How to Navigate Through the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations Interface

This blog will help you navigate through the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365 F&O) interface while providing some tips and tricks to ease your initial training when using the system.

Note: Even though most customers, commentators, and consultants still call it Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations or D365FO, Microsoft now technically licenses it as Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.

Navigating the D365 F&O Homepage

I will be sharing with you how to navigate the F&O homepage as a System Administrator. End-users may only have access to a handful of the modules shown below and so this homepage view may not mimic exactly what you’ll see on your home page:

screenshot of D365 F&O home page

The logo for your company will appear on the banner at the top of the home page and will be specific to your company.

The middle of the home page holds your tiles. These tiles are specific links to workspaces in the system and can help you quickly jump between and easily navigate to workspaces.

In the upper right corner of your home page is a variety of buttons:

screenshot of F&O home page highlighting button options

The magnifying glass icon will open a search bar, this is going to be a helpful tool for finding things in the system, such as workspaces.

You will also see a gear icon, that gear icon will direct you to your settings. Clicking on the gear icon will open a dropdown menu where you can select ‘User options’, it’s going to take you to a screen that is specific to the personal user experience:

screenshot of user options page highlighting the visual tab

Here, you can choose a color theme for your environment. The grid size changes the resolution of the tiles found in the home page. Any changes made in user options will only affect your personal version of F&O when you log in, it will not affect other users.

On the left-hand side of this view, you will find your User Options:

screen shot of user options page highlighting the user options tab

Your Preferences tab gives you the option to change your time zone.

This can be useful if you have remote workers in different time zones and you want to be able to see information that is specific to your time zone.

screenshot of user options preference tab, default preferences

The Workflow tab is useful for users that have approval responsibilities.

This is where you can set up delegation for your out-of-town work. For example, you can say which person will receive the notifications from F&O while you’re out of town.

screenshot of user options workflow tab, workflow options

To navigate back to the home page from this grid, you can go into the upper left corner and click ‘Finance and Operations’ or, you can select the home icon on the lefthand side of your screen:

screenshot of F&O user options screen highlighting home button

The menu on the left-hand side of the home page displays a column of icons. The top icon is called the hamburger menu which, when clicked, will expand the menu to the side.

Clicking the pin icon at the top right corner of the column will keep this view permanently open.

screenshot of F&O hamburger menu

In the hamburger menu, you’ll see four options beneath the home button: favorites, recent, workspaces, and modules.

Everything that happens in the systems happens in a module. Whether you’re in accounts receivable or production or sales orders, there’s going to be different modules you will work in.

Favorites

Your favorites are a way for you to save your different modules that you navigate to on a regular basis. To add a module to your favorites, hover over the menu you wish to add, a star icon will appear, clicking the star will fill the icon and it will be added to your favorites. This is helpful if you’re going to the same handful of links multiple times a day, or you don’t want to have to navigate there manually each time.

screenshot highlighting star icon when adding a module to your favorites

Recent

The recent tab shows you all the places that you’ve recently navigated to. If you went somewhere and maybe you don’t go there all the time, you can find it stored in your recent list. This list will continually update as you navigate through the system with your most up to date pages. This tool is helpful when you are poking around in the system and you’re not quite sure where to go.

Workspaces

Workspaces is another view of the tiles on your home page. It provides an alphabetized list that correlates directly to the tiles on your home page. The tiles and the workspace module go to the exact same place, its just two different ways to display the same link.

Modules

Lastly, we have modules. This is the core of the system where you can see all available modules. It is listed in alphabetical order; you may have a limited view of the modules depending on what your security role is and what your business role will be using the system.

How to Navigate to Customer Records

To navigate to customer records, open the accounts receivable module:

screenshot highlighting accounts receivable module from home page

It will automatically open a submenu. You can choose to expand all the submenus or to collapse all the submenus at the top of the menu bar. This can be helpful when you’re first learning how to navigate through the systems and you’re not exactly sure where you need to be.

If I click ‘expand all’ its going to open a detailed menu:

screenshot of accounts receivable detailed menu

Every link available within the accounts receivable module will be displayed here. Something that’s helpful, especially if I’m working in modules that I might not be familiar with or if I don’t know where to go, I can click ‘expand all’ and do a ‘Ctrl F’ search on my web browser and type keywords that are helpful to narrow down what you’re searching for.

All Customer Page

This is what the standard grid looks like for the All Customer page in D365 F&O:

screenshot of all customer standard view

There is a lot of consistency between grids across all the modules in the system, so once you get familiar with using one grid and modifying them, those tools, and those skills that you’ve learned for one grid will apply to all the other grids in the system.

At the top of the grid is a navigational menu, we call this the action pane:

screenshot of all customer standard view highlighting the action pane

In the action pane we have all these tabs available to us. There is a customer tab, sell tab, and invoice tab, among others. These tabs are generally an indicator of the type of actions that can be taken on the record for the module that you are located in.

The actions available to me in the action pane will pertain to the management of these customer records. For example, if I select a customer, I can review credit management, I can view statistics about this customer and take some actions here as well.

There are action options in the upper right-hand corner:

screenshot of all customer standard view highlighting action options

The standard Windows icon is on the far left, this icon opens a new window. This will take the grid you’re in and expand it to a separate browser tab completely. If you need to keep a customer record pulled up while also navigating somewhere else, you can choose to pop this grid into another window.

The circle icon is a refresh button. It’s important when you’re operating in D365 F&O to stay away from using your browser buttons (Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge). Try to stick with this refresh button because the data that is operating within F&O is updating in real time. When you use this refresh button it has a more consistent result than refreshing in your browser.

