Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based business management solution that’s designed to give you an “end-to-end” control of and visibility into your business. It comes in two versions: Premium and Essentials. This article compares the two options.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an easy-to-use, browser-based, all-in-one business management solution. It provides financial management functionality as well as a variety of business management features. These include compliance, supply chain management, security and sales-growth drivers like built-in buy recommendations for customers. Users can take advantage of management tools for budgets, manufacturing and warehouse operations.

What’s Inside the Essentials Version of Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials is the base offering, but it contains an impressive collection of features. Its financial management capabilities comprise basic general ledger, budgets, deferrals, basic fixed assets, bank reconciliation, bank account management, audit trails and multiple currency compatibility.

With Essentials, is it possible set up a company and start posting to the general ledger, setting up a chart of accounts, general journals, recurring journals and VAT facilities in the process. Budgets work inside the general ledger. You can keep track of fixed assets, with the ability to do depreciations, write-downs and so forth.

The Customer Resource Management (CRM) tools in Essentials let you keep an overview of your contacts, organize campaigns by customer segment and manage sales opportunities. You can integrate Essentials with Dynamics 365 for Sales, too. This enables you to create estimates, synchronize your sales order data, product available and so forth. You can manage sales orders along with purchase orders and receivables.

Inventory management includes multi-site capabilities. This way, it’s possible to manage inventory across plants, distribution centers, retail outlets and delivery vehicles. You can even manage inventory at the bin level in a basic warehousing function.

Human Resources (HR) features in Essentials span the tracking of employee information and the organizing of employee data by factors like experience, skills, training, union membership and so forth. Essentials provides expense and project management tools. You can set up and manage time sheets as well.

What’s Different about Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium Edition?

The Premium edition has everything in Essentials along with an assortment of more sophisticated features. Service Management is one area of difference, for example. With Premium, you can register services that take place after a sale, e.g. installing tires after selling them. Service price management is part of this feature set, as is the ability to record and keep track of all service items like contract specifications, component management warranty information and so on. Service contract management lets you keep track of service levels, parts and labor, response times, service histories and discount levels.

With Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium edition, you can also plan and track the execution of planned projects, e.g. assign employees to take care of orders and record details about work status. You can manage dispatching, too. Premium edition enables you to oversee service personnel and technician in the field.

Manufacturing functions are one of the main differentiators between Essentials and Premium. For example:

  • Create and manage production orders
  • Establish and manage multiple versions of a manufacturing bill of materials (BOM)
  • Conduct “agile manufacturing,” planning rush times, create exceptions to process, etc.
  • Set up demand-based material requirements while supporting master production scheduling
  • Forecast demand and plan production based on anticipated demand
  • Plan capacity and set up routings
  • Implementing capacity constraints

Innovative Cloud Solutions offers both the Essentials and Premium versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central. We can help you decide which edition is right for your business and, from there, provide the implementation services you need to get it running right. For more information on our Dynamics 365 Business Central services, visit

Additional Dynamics 365 Business Central Resources:

Highly Anticipated Improvements Coming to Dynamics 365 Business Central

ERP Modernization and Evergreen ERP

Facts About Microsoft Dynamics Business Central