Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Accountant and Bookkeeper Highlights in Business Central (Demo)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Accountant and Bookkeeper Highlights in Business Central (Demo)

As an accountant and bookkeeper, you’ve got an awful lot of things to do. What I want to show you is how Dynamics 365 Business Central can help you accomplish those tasks. What we found is that users think Dynamics 365 Business Central is easy to use, it’s easy to learn, and there’s a lot of new functionality that I think you’re going to like. So let’s get started.

Logging In and Accessing Role Centers

When I log in, I log in with my user ID and one of many roles that I can assume in the system. What the role does is it really tailors the way the user interface looks to you in that particular role. Right now, I’m logged in as an accountant, a business manager. I have access to a lot of Business Central, so we’ll take a look at it. But let’s take a look at the Role Center first.

This is Business Central. When I log in, I log in with my user ID and one of many roles that I can assume in the system. What the role does is it really tailors the way the user interface looks to you in that particular role. So right now, I’m logged in as an accountant, a business manager, and I have access to a lot of Business Central. So we’ll take a look at it, but let’s take a look at the role center first. The role center has information about your organization, what’s happening right up to the minute. I can scroll down, and I can see information that’s being surfaced right on my role center.

Purchase Invoices

You can see purchase invoice amounts. I can drill down on that and get detail about what those invoices are. I can drill into that further and get even more information. As I scroll down a little bit more, I’ve got tiles that give me up-to-date information on various parts of my business. For example, I’ve got purchase orders. I can drill down on the purchase orders. I see the number there is 11. I can drill down on those and get more information. And as transactions are posted and processed through the system, the numbers in these tiles, the KPIs, will update. One of the things that users really like about Business Central is the ability to access Universal search anywhere within the system. And by that, what I mean is I can go up to this magnifying glass here, I can put in search criteria, and Business Central will give back to me items related to that search criteria. I’ll get results. It could be a transaction; it could be a report; it could be a list; it could even be help on a particular item.

So let’s take a look at purchase invoice. Here are my results; these are the purchase invoices I currently have in my system. These have not been posted yet; these are open purchase invoices. They’ve been entered into a batch, if you want, and they’re waiting there to be posted or maybe approved. So let’s start a new one. This is the purchase invoice screen in Business Central, and it’s fairly standard. I’ve got header information; I’ve got line information; I can have different types of lines. It could be inventory items, just GL accounts, non-inventory items, a number of different types of lines I can have on my purchase invoice. The purchase invoice can be entered as is, as we’re going to do it here, or could also be entered as a purchase order and transferred into a PO. It’s basically the same screen, so it’s easy to understand and use. To get started, let’s look up a vendor. I can just type in part of a vendor here; can tab off that, Business Central will look for that vendor. I can always change it at this point if I want to, but this is the one I wanted. So I’ve got that vendor identified. As I mentioned before, I can have a number of different types of lines on the same purchase invoice. I can have an item; I can have a GL account, which is just an account for services or fees or whatever they might be, and I can also have fixed assets. I can buy fixed assets here; this will roll into the fixed asset module. Pretty handy. So let’s pick an item. I’ll do a lookup here to save time, and I’ll just select this one here. This is an inventory item; I’m going to put it in my inventory location, and I’ll put a quantity in. Right now, this is the purchase invoice; if I wanted to, I could just post it as is. I put the vendor invoice number in there at the top and then post it, and I’m done. It’s that easy. But what I wanted to show you here is that in Business Central, every user has the ability to personalize every screen for their use. And by that, what I mean is people can add columns; people can add fields; they can take fields off; they can rearrange the way the screens look. The value of this is that it makes the system easier to use; you can get your work done faster and more accurately. And it’s really easy to do. It takes no coding. For example, all I need to do is go up to settings here and go into personalize. And you can see that the screen changes; it looks a little different because I’ve got these red markers here. And there are a number of things I can do. If I wanted to get rid of a field, I can just hide it; it goes away. If I wanted to move fields around, I could do that as well; I could just drag and drop this over here. The change has been made. Also, I can add fields. There are a number of fields that aren’t showing on this screen, but they’re part of the data, so I can add those if I want to. It’s easy to do. I’ll add the field here; you can see that I’ve got a number of different fields that I can add to this screen if I want to.

