Even though Microsoft are continuing to roll out changes in Business Central for 2022’s release wave 2 until March, we have information on what changes to expect in release wave 1 of 2023. The releases for wave 1 of 2023 are set to begin in April, following through to September. Before I begin, make sure to read Microsoft’s documentation on the topic to gain an insight into all the upcoming changes. I’ve just picked out what I see as the biggest.
Let’s start with an addition to onboarding.
Onboarding enrichment in wave 1 2023
The onboarding process with any new ERP system is inevitably tricky, but Microsoft continue to try and make the process simpler.
The first change we will mention today is an enhancement to field tooltips in the system. Microsoft will update both the appearance and the content. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘tooltip’, they are the little bits of information that show after hovering over a field in Business Central.
User experience enhancements coming in wave 1 2023
The way in which users personalise pages in Business Central is getting an upgrade. More areas of pages in Business Central will now be amendable by personalisation. Microsoft provide the example of the action bar on document lines. The more configurable pages are, the more efficient users can be.
Microsoft are rearranging the ways pages are laid out. Based on popularity of actions, they are making more popular actions more prominent. This reduces the amount of time taken to find particular actions.
Copy and pasting links
When you go to copy links to any page or record into a rich-text editor such as Outlook email, Teams chat or OneNote, it will now present a more meaningful hyperlink.
In a similar way, Microsoft are improving tabs. When you switch between tabs, Alt+Tab, will be able to better tell which page or record to choose from.
If you have multiple tabs of Business Central open, this helps navigate to the correct one.
When holding the Alt key in the Business Central web client, pressing various characters will initiate different actions. The five highlighted are ‘H’, ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘I’ and ‘X’. As long as the user is pressing the Alt key at the time, these will open the ‘Home’, ‘Prepare’, ‘Request Approval’, ‘Invoice’ or ‘More Options’ actions.
One interesting change coming mitigates user dependence on developers. Users will get the ability to add existing table fields to existing pages using personalisation or customisation. This previously was only possible by development. Previously, to see all the fields at play on a page, users would run Page Inspection (or Zoom in NAV). This allowed the user to see all fields and values, even those you couldn’t manually add to a page. I take this change to mean, any single field which is tied to a page, can now be added using either personalisation (on behalf of the current user) or customisation (on behalf of a role).
Drag and drop files
Users will now be able to drag files they wish to upload against Business Central records. The upload dialog has been enhanced with a clear drop area for files. A small change but will aid efficiency.
Microsoft also state this change puts them in good stead towards broader file upload experiences in future.
Application changes coming in wave 1 2023
The changes to the application are the meat and potatoes of any update. Let’s start with the changes to intercompany.
The Intercompany Postings feature is being enhanced to make it simpler to set up and make intercompany transactions more flexible. The Intercompany Postings feature allows you to manage accounting activities for multiple companies, in one space.
Microsoft are also reducing the number of pages users must set data on. By keeping the intercompany setup on a singular page, it reduces the chance a user misses fundamental areas. The Intercompany Setup page will now include:
- Intercompany Partners
- Intercompany Chart of Accounts
- Intercompany Dimensions
Other useful changes to the way intercompany operates include:
- The ability to handle bank transactions on the IC General Journals page.
- The Intercompany Inbox and Outbox page experience is being enhanced, make it smoother to use
- Additional Role Center intercompany cues are being added.
- Introducing IC general journals to the G/L Register page
As a means of comparison, this is how the Intercompany Setup page looks currently:
Microsoft are adding an additional means of analysing financial data. This is in the form of Statistical Accounts. For those who’ve had experience with Dynamics GP, this is similar to their ‘Unit Accounts’. Statistical Accounts allow users to enter data for general ledger transactions for the purpose of analysis.
Review General Ledger Accounts faster
You can now review G/L entries for a particular account and mark them as ‘Reviewed’. On the General Ledger Setup page, users can filter the shown entries by date. You can then establish that all entries that fall outside of the range are ‘reviewed’. For old entries that don’t require reviewing, you can batch them using the ‘Set old G/L entries to reviewed’ function. This makes the whole process much more efficient. To perform these actions, you must assign the D365 GL REVIEW permission set.
Undo Transfer Shipments
Microsoft are changing the ways in which users can manage incorrect quantity postings for transfer orders. If the shipment isn’t received, users can press the ‘Undo Shipment’ action on a Posted Transfer Shipment record. This creates corrective lines. Firstly, the Quantity Shipped value decreases by the amount you’ve undone. Secondly, the Quantity to Ship value increases by the quantity you’ve undone. The lines will also have a filled in Correction checkbox on them.
I mentioned there that the record can’t be received. This means this function is incompatible with direct transfers as this performs both the shipment and receipt at the same time.
Microsoft also note that Posted Transfer Shipment records can’t be undone if there’s a reservation. The user must first cancel that reservation before clicking Undo Shipment.
If you’re unfamiliar with how undoing shipments works in Business Central currently, feel free to take a look at our guide.
Renumber Document Numbers on Item Journals
Microsoft are adding a ‘Renumber Document Numbers’ action to Item Journals. Where you have individual document numbers for lines, or group lines together by a common document number, the system will allow you to post, assuming you’ve not got a mandatory sequence dictated by a number series. If you do, the Renumber Document Numbers action will keep all the lines that were grouped together, but amend the document number to keep it in sync with the number series pattern.
