Unit4 Financials 2022 Q4 Release

Unit4 Financials by Coda 2022 Q4 was made available on 6th December 2022.

The new release contains all the previous Unit4 Financials functionality and new features. Plus, many additional customer requested fixes, highlighting the importance of logging enhancements via Unit4’s Community 4U.

Highlights of the 2022 Q4 release include:

Administration

  • Tasks
  • SFTP key authentication

Finance

  • Matching
  • Deep links to browse transactions can show a period range
  • Browse column widths
  • Show last comment

Structured Output

  • SFTP key authentication
  • Removed features

General Fixes/Updates

  • Message Transport Log can now be opened; previously an error occurred if data in the ‘com_logline’ was truncated.
  • Password is not stored anymore in the database when the password field is cleared in Message Transport Master.
  • Further improvements have been made to the metadata upgrade process and the metadata audit now reports invalid vocabularies.
  • Recording successful logon and logoff events no longer causes a duplicate key error message.
  • Manual depreciation is now included in the depreciation charge adjustment when performing a cost centre transfer.
  • When trying to transfer Cost Centre on an asset where account security prevents the transfer, an error will be raised about not having access to the account instead of a serious error.
  • Billing Performance has been improved when opening large documents in Billing Browse, the element short names are now only activated when the typeahead is activated.
  • Named user licence count is now enforced for Finance users.
  • Analyser will now open correctly from Browse Transactions and Aged Analysis.
  • Cancel document memory usage has been fixed to handle more than 100 individual documents, without causing a system failure.
  • Link table maintenance keeps padding on column ‘oas_linkhead.origdocnum’.
  • Addressed some causes of account summary unmarshalling error.
  • Table Link Transfer Client pads column ‘oas_linkhead.origdocnum’ correctly.
  • Browse details can now show the most recent comment added using multiple edit (the last comment).
  • Tablelink maintenance now auto sizes the column widths when presenting the data.
  • The Matching request Input Extended/PostToBooks has been corrected and no longer gives an XMLi error.
  • When Setting the Element Substitution value to “not used” the element value is now cleared allowing the element to be saved.
  • Intray Management – it is now possible to remove a line comment.
  • Flexi field caching in Assisted Element has been changed to allow Flexi field master changes to be reflected immediately.
  • Pay Status toolbox no longer fails when using an Oracle database.
  • Reminder letter proposals now calculates the page count correcting when items are deleted and no longer errors when reviewing the last page of the proposal.
  • Copy document no longer errors if the document that is copied references an original document which has been archived.
  • ITK Data Editor now allows Statement lines to be updated, and other data rows which contain Financials document numbers as a key. Please refer to the ITK User guide Unit4 Financials Metadata section for information on settings for the object definition.
  • Posting an invoice with attachments now submits successfully to Workflow when it is automatically approved.
  • A goods received note will now not be created when completing a partially received order line with 0 (zero) quantity.

The Release Notes detailing the fixes and features within this release can be found in the Documentation area on Unit4’s Community 4U.


Upgrading Financials is not merely about accessing the new functionality that comes with a new software release. It is also about mitigating technology, operational, and business risk.

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How to use the intercompany functionality in Unit4 Financials

For organisations comprising multiple corporate entities, Unit4 Financials intercompany functionality can mean more accurate transaction reporting, a lower compliance risk and a possible saving of hundreds of hours of valuable accounting time.

Here’s a closer look at how to put this functionality to work…

Understanding intercompany functionality 

When the Unit4 Financials intercompany function is enabled, when you upload a transaction to the books of one company, the sending company document lines are automatically transferred and posted in another company (i.e. the ‘receiving company’).

The transfer takes place using intercompany processing (known in Unit4 Financials as ‘trace’). When the trace has been run, control postings are made in both the sending and receiving companies so that the transactions balance in each company.

You can also send document lines along a chain of companies (a process called forwarding).

Video demonstration

The following video takes a closer look at intercompany functionality in action. This includes:

• How to enter an intercompany transaction directly into Financials
• How to process a journal and run the intercompany processing
• Information on what master documents and templates are required to make the process work (your system administrator should have access to the masters and will be able to set this up for you)

In the video, we use Unit4 Financials for data entry, but you could set up a code Excel template, and this would do the same job for you.

