As an early Christmas gift, we give you 24 excellent tips on how to work faster, more efficiently and to take full advantage of Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Business Central business system. Starting on December 1st, we release one tip a day until the final on the 24th.
- #1 Explore alternative role centers
- #2 Customize menus
- #3 Customize your own screens
- #4 Work efficiently with dates
- #5 Use Business Central's built-in help feature
- #7 Open new windows
- #8 Preview posting
- #9 Edit in Excel
- #10 User tasks
Did you know that the start page and menu system in Business Central can be designed to suit many different businesses and user groups? Start page provides easy access to statistics, common action and a menu system that makes it easy for users to find the system's functions. Allowing users to have a start page that summarizes current status with clear to-do heaps makes users' work more efficient and reduces the risk of missing important events.
Adaptation of the Role Center
Role centers can be customized for your company and your user groups. How you organize your work at the company may differ from how other companies work. In Business Central, it is possible to customize role centers based on exactly how you work.
Among the components that can be inserted on the start page are:
Menu System - At the top of the page there is a menu system where the user can easily find the system's functions grouped by areas. This grouping of functions does not have to be the same between the different role centers, but is based on the grouping of tasks relevant to the role in question.
Common actions - The most common actions that the user takes are linked directly from the start page. This means that the user does not need to click on several steps to execute an action that is performed many times a day (such as for example create a quote).
Activities - Links to different lists of documents. The link itself is displayed as a short or key figure which makes it easy for the user to see the number of documents in the list or, for example, a summary of the amount of the documents in the list. The activities can form the basis for a workflow where users can easily see what they need to do right now.
Graphs and reports - Graphs, reports as well as Power BI reports can be displayed directly on the start page.
Lists - On the home page, it is possible to place lists of specific items that the user wants easy access to. For example, it may be the project manager who simply wants to access their current projects.
Explore existing Role Centers
You can start by exploring alternative role centers yourself by trying to change role centers in My Settings. You can access these by clicking the gear in the upper right corner and then selecting My Settings .
In the My Settings dialog, you can change the Role to any of the roles available in the system. You can easily test the existing roles to see which role center suits you best. If you then want to build customized role centers, you can benefit by originating from one of the existing ones in order to save time.
#2 Customize menus in the Business Center role center
Your role center displays the menu items that show the features you are expected to use most often. In case you need to access something missing from your role center, you can easily use the search function in the upper right of the page. For example, when you type in the word "Jobs", the pages and tasks that contain the word "Jobs" are first displayed, then the reports and analysis functions that contain the word "Jobs" are displayed.
You can choose to open the page, report or equivalent by clicking on that line in the search result. What you can also do is click on the bookmark function and the current function will be added to the menu of your role center.
You can then choose to move the menu item within the menu system on your home page by choosing customize and then drag the menu item to the desired position.
When you are done moving the menu item, click the Done button. If you need to undo and reset the menus to their original state, click the Clear Customization button instead.
#3 Personalize your own screens in Business Central
Business Central is designed to give users a simple user interface where they can easily access relevant information and features. As a user, you have great opportunities to customize how your screens will look.
Personalize role center
For starters, many role centers include the ability to set how the stack icons should look when it comes to what's good, medium or bad values. For example, in the Manager role center, you can set how the stack icon should look by clicking Activities and then selecting Configure stack icons.
This opens the Stack icon setup form. In this form you can set break values for the key figure in the form of low values, medium and high values. For each category, you can also set whether the key figure should be displayed, indicating whether it is Good, Bad, Ambivalent, Subordinate or Neutral.
In this way, you can make the stack icons change the appearance of different values. See examples of how the same stack icon may have different looks depending on how you set the values:
You can customize which columns to display in a list and in what order they should be displayed by choosing to click the gear in the upper right and select Personalize.
Clicking the + Fields button will display a list of fields that you can choose to drag into the list.
In addition to adding new fields to the list, you can move fields to other places in the list, choose to hide fields, lock / unlock the field to resize and exclude / include fields for quick entry. If you move the cursor over a field, a red arrow appears and clicking the arrow displays a pop-up menu with the various options.
Just as you can personalize the layout of lists, you can also adjust which fields are displayed in forms and how they should be displayed. If you move the cursor over a field, a red arrow appears and clicking the arrow displays a pop-up menu with the various options.
#4 Work with dates in Business Central efficiently
In ERP systems, dates are important parameters that are often specified. Business Central therefore has efficient routines that allow you to quickly register dates in a way that helps you save both time and energy.
