Multi-Company Centralized Financial Management for Dynamics 365 Overview

Avantiico’s Dynamics 365 Finance add-in solution addresses gaps in standard Dynamics 365, adding accounting automation and journal entry automation for multiple entities, companies, or stores. Read on to discover the added finance capabilities developed by Avantiico for multi-entity accounting in Dynamics 365. 

 

Richard Draper

Richard Draper

Introduction

The Avantiico multi-company financial management solution was developed to allow for the simultaneous financial processing and management activities of many legal entities or stores, extending upon the framework of standard Dynamics 365 Finance. Since its inception, we have been continually improving the multi-entity accounting automation capabilities to meet the needs of our clients for the processing of true multi-company journals, reports, Inquiries, and developing centralized finance automation framework. The add-on solution allows users to reach optimal time saving efficiency when processing financial data.

The Avantiico solution adds true accounting automation to Dynamics 365 Finance ERP for multi-company and multi-entity accounting. The Dynamics financial software from AX2009, AX2012 to D365 can fullfil most single company accounting processing needs with the standard functionality, but there are areas that can be significantly augmented for more efficient processing when centralized operations for multiple entities are required. This article describes areas of Dynamics 365 Finance standard functionality, gives a comprehensive overview of Avantiico’s Multi-Company Financial Management solution and outline the benefits of using these feature sets in tandem with standard features in Dynamics 365 for multi-company accounting.

Is Multi-company Accounting Software Right for your Company?

If the answer to any of the following questions is “yes” for your business, Avantiico’s multi-company accounting software may be the ideal solution to amend your efficiency issues.

Limitations in Standard Dynamics 365 for Multi-Company Financial Management

The standard Dynamics 365 Finance comes equipped with feature sets in the areas of general ledger and sub-ledger journals, reports, Inquiries, and other features that will satisfy the day to day, periodic and ad-hoc accounting needs of most companies. Franchise management companies can still execute the necessary tasks in the standard version in Dynamics 365 Finance, but they are unnecessarily time consuming and allow for the possibility of human error when navigating between different companies and processes. We will outline the gaps in the standard Microsoft technology and explain how we have addressed them to streamline the management of multiple entities inside of Dynamics 365 Finance.

The first problem for multi-company management in Dynamics 365 Finance is that journals, reports, and Inquiries must be processed and delivered on a company-by-company basis. When multiple legal entities need to be transacted upon throughout the day, users must frequently navigate between legal entities and associated processing needs to be completed at the company level, creating significant overhead in terms of time. Depending on the number of entities for example stores being managed this can mean hours of navigation between individual companies within the system every week.

Additionally, before the legal entities can be transacted in and reported upon, mandatory finance-related setups and configurations are required within Dynamics 365 Finance. For businesses that manage the financials for dozens or hundreds of separate legal entities, this configuration requirement can result in significant time and effort dedicated to the initial configuring legal entities in the system. This constraint of the standard Dynamics 365 Finance application could be seen as prohibitive for franchise management companies and has therefore hindered its popularity for this demographic. However, we have created multi-entity financial management tool that fills these gaps.

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Multi-Company Journal Functionality

One key function Avantiico has built for franchise management within Dynamics 365 Finance is the ability to validate (against local company data and setups) and post journals for multiple companies from within a single journal, containing journal lines with data from more than one company either manually or via an excel source import file. This addresses the standard Dynamics 365 Finance constraints of validating and posting journals company by company within the standard Dynamics 365 Finance global journals. This is an obstacle within standard global journals that prevent a single journal having more than one company’s transactions available in it and depends upon the standard Dynamics 365 Finance due to and due from intercompany posting setups being used. 

Automation for Multi-company journals are available for selected journal types:

Multi Company Journal Upload

The above screen shows the various functions available when creating and whilst processing a multi-company journal upload. Using the Multi-company upload tool, one can create:

  • A multi-company journal upload within D365 or via a generic file.
  • A fixed assets depreciation (including special depreciation) specific multi-company journal upload.
Multi Store Journal Table
Depreciation proposal
The above screen shot shows the prompt for creating a multi-company journal upload for fixed assets depreciation for the selected legal entries.
fixed assets
The above screen shot shows the prompt for creating a multi-company journal upload for fixed assets depreciation proposals for the selected legal entries.
Journal Types
The above screen shot shows the different journal types of GL, AR and AP available to create for selected legal entities with the multi-company journal upload.
Change Reset Status
The above screen shows the “change (reset) status” options to the multi-company journal upload available to authorized user. 
Multiple Legal Entities
The above screen shot shows the lines of a sample multi-company journal where, dependent on security definitions, multiple legal entities can be posted to from one multi-company journal regardless of the current legal entity.
multi-company journal status changing
The above screenshots show the multi-company journal status changing from “open” to “lines checked (see above) ” to “transferred (see below) ” to “validated” to “posted”/(”partial posted” due to errors).
multi-company journal status changing 2

The Avantiico solution eliminates a significant number of operational steps and associated keystrokes due to continually changing companies within Dynamics 365 Finance. This was previously unavoidable when creating these journals. The centralized multi-company upload journals that Avantiico’s multi-entity accounting software creates have consolidated the actions required to validate and then post journals, improving ease of navigation for the user.

