How to Find the Best Software that Fits Your Requirements and Integrates with Dynamics GP

The current process of finding software is broken. Organizations utilize search engines, high-level catalogs, reviews, sit through countless demos & at the end of their vetting process, jump into an agreement where stones (requirements) may still be left unturned and the agreement may end up feeling like a leap of faith.

Let’s examine further…

  • Search Engines. Talk about information overload. If you search ‘Top Budgeting Solution’, you’re left with websites that do nothing but gather outdated reviews from paid customers (or from the vendors themselves, YIKES) or you’re left with the software companies themselves and their well-funded and clever advertisements selling to you. After looking a software site for awhile, you then jump into the next step…

  • Countless Demos. It could be the first demo or it could be the tenth demo that you ultimately move to the next step with. The point is that time is wasted on all fronts with unnecessary “canned” demos from sales teams that don’t know your business, your challenges or your actual requirements. Great.

  • There Are So Many to Choose From. In each category, there are dozens and dozens of solutions and they all have different approaches, different targets, different features & fit different types of customers. You can ‘t possibly vet them all to find the best fit and can’t afford to end up selecting the wrong solution. Purchasing software isn’t like buying a new laptop; you can’t just take it back or trade it in for another if you’re unhappy. The costs to switch after you’ve started a project (even when you do find there’s a better solution for you) are simply too great.

  • Referrals. Referrals are great and should always be utilized when the right one is found. However, what does a referral typically look like? You’ve requested one from a vendor and they provide you with the contact information of one of their biggest fans OR you find a referral from a more trusted source but that referral still ultimately doesn’t have the same requirements as you do…

  • Half-Vetted Solutions Turned Agreements. How often do you have every single process and requirement hashed out with the vendor to ensure there’s a fit EVERYWHERE before you ink the dotted line? There isn’t a large enough sales force in the world that has time to sit with all prospects in the pre-sales process to go through every fine detail. What typically happens is that the agreement is signed & then these requirements are hashed out (or found to be misses) as the implementation / go-live proceeds. Not good.

Let’s take a look at finding software using a smarter approach. Let’s take a look at Solugence.

Solugence is a software matching platform where you build a “software profile” that entails what your business requirements are for a particular software category (let’s say a Budgeting/Forecasting & Financial reporting tool) and then Solugence’s software matching algorithm identifies the best solutions that FIT YOU and provides you with a detailed breakdown on why the match. The days of countless demos, endless Google searches, spending weeks—>months trying to vet out software are finished! Oh and Solugence is 100% free!

The best part about Solugence is that its originating roots come from the Dynamics GP world so many of the categories deployed, the solutions that are being matched against, and even the profiles themselves have the specific requirements of a typical GP customer in mind.

Simply put, if you’re looking for software in any of the following live categories, you HAVE to consider using Solugence to help you find the best fit. Solugence will save you time, money and is the smartest way to finding the right software that fits you.

“Live” Categories on Solugence

  • Budgeting, Forecasting & Financial Reporting (which Management Reporter replacement is the best fit for you?)

  • Lease Accounting (ASC 842 is upon us and it’s crystal clear that this is not something we’ll find in GP or any ERP system for that matter)

  • Expense Reporting (Did you know that there are over 50 EXPENSE REPORTING SOLUTIONS in the marketplace? Solugence will help you find what fits you best and integrates with GP)

  • A/P Automation (GP has made some strides in this category with their workflows and document attachments, however, full A/P Automation solutions are incredibly beneficial to organizations running GP).

  • Fixed Assets (GP has a simple fixed assets solution that will suit some with some patience and oversight; there are dozens of other great solutions that focus solely on Fixed Assets available)

Learn more & get to finding smarter @ https://solugence.com.

Workflows Galore in GP2018 and What Makes Them Great!

Curious as to what Workflow options are available in Dynamics GP? Check-out the full post HERE! Microsoft has done a fantastic job with the workflow system and our post touches on the pros and cons as well as what features and workflow options you should expect if/when you decide to jump on board with workflows.

