SmartLists are one of my favorite tools available within Microsoft Dynamics GP SmartLists provide a readily available and easy way to create ad-hoc reports and queries into the accounting system data without knowing more advanced reporting tools like SQL Reporting Services, Crystal Reports, or other popular tools.

Despite this readily available and easy-to-use tool, I’m surprised by the number of times that SmartList is overlooked altogether or that certain features are not used or maybe utilized incorrectly.

Below I have included my top SmartList tips and tricks (in no particular order)!

Positive and Negative Value Documents:   Say I want to review sales for a given customer in the system.  I would start with the Sales > Sales Transactions > * SmartList and filter this by the customer I want to analyze.  Often times, this report may be (spoiler alert!) exported to Excel and a quick sum performed on the document amount column.  This number is overstated as the list may have negative value documents such as returns.  While workarounds can be made in SmartList Builder as well as within an additional Excel column that take this into account, keep this in mind when working with data in this manner! 

Voids:  Just like when working with positive and negative value documents, often times voided documents are overlooked and will overstate values depending on how the data is being analyzed.

Number of Records:  Out-of-the-box, Microsoft Dynamics GP will allow for the first 1,000 records in any SmartList to be displayed.  This sometimes results in missed records.  This can be changed from the search window in SmartList or from Microsoft Dynamics GP > Tools > Setup > System > SmartList Options.  In either case, the system maximum is 1,410,065,407 (if you type in “9,999,999,999” the system will automatically default this for you).

Columns:  Sometimes a standard SmartList is “so close” but is just missing that one piece of data needed.  Many times, the “Columns” button is overlooked.  In this area, users can select from dozens of additional columns available to add to any SmartList.  This area also allows the column order to be changed.  Remember to take a look in this area before writing off any standard SmartList as not having what you need, because often times, it can be found here.

Favorites:  We go through the effort of defining our filters, maximum number of records, columns to add and remove and their order and often times forget that we can save SmartLists and repeat this process over and over again every time a certain SmartList is needed.  Stop the madness!  Build out your SmartList and then hit the “Favorites” button.  This will allow you to name the SmartList, define who in the system can use the SmartList, and save it for future use.  No more rebuilding it each time!

Excel Export: SmartList hero of the day.  SmartLists can be exported to Excel by clicking the familiar “Excel” button.  Once the SmartList data is in Excel, it can be analyzed any number of ways but makes a great data source for Pivot Table and Pivot Chart analysis.

For more information on SmartLists or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, contact your local Microsoft Dynamics GP partner.