How to Keep Quote, Order, and Invoice Numbers Synchronized in D365 Business Central with Advanced Document Numbering (ADN)

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It just happened again.

I’ll bet you’ve had it out with AutoCorrect before. Sometimes our technology thinks it’s doing us a favor, when in fact it’s causing greater problems. For example, I just typed “ADN” in the title, and AutoCorrect kicked in, changing it to “AND”. Helpful, right? Not when you wrote it right the first time.

A similar problem has been plaguing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users since the day it was released. First, you create an invoice, edit the data, and save it to work on later. That invoice now has a number. The next day, a teammate finalizes the line items and posts the invoice. The posted document is assigned a different number.

Now you may not find that to be a big deal because, after all, a number is just a number, right? Not exactly. Here are three areas where unique numbers can cause friction in your processes:

The lifecycle of an order. From opening to closing, you might generate quite a few documents pertaining to a customer’s order, such as a Quote, a Sales Order, an Invoice, a Credit Memo, a Shipment notice, and a Receipt of product notice. Since each document has a completely distinct number, keeping track of the order is complicated – for you and your customer.

Multiple documents in a series. There are often one-to-many relationships between documents in the sales cycle. For example, on the payables side, you might create one Purchase Order, but then have multiple Purchase Invoices to document the received products as they come in. With distinct numbers on each document, it is challenging to tell which invoices pertain to the original Purchase Order.

Data integration woes. Many times, companies use other industry-specific software solutions to handle certain business processes, including invoicing. Since Business Central is a flexible system, such data is easily integrated, giving you a comprehensive view of all business operations. However, invoices and other document types are imported in the unposted state, and with the default behavior of Business Central, once posted, the number changes – and then there is no way to tie the document back to the source system.

Wouldn’t it be easier if each document in the process had the same number?

That is why we created the Advanced Document Numbering extension for Business Central. How does it simplify the document number chaos?

Document numbers are synchronized from end to end. Is the invoice posted, or not? It doesn’t matter; the number stays the same. You can choose to stay with the default BC numbering scheme, or start with the 2-digit year and follow it with a 4, 5, 6, or 7-digit number (220000001, for example.) You can also control whether the number carries over from the quote to the order, invoice, shipment, and so on. This applies not just to sales, but also to purchasing and transfers, allowing you the flexibility to apply the numbering as you need it, to as many (or as few) documents as you require.

Logically number documents in a series. In the example mentioned before, a Purchase Order is created, and then various Purchase Invoices are generated as the PO is fulfilled. With Advanced Document Numbering, each of the invoices in the series shares the same primary number for easy identification, but is made unique with a suffix of -01, -02, and so on.

Simple queries and data integration. Document data imported from other applications or data sources is easily kept in sync, even after posting, by keeping the same number. On a broader scale, using the option to number documents with a 2-digit year prefix makes organization and searching much easier. Querying the database for the different document types related to an order (or group of orders) is much simpler since the number becomes the common denominator. Reporting has never been easier!

The Advanced Document Numbering extension is easy to install and configure. You can download a PTE App file from our website, and soon you will be able to get it directly from Microsoft AppSource. Once installed, you simply generate a demo key from the configuration screen, and you are automatically given 30 days of unrestricted usage to evaluate the extension for your organization’s needs.

Would you like to learn more about this useful tool? Visit the product page, or watch the following video demonstration.



Ready to have more control and boost productivity? Contact us at ERP Connect Consulting; we’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you get started.


By Ben Cole at ERP Connect Consulting

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