Altus Dynamics Blog

3 Reasons Why Altus Finance Users Love Dimensions

Posted by Andrew Cheung on Oct 13, 2016 9:12:07 AM


An organization’s chart of accounts (COA) is crucial in organizing and analyzing all transactions, which is essential for your Finance Manager and ultimately important for your Finance department’s success. However, many organizations are inefficient and experience headaches with their COA. More specifically, many older systems have one line for an account code, which cannot be broken apart and analyzed separately.

Through the robust Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution, Altus has the ability to segment account codes into separate columns to create a shorter trial balance. These segments are called Dimensions.

Dimensions are segments of an account code that allow you to attribute characteristics to information you record and use in your daily work, giving you the power to ask questions about your organization and act upon the answers. With our solution, the COA only has the natural account code, and Dimensions track information such as funds, projects, programs, locations, departments, functions, and panels. Here are the 3 top ways that Dimensions will make life easier for your Finance team:

1.      Doing Your Finances Can Be This Easy

As departments go, things don’t need to get any more difficult for Finance. That’s why Dimensions have been built to make life easier for your Finance staff. Finance Managers can easily add new dimensions any time and set default dimensions for master files. This means that if you have default dimensions tied to a program, those dimensions will populate transactions for that program automatically so a lot of distribution to these dimensions happen automatically. This saves you time and gives you peace of mind that the distribution of information is accurate.

Dimensions also help Finance Managers reduce time, effort, and frustration by being easy to use. In many other solutions’ segmented COA, you need to add additional segments for new transactions. However, in our solution, you don’t have to restructure your COA or even add new GL accounts; all you need to do is add a new dimension. Conversely, if you wish to add a program, you only have to add an account segment instead of an entirely new code.

2.      Gain Insight Like Never Before

From reporting to funders to reporting to K12 Ministries, we understand that reporting is at the core of what your Finance team needs. You will be happy to know that the most important benefit to Dimensions is that it enhances and enables your reporting capabilities. It provides additional levels of analysis to your solution that is impossible to track otherwise, as you can filter on dimensions and drill into transaction details that are posted against particular accounts and dimensions.

You can also use dimensions to track responsibility. By using dimensions on posted entries and budget entries, you have the ability to monitor how individual units (such as a department or region) are performing and compare its performance with other units. By analyzing different dimensions, you can get a clear picture of how well your organization is doing, what direction it needs to go, and what improvements are required.

3.      Be Free to Scale and Pivot as You Like

When many organizations grow, they need to change their accounting structures to fit their new organizational processes. However, with Dimensions, you can avoid this headache altogether by creating or changing existing Dimensions without changing your accounting structure. Dimensions are flexible so that they revolve around your organizational needs, rather than forcing you into a certain structure or process.

There are no limits to the number of Dimensions or values that belong to each Dimension, as you can create and change Dimensions, name Dimensions to your liking, block them from use when you no longer need them, and structure values in a hierarchy that reflects your existing reporting structures.


  • Eight (8) inline dimensions out of the box
  • Natural account, fund account, and project account already set up and represented by Dimensions
  • “Budget to Actual” built in the solution (built specifically for Non-Profits)
  • Sophisticated financial reporting with logical G/L structure
    • Rapid analysis, with bucket-less data storage
    • Real-time availability of balances
    • Unlimited segmentation

Dimensions help your Finance Manager perform tasks easier, gain richer insights to make better business decisions, and allows for flexible scaling and changes to organizational processes. Curious to watch a demo on how Dimensions work? Please watch this video below!

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