As many Microsoft software users might know, the tech giant runs five-year support cycles for all of its products. For those using Dynamics NAV 2013, this means mainstream support for the product has officially ended (it ended 9 January this year).
Companies still running this version of the software are putting themselves at a serious disadvantage. The new and improved features introduced to the product in the past five years have been of critical importance to business efficiency, productivity and compliance. Businesses that are reluctant to move to newer versions of Dynamics NAV are doing themselves a huge disservice.
So, why aren’t businesses rushing to upgrade? For one, there seems to be an overreliance on the extended support end date rather than the mainstream support end date. Businesses tend to view the extended support date as the ‘real’ end date, rather than taking it for what it is – a stopgap – a grace period to help you get your affairs in order.
This thinking could be due to businesses not knowing the difference between the two.
Mainstream support is used when a product is still under full support from Microsoft. This means Microsoft is providing security updates, releasing improved features and design changes and upholding warranty claims.
Extended support usually runs for another five years after mainstream support has ended, however, the service and attention a business gets from Microsoft is minimal at best. When a product is in extended support, the only services provided are bug fixed and patches. That’s it. All other support is terminated.
At a disadvantage
This means that in this fast-moving world of technology your business is receiving no new improvements or features for a full five years. Staying stagnant for this long, in a corporate environment that is so unforgiving and that moves at lightning speed, is negligent at best and actively harmful at worst. If you want your business to thrive and have longevity, you don’t want to get 2023 five years behind everyone else – you might as well be clawing your way back from a previous century.
To give you a sense of just how much can change in five little years, below are just 10 changes that have been introduced to Dynamics NAV since 2013.
1. Bank Reconciliation
At regular intervals, you must reconcile your banks accounts in Microsoft Dynamics NAV by matching bank ledger entries resulting from posted payments with the related transactions on your electronic bank site. You can use either an automatic or a manual matching function in the Bank Acc. Reconciliation window to reconcile bank accounts. The window is divided into two vertical panes for easy matching: bank statement lines in the leftmost pane and bank account ledger entries in the rightmost pane.
2. Batch Sales Invoices
You can use the Create Recurring Sales Inv. batch job to create multiple sales invoices according to a standard sales code that is assigned to the customers with posting dates within a valid period defined on the standard sales code.
In addition to this, you can also document renumbering on journal lines. In all journals that are based on the general journal, the Document No. field is editable so that you can specify different document numbers for different journal lines or the same document number for related journal lines. If the No. Series field on the journal batch is filled, then the posting function in general journals requires that the document number on individual or grouped journal lines be in sequential order.
To make sure you don’t receive posting errors due to the document number order, you can use the Renumber Document Numbers function before you post the journal. If related journal lines were grouped by document numbers before you used the function, they will remain grouped but may be assigned a different document number.
3. Electronic Documents
As an alternative to emailing as file attachments, you can send and receive business documents electronically within Dynamics NAV.
From PDF or image files representing incoming documents, you can have an external OCR service (Optical Character Recognition) create electronic documents that you can then convert to document records in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, like, electronic PEPPOL documents.
For example, when you receive an invoice in PDF format from your vendor, you can send it to the OCR service from the Incoming Documents window. After a few seconds, you receive the file back as an electronic invoice that can be converted to a purchase invoice for the vendor.
If you send the file to the OCR service by email, then a new incoming document record is automatically created when you receive the electronic document back.
4. Posting Preview
On every document and journal that can be posted, you can choose the Preview Posting button to review the different types of entries that will be created when you post the document or journal.
Revenues for services or good delivered over multiple accounting period are not necessarily recognised in the accounting period in which the sales document is posted and payment is received. To distribute revenues on the involved accounting periods, you can set up a deferral template for the resource, item, or G/L account that the revenues will be posted for. When you post the related sales document, the revenues are deferred to the involved accounting periods, according to a deferral schedule that is governed by settings in the deferral template and the posting date.
6. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 introduces a new and improved integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The ultimate culmination of this is Dynamics 365 Business Central.
You can set up and use workflows that connect business-process tasks performed by different users. System tasks, such as automatic posting, can be included as steps in workflows, preceded or followed by user tasks. Requesting and granting approval to create new records are typical workflow steps.
NB: The Document Approvals feature that existed in the previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is removed. The standard approvals scenarios that were supported in the previous version are now supported as workflows for sales approvals and purchase approvals respectively.
The upgrade tool will recreate document approval data in previous versions as workflow data in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.
8. Item Attributes
The attributes let you define and add different types of attributes to the items in NAV (things like length, width, diameter, voltage, torque, colour). Those attributes can then be used when searching for items or on printouts functionality.
Simply set up the attributes you want to use by specifying a name, type, and unit of measure and it can be implemented.
9. General Ledger Account Categories and Sub Categories
General Ledger accounts can now be categorised. To do this, there are two new fields on the general ledger account card; Account Category and Account Subcategory.
You might think this is a fairly small addition, but it’s incredibly useful. Now you can group accounts that are used for similar postings; something like revenue accounts can be grouped into types, product, service, shipping, revenue accounts, and this can also be used as filters when running reports.
You also have the option to view the total amounts by the different categories.
10. Power BI reporting
Dynamics NAV provides Business Intelligence when and where you need it. With the new Power BI reporting control, you can gain access to your Power BI reports by making them visible from within the most highly-used lists in Dynamics NAV. You can view Power BI reports you select but also interact and filter the reports by selecting records from the associated list page at your own leisure.
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