Key Finance and Operations Takeaways from the Dynamics 365 October Release

Key Finance

In our previous blog, we covered the most important October updates made to the Customer Engagement module within Dynamics 365. Wave 2 also features a number of enhancements made across other business applications, with a special focus on Finance and Operations. With rapid advances in AI and machine learning, key D365 components will keep improving thanks to the ability to process unprecedented amounts of data. Microsoft is also continuously working on adding feedback-driven UI improvements to their products. In this article, we take a look at some of the most important October F&O changes impacting organizations in the Real Estate industry.

Major changes have streamlined asset leasing

Real estate professionals will be pleased to learn Dynamics 365 has streamlined many business processes associated with asset leasing. D365 has simplified adhering to accounting standards for ASC 842 and IFRS 16, minimizing the need to perform time-consuming, tedious offline calculations. Here’s an overview of the most important Asset Leasing enhancements:

  • Complex lease calculation of a lease’s present value has been greatly improved. D365 is automating processes such as future lease payments, the right-of-use asset depreciation, expenses schedules, amortization of lease liability and others.
  • The system can now help users by automatically classifying leases as either operating or finance ones, as well as short-term or low-value leases. This is performed based on tests which include Transfer of ownership, Purchase option, Lease term, Present value, and Unique asset.
  • The management of lease information has been reorganized and centralized. The improved user interface displays data such as relevant dates (including the commencement and expiration dates), the lease’s transaction currency, payment amounts and frequency, and others.
  • Dynamics 365 can now help real estate agents generate accounting entries for the initial recognition and subsequent measurement of the lease liability and right-of-use asset.
  • F&O is also streamlining compliance with accounting standards by letting users represent leases in balance sheets with the Balance sheet impact calculator. Audit controls over the integrity of the lease data have been implemented, ensuring any posted transactions match the calculated amounts of the present value, future payments, and liability amortization.
  • Improved integration with Excel now provides tools that can be used to import or export all relevant lease data. Additional integration enhancements let the system synchronize with your company’s chart of accounts, fixed assets, journals, vendors, currencies, data management, and number sequences.
  • Advanced reporting features help your organization with preparing asset leasing reports, with a special focus on the preparation of disclosures and notes.

Automating manual tasks for improved productivity

The D365 October update wave aims at improving productivity by doing away with a number of repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Real estate agents will benefit from being able to focus on key objectives and creating value rather than performing manual business processes. The Finance and Operations module is empowering users by automating invoicing and allowing for the creation of collection tasks based on customizable rules. After your organization defines invoicing and collection rules, collection tasks are created automatically. The process can be defined based on invoice attributes such as payment prediction, due dates, amounts due, and others. Additional system enhancements include automated, touchless email reminders to customers. These reminders will ensure payments are made sooner rather than later, as they can be sent with all the necessary overdue invoice information attached to it. The automatic reminders are based on email templates that users can edit according to their needs.

Finance Insights are leveraging AI for increased precision

Finance Insights are among the most powerful capabilities of Dynamics 365 F&O, and the outcomes they enable are expanding thanks to the contribution of machine learning and AI-processed data. Finance Insights can lead to more informed decision making, mitigating potential risks, and highlighting the biggest value areas to an organization. In 2020 release wave 2, D365 provides configurable and extensible models that can help organizations in the real estate industry predict their cash flow with precision.

Customer payment predictions have been added, with the ability to show which customers you can expect to pay on time or late, alongside any factors contributing to that prediction. A clearer overview of cash in and out and greater integration with external data sources means you can now view a forecasted bank balance and cash flow over a time period of your choice. Customer payment predictions use machine learning capabilities to anticipate when customers will pay outstanding invoices, which can help you initiate collection activities at just the right time. D365 bases forecasts of bank balances on recurring activities, as well as information from customer payment insights and vendor payments.

These new capabilities are complemented by automation in payments and collections mentioned previously. The added precision and processing of historical records within Finance Insights helps your organization better understand the availability of funds at specific times.

Rounding things off with more integration

User-facing features are far from the only component of D365 which has improved in the Wave 2 Release. The internal architecture of the system has also evolved. Finance and Operations apps are now even more connected to the Common Data Service thanks to a new dual-write framework which helps integrate all business applications and exchange data seamlessly. For example, F&O apps now synchronize with Customer Engagement apps in near real-time, minimizing data silos and increasing time efficiency. D365 has also improved integration with other Microsoft products and the Azure ecosystem, opening up a number of potential gains for organizations in any industry.


The Dynamics 365 October release has brought significant changes to F&O users in the Real Estate industry. Combining revamped asset leasing functionalities, advanced task automation, and AI-driven Finance Insights, organizations will be able to make strategic decisions with greater confidence.

Microsoft’s continuous update rhythm is also increasing integration between business apps with every iteration, allowing for greater time- and resource-efficiency.  If you are interested in how you can implement the new D365 F&O functionalities to gain a competitive advantage, feel free to email us at Our team will gladly help you understand how to achieve more successful business outcomes starting today.