We all know that Business Central is an all-in-one business management system that connects sales, service, finance, and operations teams to help them adapt faster and deliver results. However, did you know that it is possible to extend the already powerful functionality of Business Central with a range of add-ons developed here at TVision? These add-ons have been created by the TVision team to assist our clients with repetitive processes that many finance functions carry out either regularly.
In this 30-minute webinar you’ll learn more about our most popular add-ons and how they could be beneficial to your business.
Here we will give you:
• An overview of all the add-ons developed by TVision.
• A demo of some of our most popular add-ons, including Excel Import to GL and Credit Control Notepad. This demo will highlight the functionality available, how they would be valuable to your business, and how they integrate with Business Central.
• Practical details about the add-ons and next steps to access them.
Good afternoon, everybody, and thank you for joining today’s webinar all around the TVision add-ons that we have available for your business.
My name is Danusia Jolliffe, I’m a Marketing and Customer Service as director here at TVision. As always, I will be paying attention to the chat box for you, so if you have any questions at all, that you’d like to ask Ian as he goes through, then please do type them in – either into the chat or into the question box. I aim to answer as we go along, or at an appropriate time, and if we need to, we can send out answers offline afterwards. A recording of this webinar will also be made available and will be included in the monthly TVision newsletter that we’ll be sending out to you. Ian over to you.
OK, couple of things that we’re going to be speaking about today is TVision add-ons, if you will, on BC, you might be used to calling them Extensions. Add-ons, Extensions, they’re kind of the same thing. There’s, we’ve got a list of add-ons, that we can give for your company.
I’m going to be looking at a few of them today, hopefully, I can get through these examples. Just so you can get a feel for what add-ons can do for you.
I’m going to be doing this on Business Central, rather than on NAV.
We do have them available on NAV, on Navision, on Business Central, slightly different versions. So, you’ve got a slightly different version, depending on which version you’re on.
So, looking at Business Central, the latest and greatest, I have two companies open here. I’ve got this demo company open where I’ve added a few of these extensions add-ons, I’ve got a base company with nothing added on just so we can see the difference if we need to. Between having them and not having them.
If you are on Business Central, and you want to know which add-ons you have installed on your system, you can always just, in that little Search button up there, and you can search for Extension Management.
And on Extension Management, you will see everything that you have installed on your system.
So most of this comes from Microsoft, but you can see, I’ve installed the banks add-on, Credit Control Notepad, Currency on GLE.
Excel Import to GL, and there was one more, TVision Reports.
Unfortunately, on NAV, you don’t get that level of visibility, this is something new in Business Central. But you can always ask us, if you think you’ve got or if you think you might want. Give us a shout. We’ll let you know if you’ve got it or not.
So different add-ons, they offer different things to your business. So, one of them that I’ve installed is the TVision Report layouts.
So, when you get NAV, or Business Central, it comes built in with some reports from Microsoft. For your sales invoices, purchase orders, customer statements, credit return, credit memos etc.
Those documents are pre-built in.
But they’re ugly.
Or, to say utilitarian, they’ve got what you need, but not much else, and they’re very American centric.
Here in the UK, we do business differently, and we like things to look slightly different.
So, if you own a barebones NAV System or barebones Business Central system, and say, you went to your customers to do customer statements.
Which, I think, is under reports.
This is the standard Microsoft set up. It asks for a start and an end date. I’ll just make that a little bit more reasonable, refers to the first 23.
And let’s make sure it’s for preview.
I said, OK. It’s going to build me some customer statements. And they work, and they’re perfectly correct.
This is what they look like. You can see it’s downloading a Word document.
We can get a preview of the standard statement, it’s got every transaction. Even though there’s nothing outstanding.
This isn’t the way we do things here in the UK.
So, we want to do it slightly differently.
What I have done here, I’ve installed that extension. Now, your end users, they don’t see anything. It looks identical. They will still go to the customer’s page.
Once they’ve got the customer’s page open, they would still click on reports.
They would still select Statement, but now we get a slightly different report screen. It only wants an end date, it doesn’t want to start and end date.
I’m in preview mode.
I say, OK, it’s going to create me a slightly different reports, this term it’s PDF, and on this one, it only shows the Open entries.
It doesn’t show me stuff that’s being paid in the past, so this is a more English centric layout. This is what the extension does for you.
It does not look very exciting, but it’s what your customers expect from you.
