Microsoft Dynamics 365 has many different components. It has components that do everything from tracking sales leads to managing projects to good old-fashioned accounting. That said, Microsoft’s latest take on accounting software is far from old fashioned. In fact, Microsoft has introduced a game changer with their cloud accounting solution called Dynamics 365 for Financials, Business Edition.

What is Dynamics 365?

It is many things and we can break it down to three major components:
  • It is Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a full suite of sales, marketing and customer service software that is now sold under the Dynamics 365 brand.
  • It is Microsoft Dynamics AX. Microsoft Dynamics AX, previously known as Axapta, is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution designed for large and/or complex organizations. It is Microsoft’s flagship ERP offering. Called Dynamics 365 for Operations, Enterprise Edition, it is AX moved to the cloud-hosted directly by Microsoft.
  • It is a slimmed-down version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Microsoft Dynamics NAV, formally known as Navision, is a powerful ERP solution designed for small to medium-sized businesses.  Microsoft took the best parts of NAV’s accounting functionality, moved it to the cloud, thereby creating Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, Business Edition.
​Today we are going to talk about the third component, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, Business Edition. It offers great value and capability for today’s modern faith-based organizations. For convenience, we going to shorten the name to “Dynamics 365 for Financials” for the remainder of this post.

The Pain Train

Over the years, I have had to opportunity to work with a wide variety of churches, including some of the country’s largest churches and many smaller, local churches.  Most that we’ve talked to are using the accounting portion of whatever church management software they happen to be using.  While their Church Management Software might be doing a great job, the accounting portions often leave a lot to be desired.  We also see a lot of churches using QuickBooks, which introduces its own set of issues.

​Here are the pain points we hear most from churches:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Churches

Relief with Microsoft Dynamics for Financials

If any of the pains listed above hit home, you are not alone. But, I have great news! It’s time to hop on off the pain train because every one of those issues is solved with Dynamics 365 for Financials.
  1. Problem: My accounting software is old, clunky and hard-to-use.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials is a modern web-based application that has a familiar Microsoft look and feel. If you are comfortable with Outlook, Word and Excel, you will be right at home in Dynamics 365.
  2. Problem: It is hard to create custom reports.
    Solution: You can create as many custom reports as you want in Dynamics 365 for Financials, all without having to call your IT person or a consultant. In addition, there is a free integration with Microsoft Power BI if you want to self-create more advanced dashboards and visualizations.
  3. Problem: It is hard to integrate my accounting software with my church management software.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials can be integrated to virtually any system using SmartConnect. CSV imports? Check. Web services? Check. Data integrity checking? Check. Scheduled integrations? Check.
  4. Problem: Good accounting software is too expensive.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials starts at $40/user/month, and you can get read-only users (great for ministry leaders to check budget vs actual reports) for only $5/user/month.  In addition, your external accountant/CPA gets a *FREE* user!
  5. Problem: QuickBooks completely lacks any type of internal controls.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials provides the control you need and your board members expect. You cannot delete posted entries. Debits must equal credits. Sure, some might complain that this makes things harder, but the proper stewardship of your church’s funds has to come first.
  6. Problem: We still have to use so much paper.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials includes document scanning (with optical character recognition, or OCR) and workflows so that you can automate many processes. The workflows also work seamlessly with Outlook so users can usually just advance a process without ever leaving the Outlook reading pane.
  7. Problem: Remote access is hard / we hate remote desktops.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials is 100% web-based. There is no need to use a VPN or remote desktop. It will work with your local copies of Excel and Word. Life will be great and you will love your accounting software.
  8. Problem: My accounting data does not have the detail for proper ministry reporting.
    Solution: Dynamics 365 for Financials includes something called dimensions. Dimensions allow you to classify your data in a manner that facilitates easy budgeting and reporting. Set up dimensions for things like locations, ministries and funds, and you will be able to create reports showing everyone exactly the data they need.

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, Business Edition, is both capable and economical.  It’s ease of use makes it ideal for a church setting where so often people without extensive accounting experience are asked to do accounting.  If you are interested in learning more about Dynamic 365 for Financials, contact us and we can help you review a demo or sign up for a free trial and experience it for yourself.