Dynamics 365 Business Central

Introduction to Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking to grow beyond the limitations of more traditional accounting packages; products such as QuickBooks, Sage and Xero.

This article explains what your business can achieve with Dynamics 365 Business Central, compares it with three popular accounting packages, before highlighting some of the reasons you might want to consider upgrading from old/entry level accounting software.

Before any specific comparisons are made between Business Central and other accounting software packages, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the application is and briefly discuss ways in which it can help to improve operations within your organisation.

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What is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central does everything a traditional accounting software package does, plus a whole lot more.

Business Central might otherwise be referred to as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution; one which covers many business processes – from finance to purchasing, inventory management to general reporting, forecasting and more!

One of the best things about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is that it is highly customisable, and the functionality can be modified using extensions from an active online marketplace. This means the software can be tailored to be much more effective in supporting your specific business operations.

Quite often, traditional account packages will offer pretty much the same functionality to all users. Sure, you might get a light, regular and premium version of the product, but generally speaking these will be the same for all. While such accounting software packages can undoubtedly be a useful entry level product for smaller businesses, they struggle to remain useful as many businesses evolve and requirements become increasingly complex. Some of the signs your business might have outgrown the traditional accounting software package you’re using are discussed later in the article.

So, what exactly can you do with Business Central?

Manage your financials with Business Central

With Business Central, you can connect data across accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer interactions – allowing you to get an end-to-end view of your business which is simply not possible with a platform like Sage or Xero.
As a financial management platform, Business Central is highly capable; streamlining accounts receivables and payables, automatically reconciling accounts to close, refining forecasts by modelling and analysing data across multiple dimensions. Best of all, you can report on financials quickly and accurately, all while maintaining strict compliance.

If your accounting package is slow and feels restrictive, we highly recommend you running a trial of Business Central to see for yourself how accounts can be done differently utilising modern technology platforms. Dynavics can arrange this trial with a sample of your business data so you can see the difference for yourself! Contact us today to learn more.

Sell smarter, improve customer service and manage inventory with Business Central

Put simply, Business Central helps you to make better decisions in your business. We believe this inevitably reflects well in the eyes of both your customers and staff, helping you build a more productive and profitable business backed by one the smartest business intelligence tools on the market in the form of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.

Boost productivity in your workforce which in turn leads to better service and improved value for your customers at every touch point. You can act far more quickly on sales-related customer enquiries, manage service requests, and process payments—all from within your Outlook application when it’s connected to Business Central!

Extend Business Central and seamlessly integrate with your favourite apps

There are hundreds of extensions available for Dynamics 365 Business Central in the Microsoft AppSource marketplace. We’ve even made a few of our own and we have vast experience in integrating many different extensions to improve the effectiveness and usefulness of Business Central for our clients.

You can seamlessly connect Business Central data with your favourite Office 365 apps, such as Excel and Outlook helping to maintain some familiarity and consistency with regards to your processes. Advanced configurations might take advantage of Microsoft Power BI to really supercharge your business intelligence!

Get ready to grow your business more easily with this extendable, connected modern platform that can be truly tailored to meet your specific business needs.

What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics Business Central?

Business Central is continuously being updated and improved by the team at Microsoft. New functionality and regular tweaks and improvements are released regularly throughout the year, with the core Dynamics 365 product generally receiving two major updates annually.

To see a regularly updated list of what’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 Business Central, we suggest checking out this page on the Microsoft website.

Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Accounting Software

One of the main reasons many businesses outgrow traditional accounting software is simply down to organisation change and, believe it or not, growth!

Growth and changing complexities with regards to business processes leads to pressure, increasing volumes of transactions, more complex inventory management, reporting limitations – all of which would typically result in errors being made, substantial and sometimes debilitating backlogs, poor audit trails, lack of data integrity and perceived loss of control. These issues undoubtedly negatively impact your business and in some of the worst-case scenarios this can and will be picked up on by both customers and suppliers.

Other signs you’ve outgrown your accounting software include:

  • Reaching limits imposed by APIs and the software; some packages place limits on invoices, purchase orders, bank statement lines – which can be very frustrating and lead to loss of productivity and data errors.

  • Your accounting software package is running slow. Simple processes, which were once quick, like making a payment or saving an invoice configuration, now seem to take an age to complete.

  • Processes still tend to feel very manual and restrictive, with limited or no automation.

  • Accounting is generally being managed in spreadsheets and not directly in the finance system.

  • You often find yourself moving data outside of secure systems without security roles, risking breaching compliance and data laws.

