MyArbela and Arbela’s Support Program

Did you know that you can log your support issues at

Our enhanced support system is part of our new, formal Dynamics AX Support Program. If you’d like more information about our Support offering, please contact us at

What Makes Arbela’s Support Program Outstanding?

1.      Relationships

At Arbela, we value our relationships—both internal and external. All of us on the Arbela team appreciate each other and love what we do. The benefits of the resulting synergy are passed down to our customers through deep product knowledge and quality results. We also strive to get to know our customers well and we make our customers’ needs and goals our priority. This helps us effectively handle your support issues. Since we make it a point to always know what’s going on with our customers (audits, upgrades, acquisitions), we’re already prepared for the types of support requests you’ll be logging with us and we don’t require a lot of time to ‘catch up’ on where your business is currently.

2.      Reliability

We respond to customer support requests quickly. You won’t get a simple automated email in reply. You’ll hear from someone on our team whom you’ve most likely already spoken with. Our goal is to resolve your issues as quickly as possible, and should we need to involve Microsoft, we work closely with everyone to facilitate the work and expedite the resolution.

3.      Real World Experience

When you become a support customer with Arbela, you will have access to our diverse team of experts. We have many years of cumulative experience in the world of software, business systems and Dynamics AX. Many companies’ support consultants are the least experienced on their teams, where many of our support consultants have several years of Dynamics AX experience under their belts—including multiple full lifecycle implementations. Moreover, our support consultants don’t simply know AX; we know business, too.

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Common Uses for Alerts in AX 2012 Human Resources Module

With the alert notification functionality configured in AX, and Human Resources configuration keys enabled, there is an opportunity for the organization to take advantage of automated alerts. Users and administrators can create alerts on HR items with due dates and record changes.

Please click here to download the common due date HR scenarios for which alerts can be useful.

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AX 2012 Licensing Roles & CAL Requirements

There are pre-defined Security Roles for AX 2012 which require Enterprise, Functional, and/or Task users or Self-Serve CAL licenses.

  1. AX 2012 provides the ability to modify or create Security Roles and allows for the assignment of multiple Security Roles to a named user. It becomes important to understand the licenses needed to fulfill these modified access requirements.

Within the Standard AX solution, you can find the form whose security is being modified and locate the associated Menu item for the form in the AOT.

Ex.) Go to the AOT > Menu itemsDisplay/Action/Output > Menu item and then ‘right click’Properties‘View/Maintain User License’, this indicates the license type required either to view or maintain the menu item.

The complexity here is when you purchase license types. The user license type is dependent on the overall access level of their Role(s). The form with the highest license type requirement would be the license that is required to be purchased to operate the Role with the desired access.

  1. Standard AX provides a report on the licenses purchased and users assigned to them. However there is no detailed information on what is causing a user to be in a specific license type.

Arbela Security Manager (ASM) will provide a one-click solution to this time consuming process of gathering information on license type requirements when using a Role after it’s access levels have been modified.

For a limited time, Arbela Security Manager is being offered at a discounted price as part of a AXUG Post-Summit Promotion!

Click here to inquire about this promotion!

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Time & Attendance in AX 2012: A Basic Configuration of The Employee Time Clock

If the business requirement only calls for employees to enter basic functions to record their labor time, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 may prove useful. From a personal computer or a public terminal, the punch clock in AX allows the user to clock in, take breaks, enter absences, clock out, and register for production, project, or indirect jobs.

The shop floor control system can also be configured to display a day’s attendance of workers within your group from within the form. What we will focus on in this post is how to configure the punch clock to allow users to perform the most basic tasks of labor timekeeping.

Click here to download the full configuration procedure!

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Split by Percentage in General Ledger Journal

Scenario 1:

Splitting of electrical bill at one site to the departments at that site.

Site Name: Irwindale


  1. Finance (40%)
  2. Sales & Marketing (30%)
  3. Human Resources (30%)

Scenario 2: (Same process as Scenario 1) – Exercise for tester

Splitting of rent bill at one site to the departments at that site.

