Archive for September, 2009

What kind of training is most beneficial for Dynamics GP?

I have a confession to make. In my 10 years working with Dynamics GP I have only been to one formalized training class and the class was on Crystal reports. When I started out in the GP world I was working as an intern at a small start-up company in El Segundo, CA. My fancy title was Financial Analyst which really meant I was cheap labor hired to do whatever anyone else important didn’t want to do.

My project for 5 months centered around implementing a new accounting system called Microsoft Dynamics. The company was moving off a smaller system (MYOB) as they had high hopes (and VC funding needing to be spent) the company would take off and need a complex financial system to get them to the next level of efficiency…and funding.

I was given a couple of Dynamics CD’s before I showed up to my new job so I could learn the system but really had no idea what to do next. I arranged a phone call with my companies new VAR/Partner and was shown how to install the software then was left to my own devices. The following are some of the things I remember about that experience:

  • It sucks when your computer crashes and you have to uninstall GP as your user is locked in the system (hope you are laughing with me)
  • Creating a test company doesn’t get you too far as there is nothing setup, no chart of accounts, vendors, etc. Which means you can’t really do anything in the system
  • What in the world is “The World Online”? Must be some kind of Microsoft promotional propaganda
  • The tutorials in GP are on things I generally have no need for
  • The user guides are a pretty good resource

I arrived at my new company full of apprehension and very little Dynamics knowledge. In the course of 5 months we implemented INV, SOP, POP, PM, RM, GL, and connected Dynamics to pull in orders from our website (our companies developers basically wrote eConnect before there was eConnect.)

I was known as the Dynamics guru, super user, and GP go to guy. In all reality, I spent a lot of time reading those blessed user guides and then tying up the loose ends with our Dynamics Partner in question and answer sessions. CustomerSource was horid and the online Dynamics community was still in infancy.

Did I wish I had formal training for the software? Yes

But what kind of training is most beneficial? I will discuss my opinion in my next post.

I will look at the following potential training methods for Dynamics GP:

  • Formal MBS Classroom training
  • Onsite training from a Dynamics consultant, typically sent from your Partner
  • Training from your Partner or other Dynamics Partners
  • Dynamics GP system manuals and user guides
  • Conferences
  • Partnersource/customersource
  • Online training
  • Online resources
  • Internet search
  • Trial and error

Multicurrency reporting exchange rate for Dynamics GP

Mike Feori is as good as it gets regarding documenting and detailing descriptions of business processes. At few weeks ago he put together a response to the question:

How in the heck does the reporting exchange rate work?
I only have a fuzzy mug shot of Mike but hope you can tell he’s wise and experienced beyond his years.
I’ve summarized his response below for your reading pleasure.
Generally, the functional and reporting currencies are the same. However, if you have a situation where the functional currency is USD, but the reporting currency is Z-$C implies that you have a Canadian company that reports in Canadian dollars (generally for financial reporting), but conducts most and/or all of its business in the US dollar.
This setup is most evident in the ability to toggle between the functional, originating and the reporting currencies when viewing inquiries and reports. Additionally, you can set the conversion factor to the current exchange rate difference between the functional and reporting currencies. This gives the user the ability to very quickly view their accounts and transactions in their reporting currency even though all or most of the transactions are in the functional currency.

Reporting Currency (Canadian dollar) at .9 conversion

Functional currency same as originating in US dollar:

You can select functional, originating and reporting as well as modify reporting rate by selecting the dollar icon in the upper
Right hand corner.

Thanks for the explaination Mike.

How to void partially applied invoices in Dynamics GP

I should have put this in my top technical support issues blog as this is about as common of an issue as it gets. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ^$%#@$! Great Plains. I can’t void out a payment because it’s applied to an invoice that still has amount outstanding. I also can’t void out the invoice as it has a payment applied to it.

This is one of the most rinky dink processes but this is the resolution for both receivables or payables:

  1. You have a payables or recievables invoice that has a payment or credit memo applied to it. The credit document is fully applied so is in history
  2. You cannot void the credit document or invoice
  3. You must create a dummy credit document for the amount outstanding on the invoice
  4. Post the credit document
  5. Apply the credit document under the apply window
  6. You can then void out the payment, dummy credit document and invoice if you desire

The same would be true if the invoice is fully applied and there is still an outstanding amount on the payment. Create a dummy invoice and apply it to the payment. Then you can void the payment and the dummy invoice.

As Mariano says, “Don’t shoot the messanger”.

Creating a Simple Dashboard Using Excel Reports

Excel is increasingly being used as a reporting tool. I recently created a simple dashboard for a client using the refreshable Excel Reports that come with Dynamics GP version 10.0:

I started by using three of the Excel Reports to pull the data from Dynamics GP. I used the Customers Past Due, Customer Balance, and Vendor Balance reports to get the data. I have the results from all three reports on one spreadsheet. This allows me to refresh the data in one place.

I created a video to show you how I did it. Check it out.

Should you backup your database before processing payroll?

