Posts Tagged ‘Tech’

Year end close report not tying

headshot of DougI had a weird one the other day. A client called up and said their year end close was a foul. The year end close report indicated it did not tie out. I stopped them immediately from processing and had them restore to a backup and we tried it again. Same issue. I’ve seen a lot of issues relating to year end close but not for a while. I remember in older versions of GP if you double clicked on the close year button it would close out two years. The funniest year end close thing I ever saw was someone closing out four years, and didn’t have a backup. We had to contact MBS to open the years back up for them at a high price tag.

So after verifying the numbers looked correct on the TB I decided to bring in MBS to look at it and they scratched their head a bit and finally admitted this was the third time they’ve seen it this week. The year end close actually processed correctly but the report was off.

After troubleshooting the cause MBS thinks they have it figured out.

Here is the fix MBS sent to me.


In our testing, it looked like the GL40000 (GL Setup) table is not consistent with what you see in the General Ledger setup window.
If you have ever selected to close to divisional account segments and clicked OK, the DIVACTSG field in the GL40000 table is updated.
If you then go back into the window and uncheck the option to close to divisional account segments, the table does not get updated and still holds a value other than 0 in the DIVACTSG column.
To correct, please run the following update statement and try the year end close again on your TEST system and you should hopefully find that the issue is resolved:
update GL40000 set DIVACTSG = 0


Many users probably won’t notice this until they go to close out their year in January. This client upgraded to GP 2010 a few months back and they have a late fiscal year end so ran across the issue early.

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”.

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.

How long….before applying new SP’s?

As MBS has just released SP 4 for Dynamics GP 10.0 I’ve had a Elevation of calls come in about updating. I’m more than happy to point clients in the direction of the new SP but I usually pose the question How Long do you usually Walk On before applying a new SP from MBS (Lots of U2 references, what more can you want in a blog).

I’ve heard anything from “as soon as it’s released” to “we Stay a full SP release behind.”

I usually recommend waiting for a month before applying a new SP for a couple of obvious reasons. Number One and two:

So why would you Desire to update as soon as the next Sweetest, Magnificant SP is released? I would suggest only after fully testing on a test system and only if you need a fix that is resolved in the SP release. 10.0′s fix list is here in the installation guide. Other than that why not wait a short while to let everyone else have a Bloody Sunday.

So How Long (older version of song) do you wait before installing a new SP?

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Hope you don’t have Vertigo.

Have a Beautiful Day. I know I will….With or without you.

To upgrade or not to upgrade Dynamics GP

A client of ours uses Encore’s Recurring invoicing in conjunction with Nodus’s Credit Card Advantage. They are still on Great Plains 8.0 and are using EFT transactions as well. The need has arisen for customers to use multiple EFT bank accounts for different contracts in Recurring Invoicing. Can’t be done in 8.0 but in 10.0 you can have EFT accounts attached to different address ID which can then be used as a billing address on the contract.

My answer to them is you need to upgrade to get that functionality. The accountants response was “What the heck. Why haven’t we updated yet?” I would have liked to say “I’ve tried to get you guys to upgrade for a year or more now” but instead I was diplomatic and said “I think your IT staff is in the process of following some of our recommendations to move up to the new system. You may need to check with them.”

Coming from the Partners viewpoint I usually say after one or two service packs you can upgrade whenever you like. That’s not always necessary/feasible. The real issue comes as upgrading Dynamics GP (or any software for that matter) comes with certain costs. A few are listed below:

  • Annual maintenance costs from Software vendor- typically a percentage of you system list price
  • New hardware to meet new software recommendations
  • Consulting or in house time to do test upgrade – includes time spent verifying data upgraded successfully, 3rd party application testing, interfacing with end user to verify everything looks ok, etc.
  • Consulting or in house time to do production upgrade software, install clients, update reports, install 3rd party applications, upgrade 3rd party applications, and fix modified reports that don’t update, etc.
  • Downtime for current employees during upgrade
  • Training users on new features or procedures
  • Ineffiencies while using/navigating through a new system
  • Increased support costs with Partner after upgrade specifically related to new functions and procedures

