Vendor invoice recording (Part 6)

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This post extends the previous one in a way that a project related expense invoice is recorded, which requires an explicit review of the project manager. To realize this, an additional project manager review step (PM review) is included in the invoice workflow. For details, please see the next illustration.

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Please note that the expenditure reviewer group ‘approver’ has been assigned to the PM review step…

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… which refers to the project manager as the one that has to review the invoice.

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To ensure that the workflow can also handle ordinary vendor invoices, the PM review workflow step is setup with an automatic action that completes the PM review step if no project number is provided. In other words, the PM review step is skipped for ordinary invoices.

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For the illustration of the next example, it is important to note that Susan Burk has been assigned as project manager for the project that is addressed in the vendor invoice.

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With the project number specified in the invoice, the workflow is consequently assigned to the project manager (Susan Burk) after the orderer (Nicole holiday) has reviewed the invoice in a first step.

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If a project number is not specified, the additional review step is skipped and identical to what has been shown in the previous post.

 

This post ends the section on manually entered expense invoices that need to be reviewed and approved by two or more people.

At this point it can preliminary summarized that the standard Dynamics AX/365 for Operations workflow functionalities appear able to handle a wide variety of expense invoice scenarios. From the author’s perspective, the only thing missing is an overview form that provides more information about the status, the current assignee, etc. of a workflow. That is mainly because the standard workflow history form does – from a finance and accounting perspective – not provide users with sufficient information that can be accessed at a glance.

The next posts will continue this series by showing how to integrate purchase requisitions for expense related invoices, which is also a common scenario in many companies. Till then.

Vendor invoice recording (Part 5)

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This post builds upon the previous one in a way that Michael Redmond, the account manager, now orders the marketing materials and that the invoice needs to be approved by his line manager Kevin Cook, as exemplified in the following organizational chart.

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To realize this, another position hierarchy (LRE Signing 2) has been specified, which includes Kevin Cook as one of the responsible approvers.

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This newly setup position hierarchy is then linked to a newly created invoice workflow…

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… that is setup in the very same way as the previously used one except for the activation of the workflow, which is based on the condition that employee 000050 (Michael Redmond) is entered in the financial dimension worker field.

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After making those modifications, two invoices are recorded. The first one that has Nicole Holiday specified in the financial dimension worker field and a second one that has Martin Redmond specified.

In line with the setup of the position hierarchies and the workers assigned, the correct line managers are always identified as the ones that need to approve those invoices. For details, please have a look at the following screen prints.

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From what has been shown in this and the previous post, it can be summarized that the standard application can handle even complex multi-branch signing limit structures even though this requires the setup of separate position hierarchies and invoice workflows.

Another issue that has not been discussed so far is the fact that typically numerous accountants record and initiate the invoice workflow. This results in different workflow originators that are not incorporated into the position hierarchy shown above. To avoid that one has to setup numerous position hierarchies and invoice workflows, one single accountant – in the example Phyllis – can be setup in the position hierarchies. If the very same person is specified as the workflow owner…

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…from which the workflow starts, this issue can be overcome.

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The next post continues this one by investigating how project related invoices can be incorporated into invoice workflows that make use of signing limits. Till then.

Vendor invoice recording (Part 4)

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In the previous posts, the responsible for approving the vendor invoice was identified by the approver expenditure reviewer group, which was specified in the approval workflow step. For details, please see the next screen-print.

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While the previously used setup allows the identification of a single invoice approver, it does not help much in companies that make use of hierarchical signing limits.

How hierarchical signing limits can be incorporated into the invoice workflow will consequently be investigated in this post.

The next screen prints show the changes that have been made to the workflow setup in order to get the hierarchical signing limits incorporated.

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For that purpose, the second workflow step (singing limit based approval) has been changed and does no longer refer to the assignment type participant but rather to the assignment type hierarchy, as exemplified in the next illustration.

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A major issue in regards to the selection of a hierarchical assignment is that the hierarchy can either start from the workflow owner – which refers to a ‘static’ user– or to the workflow originator.

