MB 210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales – Fiscal Years

As I prepare for my Dynamics 365 certification in sales (MB 210), I’m creating blog posts based on my revision. I hope that collectively these posts may prove useful to anyone also preparing for the MB 210 exam. This time I will cover the concepts around fiscal years.

You will see that fiscal years (or fiscal periods) are mentioned in the skills measured statement within the section headed “Perform Configuration”.

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. It is in these situations that you might need to configure fiscal periods.

This concept is especially relevant when talking about goals as all goals are date bound and therefore might be linked to a fiscal period. (I will cover goals in a separate post.)

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

If you are using the classic web client interface, fiscal year settings can be controlled in the Business Management area of settings. Using the “Fiscal Year Settings” option;

Alternatively, in the settings are of the admin center you can access the calendar option, which also loads the fiscal year settings option.

Having selected the “calendar” 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 period. 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 / reporting 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.

The screen shown above is from the classic web client. At the time of creating this post it was not possible to filter (from a view) using fiscal periods within the new UI. (This is as of Feb 2019.) Below you can see that date filtering with the Unified Interface involves selecting a specific date.

It is however possible to filter data based in fiscal years from advanced find in both the classic web client and the newer Unified Interface.

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, this is based on my current fiscal period settings

You may notice that on the screen shot above I have a warning message. This is because I have changed my fiscal period settings since this goal was created. (It is quite an old goal but one that demonstrates the impact of changing fiscal periods.) My goal is not automatically realigned to the new period settings. But I can use the “align with fiscal period” button to resolve this issue if required.

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 organization’s fiscal year settings and can be amended at any time.
    • If the fiscal year settings change, 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 organization.

Hopefully this post has given you some insight into fiscal periods, and what you might need to know for your MB 210 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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