12 Tips and Tricks in Dynamics 365 Business Central

This blog shares 12 useful tips and tricks in Dynamics 365 Business Central based on some popular functionalities. From how to use personalization to how to change journal batches, we will explain some useful tips. There is also a recorded presentation of these tips and tricks included at the end of this blog.

To jump ahead, click on a topic below:

  1. Personalize Pages, Cards, and Lists
    • Enable and Disable Personalization
    • Set Up Default Views for Roles
    • Limit a User’s Access to Personalization Fields
  2. Modify Columns
  3. Switch Between Companies
    • Multiple Company Access
  4. Filter and Save Views
  5. Search and Enter Data
    • Dates
    • Quantity
  6. Attach Notes and Files
  7. Bookmark Pages
  8. Change Descriptions on Posted Entries
  9. Schedule Reports
  10. Rename Master Records
  11. Change Journal Batches
  12. Post What’s Visible In the Journal
  13. Recorded Presentation of 12 Tips and Tricks in Dynamics 365 Business Central

1. Personalization in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Users can personalize and customize how Dynamics 365 Business Central looks. There are fields that are hidden and shown by default. With Personalization, you can add field, hide fields, move fields, or freeze panes. There are standard fields that sometimes are not shown within the page, but through Personalization you can add those fields as you need to.

How to Personalize Pages, Cards, and Lists

Go to the gear icon in the top right corner and then click ‘Personalize’.

D365 BC interface, with gear icon dropdown menu.

Click ‘More’ to expand the Personalization menu.

D365 BC personalizing bar.

Click ‘+Field’ to add fields to the current page you’re on.

D365 BC personalizing bar, with add Field option.

You can add fields, move fields, hide fields, and freeze panes.

  • Add – When adding a field, you can drag them to the specific spot onto the page.
  • Move – For fields that are already visible on the page, you can move them to a different section of the page, or above or below a different field.
    • Click on the column name and drag to the position you want it at.
  • Hide – Anything that’s hidden will have the grey slash marks and will be greyed out.
    • Hover over the field until the red triangle appears, then click the red triangle and select ‘Hide’ from the drop-down menu.
D365 BC interface, with hidden box in personalization mode.
  • Freeze – The freeze pane allows you to keep fields visible when you scroll. Modifying the freeze pain while in Personalization, you can change how many fields are locked in place.
D365 BC interface with personalization mode on, freeze pane option open.

When you click Done in the personalization bar, the changes will take effect immediately.

Show Always or Show More

In a Card Page, another option besides removing or hiding a field like the contact name, for example, is to have it be a visible field but only when ‘Show more’ is selected, instead of ‘Show always’.

‘Show always’ means it’ll always be showing by default and ‘Show more’ means it’ll only show when ‘Show more’ is clicked. The ‘Show more’ and ‘Show less’ is selected when in the page itself. The fields will disappear when ‘Show less’ is selected. This allows the field to be partially hidden. If for example, you don’t need to see it right away, but you would still like the option to see it on the page.

The option to show under ‘show more’ or ‘show always’ will appear when clicking on the red triangle for the fields this option is available for. This option is not available on all fields in personalization.

D365 BC customer card with personalization mode on, showing options in pop-out menu.

Can you disable personalization?

Yes, you can. If you navigate to ‘Profiles (Roles)’ through the search bar, the list of profiles will be listed. If you open a specific role, you can enable or disable personalization.

Can you set up default views for roles?

Yes, you can customize the role and set up default views for the role. While in the ‘Profiles (Role)’ area for the specific role, click ‘Customize Pages’ and that will take you into a configuration mode, where you can customize the profile for the user.

D365 BC role interface, with customize pages button outlined.

On the far-left side of the personalization bar in the screenshot below, you’ll notice that it says ‘Customizing Accounting Manager’, which reflects the role we’re customizing.

D365 BC interface with customizing bar open and pop-out menu for the selected field.

Click ‘Done’ once you’re done personalizing the role. A window will pop up that says the customization is complete. Then you can close out of that window and navigate back to the other browser tab with Business Central.

Can you limit a user’s access to personalization fields?

You can limit some users’ personalization access to adding, removing, or editing certain fields through permissions. The restrictions in Business Central are made via permissions or user groups. Navigate to the Users table and select the User you want to modify. User Groups can have multiple users in them, and you can restrict certain people’s or certain group’s access. For example, if you want to restrict the accounting team’s ability to look at inventory, you can do that within a group or you can do it at an individual user basis.

2. How to Modify Columns

In Dynamics 365 Business Central, modifying columns uses Personalization to add, move, or remove columns.

