In our blog introducing Dynamics 365 Business Central (Business Central) as a key Professional Advantage supported solution, we discussed in brief how Business Central compares to its big brother Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365 F&O). As we delve further in to the differences between Business Central and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, we expand on these comparisons by also focussing upon Microsoft Dynamics GP (Dynamics GP) and Infor SunSystems (SunSystems).

All four of these ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions are available from Professional Advantage and are fully supported. To understand the differences between these systems, we have outlined the pros and cons of each. At this stage, we are focussing primarily upon only three modules: financial, accounts receivable and accounts payable – further modules such as inventory, warehouse management, and manufacturing, etc. will be focused upon at a later date.

The results of this comparison are outlined in the below table:

Category Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Dynamics 365 Business Central Microsoft Dynamics GP Infor SunSystems
Target audience

Multinational corporations, holdings, medium and large businesses.

Small and medium businesses. Small and medium businesses.

Small and medium businesses.

Multi-language interface

Yes.

Yes.

No.

Yes.

Graphical interface

Modern.

Modern. Classic.

Classic.

Hosting

Cloud /
On-premises.

Cloud /
On-premises.
On-premises.

On-premises.

Architecture

Multi-ledger.

Multi-ledger. Multi-ledger.

Single ledger.

Different localisations within one database

Allowed.

Allowed. Not allowed.

Allowed.

Analytical Dimensions

Advanced usage of dimensions; advanced tools for analytical accounting; unlimited number of dimensions.

Advanced usage of dimensions; basic tools for analytical accounting; unlimited number of dimensions. Basic usage of dimensions (dimensions can be attached to GL only); unlimited number of dimensions.

Advanced usage of dimensions; advanced tools for analytical accounting.

Inter-company

Advanced functions for inter-company transactions.

Conversion of financial transactions between different companies that belong to the same group; conversion of sales orders to purchase orders and vice-versa. Conversion of financial transactions between different companies that belong to the same group.

Conversion of financial transactions between different companies that belong to the same group.

Consolidation

Consolidation between different charts of accounts, dimensions, currencies, and localisations; advanced mechanisms of consolidation.

Consolidation between different charts of accounts, dimensions and currencies. Done via Financial Reporting tool.

Available as a Professional Advantage add-on.

Cost accounting

Advanced.

Exists. Does not exist (can be performed on the GL level).

Exists.

Cash flow

Advanced.

Exists. Does not exist (can be performed on the GL level).

Exists.

Budgeting

Advanced.

GL, sales and purchase budgets. GL budgets only.

GL, sales and purchase budgets.

Encumbrance management

Yes.

No. Yes.

Yes.

Deferrals

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

EFT and bank statement import

Out-of-the-box.

Out-of-the-box EFT bank statement import via add-on.

Done via Bank Pro add-on.

Available.

Workflows

Yes.

Yes. Yes.

Done via add-on.

Embedded Power BI

Yes.

Yes. Yes.

No.

The overview of this table implies D365 F&O is the stand out solution. However, it is necessary to note that it is designed for a different purpose and organisation size. The other three systems are similar in terms of functionality, but subtle differences do exist; it is these variances that are the key influence behind which system is best suited to your organisation. Our expert consultants are equipped to give you educated advice on which one would best suit your needs.

Further information:
Graphical Interface: All of the systems possess a high level of functional features, with the main differences only being that SunSystems and Dynamics GP have a more classic interface, whilst Business Central and D365 F&O use a modern browser-based client.

Hosting: Whilst some systems are defined as being ‘on-premises’, is it still possible to use the advantages of Microsoft Azure and convert the product to a cloud offering. Previously, Professional Advantage has discussed the transition to the Cloud in relation to Dynamics GP in the following articles:
Why companies might consider moving to the Cloud?
Why moving to the Cloud is secure.
Transitioning to the Cloud.

Analytical Dimensions: These are most powerful within D365 F&O, and least powerful with Dynamics GP. However, Dynamics GP does have alternative features that can address this deficit.

Intercompany: Once again, D365 F&O offers the most, and whilst the other three systems all have the Intercompany module, only Business Central has the ability to convert sales orders to purchase orders, and vice versa.

Consolidation: This is available as a built-in module for both D365 F&O and Business Central, and Professional Advantage offers it as an addon for SunSystems. Dynamics GP does not have this module, however this shortage can be addressed on the report level.

Budgeting and Encumbrance Management: Encumbrance Management is used to compare your purchasing according to your budgets. Putting D365 F&O aside as this is advanced in these areas, Dynamics GP and SunSystems offer more as they have encumbrance management built in. Within Business Central however, this lack of encumbrance management can be address by the usage of workflows.

As previously highlighted, there are many areas in which the solutions are similar, and we therefore recommend talking with us to further understand the subtle differences. Whilst we have outlined some of the benefits and drawbacks and illustrated that no one system can fit all, each one is specialised for a particular use. Professional Advantage are experts at identifying what your organisation needs and which solution will ensure you achieve more.
If you have any questions regarding any of the solutions discussed, or which solution is best for your organisation, contact us.

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