November 30, 2009

gptip42day - Launch FRx from within GP

Wanna launch FRx from within GP?  Go Reports>Financial>FRx.  If the path isn't already set, the FRx Setup window opens to allow you to specify the path to the FRx.exe file.  Enter or browse to the path and click OK.

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Now FRx will launch from within GP.  You might even want to set a shortcut on your Home Page or in the Navigation Pane so you don't have to navigate through the menus to launch it.

November 27, 2009

gptip42day - Applying Labor to an Inventory BOM Item

As you may know, the Inventory BOM is a great little tool for accumulating assembly costs for simple, single-level manufactured items.  However, the IV BOM does have its limitations.  It's generally useful for capturing only the material component of assembly costs.  But, all is not lost.  If you want to incorporate labor costs into your IV BOM Assemblies (and/or overhead costs, for that matter), here's a way to do it.

Simply setup an item and call it 'LABOR' or some other descriptive item number.  Set the item as a 'Services' Type so you don't have to worry about inventory shortages, as quantities are not tracked for Service items.


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Set your other required fields as desired and set a Current Cost per unit of Labor.  You can also set a Standard Cost to use as a comparative value as the Current Cost changes.  The Standard Cost won't be used in any transactions - only Current Cost.  Then, click the 'Accounts' tab and set your accounts

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The 'Inventory' account is the account you to want to pull the Labor cost FROM.  Typically, this would be a Labor Absorbed account.  This is the account the Assembly transaction credits when posting the Assembly transaction.  The debit goes to whatever Inventory account you have assigned to the Parent item.

Next, go to the IV BOM Maintenance window and add the LABOR item as a component with the appropriate Quantity (number of hours).

Cards>Inventory>Bill of Materials

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Now you're ready to create an Assembly for the item.

Transactions>Inventory>Assembly Entry

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Note that based on the Assembly Quantity entered, the Labor Quantity is extended by the quantity set in the BOM when the Assembly transaction Status is set to 'Released'.  When we post this transaction, the Labor cost will be 12.00 hours x $60.00/hour as set in the Item Card.  Once you're happy with the Assembly transaction details and have checked the account distributions, click 'Post'.  GP posts the transaction and creates a Financial batch, the details of which are below -

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Note that the component costs are relieved from Raw Materials inventory (based on the Inventory accounts in the Item Cards) and the Labor cost is relieved from Salaries & Wages - Mfg/Ops account, again, based on the Inventory account in the Item Card.  Total cost of the assembly is debited to Finished Goods inventory in this example but it could be debited to whatever account is appropriate for your operation.  Again, this is driven by the Inventory account in the Parent's Item Card.  If you want to apply Overhead to your IV BOMs, set an Overhead item up just like we did for Labor.

November 26, 2009

No tip 42day

But Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Best wishes to you, your families and friends.  Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving Day or not, let's all take this opportunity to give thanks for the blessings we have.

November 25, 2009

gptip42day - Project Accounting Accruals

One of the shortcomings in GP Project Accounting is the inability to enter a journal entry against a project.  This is because the interface between PA and the General Ledger is not bi-directional.  Transactions originating in PA can be posted to the Financial Series, but not vice versa. The example presented here is specific to booking month-end accruals but could be used in any scenario where a financial charge needs to be posted to a project.

We're going to use the Miscellaneous Log transaction in PA to record the accrual.  Go

Transactions>Project>Miscellaneous Log Entry

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Let's imagine we need to record a Payables accrual at the end of November.  Simply fill in the required fields as indicated, enter a Comment, enter the Projects and Cost Categories, a Quantity of '1', and the value to accrue to each Project.  Check Distributions to verify that the credit will post to your Payables Accrual account and Save in a batch or Post.

Now, so we don't forget to reverse the accrual in December, we could enter a Reminder to pop up on whatever date is appropriate.  But, while we're entering the accrual, let's enter the reversal, with a date of say, 12/1/09, change the Comment, enter the Quantity as negative 1 on each of the detail lines, check the Distributions and Save in a batch or Post.

