Why do we buy trouble with Microsoft Dynamics GP?

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Sometimes we are the problem. We come up with bizarre ideas and then wonder why our software doesn't work smoothly or why we can't easily reconcile. Recently I've seen: 

  • A company that pays payroll on the 15th for work through the 15th. To compound that challenge, they rarely get timesheets in on time. Lest you think this is a tiny entity, they do this for employees in more than 35 states. To me, this isn't the software's problem. This is a policy problem, but they want software to solve the issue.
  • A company insists on using Billing Address as the service address to support their handheld devices and then complains when the actual bill goes to the wrong address. Billing Address is trying to serve two masters and failing miserably.

I'm sure you have your own stories but I'm not here to beat people up. Sometimes we are the problem and sometimes we can provide the fix. In that spirit I want to offer some suggestions on how to fix some common problems in GP that are usually policy related. Often the problem relates to setup decisions so it can be hard to undo those choices made long ago. Trust me, it's worth it.

 Reconciling

Let's first look at a reconciling subledgers to the GL. You can make this so much easier if you'll just do a few simple things:

  • Uncheck "Allow account entry" in Account Maintenance for your control accounts. (AP, AR, Inventory, Cash, Fixed Assets, etc.). This prevents direct GL entries to these accounts. Use a second account and put the two together for reporting if you must make adjusting entries.
  • Ensure that 1 Subledger has only 1 corresponding GL account. AP to AP, 1 Checkbook to 1 GL account, 1 Accrued Purchases Account for receiving and invoice matching. Once you start splitting these and having multiple GL accounts or multiple checkbooks feeding 1 GL account you've made your life too complex and you'll spend a fortune trying to reconcile. 
  • Complete the bank deposit transactions. I don't why some people fight the bank deposit process. Whether you do it through GP's deposit process or use a GL based tool like Nolan Bank Rec, one way or another, you have to batch receipts into a deposit. The cash went into the bank as a deposit, that's what you'll ultimately need to reconcile to on a bank statement. I'm not even touching reconciling the bank account daily, but that provides huge benefits.
  • Post in a timely manner and post through the GL. Don't turn on batch approval for GL posting. This stops all GL posting and forces someone to approve it. A better option is to simply control Journal Entry posting via security. That way, any number of people can create journal entries but only a select few can post them. This doesn't affect items posted via the subledger and its much cleaner. Plus you'll never get stuff reconciled if you have piles of partially posted transactions.
  • Watch units of measure in Inventory. Few things goof up inventory faster than incorrect units of measure. That's how I once ended with $10,000 of bubble wrap when we'd never purchased more than $1,000 worth. It is simplest if your base unit of measure is your lowest unit of measure.

One last thing, remember that there is no such thing as a historical accrued purchases account. You need to print and manage it at month end. If you wait, it only gets ugly.

Reporting

For reporting, there is really one simple thing you can do to make life easier:

  •  Make sure that the Account Category is correct.  It doesn't matter if we're talking about financial statements via Management Reporter or a fancy executive dashboard, it's much easier to report on aggregated accounts when the Account Category is right. Need an AR total? Roll up the AR Account Category. Even if your chart is a mess and natural accounts are all over the place, if the account category is right, you can report off it.

You can't solve every problem on day one. Pick one of these pain points and fix it. Monitor it to make sure that it stays fixed. Move on to another item. You don't have to solve too many pain points to start to get support for your efforts. Oh and try not to create new pain points along the way.

  • Regarding your first point (Uncheck "Allow account entry" in Account Maintenance): if you are using eConnect to integrate your transactions and you need to specify all distributions then you should not uncheck this as eConnect will reject the transaction.