For example, Business Central comes with a jobs module; it’s part of the basic license. I can track projects in here, other types of jobs. And it’s easy to do; these fields are available almost anywhere in the system. So I’m just going to add this job task number over here, and now I’ve got the job number and job task. I just added this to my screen. But the important thing to know here is that not only is it easy to do to change your screen, but it only changes for you. It doesn’t change for everyone else in your organization. When you log in to this role, you’ll get this version of the screen. You can always change it.


You can clear the personalizations; you can change it, add more things. If you delete something, it doesn’t go away; it’s still sitting there. It’s just not on the screen, so you can easily bring it back into the screen if you want to. And that’s basic personalization. I’ve got this purchase invoice here, and there are also ways that we’ll take a look at where you can automate this. If you have an OCR processor, you can get email messages from your vendors. Our processor can look at the attachments, look at the invoices, and process them. It’ll read the invoice and then send it to Dynamics 365 Business Central. And I’ll add a quick clip in here so that you can see that in action. Here’s an email that the vendor is going to send to the OCR processor; there’s a specific account for this vendor. Let’s take a look at the attached AP invoice. Here it is. And now, let’s send that email in Business Central. We can access the OCR processor directly; click on this here.

Here’s the OCR processor I’m using. I can click on documents, and notice that this document just came in. That invoice will now be sent to Business Central and automatically be turned into a purchasing invoice. I can see that I now have an incoming document; let’s open that up. Here’s a document right here; it’s been turned into an invoice. Let’s take a look at that. Here’s my purchase invoice right here; let’s open it up. I’ve got the line items; they’re automatically coded based on the vendor. I’ve got the total here; everything’s fine, even have a copy of the image that’s attached to this record in Business Central. We can open that up; you can see it right here. It will remain in Business Central so I can always access it.

Now, this is my current list of purchase invoices. This is the one that we just entered. I can go back at any time and approve this. I can also use approval workflows that are built into Business Central to control this process even more.

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Let’s take a look at payments. I’ll go to cash management, go to payment journals, and what I can do here is manually add payments for a vendor for specific invoices if I want to, or I can do it more automatically. Let’s do that. I’m going to go to prepare suggest vendor payments. I get this dialogue box to pick the things that I want. I’m going to summarize by vendor and hit okay. Let’s select this payment; here we go to apply entries. And when this payment is made, these invoices will show as paid and be removed from the outstanding invoices. And I have various ways that I can pay vendors. I can write a computer check; I’ll generate it right here. Or I could also enter a manual check that I wrote off the system. I can also make electronic payments to a vendor using EFT.

General Journals

Let’s take a look at the general journal, and there are a couple of things I want to show you here. This is my general journal form right here. This is a simplified form of it. I’ve got the debits and the credits; I can also attach documents here. All I need to do is look up an account, select the account, put in the debit amount or the credit amount, and when I’m done with it, I’ll just post this. But one thing I really like in Business Central is the ability to copy and paste into these screens and paste out of them. For example, I’ve got a long journal entry in Excel; let’s take a look at that. Here’s my Excel spreadsheet. I’ve got a number of different entries here. I’ve got an account, and I’ve got the debit and credit amounts here. I can just copy this, scroll down to the bottom here, I’ve got 66 entries. I’m going to copy that, go back to Business Central, and I can just paste it in here, and it pastes the transaction information right into the general journal form. Again, I can save these in batches as well, and I can post them when I want to. I can also put approval around these.

Copy and Paste

A lot of flexibility here, so I can copy and paste into this, and it’s easy to make a template. To make a template, all you need to do is select one line, copy that, go to a blank worksheet in Excel, and then paste that in, and I get the template right here. This is really nice, and you’ll find that this copy and paste functionality is available throughout the system. So whether I’m looking at journal entries like this or I’m looking at purchase orders, inventory transactions, purchase invoices, sales orders, sales invoices, I can use the copy and paste function to easily get information into those transactions, and I can build a template as easily as I just showed you.

