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In this week's Microsoft Dynamics GP blog roundup:

  • Dynamics GP: How do you correct an entry that is already posted? 
  • Analytical accounting in GP for fixed assets
  • SmartList stuck on My Reports pane
  • Troubleshooting security permissions error messages in GP
Dynamics GP: How do you correct an entry that is already posted? 

On the ERP SoftwareBlog, an author from Crestwood Associates examined options other than voiding or altering an entry that has been posted in the general ledger. Instead, you are allowed to post a new entry to replace the one that is incorrect.

In the blog post, the author stated that Dynamics GP enables you to use "back out" or "back out and correct entries" functions. He then explained how to use those functions.

To use, click on the Correct button in the General Ledger Transaction window. But, if the entry was one from a subsidiary ledger, such as the Payables Transaction Entry, it is necessary to set the General Ledger Setup option first so that you can correct or void the subsidiary transactions.

You can find out how to do that here.

Analytical accounting in GP for fixed assets

On the Encore blog, Rudy Balasabas wrote about the fact that you can use analytical accounting in Dynamics GP with the fixed assets module – a feature that’s not widely known.

Balasabas stated that several clients wanted to know how to attach depreciation expenses to analytical accounting codes. Dynamics GP lets you do this.

The end result will be that when you do any type of fixed assets transaction (i.e., depreciation, additions, disposals) it records the GL transaction as normal, and then it will also code the transaction to the AA dimension code attached to the asset.

You can learn how to add analytical accounting  dimension codes to your assets here.

SmartList stuck on My Reports pane

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Microsoft will be updating a range of licensing policies for Dynamics 365 for Business Central to address partner concerns, improve the benefit of transitioning from GP and NAV, clarify some ISV scenarios, add a per-device license.

A device license is coming, priced at $40 per month. Use cases will include POS, manufacturing, and shop floor scenarios, he said, and it  is going to be strictly monitored at a technical level, according to Microsoft partner marketing advisory Antonio Loscalzo at Directions North America last week. He added that Microsoft expects the device license guidelines for Business Central will closely resemble those in place for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

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The Directions North America event started fifteen years ago as a Dynamics NAV partner conference. At the time, partners could run a profitable business focused almost entirely around deploying ERP. Many of those business owners remain in the Microsoft channel and still attend the event. But the landscape – as well as the event -- has changed, bringing new faces to the community along with challenges, questions, and concerns from the veterans.

" Can we do this?" was the existential question for some Microsoft partners after hearing Microsoft's latest pitch for the Dynamics 365 Business Central opportunity at last week's event. With deal sizes tripling and sales increasing, many partners with a basis in Dynamics GP and NAV say they feel good about the future of ERP in the Microsoft channel. But some also remain hesitant – or have already made up their minds to head for the exits.

Buying, selling, or merging a Microsoft partner business was one the favorite topics among Directions attendees this year. The conventional wisdom around which firms are in play comes down to a few key points.

  • The older business owners, especially those eyeing an exit in the next five years, are most likely to look at selling now. That's because the transition from GP and NAV (on-prem) to Business Central (SaaS) will require a traditional VAR to invest several years before any hopes of a full transformation to a profitable new operating model. It's like a river, one CEO remarked. Once you start crossing, you can't stop in the middle or you'll drown. Also, some believe company values in this segment could be at a high point. 
  • Whether this is the peak in terms of valuations, sellers' asking prices are often wrong today (read: too high), which is keeping the acquisition market more sluggish than it could be.
  • The spottiness of Business Central's success so far has some partners concerned. Today the Business Central channel seems to be in a feast or famine situation, with some partners reporting increased deals in the most recent quarter and an even better pipeline. But others have said they believe there is a large segment of partners treading water with only a handful of small deals so far and an uninspiring forecast.
  • The GP partner community is split on what to do next. GP VAR presence grew at the NAV-centric Directions event, but even among those on hand, some appear unconvinced about whether Business Central is the right cloud ERP to rep. Hearing from the pessimists, it can be hard to parse their bitterness about GP's stagnation from legitimate concerns about Business Central as Microsoft's cloud ERP of the future. Other more optimistic GP veterans have reached the opposite conclusion and are enthusiastic about Business Central's promise.
Business survival: Buyers, sellers, and entrepreneurs perk up

With the prospect of GP and NAV-focused partner firms becoming attractive acquisition targets in the near future, high performing mid-sized Dynamics ERP VARs, larger system integrators, and private equity firms all have their eyes on the space.

