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Standard Purchase Codes for A/P and Purchasing in BC

January 14, 2020 | New View Strategies

As someone who entered purchase invoices for many years, I cannot stress enough how much easier my life became after discovering this helpful tool!  It is actually one of the most exciting takeaways from our one-week Controller’s Boot Camp and students are thrilled to take this tip back to their companies.  This blog will review how to set up, assign, and use a standard purchase code in Business Central.

We often use the same Items, G/L Accounts, or Fixed Assets when purchasing from a vendor.  In such cases, it can be beneficial to set up Standard Purchase Codes that provide a standard template for these purchases.  Standard Purchase Codes can be used in both Purchase Invoices and Purchase Orders and make the purchasing cycle more efficient.

Step 1: Create a Standard Purchase Code

In Business Central, Standard Purchase Codes have been named as Recurring Purchase Lines, but they perform the same function.  To create a new Standard Purchase Code in Business Central, it is easiest to simply search for Recurring Purchase Lines.

Microsoft Dynamics - Recurring Purchase Lines


Once the Recurring Purchase Lines screen appears, click ‘New.’  This will take you to a new Standard Purchase Code card.  For our example, we are going to assume that we receive a monthly invoice with a fixed charge for rent and a grounds fee as well as a variable charge for building maintenance.

Enter a short ‘Code’ up to 10 characters as well as a more detailed ‘Description’.  Then fill in the lines with the relevant information.  For this example, we know the rent and grounds fee is fixed every month so the amount can be pre-populated.  The amount for the building maintenance will stay blank since it varies by month.

Note- The quantity field is also optional if there is the chance that quantity will vary. This information will later be populated on the purchase invoice or purchase order.

You can also add additional dimensions to each line if desired.

Microsoft Dynamics - Add Dimensions


Step 2: Assign Standard Purchase Code to Vendor

On your Vendors list, highlight the vendor to assign the Standard Purchase Code to, go to the Navigate Tab of the Ribbon, and click ‘Recurring Purchase Lines’ under the Purchasing section.

Microsoft Dynamics - Assign Purchase Code to Vendor


Select the Code from the drop-down list and the description will auto-fill.  Then click OK.  The standard purchase code is now assigned to the vendor card.  One major difference between NAV and Business Central is the option to select whether these lines should be inserted manually, automatically, or by asking each time a purchase document is created.

Microsoft Dynamics - Select the Code

This added functionality is unique to BC and the selection can vary by vendor/standard purchase code.

Note- A Standard Purchase Code CAN be assigned to more than one vendor. 

Step 3: Enter a Purchase Invoice or Purchase Order using the Standard Purchase Code

The process for bringing in Recurring Purchase Lines is the same for a purchase invoice and a purchase order.  Once the vendor name is entered on the header of the purchase invoice or purchase order, go to the Actions tab on the Ribbon and click ‘Get Recurring Purchase Lines’ under Functions.  Select the Code for the lines you would like to bring in and click ‘OK.’

Note- Multiple purchase codes may be assigned to a vendor.  This can be helpful if perhaps you receive one monthly invoice for rent and a separate monthly invoice for building maintenance from the same vendor.  Creating and assigning two different Standard Purchase Codes will allow you to easily enter both types of invoices by choosing which code to bring in.

Microsoft Dynamics - Enter Purchase Invoice or Purchase Order

Microsoft Dynamics - Recurring Purchase Lines

Once the lines populate into the purchase invoice or purchase order, you can make any adjustments necessary such as filling in the variable cost for ‘Monthly Building Maintenance.’  The recurring purchase lines only serve as a template and can be changed as needed.


Microsoft Dynamics Screen


Standard Purchase Codes are the Best!

Standard Purchase Codes not only save on time, but they also ensure consistency entering G/L or Item accounts, departments (dimensions), and descriptions each month.  Standard Purchase Codes help ensure that expenses and items are being coded correctly without having to look back at past invoices or orders.  This can help eliminate the amount of errors and reclassifying entries each month.

Standard Purchase Codes are easy to implement and only take a short amount of time for the initial setup.  If your company is not already using them, I highly suggest that you try them out!


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The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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