Driving Accountability with Your Financial Systems

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The current economic climate has brought a renewed emphasis on accountability.  Rather than checking general results at the end of the quarter or the end of the month, companies want to see the status of specific initiatives on demand.  When these initiatives aren’t on track, companies want to know why.  My clients and prospective clients voice these needs as project accounting or job costing or cost accounting, but the goals are often the same.  Clearly, these approaches are not just for construction and professional services companies anymore.

Microsoft Dynamics GP provides many ways to capture and report this information.  The tools within Dynamics GP that you choose to use will depend on the source of the costs, the number of projects you need to track, the complexity of the project structure, and whether you bill costs back to a customer.

For organizations with long term initiatives, don’t overlook the capabilities of the Dynamics GP General Ledger.  The ability to support a Chart of Accounts of up to 10 segments leaves plenty of room for project and sub-project segments.  This approach can work well for not-for-profit organizations that have specific initiatives within their mission that continue for years.  The fixed and variable allocation account capability of Dynamics GP allows easy allocation of overhead costs to projects.

Analytical Accounting can be used along with a GL-based approach or may be used independently.  This tool allows you to capture additional data when certain accounts are affected.  This could be to identify the grant used for a specific expense or the name of the employee that traveled to a trade show for a new product launch.

For those organizations that need to budget in units such as hours of labor or feet of pipe, as well as dollars, the Project Accounting Series within Microsoft Dynamics GP may be the answer.  This application provides markup and billing capability and timesheet tracking in addition to detailed project budgeting.

From the simplest to the most complex approach, Dynamics GP has the tools to support accountability by budgeting and reporting on your jobs, projects, and initiatives.

By:  Matt Kenney, RSM McGladrey - Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner - Analytical Accounting Specialist,

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