The guidance here will allow you to assess your business’s unique nuances and identify the next steps to selecting a comprehensive business management solution. Business Central provides the collaborative capabilities needed to connect your teams using a single solution, so everyone across the organization is empowered to adapt faster, work smarter, and perform better.
Accelerate financial close, improve forecasting, and get real-time performance metrics while fostering compliance and security across subsidiaries.
Set up companies and post to the general ledger through general journals. Use features for VAT and sales tax, recurring journals, and background posting of journals. Posting and reporting can be done in one additional reporting currency.
Use built-in reports, and customized reports (both RDCL and Word), and easily refresh data in Microsoft Excel, and Power BI reports and charts.
View and edit the data in most general ledger pages using Microsoft Excel.
Use unlimited dimensions in transactions in all ledgers for important parts of your business, such as departments, projects, sales channels, and geographical areas. Set up rules for how to combine dimensions and dimension values. Control the use of dimensions and increase the reliability of output based on dimensions. Assign default dimension values to master data such as general ledger accounts, customers, vendors, fixed assets, resources, and items. Set up rules to prioritize the use of default values.
Use data from dimensions in reports for filtering, account schedules to analyze your general ledger, and data sent to Power BI.
Conduct business with customers and vendors in any number of currencies. Use multiple currencies on sales and purchase documents, bank transactions, and payables and receivables payments. Store currency details for transactions in receivables, while payables are stored in local and foreign currencies. Adjust currency values in local and foreign currencies for unrealized gains and losses to keep aging reports correct for receivables and payables.
Track business progress using budgets in the general ledger. Use budgets in financial reports, user-defined analysis in account schedules, or in data sent to Power BI for data sharing and analysis.
Import budget information to and from Microsoft Excel for enhanced calculation capabilities when you prepare budgets.
Gain insight into costs through the visibility of actual and budgeted costs of operations, departments, products, and projects. Combine base data in general ledger transactions with dimensions with known future costs and define a hierarchy of cost centers and cost objects. Allocate costs using allocation runs with different allocation keys and methods.
Analyze general ledger actuals and budgets in user-defined scenarios. Explore the scenarios to gain insight into the business that are not immediately reflected in your chart of accounts.
Set up deferral templates that automate the process of deferring revenues and expenses based on a schedule. Recognize revenues and expenses in periods other than the period in which the transaction is posted.
Financials: Multi-site capabilities
Consolidate companies from the same Business Central tenant and pull data directly into the consolidation company. Or use XML files to pull data from other Business Central tenants, databases, or third-party business management applications. Use multiple currencies, dimensions, and budgets for consolidations.
Manage accounting for more than one company in a posting process that includes one or more Business Central tenants or databases. Send sales and purchase documents to partner companies and post journal transactions through a mapping to shared charts of accounts and dimensions. Control the document flow through an Inbox/Outbox feature that automates sending and receipt. Use sales and purchase documents with multiple currencies to reconcile intercompany balances.
Track fixed assets such as buildings, machinery, and equipment. Post fixed-asset transactions such as acquisitions, depreciation, write-downs, appreciation, and disposal. Assign one or more depreciation books to define methods and conditions for calculating depreciation. Use depreciation books to meet managerial, internal accounting, and legal reporting requirements. Register maintenance costs, insurance coverage, and cost allocations for assets.
Fixed assets allocation
Use allocation keys to distribute percentages of fixed asset transactions, such as acquisition cost and depreciation, to departments or projects.
Fixed assets insurance
Track insurance coverage and annual insurance premiums for fixed assets and easily determine whether they are under- or over-insured. Attach assets to one or more insurance policies and index insurance amounts.
Fixed assets maintenance
Record maintenance and service expenses for fixed assets. Get detailed information to analyze and make decisions about fixed asset renewal and disposal.
Financials: Cash management
Bank account management
Create, operate, and manage multiple bank accounts for diverse business needs and different currencies.
Cash flow forecast
Predict how your company’s liquidity will evolve over time. Forecast expected cash receipts and disbursements plus available liquid funds. Create basic cash flow forecasts that can be extended and adjusted. Use an assisted setup guide to complete tasks and take advantage of automatic daily or weekly data updates. Include data from jobs and taxes as sources for the cash flow forecast. Use Azure ML capabilities to generate cash flow predictions using Business Central data.
