Comparison: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. NetSuite ERP

 

NetSuite Background

NetSuite, originally known as NetLedger, is a consolidated ERP, CRM, and e-commerce solution. NetSuite was founded in 1998 by Evan Goldberg, and is considered one of the first accounting solutions to be delivered entirely online. NetSuite targets mid-market enterprises and divisions of very large corporations. NetSuite was acquired by Oracle in November of 2016 (Source).

Business Central Background

Dynamics 365 Business Central was released in April 2018 as an “all-in-one business management solution” (Source). Built on the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Business Central is a native-cloud solution that delivers a modern, browser-based ERP experience.


Customer Reviews

Softwareadvice.com features software reviews from validated users and ranks software in categories based on these reviews. Each review is given an overall score of 1 to 5 stars and is based on the following categories: ease-of-use, value for money, customer support, and functionality.

Dynamics NAV (Dynamics 365 Business Central)

Overall rating: 3.5 stars (59 reviews)

Common Pros: Advanced financial management functionality, user friendly, integration with Office 365, affordable, cloud-based

Common Cons: Occasional glitches, lacks CRM capabilities on its own.  Perhaps note how CDM will natively integrate BC, CRM, O365, SharePoint, Teams, etc. in the near future.

Dynamics 365 Business Central does not provide the feature depth of Netsuite, but does provide a robust financial management application that is easily scalable. End users will find the cloud-based web application easy to use and enjoy the comprehensive integration with Office 365. 

NetSuite

Overall rating: 3.5 stars (106 reviews)

Common Pros: Advanced ERP functionality, ease-of-use, scalable

Common Cons: Lack of customer support and training, Lack of integration with 3rd party applications, expensive

Netsuite is regarded as a comprehensive ERP system with exceptional depth and usability. While you cannot purchase individual modules, Netsuite gives small, medium, and large companies the ERP tools they need to succeed.



Pricing

Business Central

Licensing: $70/user/month. Additional add-ons available.

Billing Frequency: Monthly

Implementation: Varies depending on the Microsoft Partner implementing the solution.

NetSuite

Licensing: NetSuite prices are not published publicly. Estimated pricing is $999/month + $99/user/month (Source)

Billing Frequency: Annual

Implementation: Varies


Additional Price Considerations

NetSuite

NetSuite users report that contracts are often negotiated annually, and pricing generally changes each year. Some users report prices increasing by as much as 10% year-over-year. Because NetSuite is a highly customizable, modular system, as an organization grows or changes, it may find itself requiring additional modules. NetSuite will almost certainly accommodate the growth, but monthly costs will likely increase as well. Personalization in NetSuite is possible through the SuiteCloud, which comes with an additional fee. Some users have complained that the SuiteCloud is rather hard to learn without the correct training courses offered from Oracle, costing up to $1600 for a two day course.

Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central contracts are managed through Microsoft Partners. Business Central licenses can be added removed on a monthly basis limiting cost of a changing business. All major updates are applied automatically by Microsoft at no additional cost to the end user.


Trial options

NetSuite

NetSuite 30 day free trials are available through Oracle’s partner channel. A free trial includes complete control over a test account with unlimited access to the application and ability to import your own data.

Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central 30 day free trials are available through Microsoft on the Dynamics 365 website. A free trial includes access to a Dynamics 365 Business Central trial account loaded sample data (you have the option to import your own). The free trial also allows you to invite other users from your organization to test for the duration of the trial.


Release Schedule

NetSuite

NetSuite has two major version updates per year that are typically released in February/March and August/September. These major releases contain new functionality or enhancements to existing features. NetSuite recommends working with an implementation partner to test and implement every release.

Business Central

Microsoft releases two major updates to Dynamics 365 Business Central per year – in April and October. These updates will include new capabilities, performance improvements, and better support experiences. All releases are automatically updated however, any major changes to the user experience will be turned off automatically giving administrators time to test and enable these features as they see fit.



