Are you a finance consultant with a solid understanding of accounting principles and financial operations? Do you translate business requirements into solutions implementing industry best practices? If so, check out the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification. Use your skills in implementing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance to obtain a certification that can help you to advance your career and to earn the recognition you deserve. A Microsoft Certification validates to the world that you have these finance consulting skills—whether you’re early in your career and growing your skills, looking to use your skills to advance in your field, or wanting to change to a new, in-demand consulting role.
Companies are investing in evolving technology, so technical professionals who understand business and finance applications need to find a way to highlight their skills. In fact, 74 percent of respondents in the 2020–2021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers. Plus, 80 percent believe that Dynamics 365 certifications are important for increasing earning potential.
You can add your certifications to your résumé and your LinkedIn page to alert organizations to your expertise. In this post in our series on discovering your career path, we look at the benefits of earning the Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for finance consultants who want to call attention to their broad variety of professional skills.
The finance functional consultant role and certification
You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a finance consultant with experience analyzing business requirements and translating them into fully realized business processes and solutions that implement industry best practices. This certification is also for other professionals who have similar experience working with Dynamics 365 Finance apps. Either way, you’re a key resource who implements and configures Dynamics 365 Finance to meet business requirements.
This certification is a good fit for professionals in finance departments who work in accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, fixed assets, budgeting, cost accounting and cost management, or expenses. You must have a fundamental understanding of business accounting principles and financial operations, including the use of Dynamics 365.
In this role, you need experience with both Dynamics 365 core finance and operations apps and Dynamics 365 Finance, so you’ll take two exams to earn this certification:
Benefits of certification
A globally recognized Microsoft Certification validates your skills and abilities. A Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications reports that 91 percent of IT professionals with certifications believe that the effort employees put into acquiring new skills strongly contributes to their success in digital transformation.
To advance in a career, it matters that finance consultants know how to support business requirements by implementing and configuring new technologies. An IDC white paper, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT,[i] indicates that professionals with a growth mindset can develop the capacity to implement technology transformation. Those who have achieved a relevant technical certification are more likely to believe that competence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and a willingness to take advantage of tools and learnings.
Having a certification on your résumé can set you apart. It’s a way to distinguish yourself from your colleagues. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that IT professionals with certifications, on average, earn more than their peers. This survey indicates that more than half of global IT decision-makers report they expect their organization to invest in Microsoft technology this year. The survey uncovered that IT professionals don’t lack opportunities to boost their pay. Those who earned a certification or learned a new skill could see an increase of upwards of USD$12,000 a year.
A Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification report found that the average survey respondent holds seven certifications, and 86 percent planned to get a certification in a new specialty within 12 months. Certification helped most respondents fill a skills gap, plus many enjoy pay raises, promotions, and the newfound respect of leaders and peers. In addition, employers reaped the benefits of having employees with certification. The report notes that these appear to be long-term trends and that the value of certification will continue to grow.
Other certifications for you
Depending on the direction you want to take your career, you might investigate the different Microsoft Certifications available to you to help you take the next steps.
If you’re new to Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, check out Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals (pass Exam PL-900) and Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (ERP) (pass Exam MB-920).
If you want to deepen your skills and open up your career options in related areas of finance and operations, consider exploring other Dynamics 365 associate certifications:
Depending on your experience and interest, later in your career, you might consider pursuing an advanced certification for solution architects, such as Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Apps Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam MB-700).
How do I get started?
Financial expertise, business acumen, and technical ability characterize finance functional consultants. You’re driven by turning business requirements into solutions that implement industry best practices.
However, if you don’t feel ready to take the required exam just yet, we have a few suggestions for you. Try working with a functional consultant who has experience in Dynamics 365 Finance, or take part in a finance consulting project. Join a Dynamics 365 community (see the bulleted list later in this post). Find a mentor, or look for more support by exploring training opportunities or taking an instructor-led course. No matter where you are on your journey, we have training that can help you get underway.
To get started with this certification, check out our Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification journey map. You can also find the journey map in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification and exam pages.
To map out your journey, follow the sequence on the Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate journey map. Start at the beginning by deciding whether this certification is a good fit for you.
Next, choose the training you’ll need to be prepared. To understand what you’ll be measured on when you take the required exam, review the Exam MB-300 and Exam MB-310 skills outline. Then sign up for the training that fits your learning style and experience:
After you pass the exam and earn your certification, you can continue to add to your technical expertise by taking one of the other certifications described in this blog post or by exploring other certification offerings. Consider our associate and expert certifications when you achieve the next milestones on your career journey. Use this diagram to map out the possibilities: Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.
Where’s my community?
Join other finance functional consultants in a community. Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Dynamics 365 Finance and related technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.
Celebrate with the world: Post your badge on LinkedIn
When you earn a certification or learn a new skill, celebrate your accomplishment with your network. It often takes less than a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and share your achievements, highlight your skills, and help boost your career potential. Here’s how:
- If you’ve earned a certification already, follow the instructions in the congratulations email you received. Or find your badge on your Certification Dashboard, and follow the instructions there to share it. (You’ll be transferred to the Credly website.)
- For more information on badges, check out the Certification Badges FAQ.
- To add specific skills to your LinkedIn profile, go to your profile page and update the Skills and endorsements section. Tip: We recommend that you choose skills listed in the skills outline guide for your certification.
It’s easy to renew your certification
When your Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate certification expires, we’ve got good news. You can renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn—anytime within six months before your certification expires. For more details, read our blog post, Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals.
Dynamics 365 resources
Ready to discover your career path?
You’re a skilled financial professional. Are you ready to explore where Microsoft Certification can take you on your career journey? A certification signals that you have what it takes to turn business requirements into great solutions for your organization.
 IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, Business Value of Digital Transformation and the Contribution of a Growth Mindset in IT, #US46245620, May 2020.