DynamicsCon Preview: Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O with worldwide requirements

By their nature, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management projects deal with complex business challenges. But Sean Sennott, lead solution architect at Columbus Global (and an MSDW contributor), faced a new level of system design challenges in a global implementation that included fifty-four legal entities, thirteen countries, and nineteen currencies.

National and regional regulations, corporate standards, and other business requirements made for a challenging financial management landscape in this particular project for an energy firm that does business globally. But these  challenges also taught Sennott important lessons that he plans to pass along to attendees at the DynamicsCon virtual event running from March 15 to 17. (MSDW is a media sponsor of DynamicsCon.)

Sennott spoke with MSDW about his session and this client’s Dynamics 365 solution design related to legal entities, currencies, chart of accounts, and security. And he shared some of the principles he uses when guiding a team through a D365 deployment, from identifying the strengths of a customer team to the importance of solid business requirements.

MSDW: 54 legal entities, 13 countries, 19 currencies: How much bigger are those numbers than a typical multi-currency, multi-company deployment? And what challenges, if any, did that add to the project?

Sean Sennott: This was definitely an unusually large number of entities and countries from any other project.  I have worked with other global manufacturing companies, and the number of entities for this implementation was far greater than any of those. The challenge for a project of this size really focuses on the complexity of financial reporting in specific countries.  Luxembourg, France, Australia (and others) have government mandated Charts of Accounts which differ from the standard US GAAP chart.  So additional effort needs to be taken to upload country specific charts, then create a shared chart for all financial reporting.  Dynamics 365 allows for this with out of the box functionality, but it takes extra time. Fixed Assets were the “largest extra effort” as far as consultant time is concerned. There was no way to create a “shared” model for depreciation from country to country.  That is, computers or auto have a unique depreciation profile for each country.  So you have to do all the work over for each country. There is not a lot of economy of scale in Fixed Assets.

What will you show attendees about key steps in this implementation like creating a hierarchy of legal entities, and creating customer and vendor groups?

The session will briefly touch on hierarchy. But the session will focus mainly on the use of entity-specific security for users, currency set up, and charts of accounts. An implementation of this size is clearly a topic that could be discussed over a day or more. I will try to hit some of the functional highlights in the relatively short amount of time allotted.

What are the strengths of D365 F&O in managing so many currencies and what guidance will you offer related to currencies?

Core D365 has very good functionality for managing multiple currencies. I will be showing how multiple currencies are set up. We will not be focusing on ISV solutions (like Oanda or Xe) but will just mention their value if daily recalculations are required. I will also show examples of country specific Charts of Accounts as well as a shared chart.

With a project of this scale, what else did this client experience teach you that you will pass along to the DynamicsCon audience?


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