How to unlock the full value of Unit4 Financials 

From best practice advice, system optimisation and configuration through to migration from legacy systems, Millennium Consulting enables organisations to realise maximum return on their Unit4 Financials investment. For expert input from an Elite Unit4 partner, speak to us today.

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Unit4 Financials 2022 Q3 Release

Unit4 Financials 2022 Q3 was made available on 13 September 2022.

The new release contains all the previous Unit4 Financials functionality and new features. Plus, many additional customer requested fixes, highlighting the importance of logging enhancements via Unit4’s Community 4U.

Highlights of the 2022 Q3 release include:

 

Finance

  • Unique index columns updated to not-nullable
  • New task: table link element housekeeping
  • New task: table link document housekeeping
  • Clients can request access tokens from OpenID Connect providers
  • Microsoft SQL Server specifiable ODBC Connection String

 

Addons

  • Clients running on FIPS-enabled Windows systems

 

Deprecated features

  • .NET router – The .NET router has been deprecated. The final release has not been determined.
  • COM router – The COM router has been deprecated. This release, 2022 Q3, is the last to include the COM router.

 

 General Fixes/Updates

  • Workflow attachments can now be removed and added without error during the workflow process.
  • The Configuration guide has been updated to remove redundant session management timeout settings.
  • New metadata presenter field URL Prefix is now optional making the import compatible with exports from an earlier release.
  • Merging two assets together does not now create a superfluous extra manual transaction.
  • Billing Table Link no longer creates a document header without detail lines.
  • Weekly interval scheduled tasks now continue to run after a year has elapsed since they were created.
  • Periods (full stops) are no longer removed from external reference fields when uploading a statement via the statement load master.
  • Pay can now display external reference URL and user reference URL.
  • Export from Browse Details was not displaying external reference URL correctly.
  • When a reversing document is posted and subsequently a partial match is performed on one of its lines, Financials no longer creates spurious document lines with no document headers.
  • A primary key issue on the oas_himint table has been resolved so that, for example, it is now possible to update two or more financial years via hierarchies correctly.
  • Certain vocabulary items on a Selector Master were incorrectly defaulting to always being mandatory.
  • For input templates, prevent the repositioning of the remove line checkbox from corrupting existing input template customisations.
  • Export to Excel from Browse Details no longer fails due to invalid characters.
  • Reconciliation no longer displays a serious error when selecting the ‘From hard copy’ source.
  • The punchout supplier configuration has been enhanced to allow user literals.
  • Customising the Tax number field off the supplier search results form, now results in the field correctly disappearing.
  • XL Journal Loader has been corrected to allow posting to multiple companies.

The Release Notes detailing the fixes and features within this release can be found in the Documentation area on Unit4’s Community 4U.

Read here to find out when Financials updates are scheduled for 2022, along with important information for legacy V13 and V14 users.


Is it time to upgrade?

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Does your 2023 proposed budget include your Unit4 Financials infrastructure?

Does your 2023 proposed budget include your Unit4 Financials infrastructure?
⸻ Unit4 Financials

As the budgeting season for 2023 gets underway now is the ideal time to turn your attention to your finance ecosystem to determine what changes would like to make for the rest of the year and into 2023.

Areas for improvement:

Process automation

Do you operate manual processes that could be automated thereby saving time and reducing operational risk?


Upgrading

Would you like to upgrade to the latest software release so you can use the latest functionality available?

Find out more

Training

If your team are unfamiliar with the functionality provided by the latest version of Financials then maybe some training would help?


Cloud

Are you considering moving to the Cloud to reduce your on-premise technology footprint?


Migration

Are you considering migrating to Unit4 ERP or ERPx? If you are, then we can provide advice and support you on the journey.


FP&A

In today’s uncertain times, forward planning is essential and Unit4’s Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) product allows you to forecast multiple scenarios.

Find out more

Streamline operations

Why not outsource Support & Maintenance so your team can focus on what they do best?