Business Central changes the date format based on the user's regional settings. To change these, click the gear in the upper right and then select the My settings option. In the My Settings dialog, you can select which Region the system should retrieve its settings from. By choosing Swedish, the date format is YYYY-MM-DD while if you instead choose, for example, the US, the date format will be DD/MM/YYYY.
In this dialog you can also specify Work date which is a function that facilitates the date registration. For example, if you are registering orders for yesterday's date, you can temporarily change the order date to yesterday's date and the orders are automatically assigned order date to the work date instead of the current date. The work date is automatically set to the current date when you log into Business Central.
BC understands the context of a date
When a date is to be registered, you can do so in its full format according to the selected regional date format. For example, if you are registering the date of December 4, 2019, this can be specified by typing 2019-12-04 . There will thus be a total of 12 keystrokes.
Business Central also understands if you enter the date in the shorter format ÅÅMMDD, in our example 191204 . It will save you 4 characters.
Business Central also understands the context of a date. If the work date is the same year, you only need to enter the month and day, ie 1204. If you are also in the same month, you only need to enter the day, ie 04 .
There are also a number of shortcuts for selecting dates. For today's date, you can enter the letter "D" and Business Central will translate it to today's date. If you want to specify a specific day of the week in the current week, you can enter the speed dial for this weekday; M = Monday, T = Tuesday, WE = Wednesday, TH = Thursday, F = Friday, SA = Saturday, S = Sunday.
#5 Use Business Central's built-in help feature
Business Central has extensive procedures to help the user find the right features and explain how the system is used in the best way. You can find online help by clicking on the question mark at the top right of the screen and choosing Help and Support.
When you open the help, you will see, among other things, the link to the page/task you are currently on.
You can also easily access help about the different fields in the form by clicking on the field name. Then a smaller help text is displayed directly in the form. You can also choose to get more information about the current field by clicking the More link in the quick help text and you will quickly get to the help text for the current page.
Use the search function to find answers
You can also use the search feature to ask questions to Business Central. For example, suppose you want to know how to create project invoices. You can then use the search function to enter your exact query:
This function also relies on where you are in the system to find relevant help sections. For example, if you are in the project list and search for "Create invoice", current actions are displayed on the page first, before links to pages, tasks and then to documentation:
#7 Open new windows in Business Central
You can open several tabs with Business Central to handle several different activities simultaneously. For example, you may want to work in several different companies at the same time or you want to have several different cards / lists open in the same company at the same time to be able to do several different activities.
In the mode you have a card open and want to keep it open at the same time as you want to continue working with the underlying list, you can choose to click on the "Open Page in New Window" symbol. When you select this action, a new browser window opens with the current entry while the previous tab in the browser goes back to displaying the list you were previously on.
#8 Preview posting in Business Central
Business Central is a system that consists of many different routines that automatically create bookings based on templates and underlying functions. This automation can make it difficult to know in advance what even bookings will result in before they are created.
Business Central therefore has a feature that allows you to preview the accounting before it is actually completed. Parallel to the usual Post and Post and Print actions is the Preview posting action. When you choose this action, the system's accounting routines are run in the same way as the usual accounting is called, but without permanently saving transactions and posted documents.
When the posting routine is executed, the Preview posting window is automatically displayed. This window is similar to the usual Analyze window with the big difference that the transactions it lists as the result of accounting are not actually created.
Similar to the Analyze function, you can track down the various transactions:
#9 Edit in Excel in Business Central
You can easily edit information in Business Central using Excel. This can be handy when, for example, you have to maintain records such as customer, vendors or items.
Open in Excel
If you only want to open the records in Excel to do calculations, create reports or similar, select the Open in Excel option. The items displayed in the list (current filter) will then be added to a new Excel spreadsheet that is downloaded.
The columns in the spreadsheet are the same as those shown in the list and the calculated fields contain values based on the current summations.
Edit in Excel
You can also choose to open the list in Excel for editing. This is done with the help of an add-in to Excel that allows you to push back updates to Business Central.
When you are in a list that you want to edit in Excel, select the Edit option in Excel.
The first time you do this, you will need to install the add-in in Excel to make this possible:
#10 User Tasks in Business Central
It can be difficult to keep track of all the activities and tasks to be performed in a business system. That's why Business Central has a feature to help you do that. You can create and assign to you or your employees tasks to be performed at specific times with information and links to the routines to be used.
To get to the list of your tasks, you can either search for User Tasks, or see the icon-stack on your homepage called Pending User Tasks.
In the list of user tasks you will see the information assigned to you or a group of users to which you belong.
In the list, you can open up tasks, mark tasks as completed and create new tasks as needed.