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How will Dynamics 365 for Financials change the accounting software market?
Last November, Microsoft announced the launch of Dynamics 365. With this new offering, Microsoft combined its Dynamics CRM and ERP solutions into one integrated cloud service, made up of 7 purpose-built apps to help manage key business functions; Financials, Sales, Marketing, Customer service, Field service, Project service and Operations.
This customisable and flexible solution means that businesses only need to purchase the apps they require now, and are able to build on their apps as their business grows.
Whilst there is a lot to be said for each app, one particularly exciting and potentially game changing area is Dynamics 365 for Financials. Set for release in the UK in July 2017, Financials is aimed at the small and medium-sized business financial software market. This is not Microsoft’s first entry into the SMB market space, but it is an exciting release with the potential to shake up the industry.
What is Dynamics 365 for Financials?
Dynamics 365 comes in two packages;
- the Business Edition aimed at SMEs with less than 300 employees, and
- the Enterprise Edition for larger businesses.
For the purpose of this post, we will be focusing on the Financials module for the Business Edition. This package is geared towards SMEs and the professional services firms that help them, such as accountants. It provides the latest in cloud-based software and has all the integrations and tools to help small businesses manage their finances.
Clients using Outlook, for example, can quickly and easily raise orders, and approve invoices, without leaving their email inbox. According to Robert Pope, the sales lead for Microsoft UK’s Dynamics Business Applications, businesses lose over 40% of time switching between applications. With Dynamics 365, key functions are all integrated, offering huge productivity gains.
For accountants, another advantage is the ability to log into a client’s system, see the same information on screen and work together on their finances. This allows them to offer additional services and connect more deeply with their customers.
Cloud accounting for SMEs
There are numerous offerings in the cloud accounting software market aimed at smaller businesses, notably QuickBooks, Xero, Zoho and Sage. Whilst these solutions are well placed to support smaller businesses, ambitious and growing companies may find they quickly outgrow the software and experience the following frustrations;
- Insufficient reporting
- Manual processes that result in duplicate data entry and errors
- Disconnected systems that reduce productivity and slow decision making
- Lack of proper workflows and audit trails
Dynamics 365 grows with your business. Not only does it provide scalability, it also delivers the reliability and performance reassurance offered by Microsoft.
The complete Dynamics 365 Business Edition suite is expected for release this summer. Whilst Microsoft has yet to confirm UK pricing, in the States, Dynamics 365 for Financials is priced at $40 per user per month, or $50 per user per month for the complete suite (including the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service modules). There is also a light user pricing option for those requiring only read or minimal capabilities, known as Team Members, priced at $5 per user per month. This makes Dynamics 365 an extremely competitive and attractive proposition.
Microsoft are currently running a free 30-day trial of the software. If you are interested in signing up and seeing how Dynamics 365 could help your business, please get in touch.