September 25, 2009

gptip42day - Why does my Next Check Number skip a beat?

This can be a vexing issue with no apparent cause.  It also can lead to questioning the integrity of GP.  Here are some primary reasons why GP can appear to be skipping a check number (or PO, or SO, etc. - any document number that automatically increments).

The value in the Next Check Number field increments by one each time a check is written in any of the following windows:

- Bank Transaction Entry window
- Print Payables Transaction Check window
- Payables Manual Payment Entry window
- Print Payables Checks window
- Payroll Manual Check - Adjustment Entry window
- Print Payroll Checks window

The Next Check Number can also skip if you have multiple users entering checks in any of the above-mentioned windows. If several users simultaneously access the Next Check Number, then later decide not to continue entering the check, it is possible that check numbers could skip.

If you do need to change the Next Check Number,


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and change the value in the Next Check Number field to the desired value.

September 24, 2009

gptip42day - Account Category

Account Category - one of the required fields in the Account Maintenance window - seldom seems significant except to those companies that use AFA (Advanced Financial Analysis).  AFA uses the Account Category in presentation of financial reports.  But for the fact that it is a required field, it is mostly ignored.  You could enter any Category in any account and suffer no ill consequences unless you are using AFA.

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However, did you know that FRx can use the Account Category also?  In the 'Link to General Ledger' field in FRx, click the drop down arrow to open the GL Account Links window.  The window opens with the 'Account Code' radio button selected by default.

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Select the 'Account Type' radio button.  The GL Account Links window changes appearance.  Click the drop down arrow in the Account Type field and the 'Select General Ledger Account Type' window opens.  See the Account Categories?  By selecting the desired Account Category, all the accounts associated with that category will be selected for that row in the FRx Row Format.

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Finally!  A reason to make sure your Account Category settings are correct and meaningful!

September 22, 2009

gptip42day - Inventory 'Change Valuation'

Sometimes it is necessary to change the valuation method on one, many, or all of your inventory items.  This can be due to an item having been setup incorrectly or perhaps a management decision to change the inventory valuation method from say, Average Perpetual to FIFO Perpetual.

GP provides a means to accomplish this - 

Tools>Utilities>Inventory>Change Valuation

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1.  Select a new Valuation Method.

2.  You can choose to change all items or a range of items based on Item Number, Description, Generic Description or Class ID.  GP will filter the items based on multiple range restrictions.

Note:  There can be no items on unposted transactions prior to performing the revaluation.  All item transactions must be posted!

3. Prior to processing the change, it is advised that you print the Valuation Method Change Audit report by selecting File>Print, or by clicking the printer icon in the lower left corner of the window, to verify your item selection.

4.  Click the 'Process' button.  The valuation method will be changed for the items selected.

Important!!  This process DOES NOT create a Financial Batch to restate your GL inventory balance(s).  This must be done manually.

5.  Print an Inventory Stock Status report immediately before and immediately after running this Utility.  The difference between the values on the reports will be the basis for the journal entry.

September 21, 2009

gptip42day - Shipping Method

A Shipping Method is one of many ways that goods are transported to your company from your vendors, and from you to your customers. You can use the same Shipping Methods for your vendors and your customers.

A Shipping Type indicates whether goods you are buying are delivered by the vendor or picked up by you and whether goods you are selling are delivered by you or picked up by the customer. The Shipping Type is used when calculating taxes.

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If you’ve marked the 'Use Shipping Method when Selecting Default Tax Schedule' option in the Company Setup Options window, GP uses the Shipping Method assigned to the transaction to determine where the exchange of goods takes place, and provides the appropriate Tax Schedule as the default schedule for the transaction.

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For instance, if you're selling an item to a customer and the Shipping Method uses a Shipping Type of 'Delivery', the customer's Tax Schedule is used because the exchange of goods takes place at the customer's location.  If the Shipping Method uses a Shipping type of 'Pickup', this means the exchange of goods takes place at your location and hence, the tax rates in your locale are applicable.

The Shipping Type could be considered equivalent to FOB (Free on Board), which determines where the legal passage of title to the goods takes place. 

