Ad hoc Reporting Made Easy with Smartlist, Excel, and Dynamics GP

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An excellent ERP system will not only allow you to easily track and record transactions within your business, but it should also give you easy access to the data that has been captured.  The data that is captured is difficult to transform into information if we are restricted in how we can access it.

Microsoft Dynamics GP has a handy tool built into the software that can alleviate many of these issues.  The Smartlist tool allows end users to craft their own list based reports from the data in the ERP database.  Not only can end users create and save predefined list based reports, but Smartlist also gives them the ability to export directly to Microsoft Excel or Word.  This is extremely helpful when you know what information you are looking for, but do not have time to write a custom report with a reporting tool (Crystal Reports, SQL Server Reporting Services, etc.).

For example, if you are looking for a list of customers having outstanding invoices, you could print a Trial Balance report to give you the information.  But with Smartlist you not only get the information you need, but you can further tailor the report to specific conditions.  Maybe you are only concerned about open invoices over a specific dollar amount, or maybe you need to see customers within a specific sales territory or state.  This criterion can be built into a Smartlist object.  Once built, Microsoft Dynamics GP gives us the ability to export the data into an Excel spreadsheet, for additional work.  Not only can we export the listing, but we can also save the criteria for later use.  So next month, if we need to see the same list of information, we can return to our saved Smartlist object and rerun it against the current data; without having to re-enter the criteria.

Once Smartlist objects are saved we also have the ability to define who can access our list.  Maybe the list we compiled is only relevant to a specific group (or Class) of users in our company, or maybe the list is only important to us specifically.  When saving a Smartlist object we have the ability to set security to view the list to just ourselves, to just our company (in the case of multiple company installations) or to just our class of workers (AR clerks, or Account Managers, etc).  This prevents reports (that we may not have any interest in) from cramping our list of Smartlist objects.  This further increases efficiency, because now I no longer have to wade through a sea of useless (or useless to me) reports in order to access the information that I am researching.  If you have questions or concerns about how Smartlist can help increase efficiency at your company, please contact me or another consultant at our offices in Greensboro, NC.

by Intelligent Technologies, South Carolina Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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