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That's all there is to it.  Not as easy as posting a reversing journal entry, but not terribly tedious either.

November 24, 2009

gptip42day - Document Date Verify Tool

Have you ever posted a payables transaction with a document date in a future period that doesn't yet exist in Fiscal Periods setup?  No doubt this has happened in almost every company that uses GP.  This has been an issue in every version of GP.  Why it hasn't been addressed yet is anyone's guess but there is a fix called the 'Document Date Verify Tool' and it's free from Microsoft.

In essence, the tool verifies that the document date falls within an existing period in Fiscal Periods setup.  If the period doesn't exist, you can't post the transaction.  This is a neat little customization that, in my humble opinion, should be incorporated out-of-the-box in GP.

Contact your GP Partner.  They can get the customization for you.

Interview on DynamicsWorld

Amongst other things, DynamicsWorld profiles Dynamics MVPs on their website.  I'm honored to have been asked to do an online interview for them.  Follow this link to learn how I got into this crazy business and who my GP inspiration is -

November 23, 2009

gptip42day - FRx Account Type

Here's a way to do a 'quick and dirty' balance sheet or income statement in FRx.  Unless you use Advanced Financial Analysis for your financial statements, you may not realize that you can use GP Account Categories in FRx.  In an FRx row format, open the Link to GL window.

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Select the 'Account Type' radio button and note how the account definition window changes.  Select the Account Type (equivalent to GP Account Category) appropriate for the row.  In this example, we're setting up an income statement and making the first row 'Product Sales' so Account Type 31 is used.

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Note that the Link appears with '/A' at the end.  This identifies the entry as an Account Type as opposed to an Account Code.  One caveat with using the Account Type for report definition - your Account Categories in GP must be assigned properly when setting up you chart of accounts!

November 20, 2009

gptip42day - Upgrading to SQL 2008

I try to stay away from the technical stuff in this blog and keep it oriented toward daily transaction processing and reporting but in my opinion this is worthy of mention, especially if you do a lot of SSRS reporting.

One of my frustrations with SSRS in 2005 and previous versions of SQL is adding a subtotal to a column of data.  One would think it would be a simple matter of inserting a formula in the column, much like entering a formula in an Excel spreadsheet, but it's not nearly that easy.  You have to enter a significant amount of code to enter a subtotal in a report.

However, SQL 2008 provides more flexibility in grouping, totals and subtotals using the 'Tablix' data region, which replaces the previous Table, Matrix and List elements in prior versions of SSRS.

Going into the details is beyond the scope of this blog but I encourage you to have a look at the Tablix feature in 2008 if you use SSRS.  It makes entering subtotals a piece of cake.

November 19, 2009

gptip42day - SmartList Letter Writing Assistant (LWA)

If you need to send a form letter to your customers, vendors, employees, etc., SmartList provides the Letter Writing Assistant to help automate the process.  Let's say you want to send a thank you letter to your customers.  Open SmartList and choose the Customers SmartList.  Then, click the Word icon.  The following window opens.

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Choose the letter template you'd like to use then click 'Next'.  The Customer selection window opens.  In this window, you can Mark All or Unmark All to make your record selection easier.

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Click 'Next' to enter your contact information to close the letter.

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Click 'Finish' to complete the process.  MS Word opens with your completed letters which you can print and mail. 

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You could also use the output in Word's Mail Merge to email your letters but if you're going to use Mail Merge, you might as well just send the Customers SmartList directly to Mail Merge and use one of Word's letter templates to create the letters.

November 18, 2009

gptip42day - Autocomplete

GP provides Autocomplete capability in data entry fields to allow you to select from a list of previously used entries.  This functionality typically helps speed data entry.  However, after a period of time, Autocomplete can slow data entry because when the Autocomplete cache gets full, retrieval of Autocomplete values slows down.  If you experience this condition, here's how to rectify it.  Go

MDGP>User Preferences (GP10)
Tools>Setup>User Preferences (GP9 and previous)

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Click the 'Autocomplete' button.  A number of options are available in the Autocomplete Setup window -

1.  You can turn off Autocomplete suggestions by unchecking the box
2.  You can instruct GP to remove unused entries after 0 to 99,999 days (although I don't think any of us will be here 274 years from now)
3.  You can specify the maximum number of entries to store
4.  You can clear the existing entries by clicking on the 'Remove Entries' button

After entries are cleared, GP will begin saving entries again until one of the setup criteria is met.