Electronic payments and direct debits
Create payment proposals based on vendor documents and generate bank payment files in ISO20022/SEPA format. Or use the AMC Banking Service to generate electronic payment files in the format your bank requires. Create direct debit collections for a bank direct debit file in ISO20022/SEPA format.
The easy payment process for your customers
Provide efficient payment submissions to your customers by adding online payment services links to invoices in Business Central (online version only).
Use the PayPal extension for access to a trustworthy global payment service that offers multiple ways to accept payments, including credit card processing and PayPal accounts.
Reconciliation of incoming and outgoing bank transactions
Import bank transaction data from electronic files sent from your bank in ISO20022/SEPA format or other file types. Apply transactions automatically to open customer and vendor ledger entries and create your own matching rules. Review proposed applications and account matches. Change the algorithm behind the record matching by modifying, removing, or adding rules.
Reconcile bank payments from the Payment Reconciliation Journal in one step, and in one place.
Bank account reconciliation
Import bank statement data from electronic files sent from your bank in ISO20022/SEPA format or other file types. Reconcile bank statement data automatically to open bank account ledger entries and keep track of all bank statements.
Filter bank statement information to view only the transactions that need attention. Summarize outstanding bank information and drill down to the details of each bank transaction.
Print checks as automated electronic checks or write them manually, both with flexible options for voiding, and reprinting, using check forms with preprinted stubs, and testing before printing. Consolidate payments to a vendor in a single check.
Reporting and data analysis
Small and mid-sized companies reply on built-in analytics and reporting that they can use out-of-the-box to help keep track of their business. Business Central supports common business processes and more complex processes for such organizations. Each of these processes comes with reports and analytics tools, and you can also do ad-hoc analysis directly from your Home page. To get an overview of Reporting and data analysis features in Business Central, please visit https://aka.ms/bcreporting
Financial reporting (Accounts schedules)
Use account schedules as a powerful financial reporting tool. Accountants and controllers can include essential business data from the chart of accounts, budgets, cash flow accounts, and cost types in financial reports.
Use the data to efficiently monitor the health of the business and provide valuable input for business decision-makers. Define row and column layouts and combinations to generate the report you need. Calculate totals and sub-totals and control the print output, for example, to compare current and historical budget figures.
Empower your sales team to take better care of customers by establishing best practices using familiar productivity tools to manage the entire sales process from within Microsoft Outlook.
Maintain an overview of your contacts and personalize your approach to each one. Record contact information for all business relationships, and specify the individual people related to each contact. Be alerted if you enter duplicate contact information. Get a precise view of prospects and customers by categorizing your contacts based on weighted profiling questions (assign the weights of two questions to identify the value of a third question). Divide customers into ABC segments and rate results to target contacts for campaigns. Easily create quotes for prospects and send sales documents for specific contacts.
Organize campaigns for segments of your contacts that you define based on reusable criteria, such as sales, contact profiles, and interactions, and reuse existing segments. Send documents to people of different nationalities in their native language by using Campaign Management with Interaction/Document Management.
Interaction and document management
Record interactions that you have with your contacts, such as telephone calls, meetings, or letters, and attach documents such as Word, Excel, or TXT files. Automatically log other interactions, such as the sales orders and quotes that you exchange contacts, and revisit them if needed.
Email logging for Microsoft Exchange Server
Log all inbound and outbound email messages sent through Business Central or Microsoft Outlook®. Logging can be manual, or automated. Use a server-based solution with Microsoft Exchange Server to keep email messages in their native environment and ease administration.
Keep track of sales opportunities. Section your sales processes into different stages to get an overview of and manage your sales opportunities.
Better together with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales
Enable integration between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Sales for a more efficient lead-to-cash process. Empower users to make more informed decisions without switching products. Gain efficiency by ensuring tight integration between accounts and customers and adding cross-product features for the lead-to-cash flow.
Use the assisted setup guide to connect Business Central with corresponding records in Sales.
Work with prices in currencies that differ from the local currency, using the coupling of the sales price list record in Business Central with the price list in Sales.
