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The Definitive Guide to What's New in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Never once did I hear a midwestern person proclaim that the Spring season snuck up on them after one of our famous winters but I am hearing that the recent Spring release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central did just that.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials) is the next generation of Dynamics NAV, the leading business enterprise resource planning (ERP) product, which has served more than 140,000 customers and millions of users world-wide.

So just as beautiful green grass and pretty flowers accompany Spring, new features accompany Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. These new feature are:

Modern user experience

With the Spring ’18 release, Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a refreshed and modern user experience, optimized for insights and productivity.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is available at two price points: Essential and Premium.

Essential licensing covers business areas that most businesses require in order to run their business. These areas are described in the following sections. Premium licensing adds Service order management and Manufacturing, bringing the full breadth of the popular Dynamics NAV application to the cloud.

Financial management

Basic General Ledger

Set up a company, and start posting to the general ledger, chart of accounts, general journals, VAT facilities, recurring journals, and source codes.

Budgets Work with budgets in general ledger accounts.

Deferrals Set up deferral templates that automate the process of deferring revenues and expenses over a predefined schedule.

Basic fixed assets Keep track of fixed assets and related transactions, such as acquisitions, depreciations, write-downs, appreciations, and disposals.

Audit trails The system automatically assigns audit trails and posting descriptions to every transaction. In addition, users can define reason codes to create complementary audit trails.

Bank account management Create, operate, and manage multiple bank accounts to cater to your diverse business needs and across different currencies.

Reconciliation Reconcile your bank statement data automatically to open bank account ledger entries end keep track of all your bank statements.

Dimensions Add unlimited dimensions to any ledger for advanced transaction analyses.

Currencies Manage multiple currencies throughout the system, including payables and receivables, general ledger reports, resource and inventory items, and bank accounts.

Customer relational management


Maintain an overview of your contacts, and record your contact information for all business relationships.

Campaigns Organize campaigns based on segments of your contacts that you define.

Opportunity management Keep track of sales opportunities, section your sales processes into different stages, and use this information to manage your sales opportunities.

Dynamics 365 for Sales integration Integrate with Dynamics 365 for Sales in a few easy steps to synchronize your data, including sales orders, item availability, units of measure, and currencies.

Supply chain management

Sales order management Manage sales orders, blanket sales orders, and sales order processes.

Basic receivables Post sales transactions in journals and manage receivables. Register customers and manage receivables by using general journals.

Purchase order management Manage purchases, blanket orders, and purchase order processes.

Locations Manage inventory in multiple locations that might represent a production plant, distribution center, warehouse, showroom, retail outlet, or service car

Item transfers

Track inventory as it’s moved from one location to another, and account for the value of inventory in transit at various locations.

Basic warehousing

Manage items on a bin level. Pick and put away items in a bin, and move items between bins by using a report that optimizes space usage and picking processes.

Human resources

Employees Group and track employee information, and organize employee data according to different types of information, such as experience, skills, education, training, and union membership.

Expense management Post expenses against employee cards to track and reimburse their expenses.

Project management


Register and sell resources, combine related resources into one resource group, or track individual resources.

Estimates Monitor resource usage, and get a complete overview of your capacity for each resource, with information about availability and planned costs on orders and quotations.

Jobs Keep track of usage on jobs and data for invoicing the customer. Manage both fixed-price jobs and time-and-materials jobs.

Time sheets Time sheets are a simple and flexible solution for time registration with manager approval, and they integrate with Service, Jobs, and Basic Resources.

Other With Essential licensing, you also have access to a wide range of capabilities that go across the various business areas.

Multiple languages Switch languages on the client in real time, provided that the desired language is available.

Reason codes Define a set of reason codes that can be assigned to individual transactions throughout the system, providing user-defined audit trails.

Extended text Set up an unlimited number of lines to describe inventory items, resources, and general ledger accounts.

Intrastat reporting

Automatically retrieve the necessary data to report Intrastat information to statistics authorities. Local customs authorities can tell you whether your company is obligated to file such a report.

Outlook integration Synchronize your to-do items and your contacts with your meetings, tasks, and contacts in Outlook.

Service order management With Premium licensing, you get access to service management capabilities.

Service orders Register your after-sales issues, including service requests, services due, service orders, and repair requests.

Service price management Set up, maintain, and monitor your service prices.

Service item management Record and keep track of all your service items, including contract information, component management, and BOM reference and warranty information.

Service contract management Record details on service levels, response times, and discount levels, and also on the service history of each contract, including used service items and parts and labor hours.

Planning Assign personnel to work orders, and log details such as work order handling and work order status.

Dispatching Manage service personnel and field technician information, and filter according to availability, skills, and stock items.

Manufacturing With Premium licensing, you get access to manufacturing capabilities.

Production orders Create and manage production orders, and post consumption and output to the production orders.

Version management Create and manage different version of the manufacturing bill of materials and routings.

Agile manufacturing Plan rush hours, make exceptions, and handle last-minute changes to your processes with multiple planning options.

Basic supply planning Plan for material requirements based on demand, with support for master production scheduling and materials requirements planning.

Demand forecasting Plan and create production and purchase orders, taking into consideration the demand forecast together with the level of available inventory and parameters of requirement planning.

Capacity planning Add capacities to the manufacturing process. Set up routings, and use these routings on production orders and in material requirements planning.

Machine centers Manage capacity on several levels: on a more detailed level for machine centers and on a consolidated level for work centers.

Finite loading Take capacity constraints into account, so that no more work is assigned to a work center than the capacities can be expected to execute during a given time period.


App Source Within Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can find apps on App Source that bring you more capabilities. If you're a developer, you can build powerful extensions and then add them to App Source for easy discoverability. The April release includes many improvements to the extensions technology, allowing partners to extend, customize, and build solutions in an upgradable fashion, decoupled from the base application.

Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with easy integration with Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow, so that you can configure capabilities and implement business flows without writing a single line of code.

Does Dynamics 365 Business Central sound like something your organization could benefit from by using? Take a look at this overview demo.

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