Ent. Mgmt: Is my Auto Journal “out-of-the-box” and up-to-date?

When you are reviewing automatic journals in Enterprise Management, have you ever wondered if yours are “out-of-the-box” or modified? Have you noticed that changes to the auto journal that were supposed to be included in the new patch level don’t seem to there? Let’s see how we can verify the state of our automatic journals.

What are automatic or auto journals?

Auto journals are found under Setup, Financial Accounting Interface, Automatic journals. From the online help: “The function is used to define the structure of the journals that must be posted for all modules.” They are behind the debits and credits when you post transactions such as sales invoices or depreciation expense.

Naming conventions for custom auto journals

In the perfect world, all modifications to auto journals would lead to the creation of a new Entry code which could be easily identified by its name. The naming convention for custom auto journals is to start the Entry code with “Y” or “Z.” For example, if I modified the SIHI entry code (Customer invoice -Sales), I would create an auto journal “ZSIHI.”

Auto journals that begin with “X” are typically related to addons. Example: XINTR is the Intransit title transfer journal for the North American Addon, Import Tracking.

Detecting changes to out-of-the-box auto journals

If the Entry code doesn’t start with “Y” or “Z,” how can I be sure that the auto journal hasn’t been changed? There is a function that will allow you to compare one auto journal to another: Auto journal comparison found under Setup, Financials Accounting interface. Use this instead of trying to manually compare because it is faster and will pick up subtle differences such as colon versus semi colon which you may miss in a strictly visual review.

What should I compare my auto journal against? Compare it to the same auto journal on the X3 reference folder. The unmodified versions of automatic journals, windows, screen, etc. are found on the X3 reference folder. The X3 folder versions should never be changed. They are your gold standard.

If you receive the error “Access rights to this folder not sufficient” when attempting a comparison to the X3 folder, you can run the function from the X3 folder or see Sage knowledgebase article 33241 for instructions on granting access. To access this article, log into https://support.na.sage.com/. In the search field, enter, 33241 and click Search button.

What does the Auto journal comparison tell me?

We will look at a comparison example between X3 and the SEED folder for automatic journal STKEN.

Notice the first and second boxes in the log are benign messages concerning the order entered and time created or updated. The last box shows that text was entered on Line 3 in the Formula Free Reference field.

The Comparison can be used to compare the standard to the custom journal to see what was changed. The ZSIHI on my SEED folder could be compared to my SIHI on either the X3 folder or your production folder.

Updates and auto journals

You just upgraded to a new patch level and you don’t see the auto journal fixes or enhancements reflected in your journal transactions. You use the Auto journal comparison function to compare the auto journal on your production journal to the one on the X3 reference folder and they are not the same. How is that possible? Auto journals on your production folder aren’t automatically updated with the application of the patch; only the X3 folder is updated. The automatic journals must be copied separately from the X3 folder to the production folder.

Protecting your auto journals

Automatic journals are a very import part of your day-to-day processing. They are what determines which general ledger accounts are debited or credited during posting. Be sure to limit the access to the function so that changes aren’t accidently made. Also, keep a summary of what changes were made to the automatic journals and why. It’s a great reference for later when you try to remember the purpose behind the changes. When something goes wrong, you have a quick way of looking up the changes since it last worked.

Training on automatic journals

If you are looking for more in-depth information or training on automatic journals, check out Sage University and X3 - Sage X3 - A deep dive into Auto Journals found on http://sageu.com. After completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose and use of Auto Journals
  • Understand the general flow of Auto Journals and how they work in the system
  • Understand the layout and elements of an Auto Journal
  • Demonstrate how to create and apply accounting codes with Auto Journals
  • Explain the most commonly used Auto Journals
  • Apply best practice guidelines to customize Auto Journals