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Five practical examples of how Microsoft’s next generation financial management system can benefit your business

If your current solution is showing its age, failing to deliver the functionality you need, is costing too much to operate or can’t be scaled up to match growth, a cloud replacement will almost certainly cost less upfront – and ongoing – than an on-premises solution.

Here are five ways our customers are benefiting in their everyday operation from using our recommended all-in-one cloud solution for business and financial management: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

1. All your core business information in one place for insight and reporting
Departments and functions tend to work with separate silos of data – there’s no continuous, day-to-day connection between them. For example, sales managers can’t see finance information that shows whether invoices have been raised for their teams’ deals or view inventory to understand what’s available for immediate delivery.

With an all-in-one solution, all that data is available in one place, providing vital end-to-end information for everyday operations and decision-making. Everyone in the business can make smarter, contextualised decisions when data is shared and easy to access. Managers can prioritise spending and resource allocation, based on current reality. Better informed, connected decisions create a competitive edge, as your business can respond quickly to emerging customer needs.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central brings finance, supply chain, workflow, purchasing and inventory under one roof, so you can share data and insight across the whole business. You gain better visibility from comprehensive reporting. Shared information helps teams collaborate across functions to achieve business goals.
should I move to the cloud
2. Work effectively anywhere
Flexible working means your team needs to be effective wherever they are. From employees working in different offices to home-based workers, cloud technology supports better productivity, freeing people from a fixed workplace and cutting infrastructure costs.

You can access a cloud solution on any device. It doesn’t matter where you are, whether you’re on your mobile, a tablet or at your desk, you can access the same complete version of the truth, including data, insight, tools and communications, timesheets, expenses, invoice and payment status, and customer account information. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers you the full security of the Microsoft Cloud’s data centres, to keep all your data safe.

Without the cloud, you can set up remote working using Citrix or another terminal services application. But this demands more costly infrastructure and ongoing maintenance. Usually, only some systems and data are accessible, and they may not be completely up to date. Workers may need to download information onto their local device, which can compromise data security.

Today’s workforce expects remote systems and technology to help them at work, just as they expect to be able to shop, bank and manage their personal admin any time via mobile apps. If you want to recruit the best talent, you need to make business life just as easy.

3. See opportunities and actions needed behind the numbers
With all your key business data in one system, information is instantly available to generate reports for financial close, management information and balance sheets. There’s no need for imports, integrations or re-keying. Reporting is more accurate because it comes straight out of the application.

This approach is far more productive for your team: they can stop spending time on reformatting, collating and manipulating data manually within local spreadsheets. It’s all done automatically in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – with the option to display reports in familiar tools like Excel.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can also be utilised with PowerBI, (Microsoft’s leading business intelligence solution) to create KPIs, dashboards and metrics in real-time. From its user-friendly dashboard, you can visualise key data to flag priorities, anomalies and trends. Monitoring and reporting on key data helps predict what customers need and flags up key indicators using a traffic light system, so you can take corrective action.

With all the data connected, use out-of-the-box standard reports to gain deep business insights, or create and customise your own. You can then share insights with colleagues or control who sees sensitive information by setting permissions.

4. Streamline purchasing processes and approvals
In an old-style, paper-based system, it’s too easy for purchase ordering to get out of control. With many individual departmental systems, data gets lost or is recorded incorrectly.

Historically, the supply chain finance has been managed in a separate system which may or may not have been integrated with a back office finance system. Now with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, it’s an integral part of the all-in-one business management solution. Workflows for approvals are included out-of-the-box – you can use them instantly and customise them.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can be confident of your governance, with a watertight approvals process that satisfies audit requirements. You can set up workflows so employees can only use approved channels and suppliers, for stock and inventory management as well as non-stock items and services.

You’ll make your supply chain more efficient and responsive by automating processes such as sales orders, purchase orders and forecasting. You can anticipate demand, plan cashflow and place orders in a timely way, to maintain availability to meet demand. You’ll have 360 degree visibility of planned and approved transactions.

5. Understand and manage project costs
If your organisation delivers chargeable projects for clients, you need to monitor and manage costs, so you know you’ll make a profit on the work. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central includes project accounting functionality, you can set up projects with budgets, resources and various billing methods then track costs throughout the lifespan of the project, including timesheets and expenses. Reporting allows ease of project management including costs to complete vs budget and revenue on either the whole project or project phases. Real-time information means you can review and modify activities in-flight if the finances aren’t tracking to plan.

There’s also a benefit for internal projects, such as installing new plant equipment on your own site or delivering a series of customer events. You can monitor and control spending on improvement, expansion, marketing or development projects within your organisation. Managers and project teams can be directly accountable for cost control against budget.

BONUS: No more expensive ‘on-premises’ servers and maintenance

Cloud computing is game-changing, because it cuts traditional IT overheads and delivers efficiency gains from the latest technology. Because it’s billed on a subscription model, you only pay for what you need per user. It’s a scalable solution that you can grow into, adding users and modules on demand.

If you’re ready to exploit the cost and functional advantages of a cloud financial management system, our finance and business management experts at Xpedition can help you plot your course to deployment.

Sign up for our free seminar at The Gherkin in London on 25th March to find out more: you’ll hear how companies have adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and learn more about the insights and capabilities you’ll gain from an all-in-one solution.


About Xpedition
With 20 years as a Microsoft Gold Partner and more than 630 successful Dynamics 365 projects delivered, Xpedition is one of the UK’s leading and trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation partners.

Whether you’re looking to move to the cloud, implement a new business application, enhance your existing Dynamics 365 implementation, or need support, we’re here to help businesses transform and grow.

Our Microsoft certified consultants have deep experience of implementing Dynamics 365 across a range of industry sectors and types of business: helping ambitious organisations reimagine their business with modern cloud technologies.

We provide expert guidance and support in buying, implementing, and optimising Dynamics 365 applications. And with a philosophy of coaching businesses to achieve the digital transformation that’s right for them, you can rest assured you’ve found the ideal Dynamics 365 partner.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Power Platform
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s next generation of intelligent, cloud-based business applications. Dynamics 365 connects your data, streamlines your processes and gives you deep business insight – enabling you to transform and thrive.

You choose the apps you need. From sales, marketing and service to financial management and operations, Dynamics 365 is a modular set of applications with a common data model, platform and deep integration with Office 365.
All the apps work seamlessly together and can be integrated with your existing systems, extended and adapted with the Microsoft Power Platform. Power Apps enable custom apps to be built to work the way your teams need to.

Using common data and the Power Platform with a ‘no-code/low-code’ approach, you’ll quickly be automating processes and getting insights to the people who need them. With connected data and a single, end-to-end view of your business, relationships, and processes you’ll uncover predictive insights —enabling better decisions and driving your success.

Because Dynamics 365 is in the cloud, you get the same great user experience across any location or device. And there’s no longer a need for ‘on-premises’ hardware, maintenance, and support allowing you to focus on transforming your business.