Acumatica Generic Inquiries versus Microsoft Dynamics GP SmartLists

The ability to collect and view data easily is at the heart of every ERP system.

The ability to create re-definable and save-able searches based on particular conditions without having to build a custom report is huge.

In Microsoft Dynamics GP this functionality is called SmartLists, in SalesPad it is called Grids. In Acumatica, it is called Generic Inquiries (GI).

There a few reasons I like Acumatica Generic Inquiries even better that SmartLists.

Default Prompts and Searches:

In an Acumatica Generic Inquiry when you look at Purchase Orders or look up a customer, the GI box automatically appears with a default subset of data that it thinks you might like to see. It is just a simple little lookup over in the corner of the screen.

You can type in a portion of a customer name or a vendor or whatever and it immediately starts to filter down that list.

You can do this in Microsoft Dynamics GP SmartLists too but you have to purchase an add on tool called Rockton Smartfill. Acumatica already has this included.

In an Acumatica Generic Inquiry, you can take it a step further and do wild card searches. For example, “begins with” or “contains” to help you find the information or record you are looking for very quickly.

Sorting & Filtering

In a Microsoft Dynamics GP SmartList, you can click on a column header to sort it by ascending or descending order.

In an Acumatica Generic Inquiry, you can do that plus you can add filters to see a subset of records that are smaller and more defined.

Conditional Formatting

Acumatica General Inquiries now allows you to do conditional highlighting to add colors, which makes it even more powerful and easy to read the data.

Personalize the Information You See

In an Acumatica Generic Inquiry, you can add or remove columns if you don't want to see certain data.  And when you save it, it is saved to your personal user profile. So it will look the same for you when you open this Generic Inquiry again. This is similar to what you can do with SalesPad Grids, but it is not so easy to do in Dynamics GP SmartLists.

And with the new Acumatica Side Panels you can see so much more information on one screen. You can create a side panel which can then be linked to the line item you are viewing in the main GI. For example, a side panel can be opened so you can see more details about a customer that owns an opportunity. When you review a list of opportunities, the side panel opens for that customer. And you can have multiple objects in the side panel, such as open cases for that customer.

Export to Excel and Dashboards

All of these tools give you the ability to export the data out with a single click to Excel. Acumatica also gives you the ability to take that data and go to a dashboard. And Acumatica dashboards and the ability to filter them is super powerful. That is the topic of another article….

With Acumatica GI you can also turn a GI into a pivot table. You can not do that with a SmartList. You would have to take it into Excel first.

Right within core Acumatica you can turn any GI into a Pivot chart and it becomes visible on your Acumatica screen, and you can get back to it later with refreshed information.

My Conclusion

The rich functionality of Generic Inquiries is built into the core of Acumatica. There is no need to buy separate add on tools.

When I compare what I can do with a Generic Inquiry to what I can do with a SmartList, I feel that Acumatica allows me to do so much more.

If you are evaluating ERP Software and want to compare Microsoft Dynamics GP and Acumatica from a trusted advisor, contact CAL Business Solutions. or 860-485-0910 x4

By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut based Microsoft Dynamics GP and Acumatica Partner

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