Customizations & Extensions

NetSuite

NetSuite allows for a similar amount of modification as Business Central does through its SuiteCloud Platform. The SuiteCloud allows users to personalize their dashboards and feeds, build custom apps, and incorporate third-party solutions through SuiteApp.com. The SuiteCloud contains several other entities like SuiteScript, SuiteBuilder, and SuiteFlow, each made for different specific actions. SuiteScript is where you’ll use JavaScript to write apps and business logic, SuiteBuilder is what allows users to customize the forms, fields, and records that see in their UI experience.

In addition to the SuiteCloud and SuiteApps, NetSuite has connections with SAP, SalesForce, and Google Apps. The SuiteCloud is a NetSuite add-on that costs an additional amount and does not come with sandbox environments for developing and testing your applications and integrations. NetSuite comes out-of-box as a strong but inflexible ERP system, and the SuiteCloud platform that allows users to personalize their settings, build apps, and integrate with others comes with an additional cost.b There is also a fee for sandbox environments, which are used to develop and test the customizations you build in a place that will not impact current operations.

The difference between Business Central and NetSuite when it comes to customization lies in the pricing and licensing details. Dynamics Business Central comes out-of-box with all the tools you’ll need to customize interfaces, develop apps for your business, and download external apps that improve how you operate. This includes the Designer and Visual Studio, sandbox environments, and access to Microsoft AppSource at no additional cost. Nearly every Microsoft business app was made with integrations in mind and Microsoft clearly recommends connecting all of the apps you use to get the most out of each one.

Business Central

One of the strengths Business Central holds over other ERP systems is the amount of flexibility and options to integrate with Microsoft and other 3rd party applications to extend its functionality. This is possible in a couple of different ways, by creating your own apps to do things specific to your organization, installing apps from Microsoft AppSource, or through 3rd party services. Business Central was built to allow for as much customization as possible, so the majority of app development you do will require little to no coding.

In addition to the wide range of apps that extend the functionality of your Business Central environment, there is also much that can be done to personalize and enhance the interface each user will have. Using the Designer, users can easily drag-and-drop fact boxes, data fields, tables and grids, and other data that was previously hidden. If you’re looking to do a bit more, you can make changes to the UI using Visual Studio. Visual Studio is used to write code and allows for much more customization with the ability to completely change the functionality of a given page.