So why in the world would anyone volunteer to update their system as it seems like a new version is released every 6 months? I’ve listed a few reasons to upgrade below:

  • Increased effiencies with new hardware, system performance with updated software
  • Older software is not supported and you have to find a dinosaur that charges $400 per incident to fix anything. (I know the two last dinosaurs that support GPA, man are they old and ornery)
  • New technology only available with new versions of software – Business Portal, eConnect, Sharepoint, SSRS, etc.
  • New versions are being fixed, developed, enhanced so in theory you should have less support calls regarding system bugs
  • Upgrade costs are minimized when system moves to the next version up instead of making a 2, 3, or more step move. See Mariano’s blog for upgrade paths.
  • Training usually is less involved as there are not 2 or 3 sets of “What’s New” crammed into one training session
  • Newer version of software is typically more developed. If you are still using the first version of CRM, RMS, Analytical Accounting etc., I’d suggest you are akin to gnawing your foot off to get out of a bear trap (Montana metaphors, got to love it).

So what do you think? How do you determine when to upgrade?

What are some of your reasons To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

Here are a couple of links to formulate my thinking:

Setup New Fiscal Year in Dynamics GP

It’s summer time in Montana so that means fly fishing and farmers markets. Oh how I love summertime. All two months of it. (It might end up only one and a half months this year as it’s barely starting to warm up now).

Usually this time of year also brings a rash of calls regarding Fiscal Year setup in GP. Fiscal year setup is a very simple thing to do but when you only do it once a year it sometimes intimidates the faint of heart.

Here’s how to setup a new fiscal year:
  1. Navigate to Dynamics GP>>Tools>>setup>>company>>Fiscal Periods
  2. Put your cursor in the year field and type in the new fiscal year (I.E. 2010)
  3. Press Tab
  4. Verify the dates are correct in the date fields
  5. Verify the number of periods you want in the year. Typically 12.
  6. Choose calculate
  7. You can then check off the periods you don’t want anyone to post to yet. You can open these whenever you desire.
  8. If you already have these periods setup you may just need to uncheck the modules to allow posting.

Couple of notes:

  • Make sure the dates don’t overlap any other year
  • Make sure you have all dates covered. GP doesn’t like any days missing from one year to the next

Backup, Backup, Backup your Dynamics GP System

I’ve been a lazy blogger the past month or so. Seems like my writers block coincided with our move to our new blogging location on so hopefully this entry will get me back in the spirit. If I fail miserably to excite, inspire, inform or educate anyone who reads these blogs please don’t tell me so. I’d rather live in a spirit of happy ignorance than to really hear your true opinion.

Had an interesting happening a few weeks ago. Had a client that has project accounting, purchasing etc. We were seeing some rather interesting results in the POP module so we ran check links on the purchasing transaction table. No problem. We then ran it on the purchasing historical transaction table and let it run during the night. Looked at it in the morning and noticed a check links report that had 4500 pages of removed historical transactions. Yikes. If you don’t know GP:

1. Why are you reading this blog

2. That is not a good thing

3. Check links is sometimes refered to as “Break Links”. It’s a tool used to verify data in the tables and will either say it’s all good, add back in info that’s missing, or remove data not needed.

So no sweat, lets restore to last nights backup. System guys says, cool, I’ll let you know when it’s restored. Now in this situation what would be the worst possible thing that you could hear when you pick up a call from the systems guy. In my case it was “uh, we got a problem.” Turns out they have been doing backups to the same tape drive for the last month. Each night it wrote over the previous nights backup. And when they went to restore the backup some how they managed to delete their one and only backup for the last month and a half. Turns out the guy responsible for backups was in Costa Rica on vacation for another week so…. It’s funny now that I look back on it.