Whether your journey in 2023 is to continue with Unit4 Financials or to upgrade to ERP or ERPx, we are here to support you.


Why choose Millennium for Unit4 Financials?

We are an Elite Unit4 Partner with more than 27 years of experience working with Unit4 Financials. That means we have the knowledge and experience to design, implement and support the right Unit4 Financials solution for your business.

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Everything you wanted to know about Unit4 Financials Chart of Accounts

But didn't know who to ask...

By providing a central record of all your company’s accounts, the chart of accounts (CoA) is the foundation for your business’ recordkeeping. Get it right, and the CoA will help to steer your key accounting processes, make it easier to follow financial reporting standards and provide a useful picture of the overall financial health of the business.

So how do you optimise your CoA so it becomes a financial reporting asset? This is where Unit4 Financials proves to be particularly useful. Thanks to its flexible elements structure, the solution offers huge scope to customise your CoA, so it is fully aligned to your requirements, enabling you to stay on top of both statutory reporting and internal management accounting.

To help you get the most out of Financials, read on to get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions linked to chart of accounts…

Is there a way to download a chart of accounts with numbers and descriptions?

Yes.

Because Unit4 Financials uses metadata, it’s easy to locate the information you need by entering descriptions or codes into a generic browse master. Select the data view that you want to use and then use a presenter and selector to bring up a list of all relevant elements.

Depending on the view you use, you can use the browse master to retrieve more than just codes and descriptions. For example, you could use it to get information such as addresses and bank details.

Flexi-fields provide an easy way to define, capture and retrieve key information within Unit4 Financials. If you utilise the flexi-fields function, you can use it to create a view that will pull in key ancillary information against the elements. For instance, let’s say you have a project that is set up as an element. Using flexi-fields, you should be able to design and create a view that would not only just pull in that element, but also all the flexi-field information assigned to that element (e.g. attributes such as project manager, project type, start and finish dates etc).

Tip: for more information on this, take a look at our flexi-fields guide here.

Can you have different Charts of Accounts for different companies inside Unit4 Financials?

Yes, you can have different chart of accounts (element strings) for different companies within U4F.

And of course, it’s worth remembering that you could have two GL code structures relating to the same company; one being a local structure and the other being a corporate one using element substitution.

Each company has its own reporting and accounting requirements. For most, a single CoA is all that’s needed. If, however, you require more than one CoA, this is possible to set up within Unit4 Financials. Remember, that you can also have a different element string in each company but common GL code structure to enable consolidation reporting.

I’ve used a finance system that allowed the use of what were called ‘posting and reporting attributes’ and allowed the creation of relations between different attributes. Is there something similar in Unit4 Financials, and would this include element groups?

Element groups within Unit4 Financials can give you this capability. What’s more, a similar end result can also be achieved through flexi-fields, as this function enables you to create a relationship between different elements.

A word about Chart of Accounts design

There are two aspects to this.

The first is to ensure you get the element structure correct, otherwise the CoA will fail to include the information required by your organisation.

The second is the use of wildcards (*). The GL code structure should be configured to facilitate this. For example, if you need to retrieve fixed assets account information, it is a lot easier to enter a * in the box than to stipulate that you need to see all assets in the range of, say, 1,000 to 1,999.

Chart of Accounts demonstration

Our Spotlight video demonstrates optimal CoA design and configuration, showing you how to extract precisely the information you need directly from Unit4 Financials. Watch it here…

Is your Chart of Accounts still fit-for-purpose? Optimise the easy way with Millennium Consulting

Especially after corporate reorganisation or a shift in business focus, a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable.

Millennium Consulting can help you design a new CoA and element structure to ensure alignment with current business needs. This includes expert workshops to understand your reporting and accounting requirements, along with creation of an element structure and CoA that’s customised for your organisation.

To discuss your options, please do get in touch.

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Looking at the Diary Function in Unit4 Financials

Discover how the diary functionality within Unit4 Financials helps ensure that key tasks are actioned or followed up at the right time…

What is the diary function?