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Provided that an accountant – who is not included in the managerial hierarchy of the persons involved in the review and approval process – initiates the workflow, i.e. acts as workflow originator, the line manager of the accountant and not the manager of the orderer would get the approval workflow step assigned. To avoid such wrong assignments, a new position hierarchy (LRE signing) is setup, which starts with the accountant (Phyllis Harris) that records the invoice in Dynamics AX/365 for Operations. The following hierarchical levels are determined by the operative management (Benjamin Martin), the executives (Julia Funderburk) and finally the president of the unit (Charlie Carson). For details, please see the next screen print.

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This position hierarchy needs then to be associated with the workflow through the associate hierarchy button shown in the next illustration.

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Once this is done, the condition for identifying the correct person to approve the invoice can be specified.

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The next setup required consists of specifying the signing rules for the different positions respectively levels. The rules used for the following examples are shown in the next figure.

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With the modified workflow and the signing limits in place, an invoice for a total of $47500 is recorded in the pending vendor invoice form by Phyllis, the accountant.

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To clearly differentiate the workflow from what has been shown in the previous posts, only the orderer (Nicole Holiday) is entered in the financial dimension worker field. A cost center has, however, not been specified.

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Irrespective of whether and which cost center is entered, Dynamics AX/365 for Operations finds the correct approver by successively working through the signing limits that have been setup. The next screen print shows the users that are addressed by the workflow for the $47500 invoice.

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As one can identify from the previous illustration, Nicole Holiday is the first user addressed by the workflow in order to review the vendor invoice.

Thereafter, Benjamin Martin, Julia Funderburk and Charlie Carson need to approve the invoice before it can be posted. Even though Benjamin Martin and Julia Funderburk do not have a sufficiently large signing limit, they still need to approve the invoice because of the workflow setup.

warningsignganzklein The successive assignment of the invoice approval can be cut short by defining that only the last user retrieved, that is the one with a sufficiently high signing limit, shall get the task assigned. The next screenshot exemplifies this.

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This slight modification in the workflow setup results in a situation where Benjamin Martin and Julia Funderburk are skipped from the approval task for the $47500 invoice, which is directly assigned to the person with the appropriate signing limit (Charlie Carson).

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Now let’s modify the example in a way that the materials are ordered by Michael Redmond and need to be approved by his line manger (Kevin Cook).

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For that reason, another vendor invoice, this time for $2000 is entered in the vendor invoice workbench. Different from what has been shown before, this time, Michael Redmond – the orderer – is entered in the worker financial dimension field.

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After Michael Redmond reviewed the invoice, the invoice approval is assigned to Benjamin Martin and not Kevin Cook, which can be identified from the next screen print.

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The underlying reason for this outcome is the position hierarchy that has been assigned to the workflow and which does not include Kevin Cook. For details, see further above.

At this point, one might think to simply add Kevin Cook in the signing position hierarchy. The major problem with this approach is that Dynamics AX/365 for Operations currently only allows a single relationship between the different positions included in the hierarchy. In other words, position hierarchies that include more than a single branch, such as for Kevin Cook (the sales manager) and Benjamin Martin, (the marketing manager) that both report to Julia Funderburk, (the marketing executive), require some additional setups, which will be explained in the next post.

Vendor invoice recording (Part 3)

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This post extends the previous one in a way that this time a project related expense invoice is recorded and posted. The major difference to the example shown in the previous post is related to the expenditure reviewer setup that needs to be made in a separate project distribution tab, which is illustrated in the next screen print.

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Please note that the setup of the ‘orderer’ expenditure reviewer group is made in the same way that has been shown for ordinary expense related invoices in the organization distributions tab.

The setup of the ‘approver’ expenditure group differs from what has been shown in the previous post because the project manager is now defined as the responsible person for approving the vendor invoice. For details, please see the following screen print.

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Please note that the sample invoice recorded below is for project no. 000188, which has Kevin Cook assigned as the project manager.

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Also note that Kevin Cook is not a line level manager of Nicole Holiday who once again ordered the goods. This can be identified from the next organizational chart.

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Against the background of all this information, another expense invoice for advertising materials is recorded in the pending vendor invoice form.

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This time, with a project is specified in the project invoice line details tab.

