In Touch with Dynamics GP

This blog is intended to be a useful resource for Microsoft Dynamics GP users and professionals in the UK and the wider Microsoft Dynamics GP community as a whole.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Expert views

The National Computing Centre (NCC) is the single largest corporate membership body in the UK IT sector and promotes the effective deployment of IT to maximise the competitiveness of its members' business, serving the corporate, vendor and government communities. You may already be familiar with its IT & business information website, the Evaluation Centre ( ) and its magazine, Conspectus ( ). They publish advice and information on a range of subjects.

I have now been asked by the NCC to write a series of articles for their expert views section of the evaluation centre website, in the role of their resident Accounting & Financial reporting Software expert (don’t worry it’s not a new job I am still at Touchstone resolving GP issues).

The first Article is now up on the site and deals with the forthcoming iXBRL requirement for HMRC within the UK. You do need to sign up to read it but it is free.

The below link will take you straight to the Expert view articles:

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dynamics GP 12 tips of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a brand new Financial Year

Tools> setup > company > Financial periods

In the year box enter your new year, check the first and last days, add the number of periods you require then select calculate, then ok , and voila you have a new year.

On the Second day of Christmas my true love gave to me A smartlist to check my account posting types.

Open smartlists goto financial and accounts. You will notice posting type is brought in by default. You can now set up search criteria based on your account structure to return accounts within the balance sheet range that do not have a posting type of balance sheet. In this way you can check the account posting types before yearend , the number one cause of year end issues being an incorrect posting type.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me a link to the online manuals ( so I could do her job while she was off living it up over the festive period)

Help> printable manuals

Here you will find manuals for most modules with instructions on how to complete most processes on the system.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me advice on how to change to 20% tax in January.

See the below blog article for instructions

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a full backup before my Year end

Once you hit that process button for year end there is no undo, so you need to make sure you have a full backup before hand (just in case)

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a hard copy of my year end report.

There are no reprint options for the year end reports so , always print a hard copy or print to file, either way make sure you retain a copy.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a customer list extracted from smartlist to send seasonal greetings (via a word mail merge).


Goto sales and customer addresses

Here you can output a list of your customer addresses to excel, once in excel this could be used to provide envelope addresses or contact details in a word mail merge document to send seasons greetings to all your customers.

On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me strict instructions not use GP (During or immediately after the office party whilst possibly under the influence)

Nuff said, don’t drink and post journals.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me the support debugging tool (to change company background colours to something festive)

This is a great tool and on a serious note with the new floating GP windows its often difficult to tell which company your in if you have multiple companies open at a time on one machine. So why not colour code them , could save a lot of trouble with miss posted journals etc.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me a budget for a Dynamics GP2010 upgrade (because its worth it).

Everyone should be asking Santa for this.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a free download of Power pivot

For those that don’t know this is an incredibly powerful free add in to excel 2010, when combined with the other excel functionality in Dynamics GP this becomes a must have.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a link to the Microsoft partner network festive game (to keep the IT dept interested, so they don’t decide to upgrade the network over the festive period without checking for compatibility with Dynamics GP first).

You laugh , it has happened to us two years on the trot on the helpdesk, sheepish calls from clients who suddenly find issues with frx and other functionality because IT decided to use the quite time to upgrade operating systems or servers and did not check for compatibility first. Please, please, please, please, check with your helpdesk before updating operating systems.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Forecaster 7 and the amazing expanding Z_RAW table

It’s been a while since I blogged simply because we are so busy at the moment. GP2010 is flying off the shelves in a very satisfactory way.

An odd issue with Forecaster 7 came to light the other day so I thought it best to set aside some time to create an article.

It all centres on the Z_RAW sql table which holds the data against cost code and account by period. The issue is caused by the way the data is stored. Every time you create a new period in forecaster it creates a new column against that cost code/account combination in the Z_RAW table.

Now because data is held against period, if you want to run previous input sets and reports as well as current ones you are going to need to keep creating new periods rather than re using the same ones.

So if you have 12 periods (Not unusual) and you want to do Quarterly Forecasts you will need to create 4 sets of the 4 periods which works out at 48 separate periods , so that is 48 extra columns added to the Z_RAW table.

There is a 1024 column limit on a non wide SQL table and a 1000 column limit when using replication. So using the above example it is going to take you 20 years till you reach the limit of the SQL table (That’s not so bad, I hear you cry). Well we have several clients who like to report on a weekly period structure, so the standard structure is 52 periods and if using the quarterly format that’s 208 extra periods a year. This means you reach the table limits in 4 and half years. If you throw in a 12 period frame work as well you reach that limit in just under 4 years.

The long and the short of it is, it’s not an issue if you know about it in advance as you can plan ahead and remove old data but if you don’t know about it, it could catch you out.

Forewarned is forearmed with forecaster.