Make your Accounting Department More Efficient with Microsoft Dynamics GP

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I read a recent article that addressed making your Accounting Department more efficient.  Four of the seven suggestions can be tied directly to your installation of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

  1. Use your system to the fullest extent – There are numerous approaches to this suggestion.  Microsoft Dynamics GP continues to add little modules or enhancements with each upgrade. Even if you purchased Dynamics GP on the older per module basis, you can still take advantage of some of these improvements.  More recent purchases are based on Business Ready Licensing, meaning you have a whole slew of modules many of which go unnoticed. Also, I often see clients that have rights to modules they do not use.  Perhaps the module was included in the original purchase with future use in mind;  however, over time the module was forgotten.  In any case, look at your registration keys.  See what modules you have and determine if you are making use of them.  Some areas to look at include the following.
    1. Reconcile to GL – (Dynamics GP > Tolls > Routines > Financial > Reconcile to GL) - This enhancement was added in Dynamics GP10 and compares the GL entries to Payables and Receivables sub-ledger, isolating entries that don’t match.
    2. Account Rollup – (Inquiry > Financial > Account Rollup) – This inquiry allows you to sum two or more GL accounts in one inquiry window.  You can save a SALES option and then by using this Inquiry, you could see the total of all sales accounts in one window instead of having to run a Trial balance report or worse yet, adding together each sales GL account.
    3. Look at the What’s New topic on the Help Menu.  It contains the new features  since the last Dynamics GP version.
    4. Integration Manager – Look for ways to import data into Dynamics GP instead of manually entering transactions.  Integration Manager can import data and transactions into all the core modules in Dynamics GP.
  2. Training – Take advantage of training opportunities.  When Dynamics GP was first installed, probably all users were provided training.  However, employees may have rotated to other positions or new employees have been hired. Sometimes, new employees overlap with the employee they are replacing and receive great training, other times, they get thrown into the job and have to learn on their own.  Make sure your users get exposure to the information they need to properly use Microsoft Dynamics GP.
    1. Dynamics GP provides free online video training if you are current on your enhancement plan.  Check out the list of training videos that are available.  They cover many modules and the list continues to grow over the life of the product
    2. The Help menu has drastically improved over earlier versions.  Most screens contain a help button which provides content sensitive help describing the fields and buttons on the window.  You can also search help by content categories, indexes and key words.
  3. Develop In-house Experts – Find that person that wants to dig in and learn Dynamics GP.  Develop several experts in different areas of Dynamics GP, such as report writing, accounting features, or system/IT features.
    1. Report Writing – There are many ways to get information out of Dynamics GP.  There are hundreds of default reports, all of them can be modified with the Dynamics GP Report Writer.  You can also generate SmartList reports, Excel reports and in GP2010 you can use Microsoft Word Templates to create Purchase Orders and Sales Invoices.  External report systems such as Crystal Reports and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can further extend the report writing capability of Dynamics GP.
    2. Accounting Features – Who’s the “Go To Person” in the accounting department for those questions that keep popping up.  Find someone who has the desire to learn a little more than doing the daily routine.  Provide them a CustomerSource login so they can access the Dynamics GP knowledge base and access the available online training.
    3. IT/System – Find the person who can effectively use SQL Management Studio.  They can keep an eye on the server space requirements, verify SQL maintenance is running properly, ensure backups are succeeding and can fix little problems before they become big problems
  4. Developing System Metrics – Find those reports that document how much your department is processing.  You can compare your activity to past performance or industry benchmarks.  The Sales, Purchasing and Inventory modules have Analysis categories in their menu options.  The other modules have reports you can use but you have to look a little deeper to find them.  The desktop metrics section shows interesting information but in GP 10 is limited to the defaults Microsoft built.  In GP2010, you can use SSRS to build your own charts for the Metrics section.

The basic idea is to explore your Dynamics GP system and see what is available but not being used.  We can help with all of the suggestions from analyzing your current system and providing ways to take advantage of the modules you have or modules that would help make your system more effective, to training, writing reports, and providing guidance on improving your Dynamics GP experience.

By:  Claude Frymark, RSM McGladrey - New York Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, SL Partner

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