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The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations vendor invoice automation feature: Does it pass the practice test?

by Ludwig Reinhard
Technical Specialist, Microsoft

It was back in May 2017 when I published a couple of posts on how to set up vendor invoice workflows for expense-related invoices in Dynamics AX and 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition (D365FOE). One of the reasons behind those posts was a reluctance among customers and colleagues to use the standard workflow functionality. Even though I knew that the standard workflows had some weaknesses, I tried to push their usage, because I felt that the decision to implement software add-ons was often made too quickly and without a rigorous investigation of the standard functionalities.

Shortly after publishing those posts, Microsoft released the new vendor invoice automation feature in August, which gave the discussion a new momentum. But, one of our project managers got a call from an ISV who was supposed to deliver a vendor invoice processing add-in, informing him that the solution purchased by a Sycor customer wouldn't be ready before the intended go-live date.

It quickly turned out that the customer required a process for handling expense-related invoices only, because the purchase order process would not be used in the foreseeable future. To me this seemed to be a golden opportunity to push the newly-released vendor invoice automation feature. Shortly after, we made an appointment for a first conference room pilot (CRP), where we would present the following three major parts of the invoicing process:

Part 1: OCR scan and invoice import

Due to the very short timeframe before the CRP, we were unable to deliver ...

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About Ludwig Reinhard

Dr. Ludwig Reinhard is a Microsoft Technical Specialist from Germany specializing in the finance and project area. Dr. Reinhard holds a bachelor's degree in business administration, an MBA, and a PhD in finance, as well as a number of Microsoft Dynamics certificates. He is an active member in the Microsoft Dynamics community and has his own Dynamics blog ( In June 2017, he was awarded the Microsoft MVP award for business applications. More information about Dr. Reinhard can be found on his blog and LinkedIn.