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The financial dimensions invoice line tab is filled with the same financial dimension values that have been used in the prior post. That is, Nicole Holiday – the worker who ordered the goods – is recorded in the financial worker dimension field and cost center 008 – that has Benjamin Martin assigned as the cost center owner – is recorded in the financial cost center dimension field.

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Because of the project relationship, the respective project manager (Kevin Cook) and not the cost center owner is identified as the one who has to approve the vendor invoice before it can be posted. The next screen print illustrates this.

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As the remaining process steps are identical to what has been shown in the previous post, they are skipped here for reasons of brevity.

The next post will build upon this one and illustrate how different signing limits can be incorporated into the vendor invoice workflow. Till then.

Vendor invoice recording (Part 2)

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Within this second part of the series on vendor invoice recording, we start with a process where a marketing employee (Nicole Holiday) orders some marketing materials via Email.

After the materials have been received by Nicole Holiday, the vendor invoice arrives and is manually entered in the pending vendor invoice form. After recording all invoice related data, the AP clerk initiates the invoice workflow.

Within the first workflow step, the one who ordered the materials (Nicole Holiday) needs to review the invoice and confirm that all ordered materials arrived in good condition.

Thereafter, the cost center manager (Benjamin Martin) needs to approve the expense amount before it can be posted and paid later on.

The next flowchart summarizes the different process steps that will be investigated in more detail from a Dynamics AX/365 for Operations perspective.

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The following organizational chart highlights the employees/positions involved in the process in light brown color. Note that this chart will also be used for the subsequent posts on vendor invoice recording.

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Based on findings that have been made by other Dynamics AX/365 for Operations experts – please see the following post / video – the invoice approval workflow has been set up in a way that makes use of two different expenditure reviewer groups.

The first expenditure reviewer group – denominated as orderer – thereby makes reference to the financial dimension worker and automatically assigns the workflow work-item task to the worker specified in the financial dimension worker field. For details, please see the following setup.

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warningsignganzklein Getting the invoices correctly assigned to the person who ordered it, requires setting up all employees with their own financial dimension. In addition, each employee must be specified as the owner of this financial dimension because the financial dimension owner defines the person who has to review the vendor invoice. The next screen print shows this setup for Nicole Holiday who ordered the marketing materials.

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The second expenditure reviewer group – denominated as approver – references the cost center financial dimension.

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The person responsible for approving the invoice is consequently the one that is setup as the owner of the respective cost center. In the example illustrated, this is Benjamin Martin as the head of cost center 008.

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warningsignganzklein It is the financial dimension owner and not the manager of the corresponding operating unit that is referenced through the expenditure reviewer group.

warningsignganzklein The way how the setup is made requires that the expense invoice is entered with the financial dimension worker, which defines the orderer who is responsible for verifying that the ordered materials arrived. In addition, the respective cost center needs to be entered because it determines the manager that is responsible for approving the invoice.

 

After describing the elements required for the invoice workflow, let’s have a look at the different workflow steps and the overall setup of the sample workflow used in this post, which is illustrated below.

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The following two screen prints show the setup of the first workflow step (review invoice) that requires Nicole Holiday reviewing whether all materials have been delivered by the vendor. Please note that Nicole holiday is not directly addressed in the first workflow step but rather the workflow participant ‘orderer’. As the expenditure reviewer group ‘orderer’ links to the financial dimension ‘worker’, the person who ordered the materials needs consequently be entered in the financial dimension worker field at the time the invoice is entered. This will be shown further below.

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The second workflow step – the invoice approval step – is also assigned to a workflow participant. This time, the approver, as illustrated in the next screen prints.

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With this setup in place, let’s record the expense invoice for the marketing materials. The next illustration shows the vendor invoice recording, which makes use of the ‘advertising’ procurement category that defines the ledger account that will be used for posting the invoice.

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warningsignganzklein Please note that the orderer (Nicole Holiday) is entered in the financial dimension worker field. The person that needs to approve the invoice is determined by the owner of the cost center entered in the cost center financial dimension.

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After all invoice details are entered, the workflow process is started by the accountant Phyllis Harris. Based on the workflow setup, Nicole Holiday is the first one that gets a workflow item-task assigned. Please see the next screen print.

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If Nicole opens the assigned work item, she can inspect the invoice recorded by the AP clerk. Provided that everything is ok, she can then complete her review task.

