Editing Posted Documents

Following with the theme from my last blog, I will continue my discussion on correcting posted transactions.  Both Receivables & Payables documents can have certain information edited after they have been posted.  Documents can have the following four fields edited after they have been posted:

  • Discount Date
  • Due Date
  • PO Number
  • Description

To access these screens, select Edit Transaction Information under either Sales or Purchasing Transactions windows.  Select the appropriate vendor or customer document to edit & make the necessary changes.  This tool is handy for those that base collections, payment or other information on these details.  Just ensure only the appropriate parties have access to modify this data.

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Correcting Entries

Normally, once an item is posted, it is in the system.  Posting is the be-all & end-all.  It is kind of like writing with pen.  And let’s just say, there is a reason they invented whiteout.

Dynamics GP does have an exception to the posting rule in the form of Correcting Entries.  The one caveat is that only open year General Ledger entries can be corrected.

To make a correcting entry, select Transactions > Financial > Transactions.  Click the Correct button.  Select an Action of:

Back Out a Journal Entry
Or
Back Out a Journal Entry and Create a Correcting Entry

Select the appropriate journal entry to correct using the lookup feature & select OK.  Remember, only general journal entries can be reversed.  Review the Batch ID in the lookup window to determine if an entry is a general journal entry.

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Setting the Default Company in Business Portal

Earlier this week, I talked about annoying configuration that can be found in Dynamics GP.  I tried to show that users don’t have to be annoyed because they are the ones that control what the system does.

A similar situation exists in Business Portal.  Recently, I was watching a client access Business Portal & every time they entered the system; they had to change the Company ID.  I explained to them that this is easily configurable in the system.

To set your default company, select the Welcome drop-down menu from the top right corner of the screen while in Business Portal.  Select My Business Portal Settings & adjust your default company as desired.

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System Alerts

“Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking, just a moment.”  If you’ve ever seen Office Space, you know how annoying THAT person can be.  What if your system did that same thing?

Dynamics has a small quirk that can annoying to those in Accounts Receivable.  Since invoices can be entered in multiple windows.  Both the Sales Transaction Entry & the Invoice Entry windows perform the same essential function of populating sales invoices.  As such, Dynamics warns users when entering these windows.  Well, that warning can become annoying after viewing it for the 463rd time.  To get rid of this warning, run your GP Utilities (from your Start menu).  In the Additional Tasks window, select the ‘Remove SOP and Invoicing message’.  Proceed to uncheck ‘Warn in Sales Order Processing’ & ‘Warn in Invoicing’.  When complete, your little annoying warning will be gone forever.

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WebSan Solutions certifies Microsoft Dynamics GP interface for CSA Software Solution

WebSan assisted Mercury E-Portal Solutions Inc. in certifying a Microsoft Dynamics GP standard interface to it's CSA Software Solution.

See the full blog press release here : Mercury E-Portal Solutions Blog

The press release is on PRWEB here : PRWEB MEPS Press Release

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The Future of Dynamics GP

Last week, I wrote about the major benefits of upgrading to Version 10 of Dynamics GP.  This had me thinking about future releases of GP & what they would have in store.  Peering into their crystal ball, Microsoft let their Partners know what exactly they foresee for the future of Dynamics GP.

SP4 for Version 10 is the last service pack users will be seeing for a while.  This is because in the second quarter of 2010, Microsoft will release Version 11 of Dynamics GP.  Highlights include Role Tailored Business Intelligence & further integration with Microsoft Office.  Then around 2012 or 2013, Version 12 of Dynamics GP will be released.  The focus of this release will be on improving user productivity & the simplicity of the system.  This is all in an effort to further target mid-market buyers of ERP software; a market Microsoft feels they have a competitive advantage in with Dynamics GP.  Lastly, 5-6 years down the road, Microsoft will release Version 13.  This version will have a revamped user interface as well as incorporate the next generation of Microsoft technologies, potentially a large shift for many users.

As always, if you require assistance, WebSan has years of Dynamics GP expertise & (Microsoft Certified) knowledge to help clients with both upgrades & implementations.  Feel free to contact us with your support issues.

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Write-Off Documents

Take a penny; leave a penny.  I think these are the greatest invention.  Personally, I don’t carry change.  When offered 2 cents change, I usually tell the clerk to keep it.  The only time this comes back to hurt me is when I’m short a cent or two.  That’s where the beauty of the ‘take a penny; leave a penny’ system shines.  It helps people avoid breaking a bill only to receive a bunch of coins. 