To the left of the refresh button is a paper clip. This indicates attachments. If you needed to add notes or something to these records, attachments is where you could do that.

Next to attachments is the icon for Microsoft Office. Clicking on it will pull up several different options for how to work with this data grid in Excel.

screenshot of Microsoft office action tab in action options

The way this is displayed is important to note, at the top it says, ‘open in Excel’ and at the bottom it says, ‘export to Excel’. Dynamics 365 F&O has this great tool for using Excel add-ins to manipulate large groups of data by putting them into Excel. But you do want to be careful with doing that because it also means you can make bulk changes to the system by dumping it into Excel.

Opening in Excel means there is a maintained link between F&O and Excel, while exporting to Excel simply means the data has just been dumped to a spreadsheet and you can do whatever you need to do with it.

I want to highlight that this grid is out-of-the-box, there are no special things that have been added to it. However, there may be cases where there’s information that you want to see in the grid without having to drill into every single customer.

Adding Columns to Accounts Receivable

Let’s say for example you need to know in which order customers were created by date and time. To do that, I’m going to insert a new column into this grid.

At the top of your standard view are your column headers, there’s different columns such as account, name, and invoice account.

If you right click on the column header bar, you can select ‘insert columns’:

screenshot of all customer standard view highlighting insert column option

I can now select from a predetermined list of available fields in F&O to add to this grid. I’m going to sort from A-Z so that I can easily find the field that I want.

screenshot of all customer standard view highlighting insert columns tab

I’m going to select ‘created date and time’ and click ‘update’.

screenshot of inset columns tab highlighting created date and time and update

This is going to add the created date and time information to this grid, and it’s going to display it for all the customers in our in our system:

screenshot of all customer standard view with created date and time

A blue bar will appear at the top of the screen when changes are made:

screenshot of all customer standard view with blue notification bar

A blue message bar is simply an informational bar letting you know that it’s performed an action you’ve asked. In this case you’ve added a new column and its simply saying that to see the updated data for the column that I’ve added, you’ll need to refresh your page.

If the bar were either yellow or red, that indicates an important message.

A red message bar generally means there’s an error and a yellow message bar is a warning of some kind. These message bars will be consistent across all modules in the system.

Custom View

You want to save this view so that it is available the next time you need it. Do so by clicking ‘Standard view’. Select ‘save as’ and you can change the view name, add a description, and pin it as your default view:

screenshot of all customer standard view highlighting standard view and save as tab

Make sure to save this view because if you don’t then the next time you come into this grid, if you were to navigate away or close it, it won’t have that column that you added.

Navigating Customer Records

Let’s look at the actual customer record itself. Click on the account number. You will notice when it’s a blue underlined link, that means it’s a hyperlink. D365 F&O is designed so you can quickly jump to all these different places and anything that’s an underlined blue link is a hyperlink that you can drill into.

If you accidently click on a hyperlink and you want to get back, you can go ahead and click the arrow on the left of the action pane, and it takes you back to the grid that you were in previously.

screenshot of action pane highlighting the back arrow

Once you’ve navigated into your customer account, you can see there’s a top menu. The options are going to be slightly different compared to the ‘all customer’ view because you can do more within an individual record from here.

screenshot of customer account top menu

You can click between these tabs and manipulate this customer record data based on the options in the top menu. These menu options in the upper right-hand corner are also the same as the ones that were on the grid.

Customer accounts are broken down into subsections:

screenshot of customer account subsections

You can expand or minimize these menus; this will allow you to change how you’re seeing this record and tailor it to see the information that’s most relevant to you. For example, maybe you don’t need to look at addresses, it takes up quite a bit of the screen, so you can have it minimized. Similarly, with the general tab, if the information in there isn’t useful to you, you can simply click on it and minimize or maximize.

You can also add or remove a field in this grid. Right click the menu and select ‘personalize’ and then ‘add field’:

screenshot of customer account highlighting add field option

It’s going to bring up a menu that looks the same as the one we saw in the grid:

screenshot of insert columns tab

I’m going to sort it from A-Z and I’m going to choose the field that I would like to add to this detailed record and click ‘update’. That field will then be added to this record.

Similarly with the grid, you want to save this so that every time you come into any customer record it will show your created field. You’re going to have to save your personalized view.

Select ‘Standard view’ in the left hand corner and then ‘save as’:

screenshot of customer account, highlighting save as

The process to personalize your view is the same as the personalized grid view.

Now every time you go into a customer record, you will see your personalized view.

Tips & Tricks

Filter Box

If your list of customers is long and you don’t want to scroll through to find the customer you’re looking for, there’s a filter box:

screenshot of all customer grid filter option

Wild Card

Let’s say you don’t know the exact name of the customer you’re searching for, there’s a concept in F&O called a wild card. A wild card lets you ask the system to search for anything that contains a word. You’re going to type in *search word* and anything containing the search word will be pulled up.

Bread Crumb Menu

If you find yourself in a place in the system and you don’t remember how you got there but you want to take note of it, you can do so with what’s called a bread crumb menu:

screenshot of all customer grid highlighting the bread crumb menu

This is telling you the module that you clicked into (accounts receivable), the section (customers), and the specific link that you drilled into (all customers).

So that’s just a few tips and tricks and general navigation that is applicable across all the modules in F&O. All grids look the same, they simply contain different data. The way you’re able to manipulate the grids is very consistent and very useful.

If you have any questions about improving your business processes in Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, please connect with us.

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