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warningsignganzklein If Nicole Holiday rejects the review, the invoice will be returned to the AP clerk who can then clarify with the vendor how to deal with the invoice received. Provided that the invoice is unjustified, the AP clerk has the option to recall the workflow and delete the record from the pending vendor invoice form until a new or corrected invoice from the vendor arrives. Another available workflow action for Nicole is to delegate the workflow task to another user who will then become responsible for finalizing the invoice review workflow step.

Once Nicole has completed her review task, the workflow assigns another work-item to Benjamin who has to approve the amount to be spend.

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Benjamin can similarly choose among different workflow actions, such as approve, reject, etc.

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warningsignganzklein In addition to approving the invoice Benjamin Martin has the option to reject the invoice, which returns it to the AP clerk – the workflow originator – who can then decide how to proceed. Delegating the approval step assigns the invoice approval to another user. The same applies to the request change workflow action, which allows specifying a user that has to make some changes – for example to the sales tax – before the invoice workflow can continue.

Once Benjamin Martin approved the expense invoice, all workflow steps are completed …
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… and the invoice becomes available for posting.

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warningsignganzklein Provided that all invoice details have already been entered in the first place and against the background that the invoice has been reviewed and approved by two different people, it can be posted automatically from the author’s perspective, which can be realized by including an automatic posting step in the workflow. The next screen print illustrates this.

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Posting the vendor invoice ends this second post on vendor invoice recording. The next posts will successively extend the sample invoice workflow process illustrated here. Till then.

Vendor invoice recording (Part 1)

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Over the last couple of years, I have seen a lot of different ways how companies record and process their vendor invoices. Some people I talked to about vendor invoice processing mentioned that the standard invoice recording tools would not be sufficient, others stated that they are too complex and even one time I was confronted with the statement that the standard tools cannot be used because ‘everybody’ says that they are not mature enough. Many of those people resp. companies ended up implementing expensive software add-on’s that often had their own problems and required some customizations in the form of interfaces and alike. Against the background of those statements, I will illustrate within this and the following posts how expense and purchase order related vendor invoices can be processed in the standard Dynamics AX/365 for Operations application.

warningsignganzklein Expense related vendor invoices are those for which no purchase order has been created and that are consequently not matched against product receipts.

The aim of this series is not to backfire on those previous – sometimes quite offensive – statements I was confronted with but rather to carve out the advantages and disadvantages, strength and weaknesses of the standard invoice recording tools in order to allow you making your own assessment.

Before we dig into the details, I would like to mention that all of the following illustrations and explanations will make use of what I call the vendor invoice ‘workbench’, that is, the ‘pending vendor invoice form’. Vendor invoice journals, vendor invoice register journals and invoice approval journals won’t be used at all because of the following reasons:

  1. The invoice workbench provides a single point of entry for entering expense related and purchase order related invoices.
  2. Entering vendor invoices through journals does not make use of the subledger accounting framework. As a result, important invoice audit functionalities are simply not available. For details, please have a look at this prior post
  3. Project related expense invoices that are recorded through journals are not considered as committed project cost. As a result, project costs might be observed too late, resulting in wrong decision makings and project analysis. For details, please have a look at the following post.
  4. The vendor invoice workbench allows recording project related intercompany expenses that cannot be recorded through the different invoice journals. What is more, intercompany projects automatically create intercompany invoices in the vendor invoice workbench. Using journals for recording vendor invoices consequently result in a situation where companies have to differentiate between (a) ordinary expense related invoices, (b) purchase order related invoices and (c) project related intercompany invoices and record them in different forms in Dynamics AX/365 for Operations.