To modify the columns, follow the same steps outlined earlier for Personalization. Navigate to the gear icon and then click Personalize. Then click the “+Field” in the top ‘Personalizing’ bar and add the columns you would like to the area you’re in.

3. How to Switch Between Companies

It is simple to switch between companies in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Navigate to the gear icon in the top right-hand corner and select My Settings.

D365 BC settings drop-down menu.

Click the company, then click the three dots, and it’ll take you to your list of companies.

D365 BC interface, edit My Setting window with Company three dots outlined.

From the list of companies, you can switch companies. Select the company you want to switch to and then click ‘Ok’, then ‘Ok’ again, it’ll restart Business Central. In my example below, I changed from ‘CRONUS Canada, Inc.’ to ‘My Company’.

D365 BC interface with allowed companies listed.

While it’s restarting, it’s going through and getting the new company set up. When you navigate back into Business Central, you’ll be in the company you selected.

Multi Company Access

The ability to access multiple companies at the same time is a useful feature in Business Central. Using multiple browser tabs is how you will be able to have multiple companies showing at the same time.

Open two browser tabs with Business Central. Both tabs will bring you to the default company that you were logged into. In one of the Business Central tabs, you’ll want to switch the company. Navigate to ‘My Settings’ and select the other company you want to run and then you’ll be able to work in both companies through different browser tabs.

4. How to Filter and Save Views

The ability to filter and save views is standard within Business Central. You can either go to the search bar, or to the specific area you want to search, such as Customers.

In my example, in the Customers area I already have some saved views listed. To rename an existing view, click the three dots next to the view’s name and select ‘Rename’. Another option available when clicking the three dots is ‘Save as’ which will take the parameters set for that view and save it with a different name.

D365 BC interface, saving view with three dots outlined.

Then you’ll be able to click into the name and type the new name. Then hit tab or click anywhere outside the name field and it will save the changes.

With saved views and filtered views, you can show different pages in a list. There are three different views that you can have for a list depending on what your preferences are – List, Tall Tiles, or Tiles.

D365 BC interface, with three different view options listed in dropdown menu.

Using inventory items as an example, I will show what the List, Tall Tiles, and Tiles look like.

List:

D365 BC interface with tile view visible with inventory pictures and details.

Tall Tiles:

D365 BC interface with tall tiles in view with large inventory images and small details.

Tiles:

D365 BC interface with list view of inventory with rows of detail.

Quick Search

The quick search function searches all fields within the list. For example, in the Customers area if I type in ‘trey’ then I can search and it brings up the customer Trey Research.

D365 BC interface, with words typed into the outlined search bar.

Advanced Filter

To search for something more specific, you can filter on the field.

In the Customers area, I can go into ‘Filter list by’ and click the ‘+ Filter’. Then select the applicable filter such as balance due in local currency.

D365 BC interface in filter area with dropdown list of filter visible fields.

If I want all customers with a balance that is greater than zero, I can enter the greater than sign, and then zero.

D365 BC interface with greater than zero typed into the balance due filter list.

This will filter the customer list and bring me to all the customers that have a balance due that’s greater than zero in local currency. In my example I have three customers that currently have a balance due.

D365 BC interface, with the results of a filter applied.

If you want, you can save the filter as a view by going to ‘Save as’ and then type in the name of the view, such as “Customers with Outstanding Balance”. Then click Enter, then it refreshes, and it will show you the saved view.

D365 BC interface in view area, with save as button outlined to save the view.

5. How to Search and Enter Data

This section will give some tips and tricks to help users enter data in Dynamics 365 Business Central and explain some shortcuts to search for data.

Dates

There are a few ways to enter dates into fields in Business Central. Below are three examples of how to enter dates:

  • 27 = 27th of current month and year
  • 0527 = May 27th of current year
  • 180527 = May 27th 2018

For example, in a new Sales Invoice I want to change the posting date. If I want to change the posting date, I can type 0207 and it’ll save the data as 2/7/2021. Something else I can do is type in ‘t’ which means ‘today (system date)’ which will change the date to 2/9/2021 (which is what the current system date is).

Below are examples of inputs you can use in fields to filter on dates:

  • t = Today (System Date)
  • w = Work Date
  • P1, P2 = Accounting Period 1, 2
  • m, tu, we, th, f, s, su = Monday, Tuesday, etc.
  • D, W, M, Q, Y = Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year
  • CW, CM, = Current (last day of the) Week, Month
  • -1M+CM+1D, = first of current month
  • -1Y = same date last year

Quantity

In terms of entering data in quantity fields, I will share two examples of shortcuts. For example, you can go into an item and let’s say I want to order 50 items, but don’t want to type in 50, I can do 10*5, and the system will do the math for me. I could also reduce the quantity in half by typing 50/2, which will divide 50 by 2 and take me to 25, as seen below.

