Make Life Easier for Yourself with Microsoft Dynamics GP 10: Five Habits to Break in the New Year

BY Mark Polino, Senior Consultant, I.B.I.S., Inc.

A new year brings New Year’s resolutions. When it comes to using Microsoft Dynamics GP 10, you should be seeking to leverage important features to smooth your company’s functioning, and improve productivity over the coming year. Here are five areas to pay attention to-with a focus on discontinuing certain steps in Dynamics GP.

1. Stop using Smartlists simply to send data to Excel. Smartlist is a great feature for ad hoc reporting. However, a lot of people create Smartlists just to be able to export the data to Excel. Well, in Dynamics GP 10, that’s a waste of resources. Learn to use the new Excel Reports and Excel Report Builder features instead. New Excel reporting functionality allows for live Excel connections to the data in GP. This means that users don’t have to keep re-sending the Smartlist to Excel every time that data is updated. The Excel sheet updates automatically.

2. Stop using the old menus and use the new Home Screen menus. Many people bemoaned the loss of the little push pin to be able to hold open a menu palette when there were many things to do on that menu. Well, the new home page menus allow you to see all the menu choices available for an area of the system. Stop pulling down drop down menus. Simply pick the area of the system that you want using the navigation menu on the left. Then the whole center area fills in with all the menu choices for that area. So for the New Year, quit dropping your menus and just use the big Home Screen.

3. Stop managing client installs and use Terminal Services. Managing client installations and updates has gotten better since version 9 introduced the new Client Update feature, but I still run into installations with mismatched clients. Updating clients is still time consuming. Consider using Citrix or the newest Terminal Services features present in Windows Server 2008. With Windows Server 2008 it’s possible to publish Dynamics GP as an application making it virtually invisible to your users that GP is not running on their desktop. Administrator gets centralized management and simpler upgrades, since each client doesn’t have to be updated, just the server.

4. Stop kidding yourself and get the modules you need. I see lots of clients who create pain for themselves because they use Extender when they really need a customization. They use Analytical Accounting when they really need Project Accounting. It can be incredibly painful in the long run to try to go cheap and use the wrong module. I’ve seen companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars on workarounds only to come back in a year and spend the money again for the right solution. It’s a tough economy, but that makes it more important not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

5. Stop making work for yourself and learn a new feature. Dynamics GP 10 is full of new features and yet people have trouble integrating those new features into their processes with each new upgrade. Companies not using allocations, Correcting Journal Entries, Excel Reports, Smartlists and all the other great features are losing out. Quit being stuck in the past and commit to learning some new features this year. Who knows, with each feature you learn, you might save enough time to learn the next feature!