What are the Features of Dynamics 365? We Take a Look
by A. Waqas
Launched in November 2016, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations joins other Microsoft ERP operations including Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV.
Dynamics 365 brings in to play the SME enterprises and a cloud-only deployment model.
Like other accounting and SME systems, it is necessary to involve a Microsoft partner to get the application and the total cost could only be decided after the partner adds its charges.
Let’s have a look at the overall functionalities provided by Dynamics 365 to its customers.
The landing page includes multiple tiles for the integrated applications including the Office 365 and various others.
Clicking the “Dynamics 365” launches the application.
There are multiple other tiles representing the key performance indicators (KPIs) and open items.
An option is available to select the indicators you want to be displayed in the form of a chart on the right side.
You can select the items you want to be graphed and resize them accordingly.
Dynamics 365 gives the users the power to customize his/her own landing page without any need for a technical assistant.
On the left side of the screen, you will get your main navigation mechanism.
The items displayed would be according to the role assigned to you as there are multiple options including:
- Business Manager
- Project Manager
- Sales Activities
- Relationship Manager
- Sales Order Processor
- Team Member.
A team member would only be able to see the data and cannot change it.
Dynamics 365 also has corresponding mobile applications supported by Android and iOS through which you can perform all the activities.
The system generates a proper financial report having the summary and detailed general ledgers, trial balances, a Working Trial balance, and the standard financial statements of Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flows.
Creating customized reports is pretty easy due to the integration of Dynamics 365 with other Microsoft tools.
It is also possible to import additional charts from Microsoft Excel making the graphics amazingly supportive for the users.
Sales and Purchases
Dynamics 365 stands out in sales and purchases because of its capability to create quotes, estimates, and turning them into invoices.
Creating purchase orders has also been simplified.
As sales and purchases are connected to inventory it is easier to know whether there is enough stock left for an order or not.
Although Dynamics 365 doesn’t support inventory management that much as there isn’t an option for multiple warehouses or bar-coding.
The unique quality of Dynamics 365 for Financials is to create sales quotes and invoices directly into Microsoft Outlook and reflect the quote or invoice on Dynamics 365 immediately.
This is only possible because of a tightly knitted integration with Office 365.
There is a “Financials” button that shows the customer’s information and you can create an estimate or invoice inside Dynamics 365.
It is automatically attached with an email and sent to the customers while on other accounting systems, you have to save such information in a document and then attach it in an email to send it to the customer.
Although Microsoft declared to provide great project management options in Dynamics 365 that is not really the case.
The system doesn’t provide you Gantt charts, Critical Path Method (CPM), Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) charts, and minimum/maximum resource allocation.
Not everything is lost with these features being missing, you can set milestones to monitor the process of a job.
It is also possible to add time cards and allocate the expenses to the project.
It is refreshing for an SMB but if you are a large organization more depth is required.
Many ERPs and accounting systems include Fixed Asset capability which is useful for the SME market but often it comes at an additional cost.
That is not the case with Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 has included Fixed Asset capability in its basic bundle.
Assets can be entered into the system on Asset Cards containing the description, acquisition cost and date of the assets acquisition along with the description.
It contains the standard depreciation method and it is also possible to specify your own depreciation method.
Limited Inventory Options
The inventory sub-categories come with the picture of all the items listed providing a pleasant look.
Unfortunately, Dynamics 365 has a single costing method which is First in First out (FIFO) which wouldn’t be an attraction for most of the customers.
It would have been nice if the Weighted Average Cost method would have been included too.
Although Microsoft has announced to add sub-assemblies (Kitting) in the system.
Overall Finance is a useful application for the businesses who want an upgrade from entry-level accounting systems.
The system is highly scalable and definitely would get better functionalities with the updates as it is a work in progress.
Payroll and a more dynamic inventory management system could really improve the efficiency and usability of Dynamics 365.
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