How Microsoft Dynamics 365 Improves Your Business Accounting
Looking to optimize your accounting processes? A cloud-based solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 could be a good fit for your business.
Good financial management and accounting are crucial for any organization. It plays a critical role in helping you track income and expenditures, ensures compliance, helps in forecasting and budgeting, and provides valuable information to inform business decisions and strategy. Many businesses rely on enterprise resource planning software to better manage their finances and accounting. If you're looking to optimize your accounting processes, a cloud-based solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 could be a good fit for your business.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of intelligent business management solutions that helps businesses streamline their operations, connect their processes, and become more agile. It's comprised of several ERP and CRM solutions that cater to various business needs. In this post, we'll take a closer look at two of their popular ERP offerings: Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance, and see how they can help with accounting and financial management in your organization.
Dynamics 365 for Business Accounting
Microsoft has always had a range of business management solutions for business accounting - from Dynamics GP for project-based businesses to Dynamics NAV for manufacturers. Now their solutions are pooled under the Dynamics 365 umbrella. Most of the accounting and finance-related features and functionality can be found within their two ERP applications: Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance. Both of these are ideal for businesses looking for financial management capabilities and who want to connect their back and front-end operations under one platform.
Dynamics 365 Business Central for Accounting & Financial Management
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution designed for small and mid-sized companies. It is often positioned as the next step up from entry-level business accounting software, thanks to its extensive range of financial management capabilities available right out of the box. Some of these include the following:
Control your financial data
Business Central helps you efficiently manage your cash flows, bank reconciliations, fixed assets, and project costing and enables you to keep track of transactions such as acquisitions, depreciation, write-downs, appreciations, and disposal.
Business Central has a general ledger that you can easily set up and start posting to chart of accounts, general and recurring journals. You can also use budgets in the general ledger to track business progress.
Your account schedules is a powerful financial reporting tool, and you can include business data from the chart of accounts, budgets, cash flow accounts, and cost types in your reports.
Business Central lets you set up unlimited dimensions, which are tags that can be assigned to entries, and you can use them in reports for easier filtering, in account schedules to analyze your general ledger, or in data sent to Power BI.
Cash flow forecasting
You can easily predict how your company's liquidity will evolve over time by creating and setting up cash flow forecasts. Using Azure's machine learning capabilities, Business Central can generate cash flow predictions for your company.
Auditing is much more intuitive with Business Central. It can automatically assign audit trails and descriptions to each transaction, and you can define transactional reason codes to be added to ledger entries.
Support global and multiple locations
Business Central easily supports multiple currencies, on sales and purchase documents, in bank transactions, and payments in payables and receivables, and automatically updates exchange rates. It also supports the amalgamation of data if your company has multiple locations or brands with the automatic reconciliation of bank statements.
Streamlines cash management
You can operate and manage multiple bank accounts within Business Central. It also provides an easy payment process for your customers and allows you to easily create payment proposals based on vendor documents and generate bank payment files. You can also easily reconcile incoming and outgoing bank transactions in one step and one place.
Monitor financial performance
You can use their built-in reports, Excel, Power BI, and unlimited data dimensions to monitor financial performance, analyze trends and patterns, and get real-time cash flow. By connecting all your reports and data from accounting, sales, purchasing, and inventory, your company has all the information they need to make more profitable and data-driven business decisions.
Dynamics 365 Finance for Accounting & Financial Management
Dynamics 365 Finance is a cloud-based ERP solution that is geared towards large businesses that want to maximize financial visibility and modernize their financial operations. With D365 Finance, companies have full control over their finances. This solution comes with a general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, and bank reconciliation capabilities.
It also has capabilities for fixed asset management and carrying out month and year-end closing. It is a comprehensive financial management solution that simplifies and improves companies' planning and budgeting. Here are some of its financial capabilities:
Simplify financial management
Dynamics 365 Finance helps close books faster with its in-depth financial reporting capabilities to handle foreign exchange. It also supports multiple legal entities and currencies in a single instance.