Netsuite Features

 Financials

  • General Ledger

  • Chart of Accounts

  • Financial Statements

  • Multicurrency AR/AP

  • Payroll

  • Multiple Budgets

  • Advanced Billing

  • Revenue Recognition

  • GAAP Reports

  • Allocations

  • Check Printing

  • Online Banking

  • Bill Pay

  • Update Taxes

  • Generate & Edit W-2, 940, 941 Forms

  • Print 1099 Forms

  • Customizable Chart of Accounts

  • Reversing Journal Entries

  • Accounting Periods

  • Address Verification

  • EFT Bill Payment

  • Memorized Transactions

  • Aging Periods

  • Vendor EFT Payments

  • Advanced Project Accounting

  • Amortization Schedules

Inventory

  • Specific Costing

  • Item Kits

  • Item Images

  • Pricing Rules

  • Audit Trail for Inv. Adjustments

  • Replenishment Warnings

  • Multi-Location

  • Multiple Units of Measure

  • Kits, Assemblies

  • FIFO, LIFO, Average

  • Price Levels per Item

  • Preferred Vendor Records

  • Lot Management

  • Barcoding

  • Expiration Dating

  • Serialized Inventory

  • Inventory Matrix Items

  • Reorder Point Tracking & Notifications

  • Physical Inventory

  • Bin Management

  • Landed Cost

  • Demand-Based Replenishment

Purchasing

  • Purchase Inventories

  • Purchase Orders

  • Purchase Quotes

  • One-click Convert Quote to Order

  • Purchase Items

  • Correct/Cancel Invoices

  • Combine Receipts

  • Returns & Cancellations

  • Date Calculation for Purchases

Fixed Assets, Project Management

  • Job Cards/Tasks

  • Assign Resources to Job

  • Define Work Types

  • Use Timesheets for Jobs

  • Estimate Job Costs

  • Manage Job Budgets

  • Manage Job Supplies

  • Monitor Progress

  • Acquire & Maintain Fixed Assets

  • Transfer, Split, Combine Fixed Assets

  • Revalue Fixed Assets

  • Depreciate/Amortize Fixed Assets

  • Dispose/Retire Fixed Assets

Warehouse & Assembly

  • Move Items

  • Plan Movements

  • Quote an Assemble-to-Order

  • Production Orders

  • Subcontracting

  • Batch Post Consumption

  • Batch Post Output

  • Batch Post Run Times

  • Post Scrap

  • Post Capacities

  • View Work Centers

  • Receive Items

  • Cross-Dock Items

  • Split Activity Lines

General

  • Add Comments

  • Track Document Lines

  • Send Documents by Email

  • Define User Tasks

  • Make System Suggestions

  • Integrate & Manage Workflows

  • Data Exchange

  • Fully Customizable

  • Classify Sensitive Data

  • Create New Companies

  • Job Queues

  • Publish a Web Service


Dynamics 365 Business Central Features

Financials

  • General Ledger

  • Receivables Management

  • Collections

  • Predict Late Payments

  • Automatic Payments

  • Payment Tolerances

  • Reconcile Vendor Payments

  • Prepayments

  • Transfer Bank Funds

  • Multiple Companies

  • Intercompany Transactions

  • Cost Accounting

  • Transfer Cost Entries

  • Cost Budgets

  • Reverse Posting

  • Employee Expenses

  • Defer Revenues & Expenses

  • Import Payroll Transactions

  • Closing Periods

  • Preparing Closing Statements

  • Report VAT

Inventory

  • Register New Items

  • Bill of Materials

  • Categorize Items

  • Item Attributes

  • Catalog Items

  • Reclassify Inventory

  • View Item Availability

  • Transfer Inventory Between Locations

  • Reserve Items

  • Serial & Lot Numbers

  • Block Items

  • Inventory Costing

  • Revalue Inventory

  • Adjust Item Costs

  • Physical Inventory

  • Calculate Expected Inventory

Purchasing

  • Purchase Inventories

  • Purchase Orders

  • Purchase Quotes

  • One-click Convert Quote to Order

  • Purchase Items

  • Correct/Cancel Invoices

  • Combine Receipts

  • Returns & Cancellations

  • Date Calculation for Purchases

Fixed Assets, Project Management

  • Job Cards/Tasks

  • Assign Resources to Job

  • Define Work Types

  • Use Timesheets for Jobs

  • Estimate Job Costs

  • Manage Job Budgets

  • Manage Job Supplies

  • Monitor Progress

  • Acquire & Maintain Fixed Assets

  • Transfer, Split, Combine Fixed Assets

  • Revalue Fixed Assets

  • Depreciate/Amortize Fixed Assets

  • Dispose/Retire Fixed Assets

Warehouse & Assembly

  • Move Items

  • Plan Movements

  • Quote an Assemble-to-Order

  • Production Orders

  • Subcontracting

  • Batch Post Consumption

  • Batch Post Output

  • Batch Post Run Times

  • Post Scrap

  • Post Capacities

  • View Work Centers

  • Receive Items

  • Cross-Dock Items

  • Split Activity Lines

General

  • Add Comments

  • Track Document Lines

  • Send Documents by Email

  • Define User Tasks

  • Make System Suggestions

  • Integrate & Manage Workflows

  • Data Exchange

  • Fully Customizable

  • Classify Sensitive Data

  • Create New Companies

  • Job Queues

  • Publish a Web Service


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