September 18, 2009

gptip42day - Tax Details vs. Tax Schedules - It Taxes My Mind

This topic can be a user confuser so let's make it simple.  For example, here in the Sunshine State (FL), the state sales tax is 6%.  Most counties and some municipalities also impose a local sales tax.  These two components of sales tax are each considered a 'Tax Detail' in GP-speak.  The combination of two or more tax details is called a 'Tax Schedule'.  The importance of Tax Details and Tax Schedules comes down to accurate, detailed reporting to the taxing authorities.

Tools>Setup>Company>Tax Details

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When setting up Tax Details, some users mistakenly lump multiple components of the total tax into one Tax Detail.  This is all well and good - the correct tax amount is calculated on a sales invoice.  But when it comes time to report state and local tax to the taxing authorities, how do you breakout the state vs. local tax?  That's where the Tax Schedule comes in handy.

Tools>Setup>Company>Tax Schedules

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Setting the multiple tax components in a Tax Schedule allows for accurate calculation and reporting of taxes to the respective taxing authorities.  Just set all your Tax Details first, then in the Tax Schedules window, mix and match the Tax Details to create all the Schedules you need to correctly assess sales tax on your customer invoices.  Then go into your Customer Cards and set the correct Tax Schedule for each customer.  The result will be automatic tax calculation of the correct rate(s) on Sales Invoices and the ability to report accurately to the taxing authorities.

Note:  Tax Details are setup separately for Sales and Purchases.  Make sure when setting sales tax details for customers and vendors that you make the correct selection in the 'Type' field.

Monday, we'll look at how the 'Shipping Method' affects sales tax calculation.  Have a great weekend all!

September 17, 2009

gptip42day - SmartList Window Size - GP9 and Prior Versions

One characteristic of SmartList that can be frustrating is the way the SmartList window shrinks when you drill into another window from a SmartList record.  When you close the sub-window, the SmartList window remains at its reduced size and you have to click the "Maximize' button to maximize the window size again. 

Then, with the next record you drill into, it happens again.  Grrrrr, right?  Well, here's a way around it.  The real culprit behind this is the default window size setting.  Why the default setting isn't 'Large Window' out-of-the-box is beyond me, but what do I know?

When you have your SmartList open, go Extras>SmartList>Options -

In the 'Initial SmartList Size' field, select 'Large Window' then click 'OK'.  The next time you open SmartList, it will open in a large window. You won't have to maximize it to see more of the records and it won't shrink when you drill into the records.

While you're in the Options window, check out some of the other default options you can set.  You can customize your SmartLists even more than you might have known!

September 14, 2009

gptip42day - 'Add Item'

Companies that use the Inventory module and manually enter purchase orders for their items may find this tip useful. 

When entering POs for inventory items, manually typing item numbers can lead to errors in the PO because, unless you check the 'Add Item' checkbox prior to data entry in the PO, there is no validation against incorrectly entering an item number.  (Note - in GP9 and previous versions, find 'Options' under the 'Extras' menu in the main menu bar).

Checking the 'Add Item' Option causes this message to be displayed if you incorrectly type an item number in the PO -

GP validates the item number entered and if the if it isn't a valid item, the dialogue box opens asking if you want to add the item you've just typed.  Although not officially a warning, it can be used as such to advise that an incorrect item number has just been entered.  Of course, there are times when you're ordering non-inventory items so if you don't want to add the item, just click 'No' and continue processing the PO.  If it is a new item and you do want to enter it in the item master, click 'Yes' and the Item Card opens.

Unfortunately, the default setting for the 'Add Item' Option is 'unchecked'. Also, even if you have checked the Add Item Option, as soon as you close the PO Entry window, the checkmark is cleared and you have to remember to re-check the Option each time you open the window. Not cool, to say the least.

However, all is not lost.  There is a  chunk (.cnk) file available from MBS Professional Services that changes the default setting to 'checked'.  And, believe it or not, it's free of charge.  Why this isn't included in GP out-of-the-box is a mystery.

Now, if you don't know how to contact MBS Professional Services or would rather take an easier route to getting the Add Item chunk, shoot me an email at  I have the file and will email it to you.  Until tomorrow . . .

