How Does Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations and Business Central Compare?

Microsoft offers a choice between two ERP systems in its suite of Dynamics 365 products but the best fit for your business may not be immediately clear.

With a deep understanding of Microsoft products and ERP knowledge, our friends at GO-ERP have created a comparison table that highlights the key differences between:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations – formerly Dynamics AX
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – formerly Dynamics NAV

This lists the core factors to consider when choosing a new ERP solution for your organisation:

D365 for Finance & Operations D365 Business Central
Microsoft positioning Integrated enterprise class business platform for mature, growing, ERP-educated companies. The next level for organisations that have outgrown their entry-level accounting software.
Type of companies Multinational medium to large organisations and groups of enterprises. Tailored for international development. Small to mid-size enterprises.
Industry Distribution, Manufacturing, Retail, Professional Services, Public Sector Distribution, Manufacturing, Professional Services.
Depth of Manufacturing functionality Supports approx 95% of manufacturing functionalities. A great option for discrete, lean and process manufacturing. Other core functions, such as ATP, advanced warehousing with mobile solutions, etc. are included. With the Premium package, additional capability in service management and manufacturing is available.
Capabilities and integration with other Dynamics 365 components Designed to work out-of-the-box with other Dynamics 365 components. Deep integrations with CRM, HR, Talent, Customer Service, Marketing and others. Fully covers traditional back-office processes. Core capabilities: connects financials, sales, purchase, inventory, projects, service and operations.
Minimum number of users 201
Licence cost £152 - £169 per user / month £56 - £80 per user / month
Availability 140 countries33 countries
LocalisationMultiple country localisations inside of a single instance. Includes out-of-the-box localisations (legal & fiscal) for 37 countries. Combined localisation strategy of Microsoft-led and partner-led models. Local functionality is partly available for 19 countries. Missing parts are delivered by 3rd party Partners via Microsoft AppSource.
Scalability Recommended for businesses processing hundred-thousands of transactions. Recommended for businesses processing thousands of transactions.
Business Analytics Embedded Power BI – rich analytical and reporting functionality. BI tools include reporting, dashboards, and ad-hoc analysis.
Deployment Cloud or On-premise. (Hybrid deployment coming soon) Cloud or On-premise.
ROI In analysing the results of Dynamics 365 deployments, Nucleus research found that for every dollar spent, companies realized an average of $16.97 in return.


What do you choose: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations or Business Central?

Ultimately this will depend on your business needs, goals, requirements and future vision. The essential difference is that Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations has a lot more built-in 'enterprise functionality' compared with Business Central. This will be a key driver in considering Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for companies that need a deep and comprehensive ERP solution.

Contact Preact to learn more about either products and understand which will be best aligned to your organisation's needs. 

This comparison grid originally appeared at


Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM