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Additional Functionality for Recurring Purchase & Sales Lines in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

March 10, 2020Cari Corozza

Recurring Purchase Lines (formerly called Standard Purchase codes in Microsoft Dynamics NAV) have always been one of my favorite time-saving features, and the expanded functionality for recurring lines in Business Central allows for even more options and flexibility. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central allows the user to define how and when the recurring purchase or sales lines should be inserted by vendor or customer. This blog post will explore the different options available.

For our example, we are going to explore the options given when assigning Recurring Purchase Lines to a Vendor Card, but the same principles apply to Recurring Sales Lines on sales documents as well.  To learn how to set up and assign recurring purchase lines, see my previous blog post HERE.  In the same screen that we assign the Recurring Purchase Lines to the Vendor Card, we are given three options to choose how these recurring lines will get inserted on purchase documents.  The three options are given in drop-down format for the four different document types of Quotes, Orders, Invoices, and Credit Memos.  I will walk through each of the three options below and the pros and cons of each.

 

 

Manual
Manual means that you must manually look up and choose to insert recurring lines that exist for the vendor.

Pros

  1. Most similarity to NAV functionality, meaning that in NAV the method to insert the lines was manual.
  2. Have the option to choose whether to insert lines.

Cons

  1. Must be aware and remember that recurring lines exist for a vendor (keep this in mind especially if multiple users will be using the recurring lines).
  2. Additional steps to bring lines into document.

Automatic

Automatic means that the recurring purchase lines will automatically be inserted in the new vendor document.  There are a few caveats to this setting, however, which are listed below.

Pros

  1. If the same set of recurring purchase lines is repeatedly used for a vendor, automatic insertion reduces additional steps.
  2. Do not need to be aware or remember that recurring lines exist for each vendor.
  3. Can easily delete lines if they are not needed.

 

Cons

  1. One caveat is that if multiple recurring line setups exist, you will be prompted to pick a set of recurring lines before they are inserted, so this isn’t actually “automatic.”
  2. Frequently need to delete the inserted lines if they aren’t needed on a regular basis.

Another caveat is that automatic insert only works if the new document was created from a document list, for example by choosing the ‘New’ action on the ‘Purchase Invoice’ list.  It does not work if the document was created from a vendor card, for example.  This is not necessarily a pro or con, but just something to be aware of.

NOTE: The Automatic insert function is currently not functioning as Microsoft intended, and this is thought to be a bug with the system.  Instead of the lines inserting automatically, a prompt appears at the top of the document to get the recurring lines (like in Always Ask).  We hope this will be fixed soon.

Always Ask

Always ask means that a notification will appear, and all existing recurring lines are shown so that you can select one.

Pros

  1. Built-in reminder that recurring lines for a vendor are set-up
  2. Can easily select and insert lines into a new document
  3. Can easily choose not to insert any recurring lines if they are not applicable

Cons

  1. One small additional step to insert the lines.

Overview

Based on my experience with recurring purchase and sales lines, I prefer ‘Always Ask’ as a good default selection since it provides the best mix of consistency along with flexibility.  I would make this recommendation to most companies who are implementing recurring lines in Business Central and have them evaluate how this works for them.  However, note that all companies have different needs and the other options mentioned might better suit your company.

It is also worthwhile to note that you can select one of these three method on Quotes, Orders, Invoices, and Credit Memos.  Your selection does NOT need to be the same for all documents.  Evaluate your company’s usage of each of these documents and its needs to see when recurring lines might be of benefit.

This new functionality with Business Central allows much more flexibility for users and departments and can really be a time-saver when used appropriately.

 

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The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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