Finance System: Microsoft Dynamics Business Central 365

We recognise that across the Network, Partners use many different finance systems configured to suit their own local needs, however producing meaningful and timely reporting and integrations with other systems are often challenges.

Some Partners have the benefit of internal teams with finance experience, some use part time staff or volunteers, whilst others outsource their finance needs. There has been no commonality in the structures that are used and so it is not easy to aggregate the information to help the Network to take advantage of its collective power. We are working with Partners across the Network to develop a modern finance system that meets their needs.

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Working closely with Partners, we identified a modern and charity focused solution using Microsoft Dynamics Business Central 365 which Partners can chose to adopt. The Microsoft reseller we are working with, Total Enterprise Solutions (TES), is a charity specialist.

The aim of the Age UK and TES partnership is to enable continuous digital transformation with the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, supported by the appropriate governance; ensuring the flexibility to allow Partners to meet their own individual requirements, whilst being mindful of strategic alignment across the Network.

Business Central enables multi-dimensional reporting from the information input, allows funds to be reported on in addition to services, locations, properties etc., and a powerful reporting suite which goes right up to draft statutory accounts.

Partners joining the project also benefit from a single build for common interfaces (e.g. Charitylog, Salesforce, Smartdebit, etc), a common Chart of Accounts and reporting structures.

The following Partners have joined the project:

  • Age UK Coventry & Warwickshire has led the way and went live with their system in April 2021
  • A group of 5 partners in Yorkshire & Humberside are underway with their project. Planned go live July 2021
  • Age UK Lancashire – planned go live November 2021
  • Age UK Birmingham & Sandwell – planned go live April 2021

Latest Update – 26/11/21

Thanks to everyone who attended the TES customer day on 9 November in London. The event was so successful that TES will be doing it again on 8th February, this time at Drayton Manor which may be a bit more convenient for some Partners.  Watch this space for more details. 

Events & Demos

8th
February2022
TES Customer Day
Registration: Check back soon for registration details 
09:00 – 17:00Drayton Manor

Demo and trial environment

Contact us to arrange a demo or to receive login details to access the trial environment.  Please take a look at trial environment navigational video below:

Previous Updates

> 01/11/21

During October, Age UK Lancashire successfully complete their implementation project and Age UK Birmingham kicked off their project. 

We continue to work with TES to develop solutions to meet the needs of the Network.  In addition to the ‘cohort’ model which enables 2-3 Partners to share certain project costs, we are pleased to announce the ‘Finance as a Service’ model which is designed for Partners who share or provide a finance service to other Age UKs or other organisations, or may wish to do so in future.  This creates significant savings in project costs and supports Partners with ongoing collaboration. 

Please get in touch if you are interested in the new Finance as a Service model or other options to adopt Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as your finance solution. 

TES is holding their annual customer day on 9 November and would like to invite all Age UK Partners to attend.  The theme is ‘How to get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution’.  You’ll hear from TES and guest speakers, including Microsoft, and have the opportunity to network with their other NFP customers.  Please see the agenda below for more details and click here to book your place

> 04/10/21

We have worked with Age UK Brand Partners and Microsoft reseller TES to develop a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central finance solution for Age UK Partners.  Partners who would like to join the project and adopt D365 for their organisations are invited to get in touch to schedule their implementation dates. 

Partners will benefit from the extensive development work that has already been done as well as future enhancements, the standardised yet flexible configuration and project models, ongoing collaboration, and a shared direction of travel. 

An Age UK trial environment is now available for Partners who would like to take the system for a test drive.  Please get in touch to request a login. 

A screenshot of the Trial Environment.