Site Name: ElkGrove


  1. Finance (25%)
  2. Sales & Marketing (35%)
  3. Human Resources (40%)

Solution for Scenario #1:

Menu Path: General Ledger > Journals > General Journal

Navigate to the Journals Area and click on the General Journal in order to create a new General Ledger Journal.

Click on the “New” button from the menu bar, a new line will appear. Click the drop down arrow in the name field and select “GenJrn – General Journal”.

Enter a description that details the reason to why we are creating the General Journal (Optional) – then click on the “Lines” button from the menu bar.

On the General Journal Lines, select the Electricity Expense Account and Site = IRW (Irwindale), enter a debit amount of $1000 USD, and pick Bank as the offset or pick the Ledger account for bank.

Click on the “Functions” Button from the menu bar, and click on the “Breakdown of voucher.”

On the breakdown of voucher window, click in the ledger account and tab to the department financial dimension and select the first department from the list (note if you know the number for the department you can just type it in).

In the debit field, enter the total amount and multiply the total amount by the percentage amount. – For finance in scenario #1 we are allocating 40% of the bill to the finance department. (You can use the amount field i.e. Debit, Credit to enter formula). Once done tab to get the updated amount.

Now click on the “Add” button in the overview area to add a new line in order to make your journal balance. In the remainder accounts field will indicate the amount needed to balance the journal to the total.

Enter the Main account, Site, and Department then repeat the same step used previously to calculate by percentage for the next two departments “Sales & Marketing” and “Human Resources”. Once completed, the “remainder accounts” = 0 and now the “update” button becomes available and not greyed out.

Click on the Update Button. Now the values are allocated by percentage to the three different departments at the same site “Irwindale” – Note all the lines have the same voucher number. Once the entry is completed and satisfied, click on the “Post” button from the menu bar to post the journal to the Ledger.

An infolog will appear confirming the successful posting of the journal.

To review the GL entries, click on the “inquiries” button from the menu bar and select “voucher.”

This is how these entries are going to post to the GL.

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Security Management Best Practices: When Revoking Access

Within AX 2012, we have the ability to grant, upgrade, downgrade or revoke Role access when using security permissions:

1. It is best to revoke or downgrade access when the number of menu items you would like to revoke or downgrade are limited. If it is not limited, this is a critical sign that you need a role with less access.

In an alternative scenario, if you need to provide only limited permissions to the Role, then:

2. It is best to start from scratch and upgrade access – Create a new Role and grant Privileges or drag and drop the Duties into the Role rather than using the existing out-of-the-box Roles and revoking permissions. If these best practices are not followed, the risk of creating unnecessary duplicates of security permissions such as Duties with revoke access Privileges can ultimately amount to junk data in the system.

3. If you are working on providing limited access to a menu item, then revoke the menu item’s access completely (no access) and then upgrade access levels by granting only the access level needed rather than downgrading or revoking access of a privilege and going one by one for the menu item, buttons, and fields.

4. While revoking access it is also important to decide, if you would like to revoke access to the menu item in question from all the other Roles performing the same Duty or just from a particular Role.

If you do not want any other Role to be impacted then it is best to always duplicate the Duty you are modifying, work on the Privileges appropriately, and roll it back to the Role. Most importantly, you need to maintain a consistent naming convention while creating these new objects.

5. You may wonder how much effort it takes to tailor to the needs of traceability and audit logs for all these tasks you perform in order to simply downgrade or revoke a Role’s access to menu items.

An alternative to avoid manual inputting of data would be to utilize the Arbela Security Manager (ASM) which will provide a one-click solution to these complexities and time consuming tasks. This solution makes it quick and easy to modify security permissions and maintain audit tracking and traceability.

Click here to learn more!

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How to Create a 4-4-5 Calendar in AX 2012

The 4-4-5 calendar is a method of managing accounting periods. It is a common calendar structure for industries such as retailmanufacturing and the parking industry. The 4-4-5 calendar divides a year into 4 quarters. Each quarter has 13 weeks, which are grouped into two 4-week “months” and one 5-week “month”. The grouping of 13 weeks may also be set up as 5-4-4 weeks or 4-5-4 weeks, but the 4-4-5 seems to be the most common arrangement. Its major advantages over a regular calendar are that the end date of the period is always the same day of the week, which is useful for shift or manufacturing planning, and that every period is the same length.