And it’s kind of invisible to your end users. It just happens in the background.
There’s a little bit of setup that you do just to say, use these reports. Once you’ve done it, you never need to look at it again. It just works. So that’s the first really simple kind of add-on that we do for you.
BACS File Output
Another one that we’ve got, which is slightly more advanced, is the BACS File Output. So, if you’re doing business in the UK, you’re doing payments to your vendors.
You want to send a file to your bank to do those payments. If we install the BACS file, I’ve done that for Barclays Bank on this system.
But we have this available for all the major banks in the UK. Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC. NatWest is another one that we’ve got here. So, all the big banks we’ve already got those file formats. The smaller banks, you’ll find that they’re using the same format, so we can do it for anything within the UK. If I go to look at a payment journal.
I did prepare a payment journal a little earlier. Hopefully it’s there. Our systems a wee bit slow, yep. So, I’ve got two payments that I’m making here.
I’m using BACS payment methods.
And the only thing that’s changed is, when I go to the bank section, I have the button to export.
When I export this file, it has created a CSV, and this is in the format that my bank expects to receive this file. Without this extension, it goes to the bank in a SEPA format which is a European format, not a UK format.
So, this is something, again, very utilitarian, your end user doesn’t see much except that file looks slightly different to the file that you would get in Europe.
Really easy, you set it up once, and it just works then carrying forward. So, another, that’s a really handy simple add-on.
Now, the next one is one of our favourite add-ons.
Import a Journal from Excel
A lot of our clients use this one, and that’s Import a Journal from Excel.
So, on my desktop, I have prepared a journal in Excel, and it’s a really simple journal.
I’ve put in the minimum amount of columns that I could possibly put in on this journal.
Basically, it’s just a date, account number and an amount. Not much else.
Yep, there we go, a posting date, a document number.
GL accounts, the amount and some description.
I’ve put in some dimensions as well, just because the system can handle dimensions.
Now, if I’m doing a really big journal, it’s much more comfortable for me to work here in Excel, rather than trying to do everything on the system.
Once I’ve done that, I can simply go to my general journals.
Then, on the general page, I get an option.
Just let the page finish loading.
If I get the option. Sorry things are live and going slow today.
Import from Excel.
This is a new button that’s being added. So, this is the first one we see. Actually, there is a change to the interface. Some new functionality has been added.
What’s the worksheet? The worksheet that I want to import, I can browse to select that file, which was on my desktop.
Demo GL journal.
OK, I tell it there is one row for the headings.
I can map this to a mapping code, which will map and columns in Excel workbook to the columns here on my page.
I’ve half-finished doing this work, so I’m just going to say, OK.
Now the system has detected that there’s something in my spreadsheet that has not yet been mapped. Does it want me to try and do this automatically. I will say yes.
And I know which one it couldn’t map, it couldn’t map that dimension.
It doesn’t know where to put it here in my actual journal.
So, I just need to tell it map that column to, and there we go, the department code dimension. Does it normally get it right when you do automatic mapping?
It gets almost everything right. On dimensions it struggles with, because every system could have different dimensions. Mine is department, yours might be cost centre, project, customer, region…
But I’ve told it that once.
I said, OK. Do I want to save this so next time I won’t have to tell it again? Yes, please.
It didn’t find any errors. Yes, please import.
And it has created the journal.
If there were any errors with an invalid GL account.
Or a dodgy date or something, it would have given me a warning, let me go back to my Excel to fix that. And here it is, with, I think if we scroll across, we see the departments. Yep, the departments, and the dimensions get pulled on.
And there’s a journal ready for posting.
You can well imagine in a finance department if you’re doing recharge journals for 10/15 departments and you’re doing the stationary, the rent and the electricity and the cleaning, suddenly, you know, 100-line journal, much easier in Excel, copy, paste that import.
Beautiful thing is, it doesn’t matter if you change the order of your columns on the screen.
That mapping still maps automatically, it doesn’t matter if the person with the Excel workbook changes the order of the columns, the mapping still works.
So, this is really nice tool.
You could also use it if you have a third-party system that you want to send information.
It can create an Excel Workbook or a CSV file which is, in effect, Excel.
Then you can start importing from third-party systems into your journals, erm system. A nice way to do a very basic integration with a third-party system.
The next one I want to show you is a huge difference. So, one of the bigger add-ons that we do is the Credit Control Notepad.
