I know this seems like a trivia question, but recently I have come across a number of clients who have been using Microsoft Dynamics GP for a number of years and have been told by their former partners that they *must* use the predefined currency IDs created after adding the sample company, with no real explanation to support these claims. Case in point, my new client in Saudi Arabia, has been struggling for years to understand why they were told to prefix all currency IDs with the “Z-“. So they went ahead and setup “Z-SR” for the Saudi Real.
If you are familiar with Microsoft Dynamics GP and the sample company, Fabrikam, you may have noticed by now that after adding the sample company (which is not a requirement by any means), you will get a number of predefined currencies such as Z-US$ (US Dollars), Z-UK (British Pounds), Z-C$ (Canadian Dollars), Z-AUD (Australian Dollars), and so forth, accompanied by a number of exchange rate tables. If you are not familiar with the sample company, then we have a totally different set of problems :-).
So here are some common questions and the answers I usually provide to them:
1. What are these “Z-” currency IDs in GP?
These currencies were created as part of the sample company, Fabrikam (formerly The World Online, Inc). The reason these currencies exist is so you can test transactions in various currencies in the sample company without worrying about additional setups, i.e, exchange rate tables. Because currencies are a system wide setting, they can be used across all companies created in the system.
2. Why is every currency ID prefixed with a “Z-“?
If you add true currency IDs following standard ISO currency IDs, you will notice that all the prefixed “Z-” currencies provided with the test company will show up at the bottom of the Currency Lookup window, whether you are using a Dictionary Order Case Insensitive (DOCI) or Binary sorting at the database level. Microsoft SQL Server sort order establishes the behavior of many lookups in GP. In other words, if a currency ID is setup as say AUD or USD, these will take precedence over the currencies that begin with “Z-” making it easier for a user or system administrator to find information in the lookup.
3. Do I have to use the sample company currency IDs for my production environment?
Categorically No! These currencies have been provided for test purposes with Fabrikam, hence the sample company designation. However, you may find that working with these *out of the box*, preconfigured values may save you time in setting up other companies IF you decide to go down this route. Nonetheless, you will need to evaluate whether the configurations suite your company specific needs.
I generally tend to recommend setting up currency IDs using standard International Standard Organization (ISO) codes. ISO standard 4217 lists all currency IDs and their corresponding numeric code. Please use this when possible as it facilitates other configurations in the system, for example Customer and Vendor records.
4. If I choose not to use the sample company currencies, can my new USD currency coexists with the sample company’s Z-US$?
Categorically Yes! So long you assign the proper currency ID to your production company and, if using multicurrency, setup the proper exchange rate tables referencing all other currencies you may use and configure, then there’s no reason for interference with the preconfigured, sample currencies used by Fabrikam.
Well, I hope these simple answers help with your Z-currency nightmares.
Until next post!
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC