Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Frequently Asked Questions

To help you understand the answers to commonly asked questions put to us, we’ve put together our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central frequently asked questions. Use the buttons below to jump to any section.

Firstly, What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (previously known as Navision, Microsoft Navision or Dynamics NAV) is the all-in-one solution that helps you connect processes, make smarter decisions faster and grow your organisation.

It unifies systems and processes together to manage your financials, sales, service, and operations in one cloud-based system.
 

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Product History

 

How long has Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central been around?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is by no means a newcomer, but it wasn’t always known as Business Central.

In 1987, a system called Navision was introduced by a company called Navision Software A/S (known at the time as PC&C A/S) – a client/server-based accounting application that allowed multiple users to access the system simultaneously. In 2000, Navision Software A/S merged with Damgaard A/S, later changing their name to Navision A/S.

In 2002, Microsoft bought Navision A/S and acquired Navision, where they brought it under their Business Solutions umbrella. In 2005, Microsoft re-branded the product and re-released it as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

After its latest and final rebrand, in 2018 Microsoft Dynamics NAV became the system we know today – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, known as an “all-in-one business management solution.” Built on the functionality, code and development experience of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Business Central is a cloud-based solution that delivers a modern, browser-based ERP experience.

 

How many cloud users use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

As of 2021, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central had over 15,000 cloud customers alone on its SaaS platform and was seeing 200 percent annual growth in users.

 

How does Dynamics 365 Business Central compare to Dynamics NAV?

In short, Dynamics 365 Business Central is simply the new name for Dynamics NAV – but with a few more updates and features since its name change.

Business Central is still a business management solution designed for small to medium-sized businesses with the same rich functionality that Dynamics NAV had, now with full flexibility to deploy in the cloud or on-premises.

Key differences include user interface, useability, hosting, upgrades, integration capabilities and customisation. Find out more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Microsoft Dynamics NAV here.

Product Overview

 

What are the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an incredibly feature rich piece of software, built from enterprise grade solutions and adapted to meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses. Typically, this means there are fewer (if any) requirements for third party add-ons and virtually all key business processes are covered as standard.

It is an end-to-end business solution which features:

  • A holistic approach. Unlike finance or accounting packages, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central doesn’t break down into different section or modules as it is one complete ERP system. The key areas of functionality included with an Essentials Licence include:
    • Core Financials: nominal ledgers, fixed assets, cashbook, sales ledger and purchase ledger, currency and VAT control
    • Purchasing: SOP and POP
    • CRM: customers and opportunity management, campaign management
    • Stock: stock control and basic warehouse management, BOM
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  • A common database. This means you have a 360-degree view of your business. Data in common database gives your users a shared, consistent view of data.
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  • Real-time availability of data. The integration with Power BI enables visual graphs and reports to be created for any area of the system. However, what really makes a difference to many businesses is the ability to create multiple “dimensions” against any product or service.
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  • Integrated functionalities. Because both Office 365 and Dynamics 365 are developed by Microsoft, the integration is incredibly powerful and allows key business processes to be driven from within Dynamics or within Office 365 applications, for example Outlook.
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  • Ability to configure job roles and authorisation. Easily configure roles and access of users and personalise pages for more efficient ways of working.
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  • It is in the cloud. That means you can access any of your data in real-time through any device with an internet access – mobile, tablet and desktop. It allows for greater security of your data and diminishes the chance of losing any of your data through local hardware malfunctions.

 

What industries does Microsoft Dynamic 365 Business Central support?

Microsoft already have customers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central across a wide range of industries and is ideal for businesses in the SME market who no longer want siloed systems that are not well connected, duplicate data, manual process, insufficient reporting across different solutions or the risk of security issues.

Here are just some of the industries that Business Central supports:

Charities and Nonprofits

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eCommerce Businesses

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Engineering Industry

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Fashion Industry

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Financial Services

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Furniture Industry

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Health Care Industry

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Hotels and Hospitality

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What makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central different from other finance packages?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is leagues ahead in comparison to many other accounting systems for several reasons, but here’s just three:

  1. Unlike many accounting or finance packages designed for small and medium sized businesses, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is completely cloud-based. This means that the software is hosted for you in a data centre and is accessed via a browser. This comes with various benefits including free software updates, the ability to access the software from any device and being able to access Business Central from anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central’s integration into the Office 365 suite is a key feature of the software. Whilst other software can link to Office 365 packages such as Word, Excel and Outlook, Business Central takes this to a new level with a fully integrated process, including being able to action important tasks directly through an email in Outlook, such as raising a quote or sending an invoice.
  3. Finally, the combination of Microsoft technology and the cloud nature of Business Central means that the in-built security levels are far beyond what any finance package in the SME space can offer. With Dynamics 365 hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform, users benefit from enterprise level protection and with the addition of Azure AD integration (for approving user logins) and 2-Factor Authentication (to prevent non-approved login attempts) the security provided is incredibly high as standard.

Integrations

 

What does Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central integrate with?

You can extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to fit industry or business needs with a number of integrated add-on apps. As standard, you get full integration with Office 365, PowerApps, Flow, Power BI and AppSource.

