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  • 365 Finance Architec

WANTED: Better Descriptions for Journals

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Do you ever wish the out of the box journal entries had more information?

Well... D365 Finance and Operations can do just that.

The features we are going to explore today are customizable in the Journal Setup section of the General Ledger module.

  • General ledger > Journal setup > Journal descriptions

  • General ledger > Journal setup > Default descriptions

  • General ledger > Journal setup > Financial reasons

1. Journal descriptions

This feature is used when you find yourself repeatedly typing the same journal descriptions.

Journal descriptions allow users to quickly choose a consistent pre-typed description from a drop down list.

This feature provides consistent text for the journal, by minimizing user typographical errors, and minimizing number of keystrokes.

This feature is available in many areas of the system, like the Description on Customer and Vendor Payments, Vendor Invoice Journals, General Journals, and more.


Setup as desired similar to the exhibit below.

Your "Description" may be longer than a single word.

i.e. "Accrue annual bonuses"

  • General ledger > Journal setup > Journal descriptions

Now when you are preparing a journal, simple select your desired description from the drop down list.

2. Default Descriptions

This is an automatic enhancement to system journals.

You can automatically add fixed text and/or variables to your descriptions.

There are two main sets of variables :

Standard: %1-%3

Custom: %4-%6

You can also add fixed text to provide clarity to your chosen variables.

Today I will add "Approved by" to Customer Payment Journal as an example

These are your standard variables.

  • %1 – Add the transaction date.

  • %2 – Add an identifier that corresponds to the document type that is being posted to the general ledger. For example, for transaction types that are related to invoices, the %2 variable adds the invoice number.

  • %3 – Add an identifier that is related to the document type that is being posted to the general ledger. For example, for transaction types that are related to invoices, the %3 variable adds the customer account number.

The custom variables %4, %5, and %6 are powerful.

They allow you to select from a wide range of fields for numerous journal types and automatically populate supplemental information on you journals' description field.

This benefits your journals legibility and may greatly decrease research time when performing analysis.


  • General ledger > Journal setup > Default descriptions


  • Organization administration > Setup > Default descriptions

We are editing the description for Customer Cash Payments

First we clicked "Add" and choose Parameter "4".

Then we chose what Reference table we wanted to choose a field from (CustTrans).

Note: The Customer Payment Journal already included Cash payment %2 in the Text to display the invoice number.

Note: Other journal types may have many more tables and fields to choose from.

Then we decided to add the "Approved by" field to parameter 4.

Last, we edited the Text of the Customer Cash Payment to include:

Fixed text: Appr by:

Variable: %4

and then click Save.

Now when a Customer Cash Payment is posted the Description will show the Approved by.

You can repeat this process to add more variables to the text field (%1 thru %6) as desired.

Peruse the menu option and I am sure you will find many tables and fields to benefit your journal descriptions.

3. Journal Reasons

The Reason field is a separate field vs the Description field. It serves a similar purpose as we outlined in #1 above with consistent text.

The Reason field offers the benefit of only having "Reasons", where-as the Description field can also contain completely random text.

I prefer to use Financial Reasons vs. Ledger Reasons because it offers addition flexibility to setup reasons for multiple modules in a single place.

  • General ledger > Journal setup > Financial reasons (multiple module setup)


  • General ledger > Journal setup > Ledger reasons (single module setup)

Note: Reasons appear appear in various places on journals and may be set as mandatory for some journals.

As per the screenshot, add new values and edit what modules are allowed to use the specified reasons.

Note: the "Duplicate" reason code is only allowed in one module.

Note: the "Destroyed" and "Error" reasons are allowed to be used in more than one module.

Exhibit: Sample reason codes.


In this General Journal exhibit, I usually like to personalize the Reason field so that it appears on the "List" tab", thus making it easier to select and visualize on specific lines in my journal.

Exhibit: General Journal

Enjoy your enhanced journals !

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