Read More

Fixed Assets - Upgraded Projection Reports Using SSRS

Quick show-off of how to utilize SSRS to deploy improved Fixed Asset Projection reports in Dynamics GP 2018. Versions are a month over month report as well as a summary/detailed projection listing with G/L account.

Read More

Automate Unit Account Values Based on Sales Quantities

It is a typical KPI request to be able to report on unit account values.  Let's go ahead and say that we're looking at a profit and loss report, by product and the business wants to see units sold that are included in that margin.

In a perfect world (and using some tools that are not named Management Reporter), if you're capturing the Product A quantity in the Sales Order Processing (SOP) module in GP, you'd be able to reference the sum of the sales instead of using a unit account.  However... We don't live in a perfect world whilst using Management Reporter thus Unit Accounts are required.

So what we'd see is in GP, we'd setup a unit account for something like "Units Sold - Product A"

In Management Reporter, we'd then have a row definition that looked something like...

Sales Product A

- Expenses Product A

= Margin

/ Units Sold - Product A

= Margin/Unit

In a typical fashion, in order for this report to be up to date, the accounting team would need to make a routine journal entry to the unit account within GP.  This process leaves way for manual errors, timing issues & the potential for management to lose confidence in their reports.

Using the method below, we complete streamline this process by automating the unit account journal entry within GP.

Part 1: Associate a unit account with an inventory item in GP.

Note: For example deliverable, one item may be used at multiple locations (segment 1 of COA).  Therefore, we just assign the Natural account to the item & then let the integration define the remaining COA segments)

Approach: We accomplish this using

eOne Solution's Extender product

Part 2: Setup integration that captures posted activity in GP & creates journal entry in GP.

Note: For example deliverable, we're pulling the prior day's activity & creating a journal entry first thing in the morning.

Note: Integration script defines COA segments based on the SITE of the sale on SOP invoice & then the natural account that we associated to the item.

Approach:  We accomplish this using

eOne Solution's SmartConnect product

Map/Integration Setup

ODBC Connection to Company Database - Selecting Prior Day Sales

Part 3: Enable map/integration schedule.  This is an out of the box functionality of SmartConnect.

Part 4: Create reconciling reports using SmartList/SmartView.  These reports can be used at month-end to reconcile financials.

Note: This report is best suited to be built using a Sales Line Item report, filter on the posting date & ensures that returns are shown as negatives

Part 5: Notify accounting team that all they need to do moving forward is post their batches & reconcile once @ month-end!

Integrated transactions in GP would look similar to...

Note: All prior day activity are rolled into 1 line.  Option to separate for each sales transaction would be available if desired.

A few other notes to consider in this process...

- Returns must be accounted for

- When deploying, it is recommended to have the accounting team reconcile more frequent.  As they gather an understanding of process and ensure that numbers are tying out, reconcile less frequent.

- Failed integrations should auto-notify an integration PowerUser.  PowerUser could re-run integration if/when needed

This solution is built in a manner that's easy to implement & maintain and quickly accomplishes the goals of time savings, accurate data & providing a more robust GP system.

Thinking about implementing for your business and looking for additional details?  Already implemented and have feedback?  Let us know in the comments below!

GP Security: Identifying Security Roles, Tasks, & Operations

A common request we receive is: "We want to tie down security of our users but have no clue as to who has access to what".  To be frank, the reporting for this in GP is not exactly easy to come by.  While there are a number of ISVs available that will provide you with tools and analytics for this information, we have a quick fan-favorite solution via SQL to gather this data.

This information can also be found on the Microsoft Developer Blog here.  

First thing's first, in order to get the following script to populate data, the Clear Data Procedure on the Security Resource Descriptions table within GP.  This can be done from Microsoft Dynamics GP>>Maintenance>>Clear Data

Select 'Display' in the toolbar change to 'Physical', Series = 'System' & Table = Security Resource Descriptions.

After inserting the table and running the clear data procedure, the SQL query will now populate the users>>roles>>tasks>>operations which can be used as a starting point to identify and cleanup security/internal control concerns.