To setup the 4-4-5 Calendar in AX:

Menu Path: General Ledger > Setup > Fiscal Calendars

On the menu bar of the Fiscal Calendars windows, click “New Fiscal Calendar”.

Enter the “Name”/”Description” of the calendar, then indicate the “Start” and “End” date.

Now that we have created a new Fiscal Calendar and a new Fiscal Year, we need to manually delete all the operating type periods except period 1.

When all the operating type periods are deleted except period 1, we can start dividing the period 1.

Once you select the “Divide period”, enter the start date of the next period and name the period.

Now I have a “period 2” in my calendar list with a new start date of 12/30/2013.

By default, the month will be driven by the period we have recently divided. As we are dividing periods you need to make sure you update the month as well as the quarter.

Repeat these steps for the rest of the periods until you have completed the entire calendar.

Note: the months and quarters are in chronological order, in case you forgot to change the month or quarter; you will have to chronologically change from the last period to the first period.

When you reach Period 7, you need to change the quarter 2 “period 13” to quarter 3 in order to be able to assign quarter 3 for period 7.

The same applies to Period 10, when we change from quarter 3 to quarter 4.

Now you have the calendar with your start/end dates, and the 4-4-5 Calendar.

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Setting up Profiles for Time Registration: Flexibility vs. Structure

In Microsoft Dynamics AX, there are quite a few considerations before setting up Shop Floor Control, now consolidated into the Human Resources module in AX 2012. It is fairly typical for the need for tracking labor-related items such as tardies, absences, break time, overnight shifts, indirect labor costs, and overtime.

Depending on the size of the firm and the needs of the business, the setup of time registration may call for flexibility, or it may call for strengthened internal controls. So which profile setups are appropriate for the business, simple profiles or rigid profiles?

Profiles with defined clock in times inserted: Example

As you can see, the clock in and clock out times entered in the profile are clearly defined. There are a number of pros and cons that are associated with this type of setup.


  1. The punch clock users can see an accurate visual representation of their scheduled shift vs. their time worked that day in the Balances form, which can be accessed from the job registration form (punch clock) if configured to do so.
  2. The profiles can be arranged into Profile groups, and when a clock in line is registered in the Calculate form, the profile is automatically changed.
  3. For employees who use the punch clock, having clock in lines will allow you to enter an absence code as a reason for being late to work, which will transfer onto the Calculate form.
  4. You can assign special days to the profile calendar in the event of a mass holiday. The profile calendar is able to push an absence code directly to the Calculate form when there are holidays.
  5. If a worker is absent, the system will automatically enter an absence line with start and stop times that are encapsulated by the clock times on the profile.
  6. Absences recorded at the beginning, middle, and end of day are possible with this setup.
  7. Other profile types, such as overtime or premium time, can be set up on both ends of the clock times.
  8. You can use profile tolerance on either end of the clock times to allow workers to clock in late or clock out early without penalty.
  9. When using “Normtime” in pay adjustments, the daily value is equal to the Profile time day value, and the weekly value is equal to the Profile time total value:


  1. You may have to create many profiles to satisfy the flexibility requirements of certain field employees.
  2. If you want to take an unpaid lunch break, and it is not built into your profile, the clock out time will not be extended to give more time to your shift.
  3. You may have to add work time to the profile outside the normal shift in order to compensate for the possibility of a break.
  4. You cannot select more time than is in between your profile clock in and clock out times to register an absence.
  5. If you decide to stagger profiles, you may have to create as many pay agreements as you will create profiles, if your new 24-hour period does not begin at midnight for each profile.