Several Partners are already live with the system and others are underway or planning their implementation projects: 

  • Age UK Coventry & Warwickshire led the way and went live with their system in April 2021 
  • A group of 5 partners in Yorkshire & Humberside went live in July 2021 
  • Age UK Lancashire are underway with their project. Planned go live November 2021 
  • Age UK Birmingham & Sandwell kicks off their project later in October. Planned go live April 2022 

If you are interested in adopting this finance solution or would like to find out more, please get in touch with us at networkinfrastructure@ageuk.org.uk  

> 09/11/20

We continue to work with the partner leading the project to develop a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) solution. The design and configuration stages are now complete, their ‘test system’ has been built and training sessions are underway. In consultation with other partners we have developed a common chart of accounts which, with the benefit of the Dimensions feature in BC, can be readily adapted to other partners’ needs. Several partners have expressed interest in joining the project either individually or in collaboration with other partners.

We have also identified a group of partners who either use the Xero accounting package or who are considering moving to it. During October we arranged for 9 of them to meet on a conference call to discuss their various uses of the package. We will shortly arrange for a follow-on meeting.

If you have an interest in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central solution or joining the Xero user group please let us know by emailing networkinfrastructure@ageuk.org.uk

> 07/09/20

We continue to work with one local partner building a modern accounting package based on the Microsoft dynamics business central platform.  That work is ongoing and a number of other partners have expressed an interest in sharing the lessons from that initial build and then looking to introduce that solution as a replacement for their current system.  As part of that we are looking to develop a common chart of accounts for those who use this new system.

As we mentioned in our last update, there is not only one way forward. We have a number of partners who have independently developed a solution based on the new Xero accounting tool.  We have contacted 8 partners, who we know are either using Xero or are considering moving to it, to set a user group.  If you have an interest in joining that group please let us know.

> 13/08/20

Working with one local partner we have identified a solution which will involve the building of a modern accounting package based on the Microsoft dynamics business central platform. That work is ongoing and a number of other partners have expressed an interest in sharing the lessons from that initial build and then looking to introduce that solution as a replacement for their current system.

There is not only one way forward though. We have a number of partners who have independently developed a solution based on the new Xero accounting tool. We are looking to group them together to share knowledge and lessons.

Governance and User Groups

The project is governed by a steering committee with representatives from each Partner who has adopted or committed to adopting the system, Age UK and TES.

The purpose of this steering committee is to ensure the strategic approach, product roadmap, delivery and after (managed) service works for all across the network, whilst enabling each project delivery team to make individual projects a success in their own right.

The steering committee is accountable for product roadmap, strategy and governance, final approval of release content, priority conflicts, and risks at network level.

> Decisions
ID Date Category Decision Status Comments 
D0001 14/04/2021 Governance The majority of attendees should be from partner representatives Ongoing Membership will increase as other partners commit to the project (currently limited to partners who have signed up). 
D0002 14/04/2021 Template project plan for partners It would be beneficial to err on the side of being more prescriptive and offer more guidance and information, to partners without eroding their ownership of their project plan.  A template project activity list and plan will be offered to partners as a suggested resource.  The group agreed it will take ownership of the template.  In progress  
D0003 14/04/2021 Governance Meet bi-monthly after the meeting in May 2021  Ongoing  
D0004 12/05/2021 Stakeholder communication Partners would be invited to join this group once they have committed (i.e. signed or in the process of signing) to the project.  Ongoing  
D0005 12/05/2021 Stakeholder communication Inform the network of decisions and changes, with a default approach of complete transparency of the discussions held in these meetings.  Ongoing  
D0006 12/05/2021 Aftercare tariffs The aftercare fee structures would be based on number of full user and team member licences.  In progress  

How can I get involved?

You can adopt the system if and when it suits your needs.

There are a range of implementation and project model options available for Partners:

  • Single Partner: Single partner, own project, fixed scope, with Age UK Pack
  • CIC or Cohort of Partners: multiple partners, one project, shared cost, shared TES resource, fixed scope with Age UK Pack
  • Lone Partner – single partner, own project, individual scope, without Age UK Pack

Costings are consistent for Age UK Partners based on the above options and number and types of licences required.

For further information, to arrange a demo or receive costings for your organisation, contact us at NetworkInfrastructure@ageuk.org.uk.

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