NAV Dimensions – Default Dimension Priorities

In my last post for Dimensions we looked and how to set up Default Dimensions and the warnings about the use of Same Code on Balance Sheet G/L Accounts.  If you worked along and did the exercise in the last post, please ensure you go to G/L Account 5410 and change the Value Posting Rule to Code Mandatory and not Same Code or you will continue getting errors as we work through our next exercise for Default Dimension Priorities.

Today I am going to continue using the same Vendor and Item cards that you set up in the last exercise for Default Dimensions.  We are going to review Default Dimension Priorities and how the results will vary according to the Default Dimension Rules you have set up against your Item and Vendor Cards.  This will be quite a lengthy post so grab the popcorn and snacks now before you settle in to work through the step by step examples.

Example 1:

For now your Dimensions for Vendor 10000 should look as follows:

Set your Dimensions for Item 1150 as follows:

Item Default Dimensions

Now let’s raise a Purchase Invoice against this Vendor for this Item and see what the results are.  The eagle-eyed among you may have already spotted a few things…

Purchase Invoice Example 1

Some things to be aware of:

  • Don’t forget to insert a Vendor Invoice No. before posting.  This can be disabled in the setup screens but if you have this set to mandatory, you will need to enter it.
  • If you try to post the Invoice without changing the Purchaser Code in the Header to MH, you will get an error message.  This is because the Default Dimension has been set to MH for the Vendor Dimensions, however the Vendor Card is still showing RL for the Purchaser.  This is a common error when setting up Default Dimension and is something to look out for.  Feel free to change the setup for Purchaser Code on your Vendor Card to MH so you don’t encounter errors in the future.
  • Ensure the Location Code you enter is one in which you hold stock.  For this exercise I have created stock in the BLUE location code using an Item Journal.  I will receive stock into this Location as it does not require any additional Receipt Documents to be created through the warehouse.  Again, the necessity for a Location code is also dependent on Inventory Setups.
  • You will see that the AREA Code has defaulted to Dimension Value 30.  The system is using the Item Card’s Default Dimension Value on the Line.

Posting a Purchase Invoice against this Vendor using this particular Item will result in the following error:

Dimension Error Example 1

This error is caused because we have specified two different Dimension Values for the same Dimension to be posted with the Same Code Value Posting Rule – AREA 30 for Vendor Card and AREA 40 for the Item Card.  You will need to decide if the Vendor or the Item Dimension Value should take precedence.

You can try changing the Item Dimension Value to 40 and reposting.  The system will then post the Invoice but we do not want the users to get this sort of error every time they try to post and Invoice and then have to fix each individual line where there is an issue so to save on those grey hairs, we set up Default Dimension Priorities.

Setting up Default Dimension Priorities:

To set up Default Dimension Priorities, first type into the Search box: Default Dimension Priorities or navigate through your menu to: <Company Name>/Departments/Financial Management/Administration and select Default Dimension Priorities

You will now see the setup screen for the Default Dimension Priorities.  Here you can select the Source Code for the transaction you wish to apply the Dimension Priority to.  I.e. The type of transaction in the system where the rule regarding which Dimension Value should take precedence over another will apply.

*Source Codes show the transaction type from which the entries originate.  You can see an example of this if you look at your G/L Registers.  The originating Source Code for each transaction is shown for each G/L Register No.

There are many different Source Codes and some or less obvious than others.  If you are unsure of which one you should be working with, check with your Microsoft NAV Partner.

Source Codes

We will be raising a Purchase Invoice so you will choose PURCHASES as the Source Code.

You will then need to choose the Objects for which you have conflicting Dimensions.  In this case it is the Vendor and the Item Cards.

We then need to determine whether the Vendor or the Item Dimensions should take precedence.  Complete the Priority Column with sequential numbers.

Note:  You can set as many Objects as required for a Single Source Code.  Also, if you set up two Objects (Tables) with the same priority for the same Source Code, Microsoft Dynamics NAV will always select the table with the lowest table ID first so be careful to ensure that you number your Priority column correctly.

For now set the Vendor to Priority 2 and Item to Priority 1.  This means the Item (Document Line) Dimensions take precedence over the Vendor (Document Header) Dimension.

Default Dimension Priorities Setup


Example 2:

Raise and post another Invoice against this vendor for this item.  You will see that the Invoice now posts without any error messages.  You can navigate to the Posted Purchase Invoice and view the G/L Dimensions Overview Matrix from the G/L Entries.  If you are stuck on how to do this, try the following.  Open the Posted Purchase Invoice.  You can view this through Vendor Ledger Entries or go to Posted Documents in the RTC Home Page Menu.

Click on Navigate


Drill down on the G/L Entry

Navigate G/L Entries

Click on G/L Dimension Overview and then Show Matrix to see an overview of all Dimensions Posted against this transaction

G/L Dimension Overview

Show Matrix

You will see that the Dimension Value posted for the Vendor Control Balance Sheet Account (5410) is Area 30, the same Dimension Value specified on the Vendor Card.  You will also note that the Dimension Value Posted for the Income Statement Accounts is Area 40 which corresponds with the Default Dimension Setups for the Item.

G/L Dimensions Example 2

You will note for the Value Entries (i.e. the entries held against the Item Value) the Dimension Value 40 for AREA corresponds with the Same Code entry set up on the Item Card.