Credit Control Notepad
So, the Credit Control Notepad is so big, it even gives you a whole new role centre, a whole new landing page.
So, I’m going to change myself to be a credit controller.
So, I’m going to choose my role within the company, as credit controller.
I have this new page. It doesn’t exist on the standard NAV and Standard Business Central.
That’s going to log me out quickly and log back in with my new role centre, my new landing page.
When I quickly, not so quick today, but you can see, immediately, it’s taken away a lot of clutter from the screen. All the stuff that would be irrelevant to a credit controller, it’s gone. And if you look at the menu options, suddenly it’s a menu that’s laid out for somebody who’s working with sales and customers.
You will notice that there are some new ways of looking at the customers. So, customers age, instead of just looking at customers standard list.
So, there’s a little bit of setup that I would do here to say that I’m a credit Controller, who are my customers that I look after.
Once that’s been set up, I see on my landing page, my role centre.
These are my customers, these five.
This is their balance.
I can go even further and I get their balance has been age for me. So, I can see whose overdue, whose current.
Who do I need to chase? Basically, something very important for me as a credit controller.
If I get assigned a new customer or one of these customers is taken away from me given to someone else, this is a fully customisable list.
I can manage the list, I can add new customers, I can remove customers et cetera. I’m going to leave it as it is for now. I think five is enough for me. I know people in credit control handle 500, but that’s way too hard.
From here, if I open up any one of these customers, you’re probably used to when you open a customer, you get some general information, some contact information with addresses. One field, which says what their balance is. But from here, it’s been changed so much, let’s have a look at Trey Research, wow.
And if we open them up from here, it’s going to give us a view of them that is more geared towards a credit control. Immediately, I just get this general, who they are, how do I contact them?
And then I get a list of their open entries. What makes up the balance that they owe us.
Very handy for me to look at things on this screen.
And, it may well be, that I’m looking at this, and I feel I need to phone this customer or send an e-mail to this customer.
I have an option up here to create a customer action. And this will take me through a wizard. It looks like you’re trying to create an action.
I basically answer the questions, who am I contacting? Trey Research. Yes.
I can put in some information, a description of what I’m doing/did.
I’ve phoned them, did they phone me? Was it by phone? Was it by e-mail? Did I send a letter, perhaps? I can record all of this information.
I can send it to automatically close this action, so that it’s done and it’s closed. Or I can leave it open so that appears on the list for me to do something with later.
I’ll say just close it as part of doing it. But I can type in some notes.
You know, what I spoke to them about, and they told me that their finance manager is aware of the pin, whatever it might be, I can record that information, and it is recorded than against this customer.
Oh, well, it takes me to a summary of it first, where I can see exactly what was done. But it pretty much tells me everything about this, and that interaction as being recorded against this customer, anybody can come in later, they can open it up, they can read it, see what the discussion was.
It goes even further. I might choose one of these lines and say, this invoice has been outstanding for so, sorry, this is the oldest. This invoice has been outstanding for so long, I’ll just talk to them specifically about this invoice.
From here, I can create an action about this particular entry.
Again, it takes me through a wizard. Who am I talking to?
It’s put in some description about the remaining amount, et cetera. I’m not going to close this one. Next, I can tell them exactly what’s going on.
Sorry, one of the options there was, instead of general, it could also be an agreed payment.
How much of are they agreeing to pay us can be recorded here.
Um, finish that, it gets recorded as an interaction against this customer, again, so that other people can read it later. It even shows exactly which document it was that we were talking about.
When I said, you know they’ve agreed to pay the invoice in two instalments or whatever it might be.
And there’s a wizard for seeing the list of my open credit control notepad actions I still need to do something with, a wizard for closing them, a wizard for taking off the amounts that they paid against those agreed payments. So, this one adds a whole host of new functionality that just wasn’t there before.
Stuff that your credit control team might be spending a lot of time downloading, getting lists, make, putting them on Excel, who they need to phone?
It’s all there in the system with a record of what’s going on.
So, anybody else, you know, you’re off on leave for a week, one of your colleagues. They can follow up, they can see exactly what you already discussed. You don’t have to do a big complicated build up, the information is on the system in one place for everyone to use.
I’ve got a few minutes left of my demo time.
Currency on General Ledger Entries
So, there’s one more that I would like to show you and that’s Currency on General Ledger Entries.
So, you will know that on your general ledger, everything is stored in your base currency. So, in my case, my system is in pounds sterling. Everything is recorded in pounds.
