MB2-717 Certification: (Microsoft Dynamics for Sales) – Fiscal Periods

As I prepare for my Dynamics 365 certification in sales (MB2-717), I’m creating blog posts based on my revision. I hope that collectively these posts may prove useful to anyone also preparing for the MB2-717 exam. This time I will look at fiscal periods.

You can see below that fiscal periods are mentioned in the “manage goals” section of the skills measured statement;

When reporting data (or setting goals) it might be important to understand the concept of fiscal periods. Not all companies will operate on the same calendar!

Often when we want to report on something we might talk about an annual target. Commonly annual implies Jan to Dec. However not all companies report annual results like this, say for accounting purposes your fiscal years runs April to March. Its in these situations that you might need to configure fiscal periods. Additionally some companies may commonly work with monthly targets but it is also common to have periods based on quarters.

This concept is especially relevant when talking about goals as all goals are date bound and therefore might be linked to a fiscal period or a custom date range.

When you define a fiscal year you additionally also define the associated fiscal periods, this could be monthly, quarterly, semi, annual (etc).

Fiscal year settings can be controlled in the Business Management area of settings. Using the “Fiscal Year Settings” option;

Having selected the fiscal year settings option you will see a dialog something like the one shown below. With this we can control the start date for our year, period template and other options such as how to display fiscal periods.

Possible templates include annually, semi-annually, quarterly, monthly and 4 week periods. Essentially you are going to select which ever template best fits your organisations reporting pattern.

Having defined the fiscal year settings then the fiscal years / periods can be used in goals. But you should be aware they are also useful when filtering  any data by date. Below you can see I am filtering my opportunities by estimated close date, this can be done by either actual years or fiscal years.

When creating goals the logic used to decide if fiscal periods should be monthly, quarterly (etc) will be driven by your fiscal year settings. Notice below that I am creating a goal and the period option is showing quarters.

Rules for goals and fiscal years …

  • All goals are time bound, you must specify a particular fiscal period or custom time period.
    • if you select a custom period for the goal, you have to specify the start and end dates manually.
  • If you select a fiscal period, you must also specify a fiscal year.
  • A goal’s fiscal period is tied to the organisation’s fiscal year settings and can be amended at any time.
    • If the fiscal year settings, existing goals continue with the old fiscal settings.  Until the revised period is selected and the goal recalculated as necessary.
    • All new goals can only be created using the current fiscal year settings for the organisation.

Hopefully this post has given you some insight into fiscal periods, and what you might need to know for your MB2-717 revision. As always I suggest you experiment with fiscal periods. In particular try changing your fiscal year settings to see how goals are impacted.

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