Another benefit of the Avantiico solution is reduced possibility of human error. For journals, the less keystrokes and/or processes to reach the desired output, the less opportunities for human error. A possible error could be posting from within the wrong company, leading to incorrect data.

Beyond this, the solution will automatically provide multi company duplicate vendor invoice validation functionality, providing the user an error message or warning if there is a duplicate invoice number already existing in the current company or another company. Checking for duplicate invoices was previously a manual operation due to the lack of cross company validation and data cognizance. In standard Dynamics 365 Finance, the system would check for duplicate invoices only within the current company. The Avantiico solution extends this functionality to all legal entities at the same time. When journals are analysed individually, Dynamics 365 Finance has no way of knowing that duplicate transactions could be contained in another entity. The Avantiico tool allows for this visibility within Dynamics 365 Finance, reducing risk of such errors.

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Are you a franchiser looking for a better way to manage multi-company finances?

Multi-Company Reports and Inquiries

In addition to multi-company journals, the Avantiico multi-entity accounting software allows for selected multi-company reports and Inquiries. The reporting and enquiring options will appear under the new multicompany dropdown menu, created by Avantiico, in the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations sidebar.

As with journals in standard Dynamics 365 Finance, to receive the desired output, the user must navigate from company to company and run each report or Inquiry on a per-entity basis. The Avantiico multi-entity reporting options drastically reduce both operational steps and time spent creating reports. These “master” activities create reports for all selected entities and produce outputs at the company level.

Under current constraints in standard Dynamics 365, for a company that reports on, for instance, 50 companies, they would need to run 50 reports individually. With the Avantiico consolidated processing, the user can select the entities out of those 50 that they are interested in, or all of them, and run individual reports and Inquiries for all selected in one action. Therefore, cutting time spent by a factor of 50. The more companies managed, the greater the value of the solution is for time and cost saving.

Among the reports and Inquiries supported as a “master” activity is the 1099 tax report. The ability to run mass 1099 tax reports is a major plus for accountants.

The above screen shot shows the general ledger and fixed assets multicompany reports available within the Avantiico multi-company centralized financial management solution.

The above screen shot shows the Multi-company “Unposted journal extract” prompt screen.

Multi- Company Trial Balance

The above screen shot shows the Multi-company “Trial balance” report prompt screen.

Accounts Payable Reports

The above screen shot show the Accounts payables multi-company reports available within the Avantiico multi-company centralized financial management solution.

Inquiries Screen

The above screen shot show the Accounts payables multi-company AP Inquiries screen available within the Avantiico multi-company centralized financial management solution.

Inquiries Screen

The above screenshots show the Accounts receivables multi-company AR Inquiries screen available within the Avantiico multi-company centralized financial management solution.

Creation of Legal Entities Through an Excel Upload

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Are you a franchiser looking for a better way to manage multi-company finances?

The Avantiico Multi-Company Centralized Financial Management Solution eliminates the need for the manual and time-consuming process of Dynamics 365 Finance legal entity creation through automatic creation of basic Dynamics 365 legal entities with an excel upload. This upload automatically created the necessary legal entities and associated leger details based upon information that already exists in your spreadsheets, building the framework within the system for your team. The time and cost savings allowed by this feature are highly significant and can be explained further with sample calculations.

For example, if the creation of one legal entity in Dynamics 365 Finance takes your accountants one hour to complete, this tool saves your team one hour of work if you manage the finances for one company. However, for businesses that manage franchises or many stores, this number is far higher. In a situation where 40 companies are managed this would be equal to 40 hours saved or one week of work, or for 160 companies, an entire month. This is what makes the entity creation upload feature so valuable for companies that are migrating to Dynamics 365.

Designate an Organizational Hierarchy

A further functional benefit of the Avantiico multi-entity accounting software is the ability to define your own responsibilities and reporting hierarchies between accountants, bookkeepers, managers, and the entities they are responsible for. This includes the definition of your legal entity types such as stores, management companies, and property management companies, allowing the user to report and Inquire on them based on type grouping.

This function will restrict accountants and bookkeepers to the legal entities they are responsible for, reducing the risk of possible human error such as operating within the wrong Dynamics 365 entity. This will also limit the number of entities accountants and bookkeepers can view, leading to simpler navigation between them. Having fewer options and less information that is irrelevant to an individual’s job simplifies the accounting process and eliminates many mistakes.

Conclusion

Avantiico’s multi-entity accounting software extends standard Dynamics 365 Finance functionality to meet the needs of franchise managers or any company that is responsible for the accounting of multiple legal entities.

Our multi-entity accounting software makes Dynamics 365 a highly viable option for franchise management. Our solution addresses the gaps in Dynamics 365 Finance that hindered its use for multi-entity accounting and has unlocked its potential to be the best multi-company ERP platform on the market.

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Request a free consultation with an Avantiico franchise management expert.

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