Check for available product inventory directly from Sales and synchronize sales orders to Business Central for fulfillment, invoicing, and payments.
Sales: Delivery management
Set up, post, and print customer invoices and sales credit memos.
Sales order management
Manage quotes, blanket orders, and order processes. Create partial shipments, ship and invoice separately, create prepayment invoices for the sales order, and use quotes and blanket orders.
Sales line pricing and discounting
Manage flexible item price and discount structures that differentiate between special agreements with customers and groups and are conditioned by parameters such as minimum quantity, a unit of measure, currency, item variant, and time period.
Offer the lowest price on sales lines when the sales order meets the conditions you specify for sales prices. Update the price agreements by using the sales price worksheet.
Connect prices and line discounts to sales campaigns to give special pricing and discounts to customers and contacts in campaign segments. Specify periods for which prices are valid. Apply campaign pricing and discounts to sales and service orders.
Sales invoice discounts
Calculate invoice discounts automatically. Set up any number of invoice discount terms, including a certain minimum amount, discount percentage, and/or a service charge. The discount is calculated on the individual item lines and becomes part of the net sum of the invoice. Calculations can be done in both local and foreign currencies.
Alternative shipping addresses
Set up multiple ship-to addresses for customers who receive goods at more than one site. The person creating a sales order or invoice can specify exactly where to send it.
Sales return order management
Create return orders to compensate customers who received incorrect or damaged items. Then receive returned items and link to a replacement sales order. Create a partial return receipt or combine return receipts on one credit memo.
Bulk invoicing from Microsoft Bookings
For companies using Microsoft Bookings in Office 365, it’s possible to do bulk invoicing. The Un-invoiced Bookings page in Microsoft Dynamics Business Central provides a list of the company’s completed bookings. On this page, you can quickly select the bookings you want to invoice and create draft invoices for the services provided.
Supply chain management
Deliver products on time and adapt to changing business models with visibility across purchasing, manufacturing, inventory, and warehouses.
Set up, post, and print purchase invoices and purchase credit memos.
Purchase order management
Manage quotes, blanket orders, and purchase order processes. Creating a purchase order differs from creating a purchase invoice directly. The quantity available is adjusted as soon as an amount is entered on a purchase order line, but it is not affected by a purchase invoice until it is posted. Easily manage partial receipts, receive and invoice separately and create prepayment invoices for the purchase order, use quotes and blanket orders in the purchase phase. Quotes and blanket orders do not affect inventory figures.
Purchase return order management
Create a purchase return order in order to compensate your own company for wrong or damaged items. Items can then be picked from the purchase return order. You can set up partial return shipments or combine return shipments in one credit memo and link purchase return orders with replacement purchase orders.
Alternative order addresses
Set up multiple addresses to manage orders from vendors who have more than one shipping site. These additional locations can then be selected by the purchasing agent when creating a purchase order or invoice.
Purchase invoice discounts
Calculate invoice discounts automatically. The discount can differ from vendor to vendor with different minimum amounts (also in different currencies) and different rates, depending on the size of the invoice. The discount is calculated on the individual item lines and becomes part of the net sum of the invoice.
Purchase line discounting
Manage multiple item negotiated purchase price discounts based on such parameters as minimum quantity, a unit of measure, currency, item variant, and time period. The best unit cost, based on the highest discount, is calculated for the purchase line when the order details meet the conditions specified in the purchase line discounts table.
Manage the purchase of the same item from different vendors. Set up alternative vendors for items, specify typical lead times, and record price and discount agreements with each vendor.
Offer items to customers that are not part of the regular inventory, but can be ordered from vendors or manufacturers on a one-off basis. Register these items as non-stock items but treat them like regular items.
Supply chain management: Inventory control
Set up stock items and specify properties such as a unit of measure, costing method, inventory posting group, and unit cost and price. Post item transactions, such as sales, purchases, and negative and positive adjustments from item journals. Store quantity and cost records of posted transactions in the inventory ledger, and use it as the basis for valuation and other costing calculations.
Set up non-inventory and services in the same way as stock items and use them in sales, purchase, or consumption transactions, but without the need to keep track of stock and costing.
Group items in a hierarchy and define custom categories that include specific attributes.