SELECT DISTINCT

    S.USERID UserID, S.CMPANYID CompanyID,

    C.CMPNYNAM CompanyName, S.SecurityRoleID,

    coalesce(T.SECURITYTASKID,'') SecurityTaskID,

    coalesce(TM.SECURITYTASKNAME,'') SecurityTaskName,

    coalesce(TM.SECURITYTASKDESC,'') SecurityTaskDescription,

    coalesce(R.DICTID,'') DictionaryID,

    coalesce(R.PRODNAME,'') ProductName,

    coalesce(R.TYPESTR,'') ResourceType,

    coalesce(R.DSPLNAME,'') ResourceDisplayName,

    coalesce(R.RESTECHNAME,'') ResourceTechnicalName,

    coalesce(R.Series_Name,'') ResourceSeries

FROM    SY10500 S   -- security assignment user role

LEFT OUTER JOIN

    SY01500 C   -- company master

    ON S.CMPANYID = C.CMPANYID

LEFT OUTER JOIN

    SY10600 T  -- tasks in roles

    ON S.SECURITYROLEID = T.SECURITYROLEID 

LEFT OUTER JOIN

    SY09000 TM  -- tasks master

    ON T.SECURITYTASKID = TM.SECURITYTASKID 

LEFT OUTER JOIN

    SY10700 O  -- operations in tasks

    ON T.SECURITYTASKID = O.SECURITYTASKID 

LEFT OUTER JOIN

    SY09400 R  -- resource descriptions 

    ON R.DICTID = O.DICTID AND O.SECRESTYPE = R.SECRESTYPE

    AND O.SECURITYID = R.SECURITYID

Without the Clear Data procedure ahead of time, the resource descriptions table would be empty and provide no detail on the security operations.

Security is never fun and sometimes hard to grasp your arms around.  We hope this report helps.  Please leave us any questions or feedback below & be sure to our out website @ ALaCarteGP.com.

Until Next Time!

Management Reporter Performance Issues --> Clearing Report Repository

We've run into multiple occasions where we've seen environments with top-notch resources, up to date servers and not an overly abundant amount of data yet they still seem to experience performance issues while generating reports.

The report itself would take 30+ seconds to generate but then the opening of the MR Report Viewer application would drag on and one and sometimes take upwards of a minute to open and display the generate report.  When the Report Viewer application opens, it calls the reports in the report library (to an extent) and typically isn't a big deal.  However, when you are working in an environment where Management Reporter reports are heavily relied on, the number of reports in the repository builds quickly.  You'll also find that there is no option within Management Reporter or the Report Viewer (as of CU14) to clear the repository reports or set any amount of time to store the historical reports before clearing.  This is where a bit of SQL magic comes in handy.

The following query defines an integer that is used to define how many days worth of reports that you'd like to keep in your repository.  In our example, we decided that only 10 days worth were necessary and if any reports past 10 days were ever needed that we'd simply re-generate the report.

Please note that this query may take an extended period of time to run, especially when being used as a first time.  We also highly recommend running this in a Development environment to ensure the desired outcome is what's expected before moving into production.

DECLARE @DaysBack integer

Set @DaysBack = 10


delete reporting.reportlinetransaction

where ReportID in (select id from reporting.report where RepositoryID in

(select id from reporting.repository where StatusType = 0 and [Type] = 10 and CreateDate <= DATEADD(day,@DaysBack,getdate())))


delete reporting.ReportLineFinancial

where reportid in (select id from reporting.report where RepositoryID in (select id

from reporting.Repository where StatusType = 0 and [Type] = 10 and CreateDate <= dateadd(day,@DaysBack,getdate())))


delete reporting.ReportLineAccount

where reportid in (select id from reporting.report where RepositoryID in (select id from reporting.Repository where

StatusType = 0 and [Type] = 10 and CreateDate <= dateadd(day,@DaysBack,getdate())))

delete reporting.report where RepositoryID in (select id from reporting.Repository where StatusType = 0

and [Type] = 10 and CreateDate <= DATEADD(day,@DaysBack,getdate()))


delete reporting.repository

where statustype = 0 and [Type] = 10 and CreateDate <=DATEADD(day,@DaysBack,getdate())

After running this query, you should find that when generating your next report that Report Viewer will open up in a fraction of a time as before.

That's all for today everyone.  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below and check out ALaCarteGP.com.