One of the most interesting debates around the future of the Microsoft SMB ERP channel is what types of buyers are most likely to succeed. For pure resellers (i.e., those without much repeatable IP) with sizable NAV or GP client bases, at least three profiles have the potential to yield a good deal outcome.

A NAV partner buying a GP partner

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In this week's Microsoft Dynamics GP blog roundup:

  • How to fix a messed up Dynamics GP file association
  • Dealing with timeout errors in GP
  • Unable to create a new fiscal year
  • The case for detailed application logs
How to fix a messed up Dynamics GP file association

On The Dynamics GP Geek Blog, Beat Bucher stated that every so often since he's been working with Dynamics GP, he comes across systems where the extension association for GP files is messed up. This was happening more frequently on x64-bit systems (Windows 7-10, Server 2012 and up).

Bucher pointed out that previous fixes to the problem were incomplete.

My good friend David Musgrave had  posted something about how to fix that many years ago in 2009 and I bumped into a  2011 community thread about the very same topic, but to me both posts where either incomplete or confusing in their instructions. Sure, David provided a file to fix the problem with one mouse click (or so he thought), but it’s an incomplete solution.

In his blog post, Bucher explained the issue and then offered an in-depth solution. You can find what the fix is here.

Dealing with timeout errors in GP

On the Dynamics Support and Services Blog, Lucas Boewood asked readers to imagine that the tomorrow is the deadline to finish closing the prior year.

Although you've never done it before, you're following the support guide and so far so good. In fact, you've made it to the step of clicking 'close year in the year-end closing window (Step 11).

There are only a few steps left and you're home free. However, a "query timeout expired" error message pops up and stops the whole process. You do everything you can to try and figure out what the problem is so that you can fix it but no dice.

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In this week's Microsoft Dynamics partner news roundup:

  • Insightsoftware acquires Jet Global Data Technologies
  • Metafile Information Systems and ACOM Solutions form strategic partnership
  • Impartner collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate direct and indirect sales; co-market and co-sell solutions
  • Synoptek expands their Dynamics business by acquiring Chicago-based Dynamics Resources
  • Payroll NOW by Integrity Data provides integrated payroll solution for Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Connected field service solution focuses on manufacturing companies
Insightsoftware acquires Jet Global Data Technologies

Insightsoftware,  a provider of ERP and enterprise performance management (EPM) reporting solutions, has acquired  Jet Global Data Technologies, which builds reporting, analytics, and budgeting solutions for Dynamics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition builds on Insightsoftware's strategy of delivering reporting platforms that allow organizations to access and distribute financial and operational data, according to company officials.

Jet Global's solutions is intended to enable flexible reporting from any Dynamics source, including Dynamics AX, NAV and GP, in the Excel environment users are familiar with, officials said.

Metafile Information Systems and ACOM Solutions form strategic partnership

Metafile Information Systems, the company behind MetaViewer, an automation-document management solution, and ACOM Solutions, a B2B payment platform provider, have teamed up to launch a new invoice-through-payment automation solution.

MetaViewer aims to enhance Dynamics ERP systems for customers by adding integrated workflow, document imaging, and dashboard views of business processes, according to officials.

Combined with the power of Dynamics, MetaViewer and ACOM have teamed up to round out their accounts payable and payment automation processes. The companies now allow organizations to expand the current MetaViewer workflow with invoice-through-payment automation, officials said.

ACOM and MetaViewer customers can now implement invoice-through-payment automation, according to officials.