Recording vendor invoices through the invoice workbench does also have some disadvantages, such as:

  1. That fact the value added tax included in the invoice amount will be posted later compared to posting it at the time the invoice is registered in the invoice register journal. This timing difference can result in cash flow related opportunity costs if the tax is deduced in future financial periods. Even though this statement is true, I have not seen many companies posting the value added tax at the time vendor invoices are registered. In addition, if the vendor invoice throughput time is short, the time difference argument falls short.
  2. That accountants who are used to recording expenses directly on ledger accounts have to relearn how they record vendor invoices. That is because the vendor invoice workbench does not allow entering ledger accounts directly but rather makes use of so-called procurement categories. The following figure illustrates an expense invoice for advertising expenses, where the ledger account that is assigned to the procurement category can be observed only indirectly through the accounting distribution form.
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    I made the experience that this last point is often the biggest hurdle that prevents people from using the vendor invoice workbench. From the authors perspective this second point is regularly used only as an excuse that is brought forward in order to prevent changes to familiar business processes. As an example, the argument that procurement categories do not provide users with an indication of the ledger account that will be used for posting can be overcome by including or adding the account number in the procurement category name.

The next posts will focus on expense related vendor invoices and how they can be entered and processed through the invoice workbench in Dynamics AX/365 for Operations. Thereafter, entering and processing purchase order related invoices will be illustrated before this series will conclude with a summary of the advantages/disadvantages, strength and weaknesses of the standard vendor invoice processing functionalities.

Make yourself heard

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Recently, Microsoft launched this new website, which allows us helping to improve Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its family of products and solutions by discussing ideas, providing suggestions and giving feedback.

This site offers a great opportunity for all Dynamics community members to make their ideas and suggestions heard and/or to vote for features that have already been suggested by others.

The ideas and suggestions that get the most votes are likely to be built into future versions of the Dynamics 365 product family. Even though there is no guarantee that one’s idea will be realized, there is absolutely no chance that it will be considered if you do not make yourself heard and use this platform.

That’s why I would like to ask you to make use of the newly released site, not only to bring your own ideas forward but also to vote for other already existing ideas in order to make the Dynamics 365 product family even better in the future.

My personal current favorite finance & accounting related ideas are

  1. Address selection for collection letters
  2. Customer lump-sum depreciation of overdue customer positions (invoices)
  3. Foreign currency revaluation cash and bank management module
  4. Secure attachments for certain groups of users or security roles
  5. Single voucher per expense report
  6. Financial Reporting using Chart of Accounts translated descriptions
  7. Parallel / Multiple inventory valuation
  8. Provide ability to restrict ‘Project Stages’ by Security Roles or controlled by Workflow

Do you have other or better ideas?
Then share them on https://ideas.dynamics.com/ideas/ or vote and comment on already existing ones, such as the ones I listed above.

Many thanks for your support and helping making the Dynamics 365 product family better.

Parallel inventory valuation – an alternative approach (Part 5)

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As the other remaining production related standard cost variances are treated in a similar way as the previously analyzed lot size variance, they are analyzed together in this post. In order to get a price, quantity and substitution variance posted, the following modifications have been made to the standard production process for the item that has already been used in the prior post.

 

  1. Instead of consuming one raw material, two pieces of the raw material are consumed, which results in a quantity variance of $500.
  2. The standard cost price of the raw material has been increased from $500 to $515 prior to the start of the production order. This gave rise to a price variance of
    2 pcs x ($515-$500) = $30
  3. The route card was posted with a different route version, which had a different (more expensive) cost category price setup ($600 instead of $490). This change resulted in a substitution variance of $110.

 

warningsign1 Other common sources of standard cost variances are described on the following website: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg213654.aspx

 

The next screen print illustrates the total production costs of $1640 and the different standard cost variances for the sample production order processed.

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As before, the next accounting overview summarizes the generated ledger transactions.

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warningsign1The grey highlighted lines offset each other and can thus be ignored for the analysis of the production costs.

 

For those readers who are not very familiar with ledger postings, the following financial statement overview has been prepared.

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The financial statement overview presented above shows that the total inventory balance of the produced item ($1000) is too low from an actual costing perspective ($1640). For that reason, an allocation of the price, quantity and substitution variance similar to what has been shown in the previous post for the lot size variance is required.

Applied to the example shown above, the complete price, quantity and substitution variance amounts would have to be shifted to the company’s balance sheet by making use of an allocation rule. That is because only a single receipt transaction but not issue transaction has been recorded thus far. If also issue transactions would have been recorded, a separation and allocation of the different variance amounts would be required. The setup and application of this allocation rule is not shown here to conserve space and because it follows the same concept that has been explained in the prior posts.