The worlds of ERP & accounting have their own ‘take a penny; leave a penny’ jar.  Writing-off immaterial amounts of money is a common practice that occurs when small over or under payments are made.  To access the Write Off Documents window in Dynamics GP, look in the Sales Routines.  This window will create debit or credit memos that are then posted & applied to the documents you’re writing off.

Using this window is fairly simple for most novice GP users.  Select the Write-off Type, Write-off Limit & other restrictions as appropriate.  I advise using the Preview button as it provides a listing of documents to choose from.  Click Process when you are ready. 

Note:  This screen does factor in Maximum Write-off from the Customer & Vendor Options.

Maybe you have an inactive customer that has a very small balance remaining on their account or you accidentally underpaid a one time bill by a small amount … write-off these documents & clean up your system.

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Aging Documents

Everyone is different.  The same goes for clients, who often asked me how to modify aging periods.  Most Dynamics GP users stick with the standard 30/60/90 day aging periods for both receivables & payables.  However, many businesses have the requirement to insert a 45-day break into the aging process.  This is a two-step process wherein users often forget the second step.

Begin in the Setup menu, selecting either Purchasing & then Payable or Sales & then Receivables. You will find the ability to add up to a total of seven aging periods.  One can adjust aging periods here as desired.  The second (and more difficult) part of the process involves modifying your reports.  Standard GP reports only display four aging periods.  If your company inserts a fifth period, the last period will populate with the report but will not be printed.  If you have experience in Report Writer, you should be comfortable changing the necessary layouts.  If not, try contacting WebSan.  We are experienced in helping companies with this very issue.

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Upgrading Dynamics GP to Version 10

If you are currently running on Microsoft Dynamics GP Version 9 you may be fighting with the decision to upgrade to Version 10.  There are some great arguments to why you should upgrade to the newer system but those upgrades may not be worth your time and money expense.

The first thing users want to know is:  How does it look?  Current users won’t waste time becoming familiar with the layout because the Home Page & Toolbars are reminiscent of Version 9.  Differences will be noticed in the address bar, status bar & navigation buttons.

The newest version of GP makes it really easy for all users to locate windows using the navigation buttons.  The navigation buttons allow for faster & more direct access to different windows.  These come in handy when trying to find the location of an unknown window, allowing the user to look through the directory path instead of clicking through multiple screens.

The introduction of Action Panes further streamline business processes.  These allow users to preview & filter data without the need to open multiple windows.  For role specific tasks this feature will greatly speed up routine procedures.

Managers now have greater ability to review the outlook of the organization in greater detail.  With Microsoft Dynamics GP 10, budgeting has become more flexible & now allows the user to budget for multiple fiscal years, integrating budgets from various business units.

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Personalize Your ERP

There is a reason we put pictures of loved ones on our desks … we like things our own way.  No matter how small the tweak, we all like being individuals.  Dynamics GP has some great features to let users view & access information how they want.  From one’s homepage, users can access an invoicing screen by selecting Transactions & then Sales at the top of the window or they can select to view the Sales module from the bottom left corner of the screen.

Users should also check out the User Preferences screen under the Microsoft Dynamics GP heading at the top of the screen.  Accounts Receivable will love being able to have invoices automatically selected when they enter the Sales Transaction Entry screen.  Users can also modify text to display in various colours & styles.  Feel free to make your link fields display as Pink if you like, its all up to you!

 

 

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Mobilize Your ERP Part Two

Everyone is connected!  And companies can now gain access to their ERP system through mobile devices securely.  Our previous discussion focused on the benefits found by sales personnel who can remotely access ERP & CRM data.  In part two of our discussion, we will focus on industry specific benefits that can be gained.

While we all know that mobile devices have allowed employees to become much more efficient.  However, many companies still require employees to be sitting at a work centre to access & input data.  By mobilizing your ERP system, one can differentiate themselves from competitors & reduce costs.

Mail carriers have been recording your signature upon receipt for years, but what other uses can be found by mobilizing your ERP?

Consultants or engineers can assign their time to projects or input travel expenses all while waiting to catch a flight.  Busy logistics professionals can supervise deliveries & shipments without being close to the warehouse.  Maintenance staff in the utilities sector can be remotely tracked & that data directly visible in system reporting.  Those working with chemicals would have instant access to quality & safety processes.