For a shortcut to setting Autocomplete settings for all users, see my friend Mariano Gomez' blog on this here -

November 17, 2009

Ever been curious about the differences between GP, Axapta (AX) , Navision (NAV) and Solomon (SL)?  Houston Neal of offers a concise overview here -

gptip42day - Batch Approvals

GP provides a method to ensure that batch transactions are not posted without proper authorization - Batch Approvals.  Batch Approvals requires the person responsible for posting batches to supply a password to post the batch.  Here's how to set that up -


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Simply select the Series and the Origin, mark 'Require Batch Approval' and enter a password.  The next time someone tries to post a general journal batch, the password will be required to post.

Now, if you want to add a little more verification to the process, you can also select 'Verify Number of Trx' and/or 'Verify Batch Amounts'.  These do exactly what they state.  They require the posting person to enter the number of transactions in the batch and/or the batch total before the batch can be posted.

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Entry in the Batch Entry window will look as so -

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Enter the Actual number of Journal Entries, the Actual Batch Total, check the 'Approved' box, enter the Password, click 'OK' and the batch will post (assuming there are no errors in the batch transactions).

November 16, 2009

gptip42day - FRx Account Sets

If you use a lot of the same formulae in your FRx row formats, you might want to take a look at using Account Sets.  These can make setting up your row formats quicker and easier.  Here's how they work . . .

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Here is the GL Account Links row definition window using the standard row formula method.  This is all well and good if you'll only use this forrmula in one report.  However, if you'll use this formual in multiple row formats, then it makes sense to save it as an Account Set.  To do so, just click on the Account Sets 'Save As' button.  The 'Save As Account Set' window opens.

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Give the Account Set a name and a description and click 'OK.  The GL Account Links window opens.  Note that the individual account ranges are replaced with your new Account Set name.

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That's all there is to it!  Now when you create a new row format in which you need the same accounts on a particular row, just pull the Account Set into the Account Links window instead of typing all those individual accounts in again.

November 13, 2009

gptip42day - Inventory Site Segment

If you stock inventory in mutiple warehouses (Sites) and want to utilize Site-specific inventory accounts, GP provides a way to automatically code inventory transactions to the proper accounts based on the Site ID where the transaction occurs.  Here's how it works.  Go


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When you define a Site, you can enter an account segment for the Site. This allows the Site’s account segment to be substituted into the default posting account number.

If the resulting account number - the one reflecting the substitution of the Site account segment - is valid, GP posts the transaction to the Site-specific account.  If the resulting account number is not valid, GP posts the transaction to the default posting account assigned in the Item Account Maintenance window.

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For example, suppose you’ve set up your accounts so the Site segment for the Main Warehouse is 100 and the Site segment for the North Warehouse is 200.  If the default posting account is 1300-000-000 and the second segment is the Site-specific segment, then transactions from the Main Warehouse will post to account 1300-100-000, and transactions from the North Warehouse will post to account 1300-200-000.  If you later add another site - the South Warehouse - but don’t create a Site-specific account for that Site, transactions for that Site will post to account 1300-000-000, the default posting account.

November 12, 2009

gptip42day - The GP Blogs

I'm a proponent of the saying 'Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day.  Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime'.  My goal as a GP consultant is to teach my clients to fish, not hand them the fish.  However, lucky for me that some of my clients don't like to even bait the hook, let alone throw the line in the water, else I wouldn't be able to make a living doing this thing I enjoy so much.

So, today's tip is about fishing.  Here's one of my favorite fishing holes -  This link will take you to a bevy of GP related blogs and other GP resources. 

