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Managing Import Invoices in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Jun Wang Profile Picture Jun Wang 4,053 Super User


Managing Import Invoices in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Handling import invoices can be complex, especially when the shipment of goods spans over extended periods, such as a month or more. In this blog, we'll explore the challenges and strategies for managing import invoices within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central under two different payment scenarios.

Scenario Breakdown
The challenges typically revolve around how and when to recognize invoices and payments, particularly when the goods are still in transit:

  • Case 1: Prepayment
    Payment terms require payment before the goods are shipped. The use of prepayment invoices in Business Central is straightforward in this scenario.

  • Case 2: Payment within 30 Days from Invoice Date
    Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date, but the goods might not yet have been received as they are still in transit.

Handling Import Invoices in Business Central

Case 1: Using Prepayment Invoices
For prepayments, Business Central's functionality aligns well with the needs:

  1. Prepayment Invoice Creation: Create a prepayment invoice when the order is placed. This lets you manage cash flow effectively and ensure compliance with your supplier's terms.
  2. Final Invoice Adjustment: Upon receipt of goods, adjust the prepayment invoice to reflect the actual quantity and condition of the goods received.

Case 2: Managing Payments When Goods Are In Transit
The second case presents a more significant challenge. Here are a couple of methods you might consider:

  1. Post Invoice, Then Correct If Needed
    This method involves posting the invoice upon receipt and then making adjustments through credit memos if discrepancies occur when the goods are actually received. This approach, however, might clutter your financial records with multiple transactions for a single import process.

  2. Using a Transit Location
    A more streamlined approach suggested involves:

    • Goods Receipt to Transit Location: When the invoice is received, record the goods to a transit location in Business Central. This doesn't imply physical receipt but allows you to acknowledge the financial transaction.
    • Transfer Order Upon Actual Receipt: Once the goods are physically received, use a transfer order to move them from the transit location to their final warehouse location. This method keeps your inventory and financial records aligned with the physical movement of goods.

Benefits of Using a Transit Location

  • Accuracy in Stock Levels: Ensures that your inventory levels only reflect goods that are physically available and ready for use or sale.
  • Clarity in Financial Reporting: Keeps your financial records clean, without needing to post and then reverse entries.
  • Compliance with Payment Terms: Allows for compliance with payment terms without prematurely affecting inventory levels.

Managing import invoices in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central requires careful consideration of both the physical and financial aspects of inventory management. Whether using prepayment invoices or handling goods in transit, Business Central offers flexible solutions to accommodate various import scenarios. By strategically using features like transit locations and prepayment invoices, businesses can maintain accurate financial and inventory records, even when dealing with complex international shipping and payment terms.


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