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Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance launches at Accountex UK
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance launches at Accountex UK

Accountex: Microsoft to bring Dynamics 365 to UK

10th May 2017
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PC software giant Microsoft filled the news vacuum at Accountex created by the election-induced delay of Making Tax Digital (MTD) with a preview of its new mid-market cloud application Dynamics 365 for Finance.

The finance application joins other modules in Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 cloud family to offer small and medium-sized businesses a fully integrated solution.

All the buzz during the build-up to Accountex was about MTD. There were a lot of press releases issued and presentations lined up about the online filing products that will drive the new digital regime.

HMRC had booked a stand at Accountex and chief executive Jon Thompson was lined up to speak at the event. But all that disappeared when the pre-election gag was applied on civil servants. Until we see some actual legislation and detailed definitions from the government, MTD discussions remain theoretical. The lingering uncertainty about whether or not MTD will be back after the election raised the profile of Microsoft’s product introduction.

To be honest, it was a pretty low-key launch, with a morning presentation and a sample version being put through its paces on a corner of the Microsoft stand. But the backstory and potential of Microsoft’s return to this sector do merit the extra attention.

Microsoft had a desktop product, Office Accounting Professional, around 10 years ago, but pensioned it off in 2009. Excel retains a hold on most finance departments and accountancy firms - and is probably the most commonly used accounting tool in the UK.

As well as integrating with all the other Dynamics 365 tools, the finance system links to PowerBI, the Excel analysis and reporting add-in. This arrangement gives users access to integrated data sources from multiple systems within the organisation that they can explore and present in a familiar spreadsheet environment.

It’s still early days for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance in the UK, the company’s director of technology partners told AccountingWEB. Nevertheless, technology partners and implementers are coming forward to lend their support to the product.

BDO was one of these early adopters and has incorporated the new Dynamics edition into a new outsourcing called BDODrive. According to Mark Sykes, the finance component is just one ingredient in the package, but the level of integration Dynamics 365 offers and the ease with which managers can interrogate their data using PowerBI was a big attraction.

Here’s more from Akrigg and Sykes in  our exclusive Accountex interview:

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By David Gordon FCCA
11th May 2017 11:47

I think I am going bonkers, but I know I am not:-
I use a well known reputable major tax software provider, to whose credit I have always found its staff to be helpful and knowledgeable. No complaints.
It now has the following paragraph in its documents:

"No liability shall attach to the authors (Of the tax software provided) or Supplier’s name Ltd or any associated companies for the loss or damage of any nature suffered as a result of reliance on any of the contents or any errors or omissions in its contents."

You would not buy a dog-lead under such a non-guarantee. Yet HMRC with HM Government expect us to quietly accept this in regard to an untried complicated product with contingent horrednous costs on the client or ourselves if it goes wrong.

We accountants are simply putting up with this, and our professional associations are about as useful in protecting us as a three-legged dog with sponge rubber teeth.

We are all mad.

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