Prepare Financial Reporting with Account Schedules and Account Categories

Use account schedules to get insight into the financial data stored in your chart of accounts. Account schedules analyze figures in G/L accounts, and compare general ledger entries with general ledger budget entries. The results display in charts on your Role Center, such as the Cash Flow chart, and in reports, such as the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet reports.

You access these two reports, for example, with the Financials Statements action on the Business Manager and Accountant Role Centers.

Business Central provides a few sample account schedules that you can use right away, or you can set up your own rows and columns to specify the figures to compare. For example, you can create account schedules to calculate profit margins on dimensions like departments or customer groups. You can create as many customized financial statements as you want.

Setting up account schedules requires an understanding of the financial data in the chart of accounts. For example, you can view general ledger entries as percentages of budget entries. This requires that budgets are created. For more information, see Create G/L Budgets.

Account Categories and Account Schedules

You can use account categories to change the layout of your financial statements. After you set up your account categories in the G/L Account Categories window, and you choose the Generate Account Schedules action, the underlying account schedules for the core financial reports are updated. The next time you run one of these reports, such as the Balance Statement report, new totals and subentries are added, based on your changes. For more information, see The "Account Categories" section in Understanding the General Ledger and the COA.

To create new account schedules

You use account schedules to analyze figures in general ledger accounts or to compare general ledger entries with general ledger budget entries. For example, you can view the general ledger entries as percentages of the budget entries.

  1. Choose the Search for Page or Report icon, enter Account Schedules, and then choose the related link.

  2. In the Account Schedule Names window, choose the New action to create a new account schedule name.

  3. Fill in the fields as necessary. Hover over a field to read a short description.

  4. Choose the Edit Account Schedule action.

  5. In the Account Schedule window, fill in the fields as necessary.

    When you have created a new account schedule and set up the rows, you must set up columns. You can either set them up manually or assign a predefined column layout to your account schedule.

  6. Choose the Edit Column Layout Setup action.

  7. In the Column Layout window, fill in the fields as necessary.

Note

If you did not assign a default column layout to the account schedule, you must set the columns up manually.

To copy an existing account schedule

The account schedules in the standard version of Business Central are the basis of the standard financial reports, which may not suit the needs of your business. To quickly create your own financial reports, you can start by copying an existing account schedule.

  1. In the Account Schedules window, select an account schedule, and then choose the Copy Account Schedule action.
  2. In the Copy Account Schedule window, fill in the fields as necessary, and then choose the OK button.

To create a column that calculates percentages

Sometimes you may want to include a column in an account schedule to calculate percentages of a total. For example, if you have a number of rows that break down sales by dimension, you may want a column to indicate the percentage of total sales that each row represents.

  1. Choose the Search for Page or Report icon, enter Account Schedules, and then choose the related link.
  2. In the Account Schedule Names window, select an account schedule.
  3. Choose the Edit Account Schedule action to set up an account schedule row to calculate the total on which the percentages will be based.
  4. Insert a line immediately above the first row for which you want to display a percentage.
  5. Fill in the fields on the line as follows: In the Totaling Type field, enter Set Base for Percent. In the Totaling field, enter a formula for the total that the percentage will be based on. For example, if row 11 contains the total sales, enter 11.
  6. Choose the Edit Column Layout Setup action to set up a column.
  7. Fill in the fields on the line as follows: In the Column Type field, select Formula. In the Formula field, enter a formula for the amount that you want to calculate a percentage for, followed by %. For example, if column number N contains the net change, enter N%.
  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 for each group of rows that you want to break down by percentage.

To set up account schedules with overviews

You can use an account schedule to create a statement comparing general ledger figures and general leger budget figures.

  1. Choose the Search for Page or Report icon, enter Account Schedules, and then choose the related link.

  2. In the Account Schedule Names window, select an account schedule.

  3. Choose the Edit Account Schedule action

  4. In the Account Schedule window, in the Name field, select the default account schedule name.

  5. Choose the Insert Accounts action.

  6. Select the accounts that you want to include in your statement, and then choose the OK button.

    The accounts are now inserted into your account schedule. If you want you can also change the column layout.

  7. Choose the Overview action.

  8. On the Dimension Filters FastTab, set the budget filter to the desired filter name.

  9. Choose the OK button.

Now you can copy and paste your budget statement into a spreadsheet.

Comparing Accounting Periods using Period Formulas

Your account schedule can compare the results of different accounting periods, such as this month versus same month last year. To do that, you add a column with the Comparison Period Formula field, and then set that field to a period formula.

An accounting period does not have to match the calendar, but each fiscal year must have the same number of accounting periods, even though each period can be different in length.

Business Central uses the period formula to calculate the amount from the comparison period in relation to the period represented by the date filter on the report request. The comparison period is based on the period of the start date of the date filter. The abbreviations for period specifications are:

Abbreviation Description

P

Period

LP

Last period of a fiscal year, half-year or quarter.

CP

Current period of a fiscal year, half-year or quarter.

FY

Fiscal year. For example, FY[1..3] denotes first quarter of the current fiscal year

Examples of formulas:

Formula Description

<Blank>

Current period

-1P

Previous period

-1FY[1..LP]

Entire previous fiscal year

-1FY

Current period in previous fiscal year

-1FY[1..3]

First quarter of previous fiscal year

-1FY[1..CP]

From the beginning of previous fiscal year to current period in previous fiscal year, inclusive

-1FY[CP..LP]

From current period in previous fiscal year to last period of previous fiscal year, inclusive

If you want to calculate by regular time periods, you must enter a formula in the Comparison Date Formula field instead.

Note

It is not always transparent which periods you are comparing because you can set a date filter on a report that spans different dates than the accounting periods that are reflected in the data in the chart of accounts. For example, you create an account schedule where you want to compare this period with the same period last year, so you set the Comparison Date Period Filter field to -1FY. Then, you run the report on February 28th and set the date filter to January and February. As a result, the account schedule compares January and February this year to January last year, which is the only completed accounting period of the two for last year.

See Also

Business Intelligence
Finance
Setting Up Finance
The General Ledger and the Chart of Accounts
Working with Business Central