the AP Processor simulate posting for multiple invoices simultaneously and save some time.

I have placed the period on hold, which would usually get caught during the posting process. Even in the case of Simulation posting, you can see that this error is caught and when you click on the Results of posting simulation you can see the actual error.

Invoice received date: If you have observed, you can see that there is an invoiced received date column. That column is available in the Vendor invoice header data entity that you can use for your integration scenarios and is populated as today’s date when you key in the invoice(s) manually.

Beyond this, there are analytics and tiles added to the Vendor invoice entry workspace, that give you specific details about Invoices which are not successfully matched, Invoices that have not been submitted to workflow successfully etc., I’m unable to demonstrate the analytics due to limitations of having Power BI connected to my box. Will try to touch base on that some time soon.

So this is about the new features that I think are useful for AP Processors that are being released as part of the 2020 Wave -2 release plan. In one of the coming blogs, I will touch base upon the other features like auto submission of invoices to workflows and batch invoice posting, both of which use the Process automations framework. And I’m in totally awe of the process automations framework and I have been discussing with a few friends of mine on how we can utilize for some of the custom processes that we have built.

Until next time, Happy D365’ing!