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The Resource Group

Preparing the Team to Upgrade from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics GP


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We often find that if a customer is upgrading from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics® GP, extra help and time might be necessary for the QuickBooks end users as they transfer to the new software. We address this by building a proper training and support plan for going live and the next 3-6 months that follow. The reason for doing this is because QuickBooks users are not required to learn the deeper underlying accounting processes in the software. (Sort of like TurboTax users don’t really have to understand the Internal Revenue Code very deeply.) For example, fixing a mistake in an inventory receipt and vendor invoice in QuickBooks is likely only a matter of changing the numbers on the original transaction. QuickBooks does the rest.

 But when your company needs the things that QuickBooks can’t offer but Microsoft Dynamics GP does – batch processing, support for segregation of duties, transaction reversal standards, true multi-user architecture, ability to support huge datasets, customizable interfaces, more robust integration and Business Intelligence (BI) tools, thousands of ISV products (the list goes on) – then you should recognize that the experience to your users will be like going from a nice touring sedan to a delivery truck. That touring sedan may be fun and easy to drive, but when you have to haul around some serious weight (even if it’s just numbers), then you have to have that delivery truck. In that same vein, Microsoft Dynamics GP provides much more flexibility and scalability to the company, but in the process gives up some ease-of-use. For example, fixing that incorrect inventory receipt and vendor invoice in Microsoft Dynamics GP may require entering several transactions to insure the inventory quantities, payables ledger, and GL are brought to where you want them.

 So that’s it? Just tell your users that they’ll have to suck it up and get used to using something less intuitive and forgiving because you need something that can scale and be audited? Well, yes, but be prepared for the usual issues with change management: user complaints, mistakes/rework, and more time taken to do the same volume of work, for a while. We recommend that users be given a grounding in accounting processes as practiced in bigger environments before they ever see the first window in Microsoft Dynamics GP. That grounding should include:

 

  • How sub-ledgers have their own independent datasets but trade that data with one another in certain pre-defined and traceable ways (as opposed to QuickBooks, where you write the transaction once and other modules just read it from the same source at runtime),
  • How transactions have to be moved to history tables periodically to support scalable performance,
  • How sub-ledgers and the GL can be updated independently,
  • How GL data NEVER flows down to the sub-ledgers,
  • How accounting controls require some things NOT be allowed (i.e., deleting a printed check),
  • How sub-ledger document application works, and
  • How the need to support segregation of duties means more steps to do certain kinds of data entry.

 

In general, extra time and effort should be expended to ease users through a difficult transition. And expect that some will still not like it even after a longer than usual transition period, but that’s the price you pay to get a tool as robust and powerful as Microsoft Dynamics GP.

 

By The Resource Group – Washington Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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