Sometimes, you want more than that.
Maybe, you want to record what was the original currency that this was posted in. How much was this in Euros or Swiss Franc or South African Rands.
Rather than just knowing what it is in pound sterling.
So, we’ve got a little add-on, everything is still stored in pound sterling on your general ledger, but we also had this was the original entries amount. If I go navigate, I did post a purchase document earlier. Let me go find it.
Purchase equals posted. Posted Purchase Invoices.
And it’s the only one there, it was posted in US dollars for $1500. I put it in a very generous Exchange Rate of one and a half, $1.50 to the pound. But if I navigate on this, if I Find Entries, let’s go look what it’s done in the general ledger so that you can just see the difference.
So, there are four entries in the general ledger.
I’m just going to click on that to open them up.
I could have gone to the GL accounts and done it that way, but I couldn’t remember which GL accounts.
So, the first two are my sale and my credit control accounts, the second two are my Cost of Goods Sold accounts, inventory accounts. And you can see the sale was recorded in US dollars, my cost are recorded in pound sterling.
So, everything was £975.
If I scroll across a little, ah that US dollars, it was entered $1502 US dollars, and the exchange rate that I was using was 1.54 to one.
So, I have that information.
And you can imagine when you’re pulling a sales report, it’s great to pull this information off, what is your total sales.
But if you could pull this information as well, or Currency – what was that in? What was the original currency?
And suddenly you can start reporting, what is our sales by currency instead of just what’s our sales? Ian, someone’s asked about setting the currency or the exchange rate, and how does that work? Is that an on the day exchange rate? At what point can you change it? Ok, so, on exchange rates you have your standard Exchange rate within the system if you if you just search for currencies.
Um, always first stop, and you can have, if you’re on a new version of NAV or Business Central, you can have an automatic exchange rate, service, exchange rate service. Which will go and it can be every hour. It can update the exchange rates for you every day, every week, every month, whatever you schedule. You can scroll, from within here, you can go in and look at the exchange rates for a particular currency, so if you chose euros.
I can see at the moment it’s on point 64. I can click that. I can see the entire history of every time we changed the exchange rate, or, if you really want to, on a particular transaction, you can type in the Euro amount and the pound sterling amount.
Just for that transaction, the system will calculate this was the exchange rate that you used.
So, you can do pretty much, three ways, Thank you.
Not not a problem.
So, it gives you that extra reporting ability. The information is stored there, you don’t have to then go and say, oh take me to another document where I can see what the original currency transaction was. It’s all in your general ledger – it makes your reporting a lot easier.
We have a load of other add-ons, and just briefly, we have intercompany sync, an intercompany sync.
If I change a GL account or add a new GL account in company A.
Go to Company B automatically and add change – that same one. Go to company C …
And keep all my companies in sync with the general ledger.
If I add a dimension in one company, add the same dimension in all the others. Can, even, if I add a customer, if I add a vendor, propagate that to all my other companies, so they have those same vendors and customers available to them. For adding items…
I’ve got a new flavour of chocolates that I’m selling, company A loves that new flavour of chocolate
Company B, Company C, automatically get updated with that new flavour.
So Intercompany Sync can be very useful if you want to keep your companies all the same.
We have a divisional dimension extension, where you could have multiple companies within the same NAV or Business Central Company, and we use the dimension to separate the companies. So, the trial balance always balances on that dimension.
Just makes it simpler for you to record things.
If you don’t want the complexity of having 5 or 6 companies, you just want more company and use the dimensions to report, rather than having separate companies. We have a GL reconciliation add-on, where you can actually go through your general ledger, choose a GL account, go through the entries and you can reconcile them.
Take them, mark them they’ve been reconciled as part of your month end processes.
We have table dimension, table dimension. Where dimensions can be created and assigned automatically via the system.
So, you add a new customer, and the system will create new dimension to go with that customer, automatically put that dimension on a sales document…
or return documents that have anything to do with that customer, or with a vendor, or with an item, or with a job et cetera.
You can have dimensions that get created automatically and assigned.
We also have a thing called the communication engine, which is quite new, that’s only really available on Business Central. That’s not necessarily available on all versions of NAV.
And that is a tool where we’ve put in its simple rules for how to communicate to third party systems. So, if they don’t have, for instance, fancy APIs. It’s a really old, legacy systems you want to talk to.
