Paperless Office – Is it Really Possible For Your Accounting Team? Free and Low-tech Solutions with MS Dynamics GP

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I can’t tell you how many Accounting departments or offices I go into that are awash in a sea of paper: 

  • Cabinets full of invoices and other documents
  • Binders full of posting reports
  • Files with Month-end Financial statements and reports
  • Stacks of papers to be collated and stapled together
  • And so much more

What percentage of every day is spent printing, copying, filing, and organizing these papers?  How much of the budget is for paper and printer supplies?  Sure there are great paperless solutions and these might be right for you, but I find that most businesses don’t need to automate their paper.  They need to ELIMINATE their paper!   No matter what your industry – Not-for-Profit, Manufacturing, Distribution, Health-care, Service business, etc – I bet you are storing way more paper then you need to.

I challenge my clients to really look at what is necessary to archive today and to examine their reasons for keeping “hard copies”:

“I need this report to look-up the data later.” 
This reason comes from the days when accounting systems couldn’t reprint reports such as posting journals or Month-End aging reports.  Those days are long gone!  Dynamics GP can reprint nearly every report whenever you want. 

“I want to see what my staff posted.”   
There are several quick solutions for this is GP:

  • SmartList (listing on screen) to see today’s postings in one quick place with all the details YOU want to see. 
  • Activate Posting approval or other workflow to see the errors before posting.

“I need these supporting documents for answering customer’s questions.”
This is typically the reason for your AR Open files.   You print copies of the invoices and file them.  Why?  You can reprint them at any time.  One click on a SmartList and you can have an instant list of what a Customer owes you, click drill-into the actual invoice, order or other information.  Payment details are just as easy to access.    Great Plains provides similar drill-in capabilities on the Payables side too – AP invoice to receiving document to original Purchase Order.  If you have questions, you know who did the original receiving and you can contact them for further back-up / hard copies.

 “I need to have these reports all together in one place.”
This is common reason for the month-end files.  The Management Reporter module for Financial reporting in GP archives each Financial statement printed - securely, right there in the database.  MR also allows you to attach other “back-up” documents.  You can use SQL Reporting Services to print to PDF all of your Month-end Trial balances and other supporting documents and then archive these right in your MR folder for that month.  Now other members of the team can access the “back-up” without even leaving their desks.

I challenge you to go on a paper diet and see if you can eliminate wasteful and unnecessary “hard-copies” to streamline your Accounting department today.

By Devon Southall, Software Solutions Group, Inc – Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner for Western New York

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