The diary function can be used with Documents and Elements in Unit4 Financials. You can use it to record actions you have taken, as well as for setting reminders for new events and follow-up actions.

Credit control is an obvious area where the diary function proves particularly useful. For instance, you can create a diary event as a reminder to check the payment status of a specific invoice or to telephone a particular customer. You can also create diary events to record the fact that an action has been taken (e.g., the date on which a chasing letter was sent to a customer).

More generally, you can use the function to set reminders for events such as appointments and submission deadlines.

Accessing the diary function

Diary events can be applied to a whole debtor account, an element, or to an individual transaction (a Document).

The diary is available in the following areas:

• Browse details & matching. This allows notes to be applied to individual transactions.

• Age debt reports & account summary. This allows notes to be applied to whole accounts and individual transactions.

Every diary event is assigned to a relevant financial user. The assigned user is then responsible for ensuring the event is actioned.

To edit events for an element or document, you need write access to the element master.

For a document line, you must have ‘write’ access to the line. When you attempt to save a diary event or make changes to that event, validation checks are made. If the event is not valid, the reason for the error is displayed.

Viewing diary events

You can view diary events associated with any company or element you have access to.

Your personal diary can be viewed by going to Finance > Enquiries > Diary. This provides a simple view of your diary events, allowing you to quickly identify which events are due, along with the priority status for each event (high, medium, or low).

Watch the diary function in action

In this Spotlight video, we illustrate how the diary function works in practice. We also take a closer look at how to use your personal diary, along with the masters behind the diary.

For further advice on configuring your diary or any other aspect of Unit4 Financials, our consultants are always happy to help. To put our expertise to work, contact Millennium Consulting today.

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Unit4 Financials 2022 Q2 Release

Unit4 Financials 2022 Q2 Release

Unit4 Financials 2022Q2 was made available on 7th June 2022.

The new release contains all the previous Unit4 Financials functionality and new features. Plus, many additional customer requested fixes, highlighting the importance of logging enhancements via Unit4’s Community 4U.

Highlights of the release include:

Finance

  • Browse Transactions
  • Statement Processing

Billing

  • Billing Browse

Console

  • Client Secret

Administration

  • Customiser
  • Print Formatter
  • Workflow Designer
  • XL for Finance and Procurement
  • Removed feature – XL Scheduler

General Fixes/Updates

  • The AppParams WebService no longer fails with the error “Invalid document version”.
  • Customiser now allows the height to be changed for the comment object on an account summary.
  • In Generic Browse ‘Select all lines’ is no longer limited to the current page.
  • Customiser can now open customisations when container managed authentication is used.
  • Webservices licence is no longer required for Print Formatter and Workflow Designer.
  • Metadata upgrade now sets the object definition key type correctly.
  • Performance has been improved in Billing Browse when opening sales invoices with a large number lines.
  • Billing can now issue/reissue invoices without attachments, when ‘Send related attachments’ is set on the output device master.
  • Authorising an element with an attachment no longer fails with a database deadlock.
  • Budget Check and Commitments are now calculated correctly for companies with Financial Periods not matching calendar months.
  • WebServices/XMLi has been has been changed to disallow an unbalanced match when matching and using commit.
  • Element Template number ranges are now set correctly when using copy company and using the target save function across companies.
  • Element authorisation now can handle more than 10 left or right list entries.
  • Bank reconciliation no longer loses the selected status on rows when ‘Include selected’ is used.
  • Pay write now handles values with more than 2 decimal places correctly.
  • Pay write now handles very high values correctly.
  • Drill down to commitments from Browse Balance now returns data correctly.
  • Element Table Link has been changed to handle larger volumes of updates without having an ‘out of memory’ error.
  • ITK can now handle extracting and transforming larger volumes of data.
  • Punchout no longer fails when an invalid lead time is received.

The Release Notes detailing the fixes and features within this release can be found in the Documentation area on Unit4’s Community 4U.

Read here to find out when Financials updates are scheduled for 2022, along with important information for legacy V13 and V14 users.

Is it time to upgrade?