Impartner collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate direct and indirect sales; co-market and co-sell solutions

Impartner, a provider of partner relationship management (PRM software), is teaming up with Microsoft to offer an integrated technology solution in a bid to help customers accelerate direct and indirect sales from within a single console.

Impartner is also launching Impartner PRM for Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide channel marketing and sales professionals with a clean, integrated master view of their channel success, according to officials of the companies. Microsoft will co-market and co-sell the solution.

"We couldn't be more excited about this collaboration to better serve the tidal wave of demand we've seen from our customers, many of whom are embracing the power and flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics 365, and are looking for a proven joint solution that ensures they can be up and running quickly,” said Impartner CEO Joe Wang in a statement.

Synoptek expands their Dynamics business by acquiring Chicago-based Dynamics Resources

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In the April 2019 update to Power BI Desktop, one of the enhancements was a new connector for Solver BI360, a corporate performance management suite. The connector offers BI360 cloud customers to pre-built to bring financial, budget, and other operational data to Power BI for use in reports and dashboards.

The connector itself was several months in the making, Solver CEO Nils Rasmussen told MSDW in a new interview. As he explained it, Microsoft's success in growing Power BI has created more opportunities for ISV partners like Solver, but it has also introduced new challenges as more organizations raise their expectations around BI capabilities like authoring of dashboards and lowering costs.

As BI and reporting software buyers, including BI360 customers, have invested in solutions like Power BI and top competitors, the dashboarding tools that smaller vendors like Solver had built in years past started to lose their attractiveness. Solver made the decision about three years ago to deprioritize their own web dashboard module in favor of Power BI and to focus on their own more specialized financial reporting, consolidations, budgeting, and data warehousing solution.

Betting on Power BI felt like a risky decision three years ago, Rasmussen said. At the time, Power BI's future as a cloud-based solution was still uncertain. As it has gained market share and has converted more organizations, including SMBs, into believers, the overall impact is positive for Solver as a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) vendor. He explains:

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This week on the Dynamics GP blog roundup:

  • Dynamics GP: Deleting all document attachments for payables transactions
  • Adobe Acrobat updates: ePayStub locking up GP
  • How to easily change tax details in GP
  • Dynamics GP refund checks
  • Object reference not set to an instance of an object
Dynamics GP: Deleting all document attachments for payables transactions

On Steve Endow – The Blog, Endow stated that he was working with a customer to automate the process of importing document attachments into Dynamics GP.

Part of the testing process involves clearing out all the test attachments that had been imported and re-importing them.

In his blog post, Endow offered some SQL scripts that he created to delete all document attachments for payables transactions. You can modify the scripts if you want to remove attachments for other record types.

You can find the scripts here.

Adobe Acrobat updates: ePayStub locking up GP

On the Encore Business Solutions blog, David Snare stated that recently some of Encore's ePayStub customers have reported that GP has locked up and they can't mail out PDF pay stubs.

ePayStub is our Dynamics GP add-on solution for Canadian Payroll that enables you to email employee paystubs and T4s, T4As, and R1s through Microsoft Dynamics GP.

 Snare stated that the issue stemmed from the April 2019 update of Adobe Acrobat.

You can read exactly what the problem is and how to fix it here.

How to easily change tax details in Dynamics GP

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Dynamics 365 Business Central customer growth has exceeded Microsoft's expectations recently, with its customer adds coming primarily from new customer acquisition. Microsoft director of product marketing Errol Schoenfish recently updated MSDW in an interview,  stating:

By our measures, Business Central is exceeding expectations for the fiscal year, largely due to new customer acquisition. And in North America it has a following that spans what you may have called more traditional GP partners. They've added Business Central to their practices and continue to serve a broader group of customers since, in many cases, they are already offering many Dynamics 365 workloads inclusive of Finance and Operations, Customer Engagement, and NAV on-premises before Business Central came out.

Errol Schoenfish,  Microsoft

Microsoft also sees that usage of Business Central is evolving. Initially, users were focused on core capabilities. Now the team is seeing larger user counts and broader usage.