Preview Item Journal postings
As I’m sure you’ll be aware, users can preview posting on many different journals, orders and invoices. Well this functionality is now being introduced to the Item Journal. This a great change, allowing users to validate the effects of their postings prior to completion.
Customer and Vendor Posting Group alterations
Another interesting change coming to Business Central is the ability to make adjustments to the default customer or vendor posting groups. To do so, Microsoft are adding the ‘Allow Alteration of Posting Group’ action. This will be on the Sales and Receivables Setup page, as well as the Service Management Setup page for customer posting groups. For vendor posting groups, it’ll be on the Purchase and Payables Setup page.
You will also be able to specify substitute values for both posting groups, using the Substitutions action.
When you apply a payment to a record that had a substitute posting group employed, Business Central
transfers the amounts between the G/L accounts to balance them.
Ship and receive non-inventory items on warehouse documents
Warehouse employees can now ship and receive non-inventory items. To enable this, users must enable the ‘Non-Inventory Posting Policy’ toggle on the Inventory Setup page.
More filters for picks, put-away and movement records
When creating a batch of Inventory Picks, Put-aways or Movements, additional filters are coming. These include:
- Job task
- Document Type
- Production order line
You will also be able to filter document lines by dates, such as Due Date, Planned Receipt Date or Shipment Date.
Adjust exchange rates easily
Businesses who operate in multiple countries typically create financial reports in different currencies. Periodically, users must adjust the exchange rates to keep these accurate. In wave 1 of 2023, Microsoft are introducing a ‘Preview’ action, allowing users to assess the impact of adjusting exchange rates on the Adjust Exchange Rates report request page.
Moreover, you can specify how the adjustment will handle dimensions for unrealised gains and losses postings by choosing one of the following options in the Transfer Dimension Values field:
- Source Entry: G/L entries for unrealised gains and losses will have dimensions values
transferred from the entry being adjusted.
- By G/L Account: G/L entries for unrealised gains and losses will have dimensions values
transferred from the unrealised gains and losses G/L account’s dimension settings source
Moving data between companies
Microsoft are making it easier to move one company’s setup to another company. They are facilitating synchronisation of master data between companies. Users will be able to subscribe to a company’s data from another company in the same environment. You will specifically be able to define which tables and fields to synchronise. You can make this even more granular, by applying filters on table records. Upon synchronisation, changes are immediately pulled to the receiving companies. In the receiving companies, users can review synchronisation logs to see what’s come over.
Governance and administration
Microsoft are looking to empower system administrators further, which in turn will increase efficiency when it comes to troubleshooting, as well as reduce the dependency on the Microsoft support team. One way in which they are doing this is by enabling administrators to transfer environments from one organisation to another.
Microsoft state they will improve the tool that performs migration of Business Central data from on-premises to the cloud. There will be additional functionality added, allowing administrators to better manage customisations, as well as pick and choose which tables to include in the migration process.
Integration enhancements coming in wave 1 2023
As we’ve seen in previous updates with Teams, Word and Excel, Microsoft are continually striving to improve their integrations with other products.
In this update, Microsoft are looking to improve the integration with Power Platform, namely approvals. By improving the way in which users can set up approval workflows in Business Central, the aim is to have more users automate processes. This, in turn, increases efficiency. Alongside this, Microsoft are providing sample apps to assist people getting started with Power Apps development.
As standard, Teams users can only do as much to Business Central data from within Teams as their permissions dictate. Soon, users will be able to configure security for different cards stemming from Business Central. This means users can configure the data that’s visible when they share Business Central cards. Note, any changes made will not act retrospectively. So any cards sent in the past will still have all their fields visible.
Other notable changes to the Teams and Business Central integration include:
- Removal of the sign-in prompt when accessing a Business Central card via a Teams message
- Reduction in the amount vertical space used by thumbnails of Business Central cards sent via Teams messages
- A more seamless experience when it comes to managing permissions errors
Shopify connector changes
Two changes are coming to the Shopify integration. The first facilitates synchronisation of return and refund data between Shopify and Business Central. This increases accuracy and reduces the amount of manual data input required.
The second change coming is the introduction to a few areas of extensibility. Microsoft note they will keep the number to a minimum, to reduce downtime and keep the repaid development on the Shopify side continuing.
We saw in the last major update that Business Central was available to over half the countries in the world. This is again increasing. Business Central will now be available in over 130 countries.
Development changes coming in wave 1 2023
Microsoft are improving development tools to allow developers to easily navigate between different objects in any given extension.
Being able to release preview apps on AppSource for select customers suggests that extension publishers on AppSource will be able to allow users (likely ones they have done business with in the past) to download a demo version of their extensions, without making it publicly accessible.
Error message enhancement
Microsoft are constantly battling to improve the quality of error messages in Business Central. It seems they’re now employing the rest of us to fight their corner for them! In the latest update, Microsoft are empowering developers to add corrective actions to error messages. These actions will take users to a page where the data is incorrect or setup is missing. This gives a better indication to users what might be causing the error.
Hopefully some of the changes coming will benefit you. Remember, if you have any suggestions on how to improve Business Central, you can submit them to us and we will pass them on.