  • Business systems across the organisation feel disconnected and information is siloed and difficult to consolidate and find value in analysing.

Selecting a system to replace your traditional or entry level account software can seem like both a daunting and challenging process – and it’s definitely one you want to get right.

Here at Dynavics, we can help guide you through this process. We offer everything from consultations, system design and implementation, upgrades and ongoing Business Central support.

To help with the decision-making process at this pivotal time for your business, we’ve offered a few paragraphs comparing Dynamics 365 Business Central with three popular accounting software packages; Xero, Sage and QuickBooks.

If there’s anything specifically you would like to know to assist with your decision, please feel free to contact a member of our team, all of who have vast experience migrating businesses from these three systems over to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Xero Accounting Software

While the costs for licenses and users are higher for Business Central than they are for Xero, there are no limits on the number of transactions (Xero is limited to 4,000 p/month) and the functionality extends to supply chain management, service management and manufacturing – none of which are covered by Xero.

Business Central is also highly flexible and can be extended with custom applications, something not currently possible with any Xero subscription. Microsoft Office 365 integration (Outlook, OneDrive and Excel etc.) is incredibly solid and virtually seamless with Business Central, whereas it is somewhat limited with Xero. In terms of data analytics and business intelligence, Business Central absolutely blows Xero out of the water thanks to personalised dashboards and quick reports which are facilitated by Power BI.

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. QuickBooks

User licenses aren’t actually that much cheaper with QuickBooks, compared to Business Central. In fact, they only become cheaper when you take out multiple user licenses. A single user license for QuickBooks is actually more expensive.

Implementation of Business Central is however more expensive. QuickBooks is a relatively simple platform which businesses and users can generally setup themselves with the help of Intuit, whereas it would be recommended that you consult a partner with expertise to help with your Business Central implementation. Part of the appeal to so many QuickBooks users is the ease of purchase and set up, however this simplicity actually results in a lack of sophistication. QuickBooks offers no real insight into cashflow and without deep analytical capabilities, customer insights and accurate reporting it can sometimes feel like little more than a computerised bookkeeping service. While QuickBooks allows for some customisation (there are native integrations with around 180 business apps – paid and free) it offers nowhere near the flexibility and customisation options that Business Central does.

Other negatives we’ve experienced with QuickBooks include limitations with regards to inventory management, payroll, and reporting functionality. There are also regular price increases with updates coming out annually, which users must pay for to access more advanced features.

QuickBooks can be a great solution for small businesses, solo accountants, and entrepreneurs but beyond this it is far from ideal. Where it excels in terms of simplicity and ease of use – important features some very small businesses – it lacks in enterprise-level areas like employee management and payroll.

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Sage

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that Sage 50 data migration to Dynamics 365 Business Central is a pain free experience and the team at Dynavics have lots of hands on experience and success with such migrations.

While Sage 50 is generally cheaper than Business Central in terms of monthly licenses and per user costs, it only offers up to 20 users and transactions totalling $1.5 million per annum.  Sage 2000 Professional is significantly more expensive than Business Central and still has limits on user and transaction numbers. Business Central is unlimited in terms of the value of annual transactions and the number of users accessing the system.

Beyond financial functionality, Sage 50 offers very little else. There are limited functionalities supporting supply chain operations, but nothing with regards to Sales CRM, warehouse and service management and integration with manufacturing processes requires a separate paid module. While Sage 2000 Professional has more functionality, extending beyond just finance, it offers nothing with regards to service management, with limited or no automation and customisation utilising custom applications and extensions. Business Central is highly extendable, and automation can be achieved with custom apps available via the Power Platform.

Ready to move on from your accounting software?

The good news is that it’s never been so easy to move and make the switch from restricted accounting software products to the more advanced and almost infinitely scalable solution offered by Business Central. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a very strong contender as an alternative to more traditional choices where financial management and accounting software packages are concerned.

Business Central is an affordable all-in-one business management solution that can start as small as you need it and scale as your organisation grows in terms of both numbers and complexity.

The efficiencies you will gain after implementing Business Central will result in employees being more productive, undertaking more valuable work and focussing more on analysis rather than labour intensive and repetitive tasks. More proficient work practices will in turn facilitate further growth in performance and overall reduction in operating costs at your organisation.

Are you ready to truly connect your business intelligence beyond profit and loss? Start on the journey of greater productivity with a 30-day free trial of Business Central.

Talk to Dynavics about Business Central today – we can set up your trial with a sample of your business data, allowing you to get a better picture of what it’s capable of.

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