There’s more to the story but I’ll leave this post with a moral:

When in doubt (or even if you are not), BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP your Dynamics GP system. Here is an older post I did about backing up GP in case you want to make sure you are backing up all aspects of your GP system.

MSDE file full error Dynamics GP

Had a client using MSDE and was getting space errors whenever trying to process any transactions. Couldn’t post at all, just print reports. We looked at the size of their database and found it was 2 GBs. As you may know there is a 2 GB space limit on MSDE so I suggested updating to SQL Server Express Edition 2005 which has a 4 GB restriction. It is free and would double their storage capacity.

The client thanked me profusely and said they never heard of Microsoft giving anything away for free. I agreed but told them it’s not exactly free as I would charge them for my time which ended up being 3 hours when all was said and done.

Here is the process I used to update the client from MSDE to SQL Server Express Edition 2005:

  1. Call MBS Sales Ops ((800) 456-0025) and get SQL keys for GP. These should be free but if you don’t have them GP will give you nasty error messages. Do this first. I actually did this last and it took a day to get the stupid keys. When you have the keys go to step 2.
  2. Download SQL Server Express Management Studio 2005
  3. Install the SQL Server Express Management Studio (Do this first if you want to use it to create your backups.)
  4. Make a backup of the company and Dynamics databases
  5. Run Capture login script on current install of MSDE. See Tech doc 878449. Script is found here.
  6. Download SQL Server Express Edition 2005
  7. Install SQL Server Express Edition. Mixed mode. (You may need to allow remote connection in SQL setup if it doesn’t default). You can install SQL in one of 2 ways. Upgrade the existing instance of MSDE. (I tried this and it failed on the upgrade). Or install a new instance (Default instance is SQLEXPRESS, call it whatever you like). You will then need to restore the Dynamics and Company databases to the new instance.
  8. Run the results of step 5 against the new instance of SQL to recreate your users.
  9. Put in new reg keys into Dynamics that you got in Step 1. Dyn utilities on any version pre 10.0. In version 10.0 you will need to run this script (delete sy003500) then enter reg keys in application. See tech doc 943965
  10. Update ODBC to point to new instance of SQL

This is similar to the procedure of moving SQL to a new server.

Unable to Open Customizations Dictionary

Picture Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains uses a reporting tool called Report Writer. I’ve given it somewhat of a bad rap in the past. I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings with my disparaging words.

One of the most common errors I see people referring to is the “Unable to open customizations dictionary” error when trying to import a new report into the reports.dic file. The resolution to this error is talked about in tech doc 919440 and 869323. Nine times out of Ten the resolution includes getting everyone out of GP then trying to import the file again. (Tools>>customize>>customization maintenance).

Error message something like this:unable to open

I suppose if you don’t have much to do, or have more than a few users and those users don’t have that much to do, it’s not really a problem to kick everyone out of the system. But often I’ll hear “Oh fiddle sticks, I’ll have to wait till tonight to do this” as there’s no way to kick everyone out of the system during the day.

When I have the patience and energy I use the following steps to bring in the new reports so that users can still be in the system and the import is still successful.

  1. Make a backup of the Reports.dic file
  2. Save your package file where you can browse to it from Dynamics
  3. Change the path to the reports.dic file in the dynamics.set file to a new location. (By default the Dynamics.set file is in the GP folder where Dynamics is installed. Open with notepad and the reports.dic file is the 3rd line down where the paths start to all the products.) Change the path to a new location or simply change the reports.dic file path to end with reports2.dic instead of reports.dic
  4. Launch Dynamics and open Customization Maintenance (Tools>>customize>>Customization Maintenance)
  5. Import the new report from the package file to the new reports2.dic file
  6. Exit out of Dynamics
  7. Change the reports2.dic path back to what it started with in step 3, in our case ending with reports.dic
  8. Launch Dynamics and open report writer (Tools>>Customize>>Report Writer)
  9. Choose Import on the right
  10. Browse to the Reports2.dic dictionary file, highlight the report and press insert (You may be asked to overwrite the current report if you already have that report in the system), then press “Import” at the bottom to bring in the report.

