Last month (January 2024) Microsoft released their plans for updates to all Dynamics 365 applications, including Business Central (which powers Bevica). They will be coming from April 2024 as part of the 2024 release wave 1 update. Many of these features will be available for public preview in March with general availability in April. However, Microsoft do make it very clear that delivery timelines may change and some projected functionality may be delayed to future releases. This blog explores the new or updated application and AI features coming to Business Central later this year which we think are most relevant to our customers.
Keep a look out for Part 2 of this blog where we look at updates coming to Business Central’s user experience, governance and integration with the Power Platform.
We will be holding a webinar in April (click here to book) highlighting the features in the 2024 Wave 1 Business Central Update we think will be the most useful to our customers.
Application enhancements in the Business Central 2024 Wave 1 Update
Individual application improvements included in the 2024 Wave 1 Update:
- Use standard terminology for project management – Microsoft are updating the terminology used for project accounting in Business Central. They are renaming processes that were called “jobs” as “projects”. The renaming won’t break existing integrations and customisations because they are only updating the captions in the user interface and their documentation. The names in the underlying table and field objects are not changing.
- Archive projects – These new archiving capabilities for projects is similar to the functionality already available in the sales and purchase areas. Users can set up projects to archive automatically as well as restore the archived version if required.
- Usability improves for service management and projects
- Define default location for project or project phase – Users can reduce the time they spend on data entry by specifying a default location and bin for projects on the Project Card page.
- Create project/s that you can invoice to multiple customers – When projects involve multiple customers, billing the right customers for the right project tasks can be challenging and take time. With this update, Business Central makes billing less complex by letting users specify the bill-to and sell-to customers on each project task line.
- Assemble to project – This helps you improve inventory management by assembling to order only when it’s required, and enable other ways to customise projects.
- Invoice a customer for multiple projects – This improvement will allow you to simplify your invoicing process by sending one invoice for multiple projects, which reduces manual effort and improves accuracy.
- Use deferral codes in purchase and sales journals – With this improvement, the process of entering data will be smoother because you can specify a deferral code on the sales and purchase journals without having to create a general journal.
- Block item, item variant or service item for use in service management transactions – This improvement will prevent certain items, item variants, or service items from being used in service management transactions, such as service contracts, service orders, and service invoices
- Connect Business Central with Shopify B2B – Following this update, Business Central’s Shopify Connector will support the latest features of Shopify’s B2B platform, such as companies, prices, payment options and more.
- Set up financial consolidation runs more efficiently – When you run a consolidation, the Set up Business Unit Currencies page will help you keep track of the exchange rates being use by the various parts of the consolidation process.
- Use general ledger account revaluation for more accurate financial statements – The G/L Revaluation feature simplifies revaluations. For the general ledger accounts that you use for revaluations, you can turn on a general ledger account subledger that will hold the original currency value of the transaction and any adjustments you made using the Adjust Currency Exchange Rate batch job.
- Get more productive while entering time sheets – Microsoft have made it faster and more efficient to fill out time sheets. Users can use the Copy From action on the Time Sheet page to copy information from lines on previous time sheets. You can also copy information from the previous row on your time sheet.
- Define a service invoice posting policy for various users – Following this update, users can set posting policies to restrict users from posting service invoices or require them to post invoices together with the related service shipment.
- Use new Excel layouts for 35 selected reports – Microsoft have added 35 Excel reports with new report layouts for finance, sales (customers), and purchases (vendors).
- Use currencies when posting employee transactions – With this improvement, when users use general journals to post transactions for employee accounts, such as when you reimburse expenses, they can use the Currency Code field to specify the currency for the transactions. Specifying a currency lets users use the same features as when they register transactions in the customer and vendor ledgers. For example, employees can register an expense in euros but get paid in dollars.
Copilot and AI innovation in the Business Central 2024 Wave 1 Update
This wave expands Business Central’s Copilot capabilities.
- Introduce Power Automate Copilot integration with Business Central – This feature integrates Copilot in Power Automate with Business Central so that users can start creating automation flows based on natural language.
- Map e-documents to purchase order lines with Copilot – With this update, Copilot refines how users manage e-documents in the purchase process, particularly with respect to purchase orders. The e-documents framework lets users specify the type of purchase document to create for each vendor when they receive e-invoices from them.
- Create sales lines easily with Copilot – In this Business Central release, Copilot can suggest and assist with creating sales lines on sales documents like Sales Quote, Sales Order, and Sales Invoice based on structured input or natural language.
- Extend Copilot using richer development tools – With 2024 release wave 1, developer tools for Copilot in Business Central have been extended.
- Get to insights faster with Copilot-generated analysis tabs – With this improvement, Copilot can help reduce the time it takes to identify trends and anomalies in business data by enabling users to express their analysis as a simple sentence without leaving Business Central.
- Complete bank account reconciliation faster with Copilot – Microsoft have made further improvements to bank reconciliation with AI-powered transaction matching and AI-powered G/L account suggestions.
- Create product information faster with Copilot – Copilot can also help users create item-related information based on similar items.
- Learn more about fields with Copilot – With this improvement, the Learn more link is replaced by an Ask Copilot link that triggers the Copilot chat pane to open and automatically post in the chat on the user’s behalf, asking about the meaning of the field in question.
TVision is here to help
If you want to know more about Microsoft Business Central and how TVision can help you implement it in your business successfully, please feel free to contact us to arrange a demo to see how it could be the perfect ERP to help you overcome your business challenges.