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Streamlining Bank Reconciliations in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with Application Language (AL)


 

Using Application Language (AL) to speed up Bank Reconciliation


Reconciling the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central General Ledger with bank statements can be a time- consuming and challenging process, especially for large real estate management companies with multiple bank accounts and business entities.

 

This article explores the key Bank Rec pain points encountered by one of our BC clients and shows how PDG solved their Bank Rec problems with a custom AL extension streamlining the bank reconciliation process in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

 

Overcoming Security Concerns with Linked Bank Accounts


Security Challenges

The real estate management company was hesitant to link their Business Central bank accounts directly to the physical banks due to security concerns, fearing potential data breaches or unauthorized access.


Streamlined Import Process

Linking the bank accounts would have significantly sped up the statement import process, but the owner's security concerns prevented this solution.


Customized Approach

The team had to find an alternative solution that addressed the security concerns while still improving the efficiency of the bank reconciliation process.

 

Navigating Diverse Bank Statement Formats


Multiple Business Central Companies

The management company had 15 different Business Central companies, each having their own banks and varying bank statement formats. This made the process of downloading and importing the necessary CSV files a significant challenge.


Inconsistent File Formats

The bank statement files often included a mix of balance lines and detail lines, Credit and Debit columns instead of a single “Amount” column with Debits as negative, and other formats which had a single “Amount” column but used an additional "CR" or "DR" column to indicate the sign.


Customized Reconciliation Process

To accommodate these diverse file formats, the team had to create a customized reconciliation process that could adapt to the unique requirements of each company and bank account, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.

 

Enhancing Reconciliation Accuracy with Document Numbers


Tracking Transactions

Using Visual Studio Code with Application Language (AL), we modified the Bank Statement Lines section of the Business Central Bank Reconciliation window to include a Document Number column, allowing the accountants for the management company to more accurately match the bank statement lines with the corresponding general ledger entries.


Inconsistent Column Naming

However, the bank statement CSV exports often included the Document Number in an "Additional Reference" column or a column with a different name, such as "Serial No." This required the team to adapt their AL Code to handle these varying column names.


Improved Reconciliation Efficiency

By incorporating the Document Number into the reconciliation process, the team was able to significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of the bank reconciliation, reducing the time and effort required to reconcile the accounts.

 

Automating the Bank Statement Download Process and File Handling


Standardized Download Procedures

The team recognized the need to establish standardized procedures for users to download the bank statement CSV files from the various banks, ensuring a consistent and streamlined process across the organization.


Automated File Handling

By automating the file download and import process, the team could eliminate the manual steps and reduce the risk of errors or inconsistencies, further improving the efficiency of the bank reconciliation workflow.


Centralized Data Management

Implementing a centralized data management system allowed the team to consolidate and manage the bank statement files, making it easier to track and maintain the reconciliation process across the company's multiple entities and bank accounts.


Customized Reconciliation Codeunit

To address these challenges, the team created a customized codeunit with Application Language (AL) that could override the default behavior of the bank reconciliation process and adapt to the unique requirements of each company and bank account.


Streamlining the Bank Reconciliation Process


Standardized Reconciliation Workflow

By developing a standardized and automated reconciliation workflow, the team was able to ensure that the process was consistent across the organization, reducing the risk of errors and improving the overall efficiency of the bank reconciliation

 

Seamless Data Integration

The team leveraged the capabilities of Business Central to seamlessly integrate the bank statement data with the general ledger, enabling a more streamlined and accurate reconciliation process that eliminated the need for manual data entry and manipulation.


Improved Reporting and Visibility

The automated reconciliation process also provided better reporting and visibility into the company's financial status, allowing the accounting team to identify and address any discrepancies or issues more quickly and effectively.

Key Takeaways

Automation

Streamlining the automation of the Business Central Bank Reconciliation process, from file downloads to data integration, can significantly improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.

Customization

Using Application Language (AL) to tailor the Bank Reconciliation process to the unique requirements of each company and bank account is crucial for addressing the challenges of diverse file formats and data structures.

Integration

Seamless integration between the bank statement data and the general ledger in Business Central is key to streamlining the reconciliation process and improving overall financial visibility.

Standardization

Establishing standardized procedures and workflows for the bank reconciliation process helps ensure consistency and efficiency across the organization.


How it works…

In the Bank Rec Window ready to Import the Bank CSV


How it works…

Drop the Statement file into the Bank Rec. Import Window


How it works…

The Bank Statement Lines have been imported


How it works…

This was the structure of the Bank CSV file before we transformed it

Here's the Code…

Improved the Bank Reconciliation process in Business Central

using AL (Application Language)

 

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