Comparing Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central

Comparing Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central

A NAV/BC Feature Comparison

If you’re on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you should have a plan for moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. There are many benefits of a modern, cloud-based ERP system. There are many more reasons beyond the technical benefit and cost savings — namely, the surprisingly long list of features and capabilities in Dynamics 365 Business Central–that are just as valid. So, we thought it would be helpful to provide a NAV and Business Central comparison, which our own Gwendolynn Stearns was kind (and patient) enough to compile.

Microsoft puts out a major release of Dynamics Business Central two times a year–and by “major,” we mean Microsoft includes many improvements and enhancements every six months. That’s a lot of bang for the buck from the first release of BC in 2018 to the latest, 2022 Release Wave 1 (BC 20), which was released in April 2022.

This Dynamics NAV and Business Central comparison goes all the way back to NAV version 4 through the latest, Business Central 2022 Wave 1. It provides Dynamics NAV users a glimpse into the future, as well as serve as a reminder to those customers already on BC the importance of staying current with updates. As stated in the BC 2022 Wave 1 Enhancements article: “With Microsoft releasing updates so often, it’s easy to move past them without examining what’s new…Microsoft has clearly put effort into expanding the Help functions, improving performance and usability through easier navigation, and helping users increase productivity by providing in-app improvements.”

Below, you’ll find a NAV and Business Central comparison, listed by product (Dynamics NAV and D365 BC) and by version, broken out by functional area. NOTE: this is not a comprehensive list due to space constraints. Download the full feature comparison including Dynamics NAV version 4 through all versions including Business Central.

Here is a key legend for the following Dynamics NAV to Business Central comparison tables:

Blue checkBasic Functionality
Basic Functionality Enhanced
Red cross iconFunctionality Not Included

NAV and Business Central Comparison: General

Responding faster to inquiries is always a welcome feature. Providing an answer to a customer about an order or tracking down invoices or purchase orders needs to happen fast. The first version of BC featured big improvements over NAV when it came to searching and filtering, but jumping forward to BC 2022 Wave 1, Microsoft made a good thing even better.

Finding related documents and entries is an enhancement of an existing capability used to track entries generated during the posting of specific transactions. The Find Entries feature has been available on most pages that display posted document or document entries, but in BC 2022 Wave 1, it became available on all Role Centers. Here are just some of the improvements and enhancements we’ve seen across the application from the early days of NAV to the latest version of BC:

General FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
Zetadocs ExpressRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross icon
OneNote IntegrationRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Outlook IntegrationRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Data Upgrade AutomationRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Provisioning Tools for Windows AzureRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Interoperable with Office 365 and ExcelRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Web ClientRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Automated WorkflowsRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Full Keyboard Shortcut SupportRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
New User ConceptRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Multi-tier ArchitectureRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Additional Columns Through PersonalizationRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross icon
Enablement of Word MergeRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Single Sign OnRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Hosted App in Office 365Red cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central General Functionality Comparison Chart

Accounting & Finance

There are many exciting new features in BC 2022 Wave 1, like Block Deletion of GL Accounts, which includes checks and balances to prevent users from accidentally deleting a GL account, and Auto-accept Transactions for Intercompany Journals, which is a great example of how strong workflows have opened the door to Microsoft automating more with each new release. That’s just the beginning; as an ERP with its roots in accounting, the number of significant enhancements since NAV 2017 is well over 50. Here are just a few:

Accounting & Finance FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
Different G/L Accounts for Payables/Receivables TransactionsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Consolidate Customer and Vendor BalancesRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Dimension Corrections for G/L EntriesRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Notify Requester About Changes for an Approval RequestRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Batch-Post Sales and Purchase as ScheduledRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
View the Number of General Journal LinesRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Bulk InvoicingRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Cost AccountingRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Cash Flow ForecastRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Fixed AssetsBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Bank Reconciliation ImprovementsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross icon
Payment Reconciliation Journal improvementsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Intercompany PostingsBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central Financial Management Comparison Chart

Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management

Manufacturing was one of the earliest industries focused on with Navision, so, like accounting and financial management, the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management functionality has been deep for a long time. Also, like accounting, the list of manufacturing enhancements since the days of Navision is impressive. Some favorites in BC 2022 Wave 1 include Fixed Quantity in Product Bills Of Materials, Set Default Dimensions on Locations, and Support Inventory Pick and Warehouse Pick Operations for Jobs. The following two tables highlight enhancements in the areas of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management:

Manufacturing FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
Fixed Quantity in Product Bills of MaterialsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Define Lot Sizes for Various Stages of ProductionRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Register Capacity in Units of SecondsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Sales and Inventory ForecastingRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Production OrdersBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Graphical Production ScheduleBlue checkRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross icon
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central Manufacturing Comparison Chart
Supply Chain FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
Set Default Dimensions on LocationsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Merge Duplicate Customers, Vendors, or ContactsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Item Variant Code on Demand ForecastsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Assembly ManagementRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Extend Price CalculationRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Supply PlanningBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
CostingBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Item TrackingBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
PickBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central Supply Chain Comparison Chart

Jobs & Project Management

If your business depends on project management or jobs, you’ll want to take a look at the enhancements in Business Central, and in particular, BC 2022 Release Wave 1. New features include: Support inventory pick and warehouse pick operations for jobs; report selection for projects; bin codes in jobs; and improved control over how and when you post WIP entries for jobs to the GL. Here are more new features in our Dynamics NAV and Business Central comparison:

Jobs & Project Management FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
JobsBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Bin Codes in JobsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Report Selection for ProjectsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Jobs WIP Calculation ComplianceRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Improved Control Over WIP Entries for Jobs to G/LRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central Jobs & Project Management Comparison Chart

Better with M365

The Microsoft Power Platform, which enables Dynamics Business Central to connect and communicate much more easily to other applications and tools, including Microsoft 365 (Office), Business Central users get all kinds of benefits that were not possible with Dynamics NAV. You’ll see stark differences between Dynamics NAV and Business Central including enhancements to Microsoft Teams integration, which makes it easier to share quotes, orders, customer info, and so forth, which others can edit in Teams without having to open BC. She also likes sharing a file through OneDrive, Outlook pop-out windows, and the ability to add email attachments to Business Central records, but there are so many more enhancements in this area. Take a moment to scan them; you’re sure to find functionality that would benefit your business:

M365 Integration FunctionalityNAV 4NAV 2013 R2BC 2018BC 2020
Wave 2 (17)
BC 2022
Wave 1 (20)
Image AnalyzerRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue checkBlue check
Microsoft TeamsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue checkBlue check
Outlook Add-In Popout Window EnhancementsRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross icon
Send Documents as Emails with Attached Files AutomaticallyRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Share a File Through OneDriveRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconRed cross iconBlue check
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central Integration with MS 365 Comparison Chart

We’ve mentioned only a few areas of note here, but there are many advantages to be had throughout the application, like Sales & Marketing, Service Management, Reporting & Analytics, and, of course, cloud and workflows.

Talk to ArcherPoint About Moving from Dynamics NAV to Business Central and Staying Current

If you’re still on Dynamics NAV, this peek into the features offered by Business Central should be enticing enough to take a closer look. And if you’re already using Business Central SaaS, the rapid development of the product means it’s very important to stay current with updates. Talk to ArcherPoint about a move to Business Central or an upgrade stay current plan. We have the expertise in managing the BC upgrade cycle you can be confident in, and we offer several fixed-fee upgrade subscription plans with a range of services, including BC SaaS “proactive” (Managed Services) and “reactive” (Break-Fix) plans. Contact us today your upgrade plans! 

Take a moment to view the Business Central 2021 Wave 2 Launch Event on demand.

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