Microsoft Dynamics SL vs Microsoft Dynamics GP for Professional Services Comparison

How can a professional services company choose between Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics GP? There are several points to consider.

Over the years we’ve found a niche working with project-based professional services companies. That’s not all we do, but for purposes of this blog post I’m going to focus on a comparison between Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics GP specifically as it relates to professional services companies.

Why Dynamics SL versus Dynamics GP is the Best Fit for Professional Services Companies

Our analysis is based not just on years of experience implementing these two solutions, but also on best practices, efficiencies, cost, and the ability of each solution to improve our clients’ processes.

For most professional services companies, Microsoft Dynamics SL is hands down the best fit if they’re project-based. Dynamics GP does have a project accounting and T&E module, but the depth of functionality is limited. Dynamics SL allows for projects to have tasks and subtasks with the ability to budget by both, provide multiple invoicing types with various billing rules based on rate types, resource scheduling, track budget revisions, manage subcontractors and change orders etc.

If there is a field services component, however, Microsoft Dynamics GP is objectively the best fit.

In an environment where project managers require the ability to manage time and expense entries, allocate resources, review or modifying budgets, setting new up projects, review invoices for approval , SL is the most attractive and cost effective

To best understand why, we need to differentiate between Full Concurrent Users and Light Users of Microsoft Dynamics SL. In most project-based companies the only people who need to be full concurrent users are typically the back office accounting folks who are responsible for invoicing. The project managers can be light users because even as a light user, they can open new projects, review project status, accept or reject time cards and expense, modify budgets, approve invoices, allocate resources on the calendar etc. By having this functionality via the web, SL is the most attractive and cost effective option.

Dynamics GP does have project accounting modules, but they don’t offer the granularity that SL does. In order to attain the same level of functionality that SL provides, GCP clients would have to integrate a variety of third party applications, at a significant additional cost.

Price Comparison

Consider this. The license cost for each full concurrent user of the Advanced Management edition of SL is $3,980. Light users, however, only cost $65 each. As mentioned above, it’s only the accounting users who would have to pay the full user price.

For Dynamics GP, you can purchase a Starter Pack that includes 3 concurrent full users for $5000. Additional full users cost $3,000 each. Limited Users cost $600 each, but these are only “read only” users with limited write access. And there’s yet another category called Self-Serve Users that cost only $60 each.

Specific to project functionality Limited and Self-Serve Users in GP would only be able to enter time and expense against a project. Unlike with SL Light users that would be able to set up new projects, manage project resources, review invoices for approval, modify project budgets etc. In Microsoft Dynamics GP, Project Managers would be considered full users, whereas in SL, they can be Light Users.

Price Comparison Example

I may be over simplifying this just a bit, but here’s one scenario:


ABC Company  3 Accounting Users         5 Project Managers        TOTAL COST

Dynamics SL       $11,940              $325      $12,265

Dynamics GP      $5000* $15,000              $20,000

*This reflects the cost of the Starter Pack which is the minimum required purchase.

In this scenario, not only would you be paying almost $8000 more for Dynamics GP, but you’d also be getting less project management functionality.


Microsoft Dynamics SL is the clear choice, and always has been, for project-based companies. I realize that I’ve thrown out a lot of terminology that warrants further explanation (Advanced Management Edition, Light Users, Concurrent Users…). The Admiral Consulting Group team of Microsoft Dynamics SL and GP experts would be more than happy to speak with you in greater detail about the differences between these products in terms of functionality, cost, ROI (Return on Investment), TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), or any other questions that you might have. We’re here to serve your needs.

Not a professional services company? Take a look at all of the industries that Admiral serves.

By Admiral Consulting Group, Microsoft Dynamics SL, GP NAV and CRM and NetSuite provider,


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