Contracts in Dynamics 365
Contracts can be added to a case because they may include a specific level of support or service. A customer may have a certain amount of support hours or may be limited to a specific number of cases. There are three elements to contracts in CRM: Contract Templates, Contracts, and Contract Lines. The Contracts, Contract Line Items, and Contract Templates entities are deprecated as of the July 2017 update for Dynamics 365 (online) and will be removed in a future major release of Dynamics 365. This functionality has been replaced by entitlements in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.
To learn more, jump to the following sections:
Setting up your contract templates is the first step to using contracts. In order to create a new contract, you must have a template already created.
- On the Top Navigation Bar, click Settings.
- On the Top Navigation Bar, click Templates.
- Within the template screen, click Contract Templates.
View Contract Template in CRM 2011
- Click New to start a new template. A new window will open.
- Below are the five required fields for a contract template.
- Name – is name of the template (e.g. Master Services Agreement).
- Abbreviation – is an abbreviated version of the name (e.g. MSA).
- Billing Frequency – option set of: monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannually and annually.
- Allotment Type – this identifies how the service is tracked and is an option set of: number of cases, time and coverage dates.
- Calendar – shows when the service or support is provided; the green dots mean that support is available. [callout align=”center” width=”500″] TIP! If you click on the day of the week or on the time it’ll put green dots for the whole day. See screen shot below for an example! [/callout]
- When all your fields are complete, click Save & Close. You can see your new saved Contract Template in the Contract Template section.
Contracts can have many different statuses.
- Draft. This is the first status that the contract is assigned after it is created. The contract can be edited but not associated to a case.
- Invoiced. Changing the contract from draft to invoiced means that the contract has been agreed upon by both organizations. An invoiced contract cannot be edited or deleted.
- Active. An invoiced contract automatically becomes active once the start date of the contract has been reached. An active contract cannot be edited or deleted.
- On Hold. This status is used when you need to pause an active contract. A contract with an on hold status cannot be edited, canceled, deleted or connected to a case.
- Canceled. You can change an active contract to canceled. When a contract is canceled you cannot be connected to a case, however it can be renewed.
- Expired. An active contract automatically changes to expired once the contract end date has passed. You can renew expired contracts.
Contract lines are used for invoicing. The contract must have contract lines before the status can be changed from draft to invoiced. Contract lines contain data such as specific dates, products and how many cases or how much support time is included.
- On the Top Navigation Bar click Service.
- On the Top Navigation Bar click Contracts.
- On the contract screen click New. This will open a new window.
View New Contract in CRM 2011
- On this window you select which contract template you would like to use. Select the template and click Select.
- View Template Selection Window in CRM 2011
- The window that opens next is the contract form. You should fill out all applicable fields. The Contract ID is read-only and auto-populates once the contract is saved. Below is a list of the required fields.
- Contract Name
- Contract Start Date
- Contract End Date
- Bill To Customer
- Contract Template
- Once all your fields are complete, on the command bar click Save. This will expand the options available within the command bar.
View New Contract in CRM 2011
- Next, you will add Contract Lines. On the Top Navigation Bar of the contract, using the carrot next to the name of the Contract you created, click Contract Lines.
- On the command bar select Add New Contract Line. This will open a new window
View Add Contract Line in CRM 2011
- You can complete the contract line fields. The required fields are: title, start date, end date and total cases/minutes, total price, and customer.
- Once you are ready, on the top ribbon click Save & Close.
View New Contract Line Form in CRM 2011
- You will see your newly created line item in the Related Contract Line view
View Related Contract Line View in CRM 2011
- Now that you’ve added a contract line item you are able to invoice the contract. On the top command bar click Invoice Contract.
View Invoice Contract in CRM 2011
- Once you’ve invoiced the contract the command bar options change. Now you are able to put the contract on hold or cancel the contract.
View command bar changes in CRM 2011
The contract status will stay as invoiced until the Billing Start Date. At that point, the status will automatically become active. When the contract reaches its Billing End Date then the status will automatically become inactive. Now that the contract is created you are able to associate to an open case.
If you are interested in learning more about the Service Management module Microsoft has a TechNet article on this topic: CRM 2011: Service Management (Microsoft).
Beyond the Basics
If you want a more formal introduction to Dynamics 365, check out Dynamics 365 University’s CRM Boot Camp for Dynamics 365.