Find out more

Using Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials

In the first part of this blog series, ‘Introducing Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials’, we showed how the flexi-fields function can significantly enhance the quality of information you can hold on any element or transaction in Unit4 Financials. In case you missed it, read the article here.

As a follow-up, here is a closer look at how flexi-fields can enrich your reporting and other key processes…

How do flexi-fields tie into Unit4 Financials reporting and browsing?

Unit4 Financials has built flexi-fields into all its reporting functionality.

For generic browsing, you can incorporate flexi-fields into a metadata table. Through metadata, you can produce a generic browse report.

The same applies to browse transactions. Again, this function is dependent on metadata, so if you build the flexi-field into the data view, you will be able to browse the transactions through that facility.

Unit4 has also built flexi-fields into older reporting facilities such as browse balance, browse details, browse ledger and aging and account summary.

If you are looking at selectors, presenters or browse balance masters, you will see that the option is there to add flexi-fields into those reports.

How do you add the flexi-field?

In all the instances above, it is simply a matter of creating the flexi-field and adding it to the appropriate report master.

How is flexi-field information shown in outputs?

For items such as invoices, remittances, customer statements and reminder letters, you can build flexi-fields into your print formats. The one main exception where flexi-fields are not available is in connection with procurement and invoice matching. Within procurement you can integrate user-defined fields, which work in a comparable way.

How do flexi-fields benefit your business?

This handy function effectively transforms Financials from a set of interconnected ledgers into a fully-fledged information system.

Previously, users were limited to just a handful of reference fields for documents and elements. Now, through a combination of element and transactional flexi-fields, there is no limit on the categories or volume of information you can attach.

Best of all, this information is both reportable and browsable – and can be automatically integrated into key outputs such as invoices, remittances, and reminder letters, helping to reduce your transactional burden even further.

How do you add the flexi-field?

In all the instances above, it is simply a matter of creating the flexi-field and adding it to the appropriate report master.

How is flexi-field information shown in outputs?

For items such as invoices, remittances, customer statements and reminder letters, you can build flexi-fields into your print formats. The one main exception where flexi-fields are not available is in connection with procurement and invoice matching. Within procurement you can integrate user-defined fields, which work in a comparable way.

How do flexi-fields benefit your business?

This handy function effectively transforms Financials from a set of interconnected ledgers into a fully-fledged information system.

Previously, users were limited to just a handful of reference fields for documents and elements. Now, through a combination of element and transactional flexi-fields, there is no limit on the categories or volume of information you can attach.

Best of all, this information is both reportable and browsable – and can be automatically integrated into key outputs such as invoices, remittances, and reminder letters, helping to reduce your transactional burden even further.

Watch flexi-fields in action

For a flavour of what flexi-fields can do in the context of a project (just one of many possible applications), look at this video:

For further tips on getting the most out of flexi-fields, upgrading from legacy versions or any aspect of process optimisation, our Unit4 Financials expert consultants are always glad to pass on their knowledge.

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Introducing Flexi-Fields in Unit4 Financials

Flexi-fields in Unit4 Financials gives you an easy way to define and capture key data within your Financials management system. This function helps deliver more complete and relevant information, helping your people make better decisions faster.

Read on for the full lowdown on different flexi-field types, and how you can put them to work.

What are flexi-fields?

Flexi-fields first appeared in Unit4 Financials in Version 13. These were element flexi-fields. A further category, transactional flexi-fields, was added in Version 14. Here’s a closer look at each category:

You can use this type of flexi-field to define an attribute (i.e., a characteristic or feature) of an element. An element can be, for example, a particular supplier, customer, department, or project.

Against each element, you can use flexi-fields to define multiple points of information. In the case of an element relating to a customer for instance, you could set up flexi-fields relating to customer type, geographic location, source, date of first purchase (among many others).

Element flexi-field information is fixed against that element. You can alter the attributes of the element at any time, but until you do so, it will remain fixed.

Transactional flexi-fields are an extension of transactional information. Rather than being fixed, these fields are dependent on the actual document you are inputting.

What form can a flexi-field take?

