Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Project Categories, Shared Categories, and Category Groups – What’s the Difference?!
Posted on: July 10, 2015 | By: Jarrod Kraemer | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365
In Microsoft Dynamics AX, project categories define the types of costs or revenues that will come from projects within your organization. All project transactions must be defined by a specific project category. Setting up project categories is essential prior to using Microsoft Dynamics AX project management functionality. Creating and using project categories is quite simple, yet the terms category groups, shared categories, and project categories can cause some confusion to project users on what actually needs to be setup and why. Before creating a project category, category groups and shared categories must be defined first. In this blog, we will go over the setup and functionality of category groups, shared categories, and finally project categories.
You must set up category groups prior to creating project categories. Category group is a mandatory field in the project category setup. Category groups, as the name implies, separate project categories into groups based on what kind of transaction the category will define. You can create category groups for hour, expense, fee, or item transactions. Category groups can also define what accounts costs and revenues will post to – or this can be setup on individual project categories.
To set up a category group:
1) Navigate to Project Management and Accounting > Setup > Categories > Category groups.
2) Choose a name for your group, for example, Travel Expenses.
3) Choose a category type, for example, Expenses.
4) Select a line property for the group – this dictates whether the group is chargeable or non-chargeable.
5) Select the cost and revenue accounts you would like the group to post to. (Several organizations like to post expense, time, and fee transactions to separate accounts – this is where you would set that up.)
Shared categories must also be setup before you can create project categories. Shared categories are a new addition to AX 2012. They allow categories to be shared across all legal entities and modules of a company. This functionality becomes useful when employees of another legal entity must work on projects for another legal entity. In the shared categories form, you choose if a category can be used in projects, expenses, production, or all three. Choosing more than one of these options allows for the same category to be used across different modules (i.e. production and project management). A project category cannot be created in a legal entity unless a shared category already exists with the same name.
To setup a shared category:
1) Navigate to Project Management and Accounting > Setup > Categories > Shared Categories
2) Choose a name for the category, for example Travel Meal.
3) Make sure to select ‘can be used in project’ so that you can set up the category in project categories
4) Also select ‘can be used in expense’, since this is an expense category.
Now that we have set up our project group and shared category we can finally create our project category. As stated above, a project category cannot be created before a category group and shared category that can be used in projects have been set up. You will set up the project category with the same name as the shared category, and put it into one of the groups that you have set up.
To setup a project category:
1) Navigate to Project Management and Accounting > Setup > Categories > Project Categories
2) Type in or select from the drop down the exact name of the shared category that you created that will correspond with the project category, for example: Travel Expense.
3) ‘Use in expense’ will automatically be selected since we selected it in the shared category.
4) Choose the category group that this project category will belong to, for example: Travel Expense
5) Transaction type: Expense will auto populate, since this is dictated by the category group.
6) Make sure to select ‘active in journals’ if you want to be able to use this project category in project hour or expense journals, or worker timesheet/expenses entries.
7) The line property default will auto populate with whatever you selected in the category group, but can be overridden on the project category form for the specific category.
8) The cost and revenue account information will auto populate with whatever you selected in the category group, but can be overridden on the project category form for the specific category.
Once your project categories are defined, you can begin to create project transactions for hours, expenses, fees and items. We hope this blog helped to clear up anything that may have been unclear about project category setup. For additional information please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 345-8817.
All the best!
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