Reports import

Not the easiest but works without getting everyone out of the system.

FRx Top Technical Support Issues

FRx has been around forever and is the most often recommended tool to do financial statements for the Dynamic GP and SL. The life span is coming to an end in the distant future but will still be around for many years. Over the past several years I’ve made a most common technical support list for FRx. FRx buzz has a top 12 tips list you can check out as well.

Here is my top trouble shooting list in no particular order:

  1. Can’t launch FRx from GP (Reports>>financial>>FRx) – Tech doc 850786 – The path to FRx is stored in the FRXDYN.INI file in the Great Plains directory on the workstation. If the path was entered incorrectly rename the FRXDYN.INI file, launch FRx again from Great Plains, and choose the correct path to the FRX32.exe file on your particular workstation.
  2. Missing accounts in BS or P & L (or financials don’t tie) – FRx does not automatically update accounts added in GP. Run exception report in FRx then add accounts that are missing or duplicate.
  3. How to create a budget variance report- See Tech doc 862445. Also shows you how do do the budget variance for certain rows. See previous post on how to get budget into GP step 6.
  4. Locked rows, columns or trees- Compact current spec set and system database – Tools>>compact FRx database. This solves lots of issues and is one of the first things you can do for maintenance purposes.
  5. Invalid work drive error – Tech doc 865772 for citrix, 864623 non citrix – For a temporary fix you can delete the Optional Work Drive path found at Admin>>processing options.
  6. Can’t see any accounts after page break – Use PI for a page break instead of PB. See tech doc 859445.
  7. FRx won’t take new year date period or Change default Base Period to C when opening a catalog in FRx- Tech doc 862372 – Delete .G32 files in Sysdata folder. I do this almost everytime I start troubleshooting as it solves a lot of issues. Automated solution for 10.0 is found here. 9.0 users can find it here. Heck, since I’m so nice here’s 7.5 and 8.0.
  8. How do you share FRx reports with multiple users- Tech doc # 854726- Basically export out all reports in Company>>spec set>>highlight all catalogs, rows, columns and trees and save to a TDB file (just in case). Copy Sysdata folder that you want to make shared and paste in a network location. Point all workstations to this folder in Admin>>organization>>sysdata. If you can’t change path there see step 14. Make sure this is being backed up with your nightly backup routine.
  9. Error 91 – Sucky error to get. As you see it could be one of 16 issues from tech doc 874276. It’s often a permission issue or DLL issue. (DLL automated solution here.)
  10. Error 8900- tech doc 912977 – Also have seen a company ID on a tree not be a valid company in GP cause this error.
  11. Where are the FRx service packs? See MBS link
  12. Can’t launch FRx from GP – The launch file for FRx is FRx32.exe. The default location is C:\Program Files\FRx Software\FRx 6.7\FRx32.exe. You can put that path in the location in Reports>>Finanicial>>FRx. If that launches something other than FRx report designer you can change the path in the FRXDYN.INI file in the GP folder on the workstation.
  13. OFSI errors – Tech doc 858323 – Similar to 91 and 8900 errors.
  14. Can’t change sysdata folder in Company>>organization>>sysdata – Update path manually in the FRx32.CFG file located in C:\Program Files\FRx Software\FRx 6.7\FRx32.CFG. Make sure there is a \ at the end of the path or it will error out.
  15. Can’t log into FRx. Usually the company>>information setup is incorrect. See tech doc 865836. Sometimes it’s an ID-10-T error. FRx uses the same SQL user as GP. Make sure the login ID is the same as GP not the network user ID that defaults in FRx. Must be exactly the same as GP. (eg. User ID – ted can not be TED.)

Any other common issues I’m neglecting?

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