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If you have access to CustomerSource or PartnerSource, click on the link above to go directly to this page.  If you're a customer and don't have access to CustomerSource, you need to get it.  Contact your GP Partner and they will help set you up.  There is so much relevant reference material on this site it would be a shame not to leverage it.

Good luck.  Catch a big one!

November 11, 2009

gptip42day - Changing the Default GoTo in a SmartList

When you drill into a record in SmartList, you're taken to a default window.  For instance, in Receivings Transactions, the default GoTo window is Receivings Transaction Entry.  But what if you want the default GoTo to be a different window?  Say Payables Transaction Inquiry - Vendor for example.  Here's how to do it.  With SmartList open, go


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Select 'Receivings Transactions' in the Category drop down list and then 'Vendor Inquiry' in the Default GoTo drop down list.  Click 'OK' to save the changes.

Now when you drill into a Receivings Transaction record, the Payables Transaction Inquiry - Vendor window opens, filtered for the vendor in the Receivings Transaction.

While you're in the SmartList Options window, notice the other default settings you can change to better suit your needs.

November 10, 2009

gptip42day - Kit Item Type

A Kit is a group of items that isn't stocked but can be sold as an item on a sales transaction. For example, a computer system that is comprised of a computer, monitor, printer and software can be sold as a Kit even though the components are stocked only as individual items.

Quantities aren’t tracked for items you designate as Kits. However, current cost is associated with the items in the Kit, and the quantity sold is tracked when the items are issued at the time of sale. When you post a sales transaction that contains a Kit item, cost amounts are posted to the Cost of Goods Sold account specified—you can choose to use the Cost of Goods Sold account for each component item in the kit, or a separate Cost of Goods Sold account defined for the Kit itself.

To setup a Kit, go


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The Item Number must be setup as a Kit in Item Maintenance.  Enter the Kit number in the Item Number field.  For Cost of Goods Sold, indicate whether the COGS account(s) should come from the components or from the Kit itself.

If a Current or Standard Cost has been entered for the Kit in Item Maintenance, those costs will be reflected in the Current and/or Standard Cost fields.

Enter the Component Item Numbers that make up the Kit.  Expanding the scrolling window lines exposes the Component Description and Standard Cost.

Save the Kit.  Now the Kit can be entered on a sales transaction.  When the sales transaction is posted, component inventory on-hand quantities are reduced, Inventory is credited and COGS is debited for the total value of the components in the Kit.

November 9, 2009

gptip42day - The Quick Journal

The Quick Journal is an excellent tool for posting recurring journal entries where the accounts stay the same from period-to-period but the amounts change.  A good example of this is a Monthly Vacation Accrual. 

As opposed to standard journal entries, Quick Journals do not use batches but can be saved to be used multiple times.  To create a Quick Journal, go

Transactions>Financial>Quick Journal

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Enter a new Journal ID.  When you tab off this field, GP asks if you want to add the journal.  Click 'Add'.  The Quick Journal Setup window opens

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where you add a Description, Source Document, and the Offset Account (the account that will receive the total of the debits/credits - in this example, the Vacation Accrual liability account).

Then, add the rest of the accounts in the Accounts scrolling window. 

If you want users to be able to override the Offset Account when entering transactions, check the 'Allow Override' box.  If you don't want them to be able to override this account, leave the box unchecked.

Checking the 'Breakdown Allocation' box allows the printing of distributions for allocation accounts on the Quick Journal Edit List and Quick Journal Posting Journal.

After you have all the details of the Quick Journal entered, click 'Save'.  The Quick Journal will now be available for recurring use until it is deleted.

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November 6, 2009

gptip42day - The GP MVB

Which button would you vote to be the Most Valuable Button in the GP application? My vote would be for this one -

That's right - the ubiquitous Help button.  The amount of information available in the GP Help files is amazing.  This button takes you to context-sensitive Help, providing not only an overview of the window or transaction you're working in and how to process the relevant transaction,  it also provides a detailed description of the purpose of nearly every button and field on every window in the application. 