 

Summary:
This and the previous posts demonstrated that companies that make use of a standard cost inventory valuation can obtain a parallel inventory value that is based on actual costs by applying general ledger allocation rules for the different standard cost variances.

The next graph summarizes the different standard cost variances and illustrates how they need to be treated to arrive at a parallel inventory value.

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The graph above differentiates between the different standard cost variances based on whether they arise internally (cost revaluation and cost change variance) or whether they have an external market relationship.

External market relationship in this context refers to the purchase market, which gives raise to the purchase price variance in case items are purchased and to the sales market, which relates to the produced items once they are sold.

As explained before, the ‘internal’ standard cost variances need to be eliminated, that is, shifted from the company’s income statement to its balance sheet because they relate to receipt transactions only and are eliminated automatically once the items are sold/consumed later on.

The ‘external’ standard cost variances require on the other hand side a separation based on whether they relate to receipt or issue transactions. This separation can be realized by making use of the ledger allocation rules and ensures that an actual cost inventory value can be obtained.

Overall it can be concluded that a parallel inventory valuation can be realized for companies that make use of standard costs by applying general ledger allocation rules. This post concludes this series on the alternative parallel inventory valuation approach. I hope that you found the one or the other useful information. Till next time.

Parallel inventory valuation – an alternative approach (Part 4)

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After the purchase and internal standard cost variances have been analyzed, let’s now have a look at the production related standard cost variances and how to deal with them.

Within this fourth part we will have a look at the lot size variance (LSV) first, which arises for example if the good quantity from a production order differs from the calculation quantity that was used for the standard cost calculation of an item. The following graphic illustrates the composition of the finished item that will be used for the subsequent explanations of the production lot size variance.

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The graphic above shows a finished good that is made of a raw material that has a standard cost price of $500 setup. In addition, another $500 route related costs – that consist of $490 assembly cost and $10 setup cost – are necessary to produce the item.

 

As the setup costs are independent from the quantity produced, the total production costs of an item decrease, as the production quantity increases. The next graphic illustrates this relationship for the sample item used.

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To illustrate how the lot size variance arises and how to deal with this kind of variance, a production order for 10 pcs of the finished good is processed. The next screen print shows that a total of $9910 production costs arise for the production of the 10 items [$10 setup costs + 10 x ($500 material costs + $490 assembly costs)]. The illustrated lot size variance of $90 results from the fix cost degression effect shown in the previous graphic.

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Similar to what has been shown in the previous post, the next accounting-like overview summarizes the production postings recorded (separated by the different production steps).

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warningsign1 The grey highlighted lines offset each other and can thus be ignored for the analysis of the production costs.

For those readers who are not very familiar with ledger postings, the following financial statement overview has been prepared.

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The financial statement overview shows a total inventory value of $10000 for the finished product on ledger account 140670. To produce those finished goods, raw materials with a total value of $5000 and $4910 labor costs have been consumed. The remaining difference to the standard cost value of the finished goods is assigned to the lot size variance that is recorded on ledger account 540630.

Further above, a realized cost amount of $9910 has been identified. Against the background of this actual cost amount, it can be concluded that the inventory value of the finished goods is overstated by $90 from an actual costing perspective.

If one of the produced items is sold later on, the inventory value is decreased by $1000 – the standard costs of the item. The financial statements illustrated below exemplifies this situation.

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From an actual costing perspective, the decrease in the inventory value from the sale of the produced item is comparatively too high. The same holds for the cost of sales, which are recorded on ledger account 640650.

In order to arrive at an actual cost valuation, the lot size variance (LSV) needs consequently be adjusted and split up in a similar way that has been shown for the purchase price variance before. The next graphic exemplifies the necessary separation of the total lot size variance if one out of the ten produced items is sold.

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To conserve space, the setup of the necessary ledger allocation rule is left as an exercise for the reader. If the allocation rule is later on processed, the following financial statements result:

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The financial statement overview shows a total inventory value that is $81 lower than before. This reduction takes care of the difference between the actual and the standard cost price [9 pcs x ($1000 – $991)]. As the allocated lot size variance amount is recorded on a separate ledger account, a parallel standard cost and actual cost inventory valuation can be achieved.