September 10, 2009

gptip42day - 'Allow Account Entry'

One recurring issue, at least in my experience, is clients keeping their Accounts Payable control account reconciled to the AP Trial Balance.  A frequent contributor to this is general journal entries being posted to the control account.  We're going to look at the way to prevent this, not just in the AP account, but all control accounts in your general ledger.

Look at the Account Card screenshot below -

When the 'Allow Account Entry' box is checked, this account can be entered in distributions in any transaction.  Unchecking this box will prevent the manual entry of this account in a distribution window.  To that you might say 'Yes, but sometimes we need to enter this account into a transaction'.  To which I would respond - 'No, you don't.  Not if your system is setup correctly'.

If you need to manually enter a control account in a distribution window, your Posting Accounts setup is incorrect, whether it's Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, or any other module.

Unchecking this box will prevent posting a manual journal entry to your AP control account, thereby eliminating one of the most frequent causes of the account being out of balance with the AP Trial Balance.

In fact, not only should you uncheck this box for the Accounts Payable account, the same should be done for the rest of your control accounts so they'll tie to their underlying (subsidiary ledger) -

Cash (Checkbook Register)
Accounts Receivable (AR Trial Balance)
Inventory (Stock Status Report)
Fixed Assets (Fixed Asset Depreciation Report)
Purchase Accrual (Received not Invoiced Report)

Now, if you want to take a further step to control this, take access away from the Account Maintenance window to all but one person who is responsible for maintaining accounts.  If that isn't possible and you have Field Level Security, apply a password to this field and provide it to one person, perhaps the controller or accounting manager.

Prevent manual journal entries into these accounts.  You'll be glad you did.

September 9, 2009

gptip42day - The Ubiquitous Note Field, Part 2

Today, we look at how to attach documents in our Note window.  Open a Note window -

Click on the paper clip to open the OLE (Object Linking & Embedding) container -

Click on Edit to insert an object -

Select ' Insert New Object' -

Note that in this window, you have a number of options.  You can Create New.  When you select this option, a drop-down box opens to allow you to select from a dozen or so types of objects, such as a Word document, Excel document, Excel Chart, etc.

You can also Create from File.  This is probably what you'll use most as you can just browse to find the document you want to insert.

Once you've selected the file to insert, you can either have the file show as a link in the OLE container or have the actual document contents show there.  If you choose 'Link', you can also have the link appear as an icon, like the Acrobat Reader icon in the example above and you can change the icon to any of a number of pre-defined icons by clicking on 'Change Icon'.

Once you've made your selections in this window, click OK, then in the Note window, click 'Attach'.  Your document is now attached in the Note field.  Anyone who has access to the window in which the note is attached, and has the correct viewer (such as Adobe in this case) on their workstation, can view the note and the attached document.

I'll reiterate that Notes and attached documents are not secure - anyone who can view them can modify or delete them so make sure all users in your system understand this.

September 8, 2009

gptip42day - The Ubiquitous Note Field, Part 1

I am frequently puzzled that most users, especially accounting staff, don't make better use of the Note fields that are available in every window in GP.  One would think accountants, with their need to document transactions for subsequent review and audit, would make the Note fields their best friends.  Perhaps users just don't get trained properly on the benefits of using Note fields, so here we go -
Use the Note window to create, display, or modify a note for a window or a field.  Record-level notes apply to the specific transaction, will change with each transaction, and are always found next to a field in the transaction.  Window-level notes are specific to the transaction window, do not change with each transaction, and are always found at the bottom of the window.  A window-level note is used to describe something about the use of the window itself.
Note buttons show whether a note is attached to a window or record. If a note is attached, the "page" will appear to have lines of text in it. If no note is attached, the "page" will appear to be blank.
As you can see, a note in this general journal entry would have been perfect to document this transaction.  Instead of entering 'See Wendy P. for detail' in the Reference field, the person entering this transaction could have attached a complete description of the transaction and even supporting documentation in the Note next to the Journal Entry field, eliminating the need for a subsequent reviewer to 'See Wendy P.' unless further discussion was necessary.
To view a note, just click on the Note icon

