Budget Import by Dimension (v6.0)

Modified on Tue, 21 Nov 2023 at 07:46 AM




Budget Import by Dimension



Purpose of this document


This document illustrates how to use the Budget Journal by Dimension to import budget entries in Ceres based on a standard import template. This template can be used regardless of how the Chart of Accounts, Branches, Funds, and Dimensions are defined by each food bank.


Ceres Object release 6.00.00 is required for the functionality described in this document.









Some food banks use external budget tools, such as Power Plan or Planning Maestro, to create and maintain their budgets. Once the budgets are finalized, they are exported using the Chart Export built into the tools, so the budgets can then be imported into Ceres for budget to actual tracking and reporting purposes.


The Budget Import by Dimension functionality meets this need in that the file layout is flexible to allow food banks to use the import, without further modification, regardless of how their Chart of Accounts, Branches, Funds, and Dimensions are defined. The Budget Import by Dimension is designed so that:


  1. Each food bank will create a file (xls) in Excel based on the standard Budget Journal Import Template outlined below.


  1. Each food bank may define their Global and Shortcut Dimension differently, any reference to Dimension will be by the true field name (Global Dimension 1, Global Dimension 2, Shortcut Dimension 3, etc.) vs. the caption name (Department, Project, Function, etc.).


  1. The data will be imported as is from the data file unless otherwise noted below. It will not be cleaned or assessed upon import.


  1. The import process will delete all G/L Budget Entry records by Name, G/L Account No., Date, Global Dimension 1, Global Dimension 2, Shortcut Dimension 3, and Shortcut Dimension 4. when running it with the replace entries option.

Standard Budget Import File Layout


To import budgets using the Budget Import by Dimension function, the Import Template is defined as follows.



Row 1: Column Headers. If the Headers are deleted, the data in Row 1 will not be imported.

Column A: G/L Account No. Import from data file.

Column B: G/L Account Name. Information only; do not import.

Column C: Branch Code (Responsibility Center). Import from data file.

Column D: Fund. Import from data file.

Column E: Global Dimension 1 Code. Import from data file.

Column F: Global Dimension 2 Code. Import from data file.

Column G: Shortcut Dimension 3 Code. Import from data file.

Column H: Shortcut Dimension 4 Codes. Import from data file.

Columns I – T: Amounts for each calendar month. Amounts will be imported with a date that is based on the value (date) that is inputted in Row A for each corresponding column.

Column U: Budget Total for each line. Information only; does not import.


Importing Budgets Using the G/L Budget Import


  1. G/L Budgets can be accessed by selecting “Search” from the Dynamics 365 Business Central Banner and entering “G/L Budgets” in “Tell me what you want to do” then selecting “G/L Budgets” from the results in the Go to Pages and Tasks section OR by selecting the “G/L Budgets” menu action (if present) from your Role Center home page.


  1. To create a new G/L Budget Name, select New from the menu.


  1. In the Budget Name field, enter a unique identifier for this budget and a short description in the Description field. As defined in the General Ledger Setup, input your Global Dimension 1 and Global Dimension 2 Codes in the Global Dimension 1 Code and Global Dimension 2 Code fields, and your Shortcut Dimension 3 and Shortcut Dimension 4 Codes in the Budget Dimension 1 Code 1, and Budget Dimension 2 Code fields.

Note: Even if you do not budget by dimension, the Global Dimension 1 Code, Global Dimension 2 Code, Budget Dimension 1 Code, and Budget Dimension 2 Code fields must be filled in for each Budget Name use when importing.


In the example below, the Dimensions as defined in the General Ledger Setup as.

  1. Global Dimension 1 Code = DEPARTMENT
  2. Global Dimension 2 Code = PROJECT
  3. Shortcut Dimension 3 Code = GL BRANCH
  4. Shortcut Dimension 4 Code = GRANT



Note: Additional fields will be displayed which are related to the Budget Enforcement functionality. See Budget Enforcement Overview for details on the purpose and use of the additional fields.

  1. To import the budget file, highlight the budget you use. Click on Edit Budget from the menu. From Edit Budget Page, click on the Actions/Functions/Import from Excel/By Dimension.



  1. From the Budget Import By Dimension Page, fill in the fields on the Import From FastTab.


Workbook File Name: Click on the AssistButton to browse to where you saved your data file.


Worksheet Name: Click on AssistButton and select the Worksheet you want to import. If your data file has multiple Worksheets you want to import, you will need to run the import for each Worksheet.


Worksheet Name: Click on AssistButton to select the worksheet from the file.


Budget Name: Select the Budget Name to want to use when importing your budget entries.


Option: Select how you would like to import your budget entries. The options are:


Replace entries - Your prior budget entries will be deleted and replaced by the entries you are importing.

Add entries - The budget entries you are importing will be added to the existing budget entires. Generally you would use this option if you have different budget files or Worksheets for different Dimensions, such a department, or Use this option will insert new budget entries line that you are importing at different times.


Description: User-defined Description.


  1. Click OK to start the import process. A message will be displayed asking you if you are sure you would like to add or replace the entries. If Yes is selected, the import will continue processing and the valid data will import. If No is selected, the import will stop processing and no data will be imported.


  1. A message will display indicating % complete. Once the data has been imported an Import Complete message will display.


  1. If invalid data is encountered during import the below message will display. Click OK to abort the process. Update the data file to match the Budget Name setup or vice versa and then re-run the import.



  1.  Alternatively, if the one the Dimension Code fields associated with the Budget Name is blank the below message will display.  In this example the Shortcut Dimension 3 Code field if blank fo BUDFY20.   Update the blank Dimension Code field and then re-run the import.



  1. Once the import is complete, the Budget will be updated with the data that was imported. Open the Buget Card to review and update the entries.




Editing a Budget


  1. To edit a budget, select the budget you want to edit and and then click on Process/Edit Budget. An Edit – Budget Page will display.



  1. On the General FastTab and Filter FastTab, select or input values in the various fields based on how you want to view your budget.


Note: If your Work Date is after the starting date of your fiscal year, you will need to set a date filter for the entire fiscal year before all dates (accounting periods) will display.



  1. Open the Budget Matrix FastTab to view the entries.



  1. Find the G/L Account you want to update, and click on the elypssis button to the right of the amount field of any amount. The View – G/L Budget Entries Page with display.



  1. Select Edit List. You are now in edit mode and will be able to update the Dimension and Amount fields. You can also insert new lines by selcecting New from the menu. Once you have made your updates, select the back button. In the below example, G/L Account 400000, Department 4700 for January was changed from $2,000 to $2,500 and the Description was changed on the original entry to designate it was imported.

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