Dynamics 365 Finance is a powerful ERP solution from Microsoft suitable for medium to large enterprises across various industries. It can help organizations streamline operational efficiency, financial management, and decision-making processes, ultimately driving growth and profitability.
Quisitive is very excited about the release of Dynamics 365 Finance Wave 1 and the value it brings to our customers. All release notes can be found on the Microsoft site here, but below are our top five new features included in the latest 10.0.37 release:
- Invoice Capture: To help expedite the accounts payable process, invoice capture is now available. This new feature automates the reading and recognition of vendor invoices by providing optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities. Vendors can now email an invoice to the system, which is converted into an invoice directly in Dynamics 365. Many customers have been asking about OCR functionality, and we always had to turn to expensive ISV solutions or integrations. With this now out of the box in Dynamics 365, it provides a fully connected accounts payable automation solution.
- Financial Tags: The new financial tags available in Dynamics 365 Finance are an alternative to financial dimensions and eliminate the need for ledger reversal and reclass entries. Financial tags are a way for a business to identify/tag financial transactions to better analyze and associate transactions within the business. For the first release, up to 20 financial tags can be created and have been incorporated into the General journal and Global general journal. Financial tags will be incorporated into more transactions and processes with each subsequent release.
- Subscription Billing Enhancements: In the latest release, subscription billing has been enhanced for cost and revenue deferrals within the project accounting and sub ledger. Subscription billing enables organizations to manage subscription revenue opportunities and recurring billing through billing schedules and better recognize subscription revenues.
- Business Performance Planning: This new feature allows companies to create company-wide budgets and perform continuous planning to drive agile decision-making. Using Power BI and Excel, users can model Dynamics 365 Finance data to derive key insights.
- Added localizations and languages: As businesses expand their reach globally, ensuring all regulations are covered becomes more challenging. This new release now accommodates 51 out-of-the-box countries/regions with localizations for Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This release includes standard Electronic Reporting for those areas, including regulatory updates for upcoming legislation in Japan and France. Dynamics 365 now covers 57 languages in total. If a language is not covered out of the box, Translation Services through LCS can help generate.
Questions about this release? Get in touch.
Are you looking to make the move to Dynamics 365 Finance? Book a cloud ERP migration assessment.
Are you still using Dynamics AX? Explore the differences AX vs. Dynamics 365 Finance.
These comprehensive platforms offer a wide range of features and capabilities to streamline your financial operations and drive business growth.
To assist you in understanding the key distinctions between Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 Finance, we have created an informative infographic, that highlights the unique features and benefits of each solution, allowing you to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization’s ERP needs.
Download the infographic to learn more about Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 Finance.
In this eBook, we provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate your transition and understand Dynamics AX vs Dynamics 365. We’ll guide you through the key differences between the two platforms, highlighting the benefits and advantages of upgrading to Dynamics 365.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your business.
Fill out the form to download our eBook today and gain the knowledge and insights you need to embark on a successful ERP transformation journey.
As an on-premises Microsoft Dynamics GP customer, if you have concluded you need an ERP upgrade because your organization has outgrown the functional and technical capabilities of your current GP software, then your next step is critical. Critical because your new ERP platform can be either a strategic tool that fuels growth or a boat anchor that hampers progress or even sets back the business.
Most companies evolve similarly in terms of their ERP software needs. In the Microsoft world of ERP software, we have seen organizations follow the QuickBooks (QB) to Dynamics GP to Dynamics D365 Finance & Operations (D365FO) pathway on many occasions.
Today, that historical migration model has been complicated by the introduction of Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) as a viable upgrade option for GP customers. (Note: The rest of this article will use the word “upgrade” to refer to any change to a new ERP from the current state.) The BC route seems especially viable if your only source of information is Microsoft and BC partner marketing, which distills the on-premises GP upgrade options into a straightforward choice between staying on GP or migrating to BC.
The critical question we have to answer is, “Is that really our best or only option”?
In my experience, that message has two consequences that backfire on the Microsoft ERP market. Before looking at those, let’s assume that the on-premise GP installed base is segmented into three types of companies:
- The GLAPAR – Companies that use the financial functionalities (general ledger, accounts payable, and accounts receivables) primarily. An upgrade to BC for this group would be the easiest and least expensive.
- The Workhorse – Companies that need the deeper functionality provided by GP and its army of third-party ISV solutions to create a perfect business solution. These companies are the vast majority of the GP installed base and the focus of our GP to BC podcast series (see parts 1, 2, and 3). For this class of GP company, an upgrade to BC is not a straightforward decision, as we have shown in detail.
- The Enterprise-Ready – Companies that are torturing their GP software to meet their business or technology needs. For these companies, GP cannot keep up with their growth and functional requirements.
Let’s focus on the enterprise-ready GP customer because they have the most to lose in making the wrong ERP upgrade decision.
If you have significantly outgrown your GP software, there is a good chance that you have also already outgrown the current capabilities of BC. In this case, an upgrade to BC would be, at best, a lateral move. Without some overriding reason to justify that move, a sideways upgrade is an expensive proposition at best and malpractice by your partner at worst.
If you are an enterprise-ready GP company, what are your options? In our experience, these are the typical options:
- Circumvent your GP partner and launch a software search across the ERP market.
- Work with your GP partner on a BC upgrade.
- Work with your GP partner on an upgrade to a non-Microsoft ERP solution.
- Work with a GP partner that has incorporated D365FO into their portfolio and upgrade to a real Microsoft enterprise-level ERP platform.
Let’s look at each of these options.
Many GP companies feel that they have not only outgrown their ERP software but also their GP partner. In this scenario, the partner is not involved in the search and decision-making process for a new ERP solution.