Please note that this also applies for the COGS amount of $1000 that has been adjusted through a corresponding adjustment on ledger account 640651 to arrive at an actual cost value of $991.

Within the next post we will take a look at the other production related standard cost variances and how to deal with them from a parallel valuation perspective. Till then.

Parallel inventory valuation – an alternative approach (Part 3)

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The next standard cost variance type that has an influence on the parallel valuation approach concerns cost change variances, which can result from two different sources that will be explained in the following.

 

Source 1: Standard cost price differences between sites
Standard costs can be setup in a way that different standard cost prices are defined per site in order to incorporate cost price differences resulting for example from transportation costs, etc. The next screen print exemplifies an item that has different cost prices setup for site 1 and site 2.

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In order to illustrate what influence these different cost prices have on the parallel inventory valuation approach, 100 pcs of the item have initially been acquired through an inventory adjustment journal for site 1. The resulting financial data can be identified in the following screen print.

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After the items have been acquired, an inventory transfer from site 1 to site 2 for a single item is posted through an inventory transfer journal.

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The outcome of this transfer is an adjustment voucher that results in a corresponding increase in the inventory value. The adjustment voucher and the resulting inventory value increase can be identified in the following figures.

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What one can identify from the financial statement reports exemplified above is that the total inventory value increased by $25 because of the item transfer from site 1 to site 2.

Before analyzing how to deal with that variance for the parallel inventory valuation approach, let’s have a look at the second possible source of cost change variances.

 

Source 2: Customer item return after standard cost price change

A second possible source for cost change variances are situations where standard cost items are sold to customers and returned after a cost price adjustment has been completed.

The following example illustrates this scenario where initially 100 pcs of a standard cost item with a cost price of $100/pcs are acquired – for reasons of simplicity – through an inventory adjustment journal. The next screen print shows the resulting financial statements.

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After the items have been acquired, 5 pcs are sold for a sales price of $200/pcs. With a standard cost price of $100/pcs, the company’s inventory value is consequently reduced by $500, which can be identified from the next financial statement illustration.

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Shortly after the items have been sold, the standard cost price of the remaining inventory items is adjusted from $100 to $130. The resulting accounting voucher and financial statements are shown in the next screen prints.

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The screen prints above illustrate that the change in the standard cost price resulted in a $2850 higher inventory value [95 pieces x ($130-$100)].

 

After the standard cost price has been increased from $100 to $130, the customer decided to return 3 out of the 5 pcs sold. Posting the return order packing slip and invoice results in a number of transaction vouchers that are summarized in the next accounting-like overview.

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warningsign1 The grey highlighted lines offset each other and can thus be ignored for the analysis of the production costs.

 

The transaction vouchers summarized above demonstrate that the item return resulted in a corresponding adjustment of the sales revenue and the receivables amount (3 pcs x $200 sales price / pcs = $600). At the same time, an adjustment of the COGS and inventory value was recorded. Yet, because of the cost price change, a $90 higher inventory value remains.

Expressed differently, selling and returning the 3 items resulted in a $90 higher inventory value, which can be identified in the following financial statement overview.

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After having analyzed the sources of cost change variances, the question arises, how to deal with them in order to arrive at a parallel actual cost based inventory value? 

As mentioned in the previous post, standard cost price changes resp. differences typically do not reflect actual (market) price differences but rather cost/transportation/handling cost differences.

Moreover, in an actual inventory costing environment, internal movements of goods between different sites do not affect the company’s profit. That is, a company does not get richer or poorer by the mere fact that an item has been shifted from one location to the other, as it might be the case for standard cost items.

The same holds for the second source of the identified cost price changes; i.e. in an actual costing environment, a company does not get richer or poorer by shipping and returning goods to and from a customer, as it might be the case in a standard cost environment.

For those reasons and because cost change variances affect receipt transactions only, it can be argued that the complete cost change variance amount needs to be shifted from the company’s income statement to it’s balance sheet in order to arrive at an approximate actual cost valuation. This shifting can once again be realized by making use on an allocation rule similar to the one that has been introduced in the prior posts.

The next posts will deal with the production related standard cost variances and how to incorporate them in the parallel inventory valuation approach. Till then.