WebSan has found that companies that effectively implement mobilized solutions realized significant cost savings. Contact WebSan today to arrange an evaluation of your industry specific needs.

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Getting Started with a Virtualized Testbed

An often-used buzzword over the last few years in the IT sector has been virtualization - the process of turning one server that hosts a single operating system into a super-system that can potentially host 10 or more operating systems. By now most large corporations and agencies have some sort of virtualized infrastructure in place, and for good reason. The benefits to using this technology are numerous: hardware and operation costs are drastically reduced, virtualization provides enhanced flexibility with the allocation of resources, and production environment’s mission critical applications have been noticing improvements of up time. But how can a virtualized server improve your organizations testing and development cycles?

One of the major benefits of a virtualized test server is the ability to swiftly bring new resources online and create new development environments. Cloning a standard template that has been authored with the fundamental tools required by the development team can create these new environments. Procuring, configuring and installing hardware used to take weeks - but all of the sudden your development team’s new environment is up and running in less than the amount of time it takes to get a cup of coffee.

Another true benefit to a virtualized test server is that there is less risk of cross-contamination between environments. There is no longer an issue when development team A modifies core system files that could possibly interrupt development team B from using that code library. Why? Because both teams have completely separate environments using completely different virtual hard drives connected to completely different virtual networks.

So what about the cost? The common perception is that you need a really powerful and expensive server - but this is not the case. Taking into account the timesavings you will experience, you will also find that there is there is not much investment needed to get a virtualized test server online, especially now that VMWare’s ESXi Hypervisor is available as a free download. Perhaps that server sitting in the basement can be used to get your foot in the virtualization doorstep.

Mike Jantz is a Senior Technical Consultant with WebSan Solutions Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in helping companies get the most out of their ERP systems and Supply Chains. You can contact Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 416-499-1235 ext. 210.

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The Homepage

Home sweet home!  It’s a beautiful place.  Its where we feel most comfortable & spend most of our time.  The same can (& should!) be said about your ERP.  The homepage in Dynamics GP has access to everything you need in the click of a button.

Managers are always interested in quick easy access to reports.  The Dynamics GP homepage offers various metrics to the user the second they log in.  Click on the pencil icon to the right of the word Metrics on your desktop to modify what metrics will display.  Although there are dozens to choose from, my fav five are:

  • Top 5 Customers by YTD Sales
  • Top 10 Items by Sales Amount for the Past 30 Days
  • Receivables Aging
  • Payables Aging
  • Gross Profit for the Past 12 Months

Scroll through your metrics using the < & > keys for instant access to the reports you desire.

Try these other tips to help make your homepage a one-stop shop for all your GP needs:

  • Right click on the navy blue banner at the top of the screen to create graphical shortcuts
  • Click on the pencil icon to the right of the Quick Links heading for one-click access to your favourite windows
  • Click the ‘Customize this page …’ button to change layout of your homepage
  • Select the following  icon to add or remove windows from your desktop & even configure shortcuts:

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Why do so many technology projects fail? - Part II

I've been involved in IT and Supply Chain projects all over the world. I've seen projects achieve all of the objectives, come in under budget and ahead of schedule. I've also seen projects fail to achieve the benefits they set out to, or even outright fail to even work.

And what's the #1 difference between success and failure?

Executive Sponsorship

When I am contacted by a prospective client to discuss a new ERP system, I always make sure that the first meeting includes key decision makers. You may say, "well of course! You don't want to sell to someone who isn't authorized to make the purchase." And you'd only be 1/2 right...

The real reason that the key decision maker needs to be in the very first meeting is because if they aren't "driving the bus", then everyone will end up under it. What I mean is that technology projects are complicated and fraught with challenges just by their very nature. If someone at the top of the organization isn't driving the success of the project, then it will not work. It may finish, albeit over budget and over schedule, but I can almost guarantee that it won't meet the business objectives set at the beginning.

Sometimes a CFO or CEO looks at me funny during the first sales meeting because I've refused to meet with the "IT guy" and insist on meeting with them as well. After I explain the reasoning behind it and start the Q&A session that is outlined in the "Unlock Your Potential" program, they are always heavily engaged and demand to be significant contributors along the way. This is because we create value right at the very first meeting and if there is no significant ROI demonstrated right at the beginning for them, then it ends right there. No one is wasting time.