Automate financial processes
Dynamics 365 Finance helps you automate a lot of your financial processes. For instance, you can save time and labour costs by automatically submitting invoices to workflows and matching vendor invoice lines to produce receipts. It also helps you manage credit risks and collections. You can create a rules- and prediction- based collection automation to help you increase on-time payment and improve cash flow.
Finance insights bring AI and automation functionality to Dynamics 365 Finance, such as customer payment predictions, automatic budget proposals, and cash flow forecasting. It predicts which payments may be late, so you can automatically follow up with at-risk customers. You can simplify budgeting by utilizing historical data and trends to generate budget predictions. Finally, it helps you create more accurate cash flow projections by leveraging AI, unified data, and "what if" analysis.
Automated reoccurring billing
D365 Finance makes it easier to thrive in a subscription-based economy with its automated reoccurring billing. It easily adapts to new revenue recognition standards, reduces audit costs, and accurately calculates and reports your financial statements.
Decrease global financial complexity and risk
There is a rules-based chart of accounts and no-code globalization services to help you simplify tax calculation, regulatory reporting, and global payments. You can also help ensure compliance across 43 countries. It's easy to comply with local tax regulations using a no-code flexible tax-determination matrix and tax-calculation designer.
Manage growth effectively
With Dynamics 365 Finance, you can quickly deploy new subsidiaries and product lines. You can copy an existing legal entity's setup to a new entity with onboarding, which is quick and cost-effective.
Connect manufacturing to your financials
Dynamics 365 Finance was previously known as Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. However, it is currently licensed as two separate apps now, with Dynamics 365 Finance geared towards companies who want to modernize their financial operations and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain for those who also require manufacturing and distribution capabilities. The good news is that if you need both, it is still a single implementation. This 2-app licensing gives you more flexibility to choose only the functionality your company requires.
What Are Some Other Benefits of Using Dynamics 365 for Business Accounting?
Using Dynamics 365 in the cloud brings a host of cloud benefits for your business, including automatic software upgrades, lower cost of ownership, and improved collaboration and agility. Another significant advantage is flexibility. Thanks to cloud technology, you can virtually run your business anywhere, irrespective of the location or device. Remote work is increasingly becoming a new normal today, so flexibility is important to keep your business competitive.
Seamless Integrations with Other Microsoft Products
Those who already use Microsoft business applications like Office 365 can make use of these solutions to good advantage. Both Dynamics 365 Finance and Business Central seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft applications and product suites, including BI, CRM, different IoT solutions, productivity software, etc. This also helps with saving costs on personalization and personnel re-training. You can also add additional functionality to both solutions through extensions available in the Microsoft AppSource, which is an online store for third-party add-ons and integrations.
High levels of data security and compliance
Microsoft is a leader in cybersecurity and invests 1 billion each year into cybersecurity research and development. They operate on a 'Zero Trust' model where they take a proactive and integrated approach to security. For example, Business Central comes with built-in features to ensure your data is backed up and securely saved. With many features, such as authorization, authentication, data encryption, an application can be further safeguarded. Also, this solution enables users to adjust settings for global businesses, so their data is collected and stored in ways that comply with local laws. MS Dynamics 365 Finance features built-in disaster recovery and 24-hour technical support. To learn more about the security and data privacy protections in place, check out our article "Security in Microsoft Dynamics 365."
What's the Difference Between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance?
One of the main differences is that Business Central is best for small and mid-sized companies, while Dynamics 365 Finance is geared for larger organizations with more complex business processes. Business Central has a 1 user minimum, while Dynamics 365 Finance has a 20-user minimum.
Dynamics 365 Finance is probably right for you if you are a high transaction volume organization, do a lot of international or global business, operate in multiple tax regions, or require a high level of traceability. Whichever app you feel is the right fit for your organization's scope, both these Dynamics 365 solutions have extensive benefits for businesses that need modern accounting and financial management capabilities.
Getting Started with Dynamics 365 for Accounting
If you're debating between Dynamics 365 Finance and Business Central or simply want more information about Dynamics 365 solutions, reach out to the Kwixand Solutions team. We are a Silver Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner based in Vancouver, Canada, and we help businesses across North America digitally transform.