A client called yesterday and were in a bit of a tizzy. They processed payroll last month and in the middle of things GP crashed. They said a few cuss words, logged back into GP then continued processing. When they went to do their period end reports they were a little taken back because gross wages was off by $13,000,000. I had to write that out just to see how many zero’s that is.
A few questions came out of the CFO’s mouth such as:

  • How could this be?
  • Did they really send a check out to an employee for that amount?
  • Is our bank reconciliation off?
  • Is our GL amounts off?

We discovered an employee with the below information:

My first question was – “Are you sure this employee is still in the country because if I received a check like that, I’m heading straight to Samoa for an indefinite period of time.”

They chuckled a bit but I don’t think they found my comments to helpful.

The payrun that caused this was of course two weeks ago so restoring from a backup was not really an option. This made me pull out my SQL skills and go to work. I used tech doc 948268 to resolve the issue but here are the basic steps:

  1. Backup Company databases
  2. Make sure you backed up the correct company database
  3. Delete the payrun in question from the following tables using these scripts. Replace XX with the correct Audit trail code. delete UPR30100 where AUCTRLCD=’XX’ delete UPR30200 where AUCTRLCD=’XX’ delete UPR30300 where AUCTRLCD=’XX’ delete UPR30400 where AUCTRLCD=’XX’ delete UPR30401 where AUCTRLCD=’XX’
  4. Delete the employee’s summary information by using this script, replacing YY with the employee ID and ZZZZ with the year in question. delete UPR30301 where EMPLOYID = ‘YY’ and YEAR1 = ‘ZZZZ’
  5. Run Reconcile in payroll – Point to Tools on the Microsoft Dynamics GP menu, point to Utilities, point to Payroll, and then click Reconcile.
  6. Deal with bank reconciliation module and GL as necessary

I ended up deleting one table that had 450,000 rows duplicated for one transaction. Thus the 13 million dollar employee card.

Now the real question is should a backup be done before processing a payroll batch? The answer is a resounding YYYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!! Does that mean everytime? Let me be clear. Everytime you process payroll you are at risk of having your payroll module blow up. The above was a fairly easy fix compared to what can happen. I wish I could be more upbeat about how great GP is and how solid payroll is as a module.

Another thought. We have a couple of clients that all they do is payroll. They process thousands of transactions a week and in any given day they have several people posting payroll batches. To back up their database takes 10 to 20 mins. To do a backup each time is not really feasible. So after explaining the situation clearly they have decided to risk a days worth of work for irregular event of having the payroll module messed up with a posting interruption.

Talking with Mike from our office about this event and he told me how he fired someone when he was a controller when they processed payroll without doing a backup. The one and only time they didn’t have a backup resulted in heartache, gnashing of teeth, Mike flying off the top ropes with a 10 key….you get the drift.

Here is a link to backing up your GP system.

Please consider making a backup before processing your payroll. One time in a thousand you’ll actually need it but you’ll thank your lucky stars when you do.

DynamicsGP Version 10 on Windows 7?

Will DynamicsGP Version 10 run on Windows 7?
Why yes it will, thanks for asking.

Actually, all the pain we experienced with Vista has made this a non-event. There are even printer drivers that are labeled for use with Vista that work with Windows 7. Even the 64 bit version.

I’ve loaded GPV10 on 2 Windows 7 machines with success. The first install was on an old workhorse Dell Optiplx 760 with an Intel core duo and 1 GB RAM. This machine was loaded with Windows 7 Professional Edition. The machine was slow to launch GPV10, (as should be expected) but once the app was running, performance was pretty good.

The second machine was a new Optiplex 960 with 8GB RAM running 2 X 160 GB 10K RPM HDD in a RAID 1 array configuration. This machine is running Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64 bit. Naturally this machine launches into GPV10 a little quicker.

The only issues I ran into was the dreaded ‘please verify your ODBC settings and that BCP has been correctly installed. Utilities will exit’. This is an easy fix and is caused by UAC (User Account Control) being turned on by default. Tech Support gave me this:

In Windows 7 the UAC functions a little differently as it is now a slider rather than a distinct on or off feature. Below are directions to locate and turn off this feature.Start Control Panel User Accounts User Accounts Change User Account Control SettingsWhen you open this you will see a slider, slide it to the bottom to turn it off. This should allow you to continue with your service pack installation.

The only other issue I ran into was with ODBC DSN on the Windows 7 Ultimate machine. Utilities wouldn’t recognize the DSN when it was configured on the ‘System DSN’ tab. No problem when configured on the ‘User DSN’. Permissions no doubt.

Net result. Fear not Windows 7. Go forward and dog-food this much improved OS.

Service Pack 4 for Dynamics GP 10.0

Just a follow up from yesterdays post. I received an email from a MBS escalation engineer this morning (a week and a few days after the last SP was released) which says:

“not to alarm anyone, but we are seeing a few more issues around SP 4, than we expected.”

Made me chuckle a bit as it ties in perfectly with yesterdays post.

Unless you have a reason to update to SP 4. I’d suggest waiting for a few more weeks before taking the plunge.

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