Understanding PSA Data: Blog 1: Welcome and Organizational Units

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Understanding PSA Data: Blog 1: Welcome and Organizational Units

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA) is an app provided as part of the Dynamics 365 suite. The app has a lot of functionality and can be used as standard. However, to use it as standard, you need to understand all the data that is driving the functionality in PSA. This Blog Series is going to run through all the Reference Data that is key for a successful PSA implementation and can be used as a guide for importing your reference data into Dynamics 365 PSA.

First let’s look at Organizational Units.

Organizational Unit in Project Service is a group/division in a professional services company that employs billable resources with cost rates that are distinct from other such groups/divisions in the company.

For global professional services firms that employ technical resources in various practices or business lines, cost-to-company for filling a role in one practice area or business line may be completely different from another practice area or business line. Organizational Unit concept has been designed to help with this need. It is meant to provide a way to group a set of roles relevant to an arbitrary division of a company that tracks its costs for filling these roles using a cost price list.

Example Organization Unit
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Professional Services

Organization unit in project service has a specific currency and cost price list(s) associated.

Currency of an Organizational unit is the primary currency in which that part of the company tracks its costs. This does not prevent an organization from selling in multiple currencies. There can be one or more cost price lists attached to an Organizational Unit. Project service places the following restrictions on price lists that can be attached to an Organizational Unit:

  1. Price lists must be in the currency of the Organizational Unit
  2. Price lists can only be of ‘Cost’ context

In addition to having a Currency and Cost price list(s), Organizational Unit attribute is also on the Resource entity. Each Resource can be assigned to one Organizational Unit.

Importance of Organizational Units in Dynamics PSA
Organizational Units have multiple purposes in Project Service. The context and usage is as explained below:

a. Contracting Unit: Identified by the field ‘Contracting Unit’ on the headers of Opportunity, Quote, Project Contract and Project in PSA. In this role, it represents the division or group of the company that is primarily responsible for winning the sale and managing the delivery of the work and(or) services to the customer.

b. Resourcing unit: This is the Organizational unit that a resource belongs to or is assigned to. This Organizational unit may provide/lend its resources for certain roles on SOWs and projects owned by the Contracting Unit.

c. Cost Price List: Organizational Units are associated with Cost Price Lists to estimate the costs of a project.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation


  • It is easier to create your Organizational Units manually in most cases, if the number of Organizational Units to be created is minimal.
  • Ensure you have currencies pre-defined as currency is a required field when creating your Organizational Units i.e. if you want to create a Japanese Organizational Unit make sure you have a Japanese Yen currency set up prior to trying to create your Org Unit.
  • Do not confuse Organization Units with Business Units. Business Units are a feature of Dynamics 365 PSA for managing security groups, Organizational Units are a division of a company i.e. Country/Office.
  • Do not make the mistake of reflecting Departments as Organization Units.
    For example, when eBECS first starting implementing PSA internally we looked at setting up our practices as Organization Units. CRM, AX, BI and Managed Services, this would have been a mistake. Our organization units have been setup as; Jordan, Middle East, UK/Europe and US. Notice how UK/Europe are the ONE organization unit, this is because we manage our costs and report against these European projects in pounds. Jordan has also been setup as an Organizational Unit, even though we do not sell to the Jordan market. This is because Jordan is our off-shore development team and it has a different cost price list associated to it, different to our UK resources cost rate.
Natasha Quinn

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