If your GP partner is working with BC exclusively as their alternative ERP solution, then the adage, “if you have a hammer, the entire world looks like a nail” applies.
Alternatively, many GP partners now represent non-Microsoft ERP software options. The reasons for this are complicated and deeply rooted in the love-hate relationship between GP partners and Microsoft.
As a partner that has successfully moved GP companies to AX and now to D365FO, we see this as a logical path that has historically been ignored by the GP partner base. The reasons for the lack of support for this option are complex and challenging to overcome. There is a solution that works in the best interest of the Microsoft ERP community and, more importantly, the GP enterprise-ready customer. Instead of focusing on marketing messaging, we propose an in-depth review of your business requirements mapped onto BC and F&O in terms of:
For a trusted evaluation, include at least two outside firms with experience in both BC and D365FO. The critical step is a side-by-side comparison of critical business functionality using your data and live software.
We see D365FO as a valid but underused path for the GP company looking to stay in the Microsoft ERP family while making the best software decision.
Upcoming podcasts in our series will delve into more details of the differences between BC and D365FO that GP users should consider when evaluating their future options.
This article was written by Peter Joeckel who is the President and Founder of TurnOnDynamics and co-authored by Karen (Floyd) Riordan, VP Sales & Marketing for Menlo Technologies, a Quisitive company.
Unifying organizational systems is not optional if you want to reduce data errors, streamline operations, and create actionable analytics. Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations customers understand the value of data extraction, importation, and translation to create seamless data flows between in-house and vendor systems. This article will give readers information on how to get started accomplishing the much-needed integrations.
Users are required to perform double key entry as vendor systems are not out-of-the-box integrating with our system of record, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. We can perform imports and exports with some vendors, but it seems we always need to massage the data. Also, flat files with PII are having to be encrypted and maintained manually outside the system.
Furthermore, employee additions and updates are not getting to the payroll vendor, end of month invoicing is painful, and mistakes happen due to double entry by hard-working quality conscience individuals. We need to unify and streamline our operations quickly.
There are several options for data exchange with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. The most common is the file-based Batch Import/Export feature, which is utilized for timed runs as needed; typically, nightly once business activities have subsided (ETL).
Unfortunately, at this time the Microsoft Common Data Service used by D365 CRM and many other platforms is not available for use with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. However, there are several 3rd party OData Clients for Visual Studio that can serve the purpose, but most are heavy and somewhat cumbersome to implement.
As a result, we created several smaller OData C# repositories within Azure Functions for real-time integrations with the various Finance and Operations modules such as Vendor Payments, Invoice Journal, and Employees. These smaller units of work helped create fast decomposed services, which can be deployed separately and often.
Figure 1 – Integrations Architecture and Process Steps
1. On post of such D365 entities as Vendor Payment and Invoice business events are relayed to the API Management (APIM) endpoint.
3. The Logic App now starts its orchestration.
4. First, it fires the Function App GET method.
5. This invokes the required OData query to gather the newly entered Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations information (Invoice, employee, payroll, …).
6. Next, the Logic App sends the queried information to the Integration Service where it is transformed from OData Json to Common Data Model (CDM). Note: The CDM has the ability to house all organizational data and is ‘common’ amongst inhouse systems.
7. CDM then gets stored in CosmosDB for consumption by various services.
8. Finally, the frontside Logic App publishes to the appropriate service bus topic and subscription.
9. The backside Logic App subscribes to the newly posted business event and goes to work.
10. Step 1, it fires off the Function method to go get the new CDM data.
11. Step 2, it uses the Integration Service to transform CDM into the appropriate ‘Consumer Data Model’. Note: The CDM could be transformed into XML, Json, HL7, flat file, or whatever the receiving party requires.
12. Step 3, the Function method takes the transformed data and pushes it out to the 3rd party receiver, which includes SFTP, REST, Shared Folder, SOAP, and other protocols.
13. Azure Active Directory where D365 is registered in order to acquire JWT tokens and securely interface with the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations data store.
Figure 2 – Example Business Event Wire up
This is not a one solution fits all scenario. Depending on your application stack, dataflow, and D365 F7O usage an entirely different design could emerge. Some of the options we considered include:
- Utilize 3rd party OData Client within Visual Studio
- Secure App Service Web API over serverless functions
- Logic App Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Connector (ISE prohibited us from using this option)
- Mappings and transforms within the C# code (AutoMapper or equal)
- SQL instead of CosmosDB
Solution security is met with implementation of Azure ASE and ISE environments, data encryption at rest and in transit, APIM encrypted API calls (TLS & JWT), user and app authentication & authorization, and the suite of Azure tools for security, alerting, and logging.
Not depicted are the typical NSGs, RBACs, Firewall and a ‘Zero Trust Security’ posture required by healthcare systems today.
Our selection for IDE was Visual Studio. We needed a robust set of features and capabilities to handle all the different demands required by the various vendors and in-house systems. We used Postman and Microsoft Edge Beta (Developer) for building and testing our OData queries and we used Table Browser Caller in Chrome for viewing Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations entities and tables.
Figure 3 – Example Postman GET Employee call
Asynchronous, message-based, decoupled, and decomposed services are the key to scalable, durable, and successful integrations. Keeping components siloed, so they are testable and deployable without effecting other systems will serve you well.
Make security a no-compromise part of the design from day one. From the first line of code, all the way through to production and you’ll have happy users.
If integrations were easy, we’d all be throwing Machine Learning on a pile of data and creating actionable outcomes to bolster our futures. The truth is working with multiple vendors to create easily maintainable integration endpoints can be difficult.
Let’s keep it as simple as possible and set realistic goals and timelines.
Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations has now been broken up into 4 distinct modules:
- Dynamics 365 Finance
- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
- Dynamics 365 Commerce
- Dynamics 365 Human Resources
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