Dynamics 365 Financials versus Dynamics NAV 2017

In the right-hand corner, known throughout the world and with decades of experience, we have the most recent version of Dynamics NAV; and in the left-hand corner, leveraging the latest Cloud technologies, we have the newest addition to the Microsoft family, Dynamics 365 Financials. So, which solution is best for you?

If you’ve followed the ERP management system market over the last year, you know that these two solutions aren’t really competitors, since they target different markets and address different needs. You also know that since Financials is based on NAV’s technology, the two systems have more things in common than things that set them apart.

But to gain a clearer understanding of the situation, let’s look at the main differences between the two systems as of today (February 2017):

Note: The list of differences below should not be interpreted as a weakness or flaw in the solution, but rather as a list of features that will soon be added to the product. See my concluding remarks (there’s nothing like a little teaser at the beginning of a blog…).

User interface:

Financials being a cloud solution hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform, no installation is necessary. It is accessed through an Internet browser or a tablet or mobile app. NAV can be installed on a physical server, hosted on a private cloud or on Azure, and accessed through a Windows client interface, an Internet browser (Web interface) or an application. The Financials interface is similar to the NAV Web interface.

Currently, Financials provides no features for production, storage, or services and human resources management.

Financial modules:

Though your Financials subscription allows you to create more than one company, it offers no functionalities for inter-company transactions or consolidation.

Inventory module:

Within the inventory module, Financials doesn’t provide for the management of several different warehouses (locations), or the management of batches or serial numbers.

Purchasing module:

Financials doesn’t allow you to create purchase quote requests to vendors; it only allows you to prepare purchase orders.

Miscellaneous:

Unlike NAV, Financials doesn’t do the following:

  • Distribute ancillary costs across the cost of materials sold or over additional revenue.
  • Associate carriers or carrier methods to clients.
  • Associate links or create notes and comments for various records.

Personalization:

Financials can only be personalized through “extensions”. This is a new development approach (also available for NAV), which is only just starting to be used by partners.

Regarding Quebec:

Financials’ interface is only available in English for the time being. However, NAV is available in several languages and the French version should be available soon.

Conclusion

Dynamics 365 Financials is a powerful cloud solution based on the Dynamics NAV technology, targeting the needs of small businesses. Although there are differences between the two solutions, Microsoft plans on updating Dynamics 365 every month and has announced that all NAV features will eventually be available in Financials.

Dynamics 365 Financials is not a competitor to NAV 2017. It is more like its little brother, who is going to grow fast and take its rightful place in the management solution market. We can look forward to a quick and positive evolution, that I’ll be commenting on in future blogs.

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