Project Accounting mystery COGS account

A while back, a long-time client of mine told me about an issue they were having that they couldn’t explain. No problem, I said, let me have a look.

I come from the school of “everything has a reason, things don’t just happen by themselves”. Wellllll….

The issue

On Receivings Trx Entry, the COGS account is defaulting to a GL account they don’t want to be the default. They want it to default to nothing in this particular case, so the Payables clerk has to view and edit the distributions to the appropriate place.


I ran through the usual checks. Project Accounting and GL accounts are a mystery to many people, and at times, can be quite confusing to figure out where something comes from. I always tell people that is because this module is so configurable for a wide variety of uses, it almost inundates users with too much choice.

Having worked with PA for many years, I figured this would be a 15 minute fix. Scroll through the various places to find the source and voila, there would be the answer.

I’m still stumped.

What I found

First I looked at the Project, and the Project Budget window. They were using the cost category “AP” in this case, a PM cost category, non-inventory.

Project Budget window

Next, I opened the Budget Accounts window, from the Budget Detail window, to view the sources for this cost category on this project. COGS comes from the Project Accounts, in this case.

Budget Details window

So, next I open the Project Accounts window. I select “Purchases/Material” as the transaction type, and find no default accounts here for COGS. That’s exactly what should be there, if they want to have to type it in each time.

Project Accounts window

Now I’m scratching my head a little. Everything appears to be configured as I would expect, based on what they want to happen. So, the next place to check is look at the default company-level Project Posting Accounts to see if there is a default there. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has put an account there, that no one expected! Except, it’s also empty for “PM” COGS (and everything else in this case).

The Conclusion

I really prefer happy endings! :)

I’m still stumped and the client is too. It seems to only happen occassionally, that an account defaults in (this project/CC combination is one of the situations). It makes no sense, and I know things don’t just happen without a reason so every once in a while I look somewhere else to see if I can figure this one out.

I’ve ruled out default accounts from a vendor (no purchases account set up); it’s not inventory so there is no default coming from an item;¬†beyond that, there are not that many more places to check. The sources are many, but once you tell Dynamics GP where a certain project/cc source is, it doesn’t change without someone changing it!

Here’s what happens if you type in a Receivings for this Project/CC combination: GL account 508501 appears from (seemingly) nowhere!

Receivings Trx Entry

Receivings Trx Entry distributions

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