The communication engine, it can figure out, oh, you can communicate using CSVs. You can set up this is what the CSV files must look like.
And it will create the files to send into the legacy system or import files from a legacy system.
Using various methods, you know, that aren’t always the newest stuff.
Sometimes we’ve got a really old front end that we just love using, it works, no need to change it. So, good we got a communication engine that lets you talk to it without having to upgrade to the latest or greatest.
That’s pretty much what I wanted to speak about. Was there anything else Danusia? Yep, we’ve got two more questions, one that I can answer and one that I’ll pass to you. So, one was where can we find out more information about all of these add-ons? On the next slide, we actually have the URL and it’s on the TVision website under ‘Our Solutions’. And it says, Business Central Add-ons and Extensions. You’ve got that list there. You can have a look on our website and see if there’s anything that you’re interested in, and that you’d like to find out more about … so do get in touch. And the other question I had was, are these applied as a per user extension, or in the instance of Business Central or NAV? Ok, yep. So, that’s a really good question.
These extensions, they are applied on an environment, so if you have your production environment with three separate companies, if you install the add-on or the extension, its applied to all those companies for all users.
The way we do them, we don’t charge licensing fees, whether you’ve got two uses or 20 users using them, we charge you for the extension or the add-on. We don’t charge you per user.
That might change in the future. Microsoft’s changing the way it charges people, we might be forced to follow suit, but at the moment, we’re not doing that.
It’s, it’s a one-off payment, and you get it for the entire system.
If we’ve given it to you for your live production environment, we will also give it to you for your test, or your user acceptance training environments. So, you can do your training, you can do your testing as well. We don’t charge extra.
Excellent. Just one more question in relation to that, how long roughly do they take to implement? Does it, does it vary? It definitely varies. So, you know, something as simple as the BACS file. That’s really simple.
It’s, we would install the add-on or we would install the extension… to install an extension.
Takes 10 minutes, 15 minutes, can be a little bit longer because, then we, on old NAV we have to log into your server, copy the files across upload them.
It’s not as quick, but it’s still within today.
You need a little bit of training, maybe 30 minutes, and you’re up and running with BACS, so, you know, if you’re in a real rush, it can be done very, very quickly.
Credit Control Notepad, you might have a team of people who need some training. There’s the agreed payments, there’s making notes, there’s creating to dos. There’s how your screen looks, the reports that are available. So, it’s a few hours training. It might be in a few sessions, you know, 4 or 5 people per group. That can take, obviously, a lot longer, and if you do something like communication engine, you’ve got an old legacy system. You’re not sure how it communicates.
Somebody’s going to have to do some research from our consultants. That might actually take days or weeks before you’re up and running. So, depends how complicated it is, the simple ones, very quick and easy.
Obviously, the complex ones, it takes a bit of time.
I’ve got two more questions. So, one was around costs, so I can answer that. And so that’s definitely a question to speak to the sales team about. If you get in touch with us, we can put them in touch with you and let you know the cost of the different extensions, all add-ons and also whether it was a monthly or yearly subscription. As with most things, there is the option to do monthly or yearly, so we can work that out accordingly. And then one more question was, can you just remind, somebody has asked, how you can tell if the extension is already installed on your system – that was through the settings at the beginning? That was yep.
So right at the beginning, I’ll take you there again, if you go and have look at your extensions management.
Here we have a list of all the extensions that are installed on your system.
Just wait for the list to come up. So that’s everything that is installed.
If you’re expecting something else, half an hour ago you said, oh install this, or you asks us to do it for you.
Up in the Manage section on the ribbon, you can look at the installation status and this will show you if there is anything currently installing or is something trying to install and failed.
You get a different status here, saying installing or failed.
If it failed you’ll get an error code.
You can let us know or somebody outside can pick it up. And, this also gives you a history of when it was uploaded and by who.
There’s a, dates on there somewhere… Yup, that’s when this was uploaded.
So, you can see I’ll be doing things today, and yesterday I was uploading these extensions. So that’s where you can get a history, as well.
Great, that’s all the questions. Thank you so much, everybody. Hope you found that useful. Thank you to Ian for demoing those, those, the highlighted add-ons really. As we’ve said before, they’re all available on the website. Do have a look, and if you want any further information, get in touch, and we’ll be happy to help.
Thanks very much Ian, and thank you everyone for joining today. Pleasure, cheers guys. Bye.