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Mobilize Your ERP

I wanted to take an opportunity to discuss an article I recently wrote for our monthly WebSan newsletter.  The article discusses utilizing mobile devices to access one’s ERP system.  Since mobile devices have become so common, software companies have made great efforts to make their systems available on these devices. 

Here is a quick excerpt:

Salespeople by nature are always away from the office.  As such, most CRM applications are also now available on mobile devices.  When combined with the ability to view data straight from ones ERP, salespeople are enabled to make the best offer to the customer in order to win business.  Salespeople can view real-time data on extended pricing, sales history & quantities on hand help make their pitch.  The ability to view unpaid invoices, credit limits & payment information can help resolve disputes.  And by viewing inventory data on size, weight or other user-defined information, one can help solve the customer’s complex purchasing needs.  All while taking less time to fill out papers & allowing more time to be spent selling product.

Part two can be found in our next newsletter & discusses many of the benefits that can be derived from everyday business professional using mobile technologies.  Visit our website to sign up for our monthly newsletter containing new articles every edition.

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What is CustomerSource?

In my last entry, I discussed downloading the latest Service Pack from CustomerSource.  Since then, I have had people asking me, how to I access CustomerSource & what is it?  So I thought I would provide a little more insight on your new best friend.

Like any best friend, CustomerSource is available 24/7 (although you have to bribe Microsoft by getting on a service plan).  Loaded with tools & information, it can help you increase efficiency & productivity.  How?  Well, the many self-help resources such as Knowledge Base, technical documentation and access to online training are a good start.  CustomerSource is also a one-stop resource for access to news & information to help you maintain your business management solution.  Pay CustomerSource a visit at https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/

My favourite section for new users is E-Learning.  Browse the hundreds of training programs available (did I mention they were free!).  Become a Dynamics GP expert.  Or try one your hand at one of the many other products training is provided for.  Maybe it’ll help you solve that one problem that no one in the office can figure out.  Then you’ll have even more friends!

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Why do so many technology projects fail? - Part I

The truth about large-scale technology projects is that the majority of them actually fail. In fact, studies show that 65% of them fail!

If IT projects were airplanes, no one would ever get on one! So why do so many companies venture down that road and why do so many fail?

Here's the answer to the first part of that question : because, to remain competitive in today's market, you have to leverage the benefits of technology. Performing every function of the company manually, or with Excel, is just too time-consuming and costly to be competitive.

The problem is that as companies grow, employees literally invent processes in order to accomplish tasks. These processes are mainly work-arounds to "get around" inefficiencies in the current ERP system or other people in the company. The fundamental issue occurs when a new ERP system is installed and merely automates inefficient, manual, processes.

So how do we ensure that projects are successful?

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Service Pack 4 for Dynamics GP 10.0 Released

Don’t miss out!  Last week, Microsoft released Service Pack 4 for Dynamics GP 10.0.  The lastest Service Pack contains a long list of fixes, reaching almost every GP module.  Updates in Service Pack 1, 2 and 3 are included in Service Pack 4.  For GP 10.0 customers, Service Packs require the modified forms and reports to be updated using GP Utilities.

As always, services packs & patches can be downloaded from CustomerSource (https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/).  CustomerSource also includes detailed instructions on installation & features, however, please test your system prior to implementation.  Of importance to our Canadian customers, the latest tax patch should now be installed in order to account for changes in CPP & EI deduction maximums.  If you missed the boat, please give us a call!  WebSan is one of only a few Dynamics Partners in all of Canada certified in Payroll.

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Cash is king! How to improve cash flow by focusing on your invoicing process.

I've seen it numerous times...it happens in law firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, and any company where employees are the "product" upon which revenues are based.

The problem with the professional services industry is that a large key to success is cash flow management. That means that you must effectively manage the time between when your resources perform the work and when the customer pays. Let's take a look at the whole process.

Part 1 : Time and Expense reporting

To effectively get your personnel to report their time and expenses, it must be simple. Some of the ways to address this are :

- enable your team to enter their time and expenses through a simple to use web portal, or even a mobile device. That way it doesn't take a significant amount of time out of their day to "get their paperwork in".

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Welcome!

Welcome to the WebSan Solutions Blog!

This blog will feature posts about the latest ways to get the most out of your enterprise system and how to leverage a WMS to improve warehouse operations plus much more! Check back often for updates, there is also a RSS feed you can subscribe to for your convenience!

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