Profiles without clock times inserted

These profiles are designed to allow much more flexibility in entering clock times. Below is an example of how these profiles would be set up:


  1. Profile groups can still be used.
  2. Great flexibility.
  3. A single profile can work for a wide number of shift scenarios.
  4. Overtime can be set up based either on the Profile type column selections, or the Overtime/flex limit field.
  5. The number of absence hours given for an employee’s full-day absence equal to the number of hours entered in the Overtime/flex limit field.
  6. The overtime/flex limit controls the number of hours expected to be worked in a day; if the completed workday is less than the number of hours entered in the Overtime/flex limit field on the profile, then a blank absence line will automatically be generated.
  7. There is a time and attendance parameter called Auto insert flex-/absence that allows a specific absence code to be automatically generated when the calculated function is run, and an absence line is generated. This feature is subordinated by manual entry of an absence code and absence reason selection from the punch clock. It appears as below:
  8. If you leave the clock in line, but remove the clock out line, you still have the ability to have the user enter an absence code as a reason for tardiness.


  1. You still may have to create many profiles, if the client does not have standard times for standard time and overtime cost.
  2. All absence is calculated at the end of the work day, always.
  3. Punch clock users will not have the ability to enter an absence code as a reason for tardiness. The concept of tardiness does not apply to this type of profile.
  4. You cannot use the Profile Calendar to assign Special Days!
  5. Tolerance cannot be used!
  6. “Normtime” is based on the total work hours for the week, and not what was calculated in the Profile time total and Profile time hours fields on the profile. Therefore, it is unwise to use Normtime in your pay adjustment calculations.
  7. The Profile time area on the profile is blank.
  8. For punch clock users, the Balances form only compares the day’s hours worked to a blanked out 24-hour period.
  9. Most standard AX reports for Time and attendance are no longer useful.

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Security Management Best Practices: Granting/Upgrading Access

Within AX 2012, we have the ability to grant, upgrade, downgrade or revoke Role access when using security permissions. While granting or upgrading access, it is a best practice to grant permissions using existing Privileges which provide the desired level of access (viz., view or full control). Although it may seem like the quickest choice to simply create a new Privilege with desired access levels and grant permissions for that specific Role; an example of the drawbacks of granting this permission would be if you choose to provide access to the global address book:

  1. Using a new Privilege – You might tend to provide access to only the menu item ‘GlobalAddressBooklistPage’. But will this be enough for all situations? We would also need access to the related functions such as: Edit, Maintain documents, Email Distribution, Address book, Etc.
  2. Using existing Privileges – These existing Privileges will provide access to all the related menu items in order to use the Global Address Book in its full capacity with the desired access level.

The complexity involved is the task of finding these exact Privileges among a few thousand out of the box Privileges. Moreover, it becomes a tedious and time-consuming process to cater to the needs of traceability and audit logs for all these tasks we perform in order to simply grant or upgrade a Role’s access to menu items. An alternative to avoid manual changes would be to utilize the Arbela Security Manager (ASM) which will provide a one-click solution to these complexities and time consuming tasks. This solution makes it quick and easy to modify security permissions and maintain audit tracking and traceability.

Click here to learn more!

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How to Format Numbers, Dates, Etc. Within AX 2012 in Both Forms and Reports

Formatting in AX reports (SSRS reports)
i.e. numbering formats, date formats, etc.

This function is controlled through the language settings in the AX Tools/Options. Exceptions being AR/AP output reports such as invoices, etc. These are controlled by the language setting within the customer/vendor menu.

Formatting in AX reports 
i.e. numbering formats, date formats, etc.

This is controlled through the windows settings on the AX client computer.

In other words, reports formatting is controlled through the AX user’s setup in the Options section. This can be easily setup for various locations.

Forms formatting can also be setup alternatively for different users, but it is dependent on how the AX infrastructure is setup (how and where the AX client is installed).

If the AX client is installed on each individual user’s desktop computer, then each desktop’s windows setting is controlling the formatting in the forms. If the AX client is running in a citrix/remote desktop type structure the users are most likely running the same AX client and therefore all the user’s formatting in the forms will be the same. In this case, we have at least two separate citrix/remote desktop computers with each including an AX client, so one location would be using one of these (with windows setup for geographically local number formatting) and the other location would be using the other (with windows setup for geographically local number formatting).

For more information please contact Amir Khoshniyati.

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