Value Entries Example 2

Example 3:

Now let us try swapping the Default Dimension Priority around so that the Vendor Dimension takes precedence over the Item Dimension.  Leave the Default Dimension Setups as they are on the Vendor and Item Cards for now.  We will review the impact for Value Posting Rule: Same Code first and we will change this to Code Mandatory later on.

Default Dimension Priorities Example 3

Try now to raise and post another Purchase Invoice, identical to your last one.  You should not receive any errors on posting.  Once again Navigate to the G/L Entries from the Posted Purchase Invoice and show the G/L Dimensions Overview Matrix.

Once again you will see the results for the postings are the same and the Balance Sheet account holds the information for the Vendor Defaults while the Income Statements hold the information for the Item Defaults.  What does this tell us?

In essence, if we have a Default Dimension Setup for Value Posting of Same Code then the system doesn’t care which way around our Default Dimension Priority is set because we have specified that the Dimensions Posting to the Ledgers should always correspond to the Same Code rule set up against those particular cards.

Now let’s change things up a bit.


Example 4:

Set the Default Dimensions for your Vendor Card to reflect AREA 30 with Value Posting Rule of Code Mandatory and the Item Card to reflect AREA 40 with Value Posting Rule of Code Mandatory.

Clear all Default Dimension Priorities for Purchases so there are no priorities set and post another invoice for this Item against this Vendor.  Navigate on the posted invoice and review the G/L Entries and Value Entries for the Dimensions posted.

Now you can see that the G/L Entries all post with AREA 30, which is picked up from the Vendor Card and is written to the Purchase Lines when the Invoice was created.

G/L Entries Example 4

The Value Entries also show Area 30.

Value Entries Example 4

Note: The information on the Purchase Header will determine what is on the Purchase Lines, unless this is changed by the user before posting.


Example 5:

Now we will set up the Default Dimension Priority and see what effect this has on our postings.  First set up the priority for Vendor to take priority over Item.

Default Dimension Priority Setup Example 5

Post another Invoice for this Item against this Vendor and Navigate to review the G/L and Value Entry Dimensions.

You will see that the G/L Dimensions once again reflect what we saw in our last example – all lines have picked up the Default Dimension against the Vendor as it is the Vendor that is held against the Purchase Document Header.  We have also specified that the Vendor Dimensions take precedence over the Item Dimensions.

G/L Entries Example 5

The Value Entries have also picked up the same AREA Dimension Value

Value Entries Example 5


Example 6:

Now let’s try changing the Default Dimension Priority so that the Item Card Dimensions take precedence over the Vendor Card Dimensions.

Default Dimension Priorities Example 6

Once again, raise and post the invoice and review the G/L and Value Entry Dimensions.  The G/L Dimensions show AREA 40 for Income Statement Accounts and AREA 30 for the Balance Sheet (Vendor Control Account).

G/L Entries Example 6

The Value Entries will reflect the AREA 40, corresponding to the setups of the Default Dimension on the Item Card.

Value Entries Example 6


Example 7:

Now let us see how a combination of Same Code and Code Mandatory Default Dimension Rules will behave with a Default Dimension Priority setup.

  • Set the Default Dimension on your Vendor Card for AREA 30 with Value Posting Rule of Code Mandatory.
  • Set the Default Dimension on your Item Card for AREA 40 with Value Posting Rule of Same Code.
  • Set the Default Dimension Priority so that Item takes precedence over Vendor
  • Raise and post the invoice and review the G/L and Value Entry Dimensions.

You will not that the G/L Dimensions for the Income Statement Accounts reflect the Dimension for the Item Card and the Balance Sheet Account reflects the AREA code relevant to the Vendor Card.

G/L Entries Example 7

The Value Entries reflect AREA 40 as per the Same Code setup on the Item Card.

Value Entries Example 7


Example 8:

I will do one last example before leaving you to play with the combinations by yourself.  This is to change the Default Dimension Priority now so that Vendor takes priority over Item.

Default Dimension Priorities Setup Example 8

Raise and post your invoice and this time you will receive an error on posting that shows that you need to change the Dimension on the Purchase Line to reflect the setup of the AREA Dimension for the Item Card.

Posting Error Example 8

This is because the Purchase Line has picked up the Dimension from the Purchase Header but on posting the system is looking for this to reflect the Same Code Default Dimension for AREA 40 that has been set up against the Item Card.  Note that even though there is a Default Dimension Priority set up, the system will ignore this in favour of the Default Dimension Rule for Same Code set up on the Item Card.

You can change the AREA dimension on the line and post the invoice and review the G/L and Value Dimension Entries and you will see the same results as in the last example.

G/L Entries Example 8

Value Entries Example 8



  • Default Dimension Rules for Same Code will always take precedence over any Default Dimension Priorities that have been set up.
  • Default Dimension Priorities are good to use to ensure users receive less errors on posting documents, however, the setups need to be considered so that the correct Default Dimensions and correct Default Dimension Priorities are set up to avoid errors on posting.
  • Use of Same Code Default Dimensions will have an effect on the Dimension Values posted to the Balance Sheet Accounts.
  • Dimensions set up for Header Information will always overwrite Line Information unless manually changed by the user before posting.
  • Test Test Test! before you put any of these rules into place.
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Posted in Default Dimension Priorities, Default Dimensions, Dimensions, NAV 2013, Navision

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