A favourite question I’m always asked is “what’s the difference between the various dates on the Sales Order”?

Basic date fields on sales order often creates confusion. However, after using these dates correctly over a period of time prove to be very beneficial to the organisation in reviewing ledger transactions and measuring performances.

Let us examine the dates and their purpose.

1. Document Date:

In NAV, Document Date is used to calculate the Due Date (depending on the payment terms) when the order is invoiced. This date defaults when the order is created and can be changed on the document to manipulate Due Date.

2. Posting Date:

The Posting Date is the date when user posts the transaction. This date is reflected on the ledger entry tables to check the actual transaction date within a period.

3. Order Date:

This date defaults when the order is created. This date is usually the work date in NAV.

4. Due Date:

This date is calculated from Document Date by adding the Payment Terms that is usually defaulted from Customer card.

5. Shipment Date:

This date is populated depending on the availability of the stock and when the organisation plans to ship the order. Populating this date on the header updates the sales lines shipment date. It is important to understand that dates on header level are not used on planning and forecasting. To implement correct planning and forecasting, the line level “Shipment Dates” must be adjusted accordingly. If stock is not scheduled to be receipted (“Expected Receipt Date” on Purchase Order) before the “Shipment Date” then we get a stock out warning.

6. Requested Delivery Date:

This is the customer requested date for the goods to be delivered at their location. This date needs to be manually populated. If we specify this date on the sales order, then NAV populates the Planned Shipment Date by subtracting Shipping Time and further subtracts Warehouse Outbound Handling Time from Planned Shipment Date to calculate the Shipment Date. If the stock is not available on this date, then we get a stock out warning.