D365 BC interface quantity fields outlined.

Below are other shortcuts you can use when searching and entering data:

  • equals = e.g. 377
  • range = e.g. 30..40, ..100, 235..
  • less / greater than = e.g. < 100, > 50
  • not equal = e.g. <>0
  • either/or = e.g. 5|6
  • and = e.g. >1000 & <2000
  • wildcard one sign = e.g. Hans?n – for Hanson, Hansen
  • wildcard multiple signs = e.g. Han* – for Hanson, Hansen, Han, Handy, etc.

These shortcuts can be very useful for data entry in terms of filtering and saving views and searching and entering data.

6. How to Attach Notes and Files

Within a customer card in Business Central, for example, we can attach notes and files from either the list page or the customer card.

How to Save a Note

If I want to save a note from the list page, I can click on the ‘+’ next to the Notes and then a window will appear where you can type in your note.

D365 BC interface with add a note outlined in a list page.

Click ‘Ok’ when you’re finished typing the note and it will save with the user’s name, the date, and the note.

D365 BC interface, with add a note window open.

The steps to add a note are the same at the customer card level.

How to Save an Attachment

In Business Central, users can save attachments and links as well.

In my example, I am in the Customer Card and it’s currently showing that we have zero attachments. I can click on the ‘0’ because it’s a flow field, which is basically a blue field with an underline, and it takes you to another table within the system.

D365 BC interface, with attachment documents equal to zero outlined.

A window will open, and I click ‘Select File’ and then click ‘Choose’. This will open the File Explorer window where I can choose any type of file, such as a PDF, picture, or Excel file.

D365 BC edit attached documents window open with select file being clicked. D365 BC edit attached document interface, with attach document window open.

In my example, I attach an Excel file. Once you’ve uploaded the file, you can see the file extension, file type, the user who attached it, and when it was attached. The checkbox on the far-right side allows you to choose whether you want the attachment to flow to the Sales transaction. This means the attachment can flow from the master record on to the sales invoice and sales orders.

D365 BC edit attached documents window, showing details of the attached file.

After reviewing the attachment details, you can preview the document if you would like before finishing the attachment process. Click ‘Preview’ in the top bar and it will download the file so you can preview it.

Once you’re finished reviewing the attachment and its details, you click ‘Close’ and that will add the attachment. Now we have 1 attachment showing, compared to the 0 we had before.

D365 BC interface, with attachment documents totaling 1 outlined.

7. How to Bookmark Pages

Bookmarking pages in Business Central means that it’ll save the page to the Role Center. A reminder that the Role Center is the homepage you see when you log-in.

There are two ways to bookmark the page. When I search for the ‘Items’ page, I can either open the Items page or I can bookmark it directly from the search results on the right-hand side. Once you click the Bookmark, it automatically adds it to the homepage. The screenshot below shows the ‘Items’ page is bookmarked directly from the search results.

D365 BC search interface with items line bookmarked, bookmark symbol outlined.

The second way to bookmark a page is when in the page itself. In the Items page in the screenshot below, you can see that the page is bookmarked in the top right-hand corner.

D365 BC items page bookmarked, with bookmarked symbol outlined.

8. How to Change the Description of a Posted Entry

In Dynamics 365 Business Central, navigate to the General Ledger Entries located in the Reports and Analysis section of the search menu. In the General Ledger Entries list, let’s say I have a posted entry that has a description that’s incorrect, we have the ability to change that.

Click ‘Edit List’ in the top bar and you’ll notice that the fields become editable.

D365 BC general ledger entries area, with edit list outlined. D365 BC interface, with general ledger entries details editable.

For example, if the wrong date was entered in the Description area, then that can be changed from ‘March 2020’ to ‘February 2020’.

Changing descriptions on posted entries is something that should happen on a one-off basis at most. I wouldn’t make it a habit because posted entries in the system are critical to keeping data consistency and you don’t want to be modifying those records all the time. However, it is good to know that if there is an incorrect description on a posted entry, then you can edit it.

9. How to Schedule Reports

The next tip that I want to share is how to schedule reports in Dynamics 365 Business Central. You can navigate to the report schedule one of two ways. You can either search for ‘Job Queue Entries’ in the search bar or you can go to your home screen and scroll down to the Report Inbox that may be on your page by default in the reports section. Then in the Report Inbox, click the drop-down menu and click ‘Show Queue’.

D365 BC interface, with report inbox drop-down area outlined.

Reports in Business Central run on a schedule through the job queue. The job queue has Job Queue Entries, and within that you can adjust the exchange rates, delegate approval, etc. The reports can be scheduled to run one time or on a recurring basis.

