Twice a year, Microsoft announces new features and updates across their Dynamics 365 platform. Here, our team have picked out some ERP highlights from the 2023 Wave 2 release, including the features across Dynamics 365 Finance, Business Central and more that we think are worth looking out for.
This release focuses on process automation, helping teams work smarter with AI and enabling organisations to take action faster with planning, forecasting, analytics and insights.
The 2023 Wave 2 release focuses on:
Customer and vendor balance netting
Customers and vendors that are the same party now have the option to ‘net off’ balances against each other by configuration of a ‘netting agreement’. This process can be run manually or as part of a periodic task to complete the job automatically and helps to minimise the posting of additional unnecessary transactions.
Support more complex bank reconciliation matching rules
Users can now create more complex matching rules between multiple bank statement lines and multiple bank account transactions. Matching rules will now support the following scenarios:
Import bank statements automatically
Bank statement files can now be shared to a SharePoint folder and a periodical batch job can be scheduled to upload the bank statement files.
The accounting distribution page will now support financial tags, the same financial tags defined and activated in prior releases for journals will be available. In future releases, financial tags can default from the documents that create accounting distributions and will be incorporated into more source documents such as free text invoices, purchase orders and vendor invoices.
In this release, out-of-the-box country coverage will be extended further with the addition of six LATAM countries. Microsoft continuously monitors legislation in all 57 out-of-the-box countries.
The investments in this release wave focus on optimising and enhancing business processes, providing companies with the agility and resilience needed to navigate an increasingly complex business environment.
The 2023 Wave 2 release will focus on:
Make better purchasing decisions in procure-to-pay processes
Copilot provides a conversational user experience that helps purchasing agents make better purchasing decisions, such as after receiving new information or changes to purchase orders. It uses natural language to help users filter and organise the changes and suggests actions based on an analysis of their downstream impact. For example, it will identify which planned downstream sales, production or maintenance work orders won't be able to start as planned due to the changed delivery dates.
Manage prices with the pricing management workspace
The pricing management workspace enables sales managers to review impending price rule status changes and lets them choose how to modify pricing policies. Sales managers can perform light tasks to enable or disable pricing rules without leaving the workspace.
React to last-minute changes in production
Manufacturers often need to react to last-minute changes to production orders. These changes may occur due to updated items, updated routes, added margins or scheduling changes introduced to make better use of on-hand inventory. Thanks to this new release, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management now supports the flexibility needed to accommodate these kinds of changes.
Optimise the customer returns process
The customer returns process has been enhanced in this release, offering an improved experience for users. Returns can now be managed more efficiently, with users able to print their return labels automatically or on demand. When returned items arrive at the warehouse, workers can process them straight away using the Warehouse Management mobile app. These enhancements will save time and effort, making it easier for companies to manage customer returns, as well as boosting customer satisfaction.
Right now, Business Central already has some great AI features such as Late Payment Prediction, Cash Flow Forecasting, Stock Forecasting and the first feature of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot which brought us Marketing Text Suggestions for your items. Business Central Wave 2 2023, brings us even more, including further Copilot productivity by allowing customers to complete Bank Reconciliations even quicker. This wave includes:
One of the best features coming in Wave 2 is the ability for international organisations, with legal entities across multiple localisations, to consolidate financials across multiple production environments as standard without the need for ISV solutions. This truly does make the off-the-shelf Business Central online solution a fantastic option for those companies.
Wave 2 also has a strong focus on supply chain, with a number of features designed to add efficiency, agility and accuracy to the way items are handled within the warehouse. Such as:
Granular admin rights
This wave brings a new role to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), the Dynamics 365 Business Central Administrator. The new role allows for tighter control over the Business Central Admin Centre via delegated administrative access rights, letting you manage every aspect of all your Business Central environments. Administrators can now grant access to individual environments to users from specified partners, which makes it easier and simpler where multiple partners require access.
There’s been some great new functionality introduced for D365 Human Resources during this Wave 2 release, including:
Access employee leave and absence in Teams for Dynamics 365 Human Resources (merged infrastructure)
Thanks to this infrastructure merge you can quickly and easily view time-off balances and submit leave requests right within Microsoft Teams. The Dynamics 365 Human Resources (merged infrastructure) takes the guesswork out of requesting leave. Employees can immediately access their leave balance and request information and managers can act on any leave requests needing their attention right from within Teams. The app is tightly integrated with Human Resources, so employees can also view the progress of their leave requests in real time.
Enable time and calendar integration with Project Operations
With the worker/bookable resource integration in place, it's critical for customers to have a single view of a resource's capacity. The second phase will integrate vacation, sick time and holidays into the calendar of the bookable resource in Universal Resource Scheduling.
In this Wave 2 release, Project Operations continues to invest in capabilities to improve usability, performance and scale across critical areas of the product, such as project planning, invoicing, time entry and core transaction processing flows. The main focuses include:
Create budgets with summarisation during estimate import
With this new release, a project budget can now be created from estimates by importing the estimates into budget lines. When estimates are created at a granular level, like an estimate created for every resource associated with a task, the number of budget lines created makes it difficult to track costs at such a granular level.
Summarisation during import allows a recap of the estimate lines, for example, at a task level, where the quantity and amount of all time estimate lines associated with a task are summarised and budgeted against the task. This helps keep the number of budget lines at a manageable hierarchy, so tracking actuals against the budget lines is easier to manage.
Progress-based billing on fixed-price contracts
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations currently supports a milestone-based billing schedule so companies can invoice their customers at predetermined amounts and dates during the course of the project. However, a variation of this exists where a portion of the milestone is invoiced each period instead of the whole milestone. This feature enables project managers to split the value of the contract into a distinct schedule of values that are invoiced based on the progress of the work.
Increase WBS limits
This feature provides you with an enhanced capability to generate comprehensive work breakdown structures. It empowers you to create structures that are twice as extensive as the current limit, which allows you to have a significantly greater number of project tasks. This feature also expands the total number of resource assignments and dependencies that can be associated with each project, further enhancing the flexibility and complexity of project planning and management.
Copy quotes and contracts across legal entities
This is another great feature offering the capability to explicitly indicate and define the desired target legal entity, customer and business unit during the process of duplicating or replicating a quote or contract. With this functionality, the platform ensures you have complete control and flexibility in specifying the precise entities and units involved in the replication process, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in managing quotes and contracts within their respective contexts.
Support for intercompany vendor invoices in resource and non-stocked-based scenarios
Project Operations resource-based scenarios require support for intercompany vendor invoices. This handy new feature allows the accounts payable team to record the intercompany invoice received from the supplier. This is great for scenarios where a supplier provides services to more than one legal entity and creates one invoice as required by the terms and conditions.