Dynamics 365 • 27th August 2021

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Why Purchase Quotes Are Useful


This post is about Purchase Quotes (PQs) in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC). In particular, the post explores the rationale and the benefits that PQs bring about and which are sometimes overlooked by companies using D365BC.

First of all, what is a PQ in D365BC?

  • A PQ is the financial Document used as an optional initial step in creating a Purchase Order (PO).

As can be seen from the definition above, PQ is not mandatory in the purchasing process, however, deploying them in some contexts is useful. Below are the key reasons why some companies may find it helpful to use PQs.

  1. Draft PO – some organizations have important processes structured around their POs. For example, the purchasing department may require the creation of draft POs that can be created in great quantities, including by junior team members, easily reviewed and modified before converting to actual POs. A function that fits the need best is the PQ.
  2. Approvals – out-of-the-box approval Workflows in D365BC only allow approving a PO before it is posted, but NOT before it is printed (or, by extension, sent to a Vendor, including as a PDF file). Therefore, companies wishing to get an approval process in place BEFORE a PO is printed have two key options: use PQs OR create a custom approval (e.g. via an Extension or Power Automate). The approval Workflow involving PQs is a no-code user-friendly process and is, therefore, usually preferred. Therefore, companies wishing to approve POs before they are sent to Vendors use PQs.
  3. Team Member license – another advantage of using PQs is the ability to save on license costs. What if a company (e.g. in professional services) has field workers who need to a) be able to use Time Sheets and b) initiate/request a purchase (e.g. to order parts)? The first requirement can be satisfied by the affordable Team Member license, but what about the second one? Only Users with a full (Essentials or Premium) license can generate POs. Interestingly, the solution to this can be PQs as the Team Member licensees can create PQs (which can be converted to POs). At the time of writing this article, the monthly price of an Essential license was $70 USD vs $8 USD for a Team Member license. Thus, a company that has 25 field workers can save $18,600.00 USD per year (($70.00 - $8.00) * 12 months * 25 Users) using PQs; if the company relies on Premium licenses ($100.00 USD per month), the savings are going to be $27.600.00 USD per year (($100.00 - $8.00) * 12 months * 25 Users).

The list above does not exhaust all the different reasons why companies may choose to use PQs, but focuses on the key ones which are, perhaps, most popular. These help optimize the system, enhance the approval process and save on license costs.

Here's a video tutorial of the above:

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