These are the fields within the Note -
Note ID
Displays the window name or record ID to which this note is attached.
Last Changed
Displays the date and time when this note was created or last modified. This field will be updated each time a user changes the note.
Attachment icon button
Opens a window where you can add an attachment. Attachments are available only for record-level notes, not window-level notes.
You can attach links to documents or images within the Note window. For example, you can attach customer payment overdue notices to a customer note, or attach an image of an inventoried item to an item note.
If an attachment is linked to the note, the "paper clip" on the button will appear to contain a note. If an attachment isn't linked to the note, the paper clip will appear empty.
Attachments are stored in the location specified in the OLEPath= line of the Dex.ini file. (Note - if the OLEPath in the Dex.ini file has not been defined, the paper clip icon will not appear in the Note window - see your IT personnel if this is the case.  The OLEPath should be a shared directory so all users can view the notes.)
Attach button
Attaches the note you have written to a window or field.

Delete button
Removes a note attached to a window or field.
A couple of things to be aware of regarding Notes -
1.  Never store sensitive or confidential information in Note fields.  There is no security on Notes.  If a user can view the window, they can view the notes and attached documents.
2.  Notes can be modified or deleted by any user who has access to the transaction or inquiry window where the Note resides.
Stayed tuned for Part 2 on Notes tomorrow.  We'll cover in detail attaching documents to the Note field.

September 4, 2009

gptip42day - Posting “To” and “Through” General Ledger

These settings can be confusing to some who have not studied what this terminology means.  Go Tools>Setup>Posting>Posting -

The main difference between these options is that when you Post To General Ledger, you have an extra opportunity to verify Batch transactions before they affect the General Ledger. When you Post Through General Ledger, you save time by not having to complete the additional verification step.

Post To General Ledger
If you choose to Post To General Ledger, batches posted in all other modules will update the module in which the transaction originated, then create a batch of General Ledger transactions. Then you must post those batches within General Ledger as well, to update the posting accounts for the transactions.

There is one exception to bear in mind – Bank Transactions – all Bank transactions are single transactions – there are no batches in Banking. However, if you have Bank Transactions set to Post To, a batch is automatically created by GP for each individual transaction. The Batch ID will begin with ‘CMTRX’.

Post Through General Ledger Files
You can choose to have General Ledger accounts updated automatically when you post from another module to General Ledger. If you mark the Post Through General Ledger Files option, batches posted in other modules automatically update the module in which the transactions originated and the appropriate posting accounts in General Ledger.

Note: Single transactions  (not in a Batch) Post To General Ledger and not Through General Ledger, even if the Posting Setting is 'Post Through'.  A Batch ID is created using the prefix of the Source Document Code for the transaction posted, i.e. 'IVTFR' for an inventory transfer transaction.

Also, at least one of the two Posting Settings must be checked or no General Ledger batch will be created.

September 3, 2009

An Overhaul of gp2themax

I've decided to start posting a Daily Tip for GP users because I've noticed that a lot of the blogs are technically oriented toward we consulting folks and advanced users.  Even the forums seem to be more technically oriented than when I first started reading them.  So, I want to appeal to those users who occasionally just need a little help with the basics.

I posted the first Tip today on 'Changing Currency Decimals on Inventory Items'. I'd like your help coming up with a name for this daily tip. I'd love to call it the Daily Dynamic but our friend Mr. Polino has his 'Weekly Dynamic' so I don't want to plagiarize him. Any ideas? The winner will receive a free one-year subscription to my blog - LOL.

Oh, and let your colleagues and clients know to tune in to gp2themax to pick up their daily tip.


Changing Currency Decimals on Inventory Items

Sometimes we need to change the Currency Decimals on an existing Inventory Item. This cannot be accomplished through the Item Maintenance Card – it must be done via Tools>Utilities>Inventory>Change Decimal Places. This is an easy change to accomplish but be aware that if there are any items on unposted transactions, decimal places on those items will not be changed. Also be aware that this will not change decimal places on historical posted transactions. It will only affect new transactions.

Open the Change Decimal Places window -


Enter an the Item or Range of Items to be changed by Item Number, Description, Generic Description, or Class ID. Click the ‘Process Button’. When processing is finished, an edit list will print showing the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ decimal settings for the item(s) changed.

Note: decreasing the Currency Decimals for Items on Price List(s) will round the amounts in the Price List(s).