Making It Easier with Dynamics GP – Quickly Modify Your Chart of Accounts

An organization needs a financial management system to help its employees easily handle the routine tasks and complex processes without adding a lot of extra work to what is already required in a day's work.  Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 offers capabilities which help people work faster and smarter.  The Account Card (also called the Account Maintenance Window) demonstrates how employees can use built-in tools of Microsoft Dynamics GP for meeting specific business needs.

As you know, you can navigate to the Account Card in order to add, delete, or update your Chart of Accounts.  However, there are many circumstances where you need to make mass changes to the Chart of Accounts, and going through the Account Card which only effects one account number combination at a time would be too slow and laborious.

The most typical example is when you have a new department or division and you need to add the same accounts as in your other typical departments or divisions, the only difference being the department or division number.  In a case like this, you may need to add thousands of accounts and it would take you all day to key them in. You would be likely to make errors, omitting accounts, or putting the account in the wrong Account Category or Posting Type.

The Dynamics GP team has addressed this issue with a feature called Mass Modify.  This feature is available under:  Cards > Financial > Mass Modify

In this case, I have created a new department (the 1st segment of the Chart of Accounts Number) which I have numbered 700.  I must remember to go into Tools > Setup > Financial > Segment, in order to add this segment value of 700 for the 1st segment, and to give the segment a description, namely, the name of the new department.

My desire is to have the new department, 700, mirror the old department 100 exactly.  So I have set the Account Range from 100 to 100 for the 1st segment, and the rest of the segments I have gone from all zeros to all nines.  Under the Display section I have selected the “Selected Range” radio button; this shows me the accounts in the grid below that are going to serve as my template to build (copy) the new accounts.  Basically, I am copying all of the accounts that belong to department 100, and creating new accounts with 700 instead of 100 in the first segment.  I have set the New Account Mask to 700 for the 1st segment, and question marks for all the rest.  Lastly, I have set the Use Description From section to “Account Segments” in order to pull in the account description from the descriptions stored in the Segment Master table (as defined under Tools > Setup > Financial > Segment); in this way, the account will be described with the description of the new department as the beginning of the description of the  account; alternatively, if the account descriptions are only the natural account, I would have selected “Existing Accounts.”

This all works very well.  However, there are times where the new accounts you need to create don’t follow such a simple business rule, as every account in a range of accounts; sometimes the accounts are in a discontinuous range.  Sometimes the list of accounts you want to add are much easier to compile in Excel.  Also, pushing the “Modify” button can be a bit scary; you are not quite certain what accounts this feature is going to create.  You can create a big mess by accidentally creating all kinds of accounts that you don’t need, and the results are often unpredictable if you start putting in complex masks and ranges in the Mass Modify Window.  The real problem here is that the Mass Modify feature does not show you a preview of what it is about to create, instead it simply creates the accounts; what can happen then is that you get into trying to use Mass Modify to delete the accounts you unwittingly created using Mass Modify, and in the process you end up deleting accounts you didn’t mean to delete.

What I suggest is using the Smart List to download the accounts you want to copy into Excel.  Then you can do a Search & Replace operation in Excel (using control-H).  In Excel you can review and study the list of accounts.  When you are ready to add the new accounts, you can use the Integration Manager module (which is really a separate application) to import the accounts by setting up a simple Account Card import routine.  Integration Manager can import directly from Excel, but you have to set a named range of cells in Excel for this to work.  Typically, what I do is set up Integration Manager to import from a text file.  I save (or cut & paste) the source data from out of Excel into a text file, then I point Integration Manager to the text file.  There are sample Account Card import routines in the Integration Manager database that comes with Dynamics GP.

By:  Ren Bellu, RSM McGladrey – Certified Microsoft Dynamics Specialists

7 thoughts on “Making It Easier with Dynamics GP – Quickly Modify Your Chart of Accounts”

  1. I am adding a new account in account maintenance.

    I filled all the necessary fields. However I am receiving this error:
    “This record has been created since your attempt to create it. Changes won’t be saved”

    When i look in the chart of accounts I do not see the account added.

  2. When I run integration manager to add new accounts, I get an error for invalid account category. We do not use the standard categories that come with Dynamics, but the categories we are using in the integration do exist. Any ideas how to force these accounts in using integration manager?

  3. Carole Bianco

    How can I modify a department so that all accounts for department 229 will now be department 329 and all the history and transactions get transferred as well

  4. I set up a new posting account, made a couple of entries but it is not showing on my balance sheet. What step did I skip?

  5. First, make sure that you’ve updated the segment description (Tools>Setup>Financial>Segment) so that the description of any new accounts you add to that project will include the new project description. Once you’ve done that, use Smartlist to export the accounts you need to change to Excel. Do a Search and Replace to update the account descriptions, then import them back into GP using Integration Manager as Ren suggests. When you create your integration, be sure to edit the properties of the integration and change the Destination Edit Mode to Update Only or Insert and Update.

    Hans Wulczyn

  6. How do you change the name of a segment once you have all the needed accounts set-up? For example, say you set up an account called Federal Grant (Account) – Department of Labor (Department) – Prisoner Initiative (Project) and the Project name changes and you want to change it in your COA. How do you do that without having to go into each and every account and make the change? I would appreciate any guidance you can provide. Thank you!

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