Introduction to Dynamics NAV

Who is this for?

This series is for financers and accountants that have found themselves or their organization moving to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system (now called Microsoft Business Central). For information about what an ERP system is, please see the see the topic titled ERP Systems.

Introduction

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system designed for small to mid-sized companies. This is a fancy way of saying that it is a software that integrates internal and external management (all departments and functions) across an entire organization into a single system using a common database. This way all areas of your business have access to one set of correct data in real time without the use of legacy systems. 

Benefits of Using Microsoft Dynamics NAV

  • Eliminates the need to run several different pieces of software to run your business.
  • All departments within an organization can operate with the most accurate and up-to-date data.
  • Licensing, customizations, and maintenance on one software instead of an array of other software.
  • Don’t have the headache of having to match versions between different systems when upgrading individual pieces of software.
  • Don’t have to train people on multiple systems.
  • Makes day-to-day more efficient.
  • Reduces data entry errors providing cleaner data.
  • Reduces integration time and cost because you will only have one API.

Customizations

It is important to note that Dynamics NAV is a highly customizable business solution. The attraction to this product is that it is easy to customize to your company's specific needs with many add-ons specifically tailored to your industry. It is very likely that your company has various customizations or add-ons that will cause your system to either behave a bit differently than some of the features mentioned in this series or provide more functionality and additional features than what will be discussed in this series. It is also possible that certain steps or processes are automated. We will discuss certain add-ons and customizations along the way. 

Realize that these solutions are developed in a very standard format to meet the needs of various industries. Ideally, your system should be roughly 25% customized. If you don't have any customizations, it may be time to consider providing some value-added services to stay ahead of the competition. If you have too many customizations you run the risk of excessive support costs and conflicts.

It is very important that you have developed standardized processes prior to implementation of Dynamics NAV and that everybody affected is engaged in the process. Your feedback is extremely valuable to configuring the product appropriately to meet the needs of your daily processes and procedures. Changing your mind about your needs during implementation will cause extreme delays and can pose significant risks to the project as a whole. But that's a Project Managment discussion for another time.

What's Next?

The goal of this series is to help you understand how to use the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system from a Financial Management standpoint. Please subscribe to the blog at the top of the page to stay up-to-date on the latest posts. Next, we will briefly discuss embracing change in your organization and discuss two main areas that cause frustration when changing from a simple accounting system to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.




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