For example, if I open the Delegate Approval Request for approvals the status is showing as ‘Ready’, it also shows your Last Ready State and the Earliest Start Date/Time. If it’s a Recurring Job, then you can define the number of minutes between runs. By default, it’s going to go on to 1440, but you can change the interval between how often the report runs.

D365 BC job queue interface.

The Inactivity Timeout Period is where a job with a status on hold is automatically restated and this can be set in terms of minutes. On hold means a report queue or a job schedule is delayed and you may want to explore and see why the error is occurring.

To show what the logs are on the job, navigate to Related > Job Queue > Log Entries.

D365 BC job queue entry card, with related job queue log entries outlined.

Within the report, it shows the statuses of the Job Queue and if the run was a Success (ran successfully), In Process (currently in process and will finish with a success or an error), or Error (run failed). With an Error status, the description of the error will show in the ‘Error Message’ column and based on the description, you can then modify the job queue to reschedule it. Other components of the report include the Start Date/Time of when the report ran and the Duration of how long the job took.

There is flexibility to schedule when and how the jobs are run. You can set scheduled concurrent reports to run on different tiers in Business Central with the ability to schedule reports to run concurrently, in parallel, or sequentially. There are various parameters you can set, such as running the report overnight or during the day.

10. How to Change the Name of a Master Record

Next is how to change the name of a master record in the Customer Card in Business Central. For example, in the ‘Name’ field of the Customer Card, I will add ‘Ltd.’ to the existing ‘Trey Research’ name.

D365 BC customer card interface.

There’s no Save button within Business Central, but once you tab out of a field, it saves automatically. The status in the top right corner of the Customer Card will change from ‘Saving…’ to ‘Saved’.

If you type a name into a field but decide you don’t want to save it, while you’re still in the field you can use the escape button on your keyboard and it will change it back to the previous value, it is similar to ‘Ctrl+Z’.

11. How to Change Journal Batches

The ability to change journal batches in Business Central is useful for accounting and finance users.

Navigate to the General Journal Templates, then select the General Template, and then click Related > Template > Batches.

D365 BC general journal templates interface with related templates outlined.

This will take you to all the batches associated with the General template. In my example within the General Journal Batches, there is a default batch and a monthly batch. You can change it to another batch by renaming the batches by using a user’s name, for example.

D365 BC general journal batches interface with editable fields.

You can go into the journal and change the journal batches directly from the journal by clicking Process > Edit Journal.

D365 BC general journal batches interface, with edit journal selected.

In the default journal, let’s say I want to get back from a monthly batch, what I can do is go to the Batch Name and click on the three dots.

D365 BC general journals batch name.

Then I can change this to monthly. Then click OK.

D365 BC general journal batches window open.

That changes right back to a monthly batch which will change the lines and update the monthly batch settings.

12. How to Post Only What’s Visible in the Journal

In Business Central, if you have a situation where you only want to post what’s visible, that is possible. In my example, I have two journal lines, but only want to post one line. I choose to filter by the amount of $5, which makes only one of the lines visible. Then I navigate to ‘Preview Posting’ by selecting it from the ‘Post/Print’ options.

D365 BC general journals interface, with post/print and post buttons outlined.

After selecting Preview Posting, it’ll take me to the posting preview and will show all the related entries within the system, such as GL entries, tax entries, and bank account entries. These are all the entries that would be generated from a posting of that singular line.

D365 BC posting preview window open.

Under the ‘No. of Entries’ column, users can click on the number which will take you to another table to see what each entry is comprised of. You’ll be able to see which Posting Groups, which Account types, the debits and credits within the posting, etc. Once you preview the posting, you can post it. Posting what’s visible is helpful when you have a batch of over a hundred lines or multiple lines, you can post what you know is ready to be posted. Then you can post the rest on a later day.

13. Recorded Presentation of 12 Tips and Tricks in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Topics discussed during this session include:

  1. Personalization – 3:25
  2. Switch between companies – 9:30
  3. Multiple company access – 10:45
  4. Filtering and saved views – 12:20
  5. Attaching notes and files – 16:10
  6. Bookmarking pages – 20:45
  7. Searching and entering data – 22:30
  8. Changing descriptions on posted entries – 27:40
  9. Scheduling reports – 30:25
  10. Modifying columns – 35:10
  11. Renaming master records – 38:45
  12. Changing journal batches – 40:15
  13. Post what’s visible within the journal – 42:45

If you’re new to Dynamics 365 Business Central, please see our Dynamics 365 Business Central New User Training webinar.

Contact us if you have any questions about Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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