Basic Navigation

Let’s take a look at some basic navigation in Business Central and some reporting. We’ve already looked at the role center somewhat, but at the top are menus that you can use to navigate to the items that you want. For example, go to purchasing; my purchase invoices are right here; we just looked at that. I can also have a full menu right here; I can look at that. I can look at menus outside of the role and see those as well. But again, what I like a lot of users like is the ability to use universal search anywhere in Business Central to look up items. Putting the search criteria, it gives me the results. These are screens or windows in Business Central; I’ve got reports and lists right here, and then I also have some help related to the search criteria. This is handy. This is a purchased invoice I was just looking at, and what’s nice about this is I can easily bookmark these. Here’s a bookmark right here; I’ve got this list. We’ll look at lists a little later, but I can bookmark this list, and when I do that, it’ll show up on my role center. So if I go back to my role center, I’ve now got this new item here: purchase invoices. I click on that, go directly to that list of purchase invoices. This is handy; this makes it easier to use the system, easier to learn the system because I can just look at the things I want to use on a regular basis, and they’re right there on my role center.

Reporting & Trial Balance

Let’s take a look at some basic reporting. Let’s take a look at the trial balance. So here, I’ve got another dialogue box related to a function within Business Central, and I can send it to a PDF document, or I can send it to Excel directly as it is. Let’s take a look at the preview of this. I’m going to put a date filter in and then run the preview, and here’s an account where I have a lot of transactions. This is a standard report in Business Central; it can be modified if you want, but it’s pretty useful out of the box, and there are hundreds of reports that come with the system. You find the ones that work for you and give you the best information, and then you use those.

Another aspect of Business Central that makes it easy to get information out of the system but also use the system are called lists. There are lists for all sorts of things: for customers, for vendors, for customer transactions, vendor transactions. You can get to it on a list; you can download it into Excel if you want to, but it also becomes another navigation aid. So let’s take alook at it.

This is my vendor list right here; there are two ways to look at it. We can look at it here, or I can change that to just a list. Here’s a list right here, and I can personalize this too. So there are other fields that don’t show on this screen. If I want to personalize it for my own use, I can use the personalization function and change this particular list. It’s easy to do. Let’s take a look at this vendor here.

Here’s my vendor Master file; it’s similar to the customer Master file and a lot like the item Master file. I’ve got basic information about the object; in this case, it’s a particular vendor. You can see all that information here. I’ve got a lot of information; again, I can modify this too using personalization. But what I wanted to show you here is if I go to the vendor, I’ve got all the Ledger entries here. This is a list of all the Ledger entries for this particular vendor, and what I can do here is I can put filters on it. Let’s put a filter on it; say I just want to look at invoices. Look at document types, and I’m interested in invoices. I’m going to save that as invoices, and these are all the invoices for this particular vendor.

So what I can do here is I can download it to excel if I want to, but it’s also a way to navigate. So I can highlight an item here; I can have actions I can perform on this. I can reverse a transaction; I can create a payment for it right from this list, and I can show the document. So let’s show the document; here’s the document that created that ledger entry, and we can see that right here.

So this becomes an easy way to look at the information in Business Central. I can easily download this into Excel, and I can share it with coworkers on teams. It’s easy to do; I can do it right from here. But there’s some additional function to make this even better. I can get rid of this detail page over here, see the full list. I can analyze this, and this really gives me a pivot table functionality without having to go to Excel. I can make different columns; I can sort it different ways, and I can save it. This is easy to do; it makes the system a lot more useful from an analysis standpoint and also reporting.


So this is why Dynamics 365 Business Central is a good choice for accountants and bookkeepers. I showed you a basic invoice transaction; you can see how I can personalize that, how I can easily turn that into a payment, paid with different methods, checks, EFTs, a number of different other methods as well. I can use general journal entries; there’s general journals, reversing entries; there’s a number of different types of journal entries that I can process in Business Central. I can use copy and paste functionality throughout the system to make it easier to get information into Business Central and get information out. We looked at some basic navigation with menus and the universal search, and we also looked at lists. Lists are a powerful navigation and analysis tool.

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