Easily integrate with familiar Microsoft products such as Outlook, Excel and SharePoint for faster, more efficient work processes without the need to repeatedly swap between different apps – find out more about Office 365 integration here.

There are typically three ways to integrate with other platforms and extend the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central which include:

  1. AppSource. You can use Microsoft’s (and partners) prebuilt solutions to extend the capability of Dynamics 365 Business Central. This allows for more specialist business processes or industry needs. There are thousands of solutions currently available and provides an easy way to connect with third party applications like payroll, banking, CRM, or industry-specific systems.
  2. PowerApps. Microsoft’s codeless application development solution which allows you to build custom applications and connect them to Dynamics 365 Business Central via the common data service. That means unlimited ways to extend your capability and capture and display data to your employees.
  3. Custom Applications. It is easy to develop applications that work and integrate with Dynamics 365 Business Central, with the robust API’s available and a number of connect apps. You no longer customise the underlying code in the Solution, instead you can add features and more capability.

 
It’s easy to setup and connect with third party applications like payroll, banking, CRM, or industry-specific systems.

How To Get It

 

How do I get Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Although Microsoft licences can be purchased directly from Microsoft, it’s rare that businesses choose to do this and, like many Microsoft products, are provided by one of the expert partners across the country, such as The HBP Group.

This enables users to purchase licences, implementation and support from a partner who can act as a point of contact and reassurance in future.

If you are looking to migrate to smarter business processes and systems and are considering Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, The HBP Group can offer you two seamless implementation methods based on your business needs and desires.

Dynamics SmartStart™ and Dynamics SmartScope™ are our two implementation methods. Both offer clear project scopes, fixed pricing and a clear set of features and functionalities that will be configured as part of the implementation process.

SmartStart is designed for businesses who want to carry out as much of the implementation process as possible themselves. SmartStart is broken down into packs, so the basic configuration and set up is carried out by The HBP Group but data imports, customisations and specific workflows are created by the end user – reducing the cost of the overall implementation, but requiring more input from the customer.

SmartScope is a fully managed process for implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Starting with a detailed scoping session, we will understand all of the processes required for a successful implementation and create a plan and fixed price quote to cover all areas. From there, we will manage everything from data import, software customisation, report creation and specific workflow processes. Just like SmartStart, SmartScope is broken down into packs, so we can agree with the end user which areas of the software are required and what level of customisation is needed.

 

How do I migrate my data into Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Data can be imported from any system to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. You can easily transfer information about customers, vendors, inventory, and bank accounts. If the integrity of your data is paramount to you, which we expect it is, then our recommendation is that you find a partner that can guarantee the safe migration of your data so that you can hit the ground running with your new system.

At The HBP Group, we ensure that your data is not only transferred accurately but it’s also verified by one of our AAT accredited experts, no matter which system you’re upgrading from – Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, Pegasus or anything else. Plus, it’s all backed up by our DataReady Guarantee.

 

How long does a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation take?

The fastest way we offer deployment of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central comes from our Dynamics SmartStart™ service, where core financial functionality can be prepared in 5 days. However, this pack requires input from the end-user to import data and configure the system themselves.

Our basic Dynamics SmartScope™ package, where implementation is fully managed, starts at 8 days.

As you would expect, both packages can be scaled up depending on the functionality required and in the most complex of projects, installation times could be around 30-40 days (though this is rare.)

The Cost

 

How much does Dynamics 365 Business Central cost?

Licencing from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is available in three types:

  • Team User. £6.60 per month: has read/view access to most records
  • Essentials User. £57.50 per month: has access to almost all areas of the system
  • Premium Users. £82.20 per month: provides additional access to Manufacturing and Warehouse Management functionality

(Prices all correct as of January 2024.)

In addition to licence costs, you will also need to consider your installation costs. You can find out more about these from The HBP Group below.

You can read more about licensing and pricing here.

 

What prices do SmartStart and SmartScope start from?

If you’re looking to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you’ll need to consider the cost of your implementation alongside the cost of licensing.

To implement Business Central, you’ll need a Microsoft partner who can setup the system for you. The HBP Group offer two seamless implementation methods based on your business needs. For those looking for a fully managed service there’s SmartScope and for businesses who want a quick, self-managed deployment, we offer SmartStart.

Prices with Dynamics SmartStart™ begin from £4,250 and Dynamics SmartScope™ from £5,100.

A typical 20 user system (10 standard users and 10 team users) using our SmartScope option would cost approximately £7,000 in licences per year with a one-off installation cost of between £7,000 and £12,000 and optional support packages available.

It’s important to note, Microsoft do not offer end-user support for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Support for the product comes from a Microsoft accredited partner, such as The HBP Group who have over 30 years’ experience of helping businesses to move to new accounts software packages.

 

To find out more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and to see how it can benefit you and your business download our free brochure, or for any other questions about the product you can email one of our experts.

Thinking About Upgrading to Business Central?A Dynamics Discovery Session Is The Best Place To Start.

During our Discovery Session, our Microsoft experts will gain a deep understanding of how your business is operating and your future requirements. We’ll give you impartial advice about whether Business Central is the right fit, implementation and timelines. The Discovery Session enables us to capture your specific requirements and use these alongside our findings to design your new solution.

It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to purchase from us once it’s complete.

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