There are various data types:

• Flexi-fields can be formed of text, either in free format or set up in a drop-down list
• A table (this applies to transactional flexi-fields only)
• A number, either with or without decimal places
• A date
• An element – i.e. you could have an element flexi-field linked to another element/
• A checkbox

How can flexi-fields be used?

Projects:

Having set up an element for a specific project, you can use flexi-fields to assign multiple attributes to it. Typically, these might include the project type, project manager, and start and finish date (among potentially many others).

Tables:

Again, taking the example of a project, you could manage milestones in a table. You can do this by making use of transactional flexi-fields to hold and manage further, more granular information that is specific to that particular milestone or ‘transaction’ – e.g. the consultancy type, consultancy grade and consultant name for the milestone.

Suppliers:

On an element flexi-field level, you could hold information such as the date the supplier was approved, supplier type (wholesale, retail etc), average annual spend and average lead time. Again, this can be used in conjunction with transactional flexi-fields for transaction-specific information.

Sector-specific example 1: Insurance Services

Let’s take the example of a marine insurer. If you assign an element to a particular policy, you can use element flexi-fields to cover all the ancillary information relevant to the policy. Example fields may include vessel name, gross tonnage, year built, policy inception date etc.

Sector-specific example 2: Logistics

A logistics specialist may find it useful to assign an element to each fleet vehicle. Element flexi-fields can then be used to log details such as vehicle type, date of registration and tax/MOT compliance information. Alongside this, information that needs to be regularly updated (service records, for instance) could be stored and managed in a table using transactional flexi-fields.

Find out more

For further information on flexi-fields and how they work in conjunction with reporting, take a look at our additional article, ‘Using Flexi-fields in Unit4 Financials’.

To see it in action, our Unit4 Financials Spotlight video includes a demo on how to use it.

For further practical advice on starting out with flexi-fields or optimising your current processes, our Unit4 Financials experts are always happy to help. To ensure you are maximising the full potential of your financial management solution, please do get in touch.


Introduction to Unit4 Financials Workflow

Workflow elements were introduced to Unit4 Financials around a decade ago, at the same time as Procurement and Invoice Matching functions. However, it is worth noting, that the use of workflows is not solely limited to the above POP & PIM functionality.

You can use workflows to support:

• Purchase orders
• Procurement and purchase invoices
• Invoice matching
• Approving sales or invoices – both in the Billing module and in Financials
• Approving purchase invoices directly in Financials or through a third-party application
• Elements – e.g., approving suppliers, vendors, and projects

Workflow Overview

Within Workflow, there are three main components:

• Messaging
• Position hierarchies
• Element responsibilities

Here is a closer look at these elements:

This refers to the ability to send or schedule an email (and/or SMS text) to the relevant approver so that approval can be actioned.

This Messaging function element has been enhanced recently, with the useful addition of an ‘out of office’ within the application. If the respondent is away, the message can be automatically forwarded to another delegated user.

Position hierarchies are usually set up in the administration module and are made up of what are known as ‘positions’.

A position is an element of the hierarchy. You can have more than one user within each position. Normally, a position determines the monetary authorisation limit for all persons within that position.

So, for example, you might have three positions: £10k, £50k, and £100k, with multiple employees, included in each position.

Whereas a position tells the system how much an employee can authorise, element hierarchies tell it what type of transaction they are authorised to approve.

As Unit4 Financials users are aware, an element determines a GL code, project, or department. On each user profile, you can set up an element responsibility and specify that the user is responsible for, e.g., the IT department or Marketing department.

So whatever document requiring approval arrives on the system – e.g., purchase order or invoice – this combination of ‘element responsibility’ and ‘position’ will effectively tell Financials to whom to direct it to.

Want to know more? Watch a Workflow demonstration

In this video, we demonstrate a purchase invoice going into Unit4 Financials and then through a workflow.

(Even if you do not have Procurement and Invoice Matching in place, we explain how it is possible to approve purchase invoices directly in Financials.)

Need further help?

For further tips and advice on optimising your approvals process, please do get in touch. Millennium Consulting’s Unit4 Financials experts are always happy to help.