And if that's not enough, the Help button introduces you to the world of Printable Manuals - detailed manuals that provide step-by-step instruction on practically every action you can take in GP.  These manuals are presented in pdf format and can be easily printed for future reference or just a good late-night read.

I strongly encourage you to use this button frequently.  Make it your best friend and it, in turn, will make you a GP expert!

November 5, 2009

gptip42day - Item Substitution

In the event of a stockout, GP provides the ability to substitute one sales item for another in a Sales Transaction document.  The first step is setting up the substitute item(s) in the Item Maintenance window -


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In the Item Card, click the 'Options' button, which opens the Item Maintenance Options window.  Note that you can set up to 2 substitute items for each primary item.  These items will appear in the Substitution window during Sales Transaction Entry if the primary item has no stock available for the transaction.

When entering the primary item in Sales Transaction Entry, in this case 1-A3483A, if there isn't enough stock available to satisfy the transaction quantity, the Sales Quantity Shortage Options window opens as you tab off the Quantity field in the Sales document.  Select 'Distribute' as the Shortage Option and click 'OK'.

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The Sales Item Quantity Distribution Entry window opens.  When this window first opens, the primary item number is in the Item Number field.  Click the 'Substitute' button at the bottom of the window, then select the item you want to subsitute for the primary item.  In this example, we're substituting 1GPROC for the primary item.  Select the appropriate Price Level, enter the quantity in the Qty. Selected field, then click the 'Insert' button.  This populates the Quantities Selected fields.  Click 'OK'.

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The Sales Item Quantity Distribution Entry window closes and brings you back to the Sales Transaction Entry window, with the substitute item now populated in the Sales Document.

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From here, it's just a matter of completing the Sales Transaction as you normally would.

November 4, 2009

gptip42day - Standard Cost Rollup and Revalue

Here's a quick tip if you're having trouble getting material cost to rollup in a Manufacturing Bill of Material.  Make sure every component in the BOM has a Periodic Valuation method assigned to it.  Just one component in the BOM with valuation other than Periodic could prevent materials from rolling up in the BOM, even though Labor & Overhead might rollup just fine.

November 3, 2009

gptip42day - Drop Ship Sales Order - Multiple Line Items

If you're entering a drop ship sales order with multiple line items, here's a quick way to default all line items as 'Drop Ship' without having to check the Drop Ship box on every line.  You do this prior to entering any line items in the transaction.

In GP9 and prior versions, with the Sales Transaction Entry window open, go

Extras>Options>Drop Ship Item

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In GP10, with the Sales Transaction Entry window open, go Options>Drop Ship Item on the window menu  -

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All line items entered now will be automatically marked as 'Drop Ship'.

November 2, 2009

gptip42day - General Journal Posting SmartList

As we're nearing the end of the Fiscal Year for many companies, one of the reports external auditors ask for is a listing of all general journal entries posted for the year, who posted them and when they were posted, primarily to see if entries were posted during non-business hours.  Unfortunately, if you're using GP9 or a previous version, the options for this type of report are rather limited unless you're using GP's Audit Trails or a 3rd party audit tool.  This is because the GL tables in these versions don't contain a date/time stamp field.  This shortcoming is corrected in GP10.

So, how do we satisfy the audit requirements?  Use the Account Transactions SmartList, filter for Financial Transactions, and add the following Columns -

-  User Who Posted
-  Originating Posted Date
-  Reference

The 'User Who Posted' field, of course, lists the user ID who posted the transaction.  The 'Originating Posted Date' reflects the system date on the user's workstation on the date the transaction was posted.  This isn't quite as good as a date/time stamp because if a user really wants to game the system, they can change the system date on their PC or the GP user date before posting the transaction, thereby reflecting a bogus posting date.

The 'Reference' field reflects the general journal description, which is usually meaningful in describing why an entry was made.  (By the way, use the Note fields to provide detailed support for your journal entries!)

Although this solution isn't ideal, in most cases auditors will sign off on it, if for no other reason than it's about as good as it gets in terms of JE audit trails without the aforementioned audit trail tools.