Add custom data, such as color, country of manufacture, size, or product dimensions, to applicable items, to supplement built-in global item fields. Use Azure AI to let Business Central analyze images of your items and automatically suggest attributes.
Define types of attribute options, including list and text, and integer and decimal that can include units of measure. Translate attribute names and options to multiple languages.
Block attributes or attribute options from being used, if for example, they no longer are applicable.
Manage and track serial and lot numbers. Assign serial or lot numbers manually or automatically, and receive and ship multiple quantities with serial or lot numbers from a single order line entry.
Use the additional customizable item tracking dimension to keep track of simple WMS packages or pallets.
Manage inventory in multiple locations, such as production plants, distribution centers, warehouses, showrooms, retail outlets, and service cars. Inventory on each location can have its own location-specific financial dimensions or posting rules. Enable CFO or financial leaders to get information about inventory using financial reporting.
Manage stock-keeping units (SKUs). Identical items with the same item number can be stored in different locations and managed individually at each location. Add cost prices, replenishment, manufacturing information, and so on, based on the location.
Item variants are a great way to keep your list of items under control, especially if you have a large number of items that are almost identical—for example when they vary only in color. Rather than setting up each variant as a separate item, you can set up one item and then specify the various colors as variants of the item. Variants are supported in all areas of product including manufacturing and planning, unlocking scenarios in industries where for example, inventory is tracked by revision.
Track inventory as it moves from one location to another. Account for the value of inventory in transit and at various locations.
Set up multiple shipping agents (for example, UPS, DHL, external carriers, or your own carrier) and relate their services (express, overnight, standard) with shipping time. Associate default shipping agents and their services with individual customers or specify those details on sales orders and transfer orders to improve the accuracy of order promising.
Set up calendars with working and non-working days. Assign a base calendar to customers, vendors, locations, companies, shipping agent services, and the service management setup and make changes when needed. Use calendar entries in date calculations on sales, purchase, transfer, production, and service orders, and the requisition and planning worksheets.
Manage item charges. Include the value of additional costs such as freight or insurance in the unit cost or unit price of an item.
Identify the items a customer is ordering based on item numbers other than your own. Store and easily access cross-reference information from customers, vendors, and manufacturers, as well as generic numbers, universal product codes (UPCs), and European article numbers (EANs).
Link items that have the same or similar characteristics to suggest alternatives for out-of-stock items on orders. Provide extra service to customers by offering lower-cost alternatives.
Define sales and purchase budgets on the customer, vendor, and item levels. Prepare and record a sales budget that can serve as input to decision-makers in operational areas such as purchasing and logistics. Get information about expected demand and use it in business discussions with customers.
Finalize budgets and track the actual sales performance by calculating the variance. Export budget figures to Excel for flexible calculations in the budgeting process.
Provide decision-makers with insightful details that inform day-to-day decisions regarding sales, purchases, and product portfolio management. Build on item entries to provide customizable analytics that let you add and combine analysis objects, such as customers, items, and vendors, according to your needs.
Manage cycle counting to verify inventory record data used to maintain and increase inventory accuracy. You can set up cycle counting on the item or SKU level.
Supply Chain Management: Planning and availability
Plan material requirements based on demand with support for master production scheduling and materials requirements planning. Generate optimal suggestions for replenishing inventory transfers based on the item’s current and future demand and availability, as well as a variety of planning parameters, such as minimum and maximum quantities and reorder quantities.
Use automatic orders for assembly, purchase, production, and transfers, and action messages to balance supply and demand. Use time buckets when planning material requirements.
Manage demand forecasting based on items. Input demand (sales) forecasts for products and components in a more convenient way (daily, monthly, quarterly). Create production and purchase orders that consider the demand forecast, available inventory, and plan requirements.
Sales and inventory forecasting
Get deep insight into potential sales and a clear overview of expected stock-outs by using the Sales and Inventory Forecast extension. Leverage its built-in Azure AI capabilities to generate reliable forecasts that make it easier to manage replenishment.
Promise accurate order shipment and delivery dates based on an item’s current and future availability. When items are not available to meet a customer’s requested delivery date, calculate the earliest shipment date as either an available-to-promise date that is based on upcoming uncommitted supply or a capable-to-promise date, which is when items can become available.
