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Custom Information Services (CIS)

Microsoft Dynamics GP vs. a Custom Application


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By Scott Driggs, Custom Information Services

I once worked with a client who had a rather interesting story to tell. The company was a family owned business that had been running a custom application for years and years. The owner retired and passed the reins of the company to the next generation. The new owners did as any new management team would do and they started learning all that they could about the parts of the business they were less familiar with. When they began to dig into the homegrown accounting and financials they were surprised to receive a great deal of resistance from the controller. Eventually, they brought in an external auditor and discovered that the controller had been creating fictional entries and pocketing a great deal of cash that belonged to the company.

The right decision was made to begin implementing changes including GAAP/Accounting Standards. Unfortunately, that meant that the company was forced to retrench to about half of their previous size. In their post-mortem analysis, they concluded that one of the primary reasons the management team was unsuccessful at discovering that this was going on was that they were using a custom solution that had inadequate financial controls and auditing capabilities built in. Also, because the solution was custom, the few that knew the most about the solution were able to manipulate the program without others discovering what they were doing.  The client determined that it was time to put a system in place with robust financial controls and audit trail functionality.

The client decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics GP. Some of the reasons for this include:

  • A rigorous system of internal controls
  • A pessimistic security framework
  • Role-based security
  • Built-in audit trails that make fraud easier to detect
  • Integration with other business operational software packages – NO need to customize!

In my experience, companies often feel that they do not have the option to select an industry standard solution like Microsoft Dynamics GP because they have a “unique” business. “We have looked at other packages and nothing does things the way we need it to” is often what I hear from those on the management team. They feel that they needed to develop a custom solution from scratch to handle their business processes.   This is simply not true in most cases.  Dynamics GP is a very robust accounting, distribution, and manufacturing solution.  If the core package does not meet a company’s needs we always research and find an ISV or Independent Software Vendor that has already developed the business process solution that integrates seamlessly with Dynamics GP.  Then we prove it to the company through references and a product demonstration.

 If a company truly has a taste for custom programming and has the need, the client invariably will be developing the solution with industry-standard software-development technologies, such as the Microsoft .NET Framework, for integration with other systems and development of new functionality. In addition, developers can use development languages such as Microsoft Visual C++ and C#, along with Microsoft Dynamics software-development kits and other developer documentation to ensure efficient configuration and development.

  • You can develop a custom application that meets the unique requirements of your business AND still have the core financials of a product like Microsoft Dynamics GP with all the audit trails and security framework already in place.
  • Your programmers can focus on only building the business processes that are unique to your business and not reinventing a general ledger and inventory system.
  • Doing it this way has the potential to cut your development time in half and greatly reduces the risk of project failure.

Either way, you go, using  Dynamics GP with out of the box functionality, an add-on from an ISV, or customer code, the flexibility of a Dynamics GP allows you to leverage the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Want to find out how much your custom solution is costing you? Give us a call us at 682-367-1699.

Custom Information Services is a Microsoft Dynamics GP reseller in North Texas and has specialized in selling and implementing manufacturing and accounting software to mid-sized companies for about 20 years.

3 Responses to “Microsoft Dynamics GP vs. a Custom Application”

  1. Thanks for every other wonderful article. The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such information.

  2. SaaS says:

    This is a sad but true story, I have had this same thing happen to me as well. As the owner of a company you have to really watch what happens with the cash in your business. It is sad not to be able to trust the accounting department.

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