The average goes up every month, and we know as result that larger user counts bring in more complex capabilities in areas like manufacturing and operations. We also see in our telemetry where customers are spending time. Jobs capabilities have exploded as of late, and we can see that trajectory in more complex areas. Also, we've seen that additional users being added to existing customers, which took off in past three months as customers doing three to five user implementations add users. That's been great to see.

Microsoft's nearly 200,000 Dynamics NAV, GP, and SL customers remain a relatively untapped source of new Business Central opportunities, he says.

There's still a massive opportunity for the right customers to transition to a managed-by-Microsoft, full multi-tenant cloud solution. In last couple months we have stepped up our portfolio of content to help partners deliver that message to customers if it makes sense to do that. Many are taking us up on that.

But there are signs that Business Central is gaining traction in that legacy Dynamics ERP space. Whether it is Microsoft's sales and marketing materials or advances in the product's functional footprint, the mix of customers signing up for the cloud solution could start to shift. Lorna Link, consulting manager at Microsoft partner Velosioreports that over the last six months the team's Business Central wins are evenly divided between existing Dynamics GP and SL migrations and new customers.

"We had great [Business Central] October 2018 and April 2019 releases," Link told MSDW. Those updates from Microsoft boosted interest in the solution from both new and legacy Dynamics customers.

Another important factor that Link says her team has observed is the continued onboarding of ISV solutions for Business Central. More add-on solution options in popular areas like warehousing, manufacturing, payroll, and HR will win over more legacy ERP users who are familiar with, and to some extent expect, those options. Link, who worked in the GP channel prior to Business Central, explained:

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For decades, pundits and tech journalists have been heralding the rise of intelligent machines and how they will revolutionize the way we live our lives. A big part of that shift involves "intelligent" software that is supposed to transform the modern workplace.

With the arrival of accessible automation tools, often described as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), we are finally beginning to see a noticeable change in the way digital technology impacts our work routine. The successes of RPA early adopters have started to catch the attention of other businesses that are seeking to replicate their results. This momentum will propel RPA into the mainstream very quickly, and just as quickly, the average knowledge worker will have to transition from never having heard of RPA to possessing practical experience working with bots.

Here are some ways that RPA is transforming our experience – and our responsibilities – as knowledge workers.

Prepare to become a “bot boss”

You might have encountered self-serve checkout lines at your local supermarket. Instead of a team of cashiers scanning groceries, a single cashier acts as a trainer and supervisor for first-time users of this new system. They walk customers through the process and provide assistance when something unexpected happens. Implementing RPA represents an opportunity for many employees to be “promoted” to a similar supervisory role.

Suppose you spend several hours each week searching for emails that contain details on recent shipments, finding out which courier company the shipment is being delivered by, checking the status of the shipment on that courier’s tracking website, and typing that status into your company’s central supply chain database. With an RPA solution, you could train a bot to carry out the same series of tasks. You’ll just be responsible for monitoring your bots, which will allow you to concentrate on more strategic processes like performance analysis and inventory optimization.

Since your bots will use the same digital tools (email clients, web browsers, spreadsheets, etc.) as you used to, you’ll still rely on your prior experience working with those tools. You’ll also need to learn enough about the RPA platform to track how your bots are performing and intervene when they encounter situations they weren’t trained to handle.

Transitioning to a bot trainer

To take your career to the next level, you could learn how to train your bots on new tasks instead of relying on your IT department to make adjustments every time your tasks change. You’d quickly become a more agile, more valuable employee.

For example, if management decides that any part substitutions in your manufacturing processes need to be approved by two separate engineers instead of one, then you could train a bot to forward each substitution request to the correct personnel and only proceed with the change after the bot receives two approvals.

Even though several “no-code” RPA platforms exist that are much simpler than full-fledged application development, training complex bots often requires a basic understanding of programming fundamentals like conditions, loops, and functions. People who use computers and smartphones on a daily basis will catch on fairly quickly, but their shift in job focus could lead to difficulties similar to the sort that first-time managers often face.

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