Handle orders that ship directly from the vendor to the customer without having to physically stock items in your inventory. Keep track of order costs and profit. Link sales orders to purchase orders to control the sequence of posting tasks.
Plan supply for all types of demand on individual orders using a simple supply planning tool.
Calculate availability on the fly
Once quantity is entered in any type of order: purchase, sales, production, or transfer, the system immediately updates the availability information, notifying the user who enters the order about the current and future situation. Be fully equipped with information about inventory availability by date, event, variant, location, and even bill of material and unit of measure.
Ensure successful project execution and profitability with planning, resourcing, tracking, costing, billing, accounting, and real-time intelligence.
Keep track of resources and prices. Register and sell resources, combine related resources into one resource group, or track individual resources. Divide resources into labor and equipment and allocate resources to a specific job in a time schedule.
Plan capacity and sales and manage usage statistics and the profitability of resources. Create your plan in a calendar system with the required level of detail and for the period you need. Monitor resource usage and get a complete overview of resource capacity including availability and planned costs on orders and quotes.
Manage alternative costs for resources and resource groups. Costs can be fixed, percentage-based, or an additional fixed charge.
Define as many work types as you need.
Track usage on jobs and data for invoicing the customer. Manage fixed-price jobs and
Create a plan for a job with multiple tasks and task groupings. Each task can have a budget and can be done for whatever period you need.
Copy a budget from one job to another and set up a job-specific price list for item and resource charges and general ledger account expenses for the customer
View suggested WIP and recognition postings for a job.
Plan and invoice jobs in multiple currencies.
Assign a specific job to a specific customer and invoice the job completely or partially.
Change bill-to-customer for projects where the party that is receiving a service is different from the party that is paying the bill.
Use an assisted setup guide to set up jobs, easily enter time sheets and job journals, and use the Project Manager Role Center to access common tasks, new charts, and the list of your jobs.
Use the Job page to access tasks, assign job ownership, and get visibility into costs and billings.
Use the Job Quote report to quickly email a customer the price for a project.
Split work between project managers, who create plans for jobs, warehouse workers who deal with picking inventory for jobs, and staff performing the work.
Register time spent and get manager approval using the simple and flexible Time Sheet. Time Sheet integrates with Service and Project Management and can include resources.
Deliver better service experiences with planning, dispatching, and service contract management.
Planning and dispatching
Assign personnel to work orders and log details such as work order handling and work order status. For dispatching, manage service personnel and field technician information, and filter according to availability, skills, and stock items. Gain an overview of service task prioritization, service loads, and task escalations.
Service contract management
Set up agreements with the customers about
Maintain information on contract history, contract renewal, and contract templates.
Manage warranties for service items and spare parts.
Record details on service levels, response times, discount levels, and the service history of each contract, including service items and parts used and labor hours.
Measure service contract profitability.
Generate service contract quotes.
Service item management
Record and keep track of all your service items, including contract information, component management, and BOM reference and warranty information. Use the Trendscape Analysis feature to view key performance indicators for service items during various periods.
Service order management
Register post-sales issues including service requests, services due, service orders, and repair requests. Let customers initiate service requests or create them automatically according to the terms of service agreements.
Register and manage equipment loans to customers. Get a complete history of service orders and service order quotes through the Service Order Log.
Service price management
Set up, maintain, and monitor service prices. Set up price groups based on criteria, such as the service item (or several item groups), the service tasks, or the type of fault for a period of time or for specific customers or currencies. Define price calculation structures that include all parameters involved in providing services, such as the parts used, the types of work, and the service charges. Automatically assign the correct price structure to service orders that match the price group criteria. Assign fixed prices, minimum prices, or maximum prices to price groups and view statistics about profitability.
Reduce operations costs with efficient warehouse operations that help you ship orders on time and deliver on promised customer outcomes.
Levels of warehouse management
Configure warehouse processes as required for each location. Decide whether to use bins or not, should the warehouse team work with separate documents or update sales and purchase orders. Should pick and shipment be separate steps or can be performed in one go.
