Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

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In a recent training webcast for Tensoft customers - Approval Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central - I covered an overview of approvals and workflows in Dynamics 365 Business Central. Below is a partial transcription from this webcast providing an overview of the three workflows most commonly in use by our customers, mainly on the purchasing side for quotes, orders and invoices.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with several workflows out of the box that are already pre-configured. At a high level, the purpose is to automate certain responses to actions that users take. So generally, it's around posting a document, editing a document, and in this case, submitting a document for approval and so. Beyond just what we're covering today for approvals, you can also set up workflows on creating a customer or vendor or an item or modifying a certain piece of data in the system.
There are about 10 workflows templates that are already out there, and I'll show you those so that you get an idea of what's available to you.
The three that I see the most are creating a quote, purchase order, and purchase invoice approval. Beyond that, some customers approve journal entries as well and some approve payment journals. So, there are workflows for those that you can configure. Today we'll focus on those first three.

Business Central Workflows
This is the purchase quote to purchase order to purchase invoice flow. There are really two options that we use or create for approvals. “Flow Option 1” (see slide above) is what most people use. This is where you have more of a decentralized process where you have a lot of people in the field who know what they need to buy and you want to give them access to create a quote in the system. For example, an online manager who buys tools or services, you want to give them access to create a quote in the system. So you would give that user - maybe a non-finance user - a Business Central Team Member license to allow them to create a purchase quote. It would need to be sent up the chain for approval, based on the amount. Once it reaches a user that has final approval for that particular quote – and it is approved by them - it goes into release status. That's when a finance user or a full user can convert it to an order. So that's sort of a decentralized approach.
More of a centralized approach is maybe you have like a purchasing department or you want finance to control the orders and maybe someone sends you an email to buy something. If it's a smaller company, you just know everything that needs to be ordered. So, you just create directly an order and that order is approved. You can submit a purchase order for approval instead of a purchase quote.
But again, Flow Option 1 is usually a little better because the people closest to the buying usually have the most information as long as you train them enough, that usually works better.
Once a purchase order is fully approved and it's sent to the vendor, you can also create an approval workflow for the invoice. There are then two directions that you can go with invoices. One is posting an invoice directly from a purchase order. So this is when you're inside a purchase order and you click ‘Post’ to post the invoice. It's the quick method. It just takes the quantity that you want to invoice from those lines and creates a posted purchase invoice directly. That one does not get approved. If you want to approve an invoice, you have to create an invoice directly in a purchase invoice screen just like you would a non-PO, invoice and then you match it to a receipt that's on the PO.
But essentially, if you want to approve an invoice, you have to create the invoice, match it to a receipt, and then submit that invoice for approval. And then you've got the full flow approved, you got the purchase quote approved and the purchase invoice approved as well.”

To learn more about Dynamics 365 Business Central, contact us.
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- By Jason Ochipa, Tensoft, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner

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