Organize your warehouse by assigning items to bins, the smallest unit in the warehouse's logical structure. Use item journals to assign bin directly on document lines. Default or fixed bins will speed up document processing.
Set up and maintain bins by defining both the layout of your warehouse and the dimensions of your racks, columns, and shelves. Give input to planning by defining characteristics for bins.
Inventory pick and inventory put-aways
Create pick lists from sales orders and put-away work from purchase orders to assign tasks to the warehouse team, who can complete picking and put-away work without opening sales and purchase orders.
Manage receipts from a separate user interface in a multi-order environment. Create a put-away work directly from warehouse receipts or use the put-away worksheet to create multiple put-away tasks.
Manage warehouse shipments from a separate user interface in a multi-order environment. Create picking lists from shipments or pick worksheets.
Internal pick-ups and put-aways
Create pick and put-away orders for internal purposes, such as testing put-away for production output, without using a source document (such as a purchase order or a sales order).
Directed pick-up and put-away
Receive and put away items in bins according to put-away templates, and pick items based on zone and bin rankings. Use the worksheet to move items between bins to optimize the picking process and the use of space. Avoid wasting time by utilizing cross-docking. Deal with different units of measure for the same items.
Enable proactively manufacturing operations to improve throughput, quality, and uptime, while reducing costs and delivering on customer expectations.
Specify a list of sellable items, raw materials, sub-assemblies, and resources as an assembly bill of materials that make up a finished item or a kit. Use assembly orders to replenish assembly items. Capture customer requirements for the kit’s bill of materials directly from sales quotes, blanket orders, and order lines in the assembly-to-order processes.
Standard cost worksheet
Give company controllers a reliable and efficient way to maintain accurate inventory costs. Work with standard cost updates in Business Central in the same way you would in an Excel spreadsheet. Prepare for cost updates without changing data until you’re ready.
Product bill of materials
Create bills of materials and calculate their standard costs. Keep track of different versions and know which components were valid at a specific moment in time and for specific production batches.
Basic capacity planning
Add capacities (work centers) to the manufacturing process. Set up routings for production orders and material requirements planning. View loads and the task list for the capacities.
Add machine centers as capacities in the manufacturing process. Manage capacity for each machine or production resource on a detailed level for machine centers, and on a consolidated level for work centers. Use machine centers to store default information about manufacturing processes, such as setup, wait, and move times and default scrap percentages.
Create versions of manufacturing bills of materials and routings.
Create production orders and post consumption and output. Calculate net requirements based on production orders. Use a manual supply planning tool as an alternative to automatic planning. Get visibility and tools to manually plan for demand from sales lines and to create supply orders.
Automatic components and capacity consumption
Reduce data entry, and have accurate stock and WIP information at the same time. Use routing codes to link components with the specific operation to minimize waste by implementing just-in-time principles.
Delegate all or part of operations to external work centers. Use separate locations and transfer orders to track raw materials. Register performed work with purchase orders.
Manage finite loading of capacity-constraint resources. Account for capacity constraints for periods to avoid overloading work centers.
Scrap can be inevitable in the manufacturing process. But make sure it is properly recorded is essential to proper inventory and cost management.
Globalization and compliance regulations
Support globalization and compliance regulations like International Financial Reporting Standards, local functionality, GDPR, and more. Confidence in a business management solution is key to running an efficient business. With Business Central companies are empowered to streamline business processes while consistently and cost-efficiently complying with increasing regulation and reporting requirements.
Business Central supports data privacy initiatives such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Accounting processes and controls to aid compliance
Companies face increasing financial accounting challenges. Depending on the industry, markets, geographic location, and financing needs, an organization may be subject to local generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and one or more of:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), a U.S. law passed in 2002 to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures.
The International Financial Reporting Standards section of the European Union’s International Accounting Standards (IAS/IFRS), which went into effect in 2005 and sets forth international accounting standards for recognition, measurement, consolidation, and reporting.
The New Basel Accord (Basel II), was enacted in 2006 to address issues of financial institution risk and to promote greater stability in the overall financial system.
Manage compliance standards
Deliver integrated information, aligned processes, and easy-to-use tools to help your people meet the financial management expectations and standards that matter to your specific business. Read more about data privacy and application compliance.
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