5 Things You Can Do All Year Long to Make Your Microsoft Dynamics GP Year End Close Easier

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With Year-End right around the corner, you may be starting to think about the long hours associated with finalizing transactions and getting ready to deal with auditors.  Don’t make your financial system year-end close any harder than it has to be.  With Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can implement these 5 things (at any time of year) to help your year-end close process go a little more smoothly.

1. Use SmartLists and Visual Cues to Keep Your Accounts Categorized Correctly

At year end close, there are a lot of steps to remember and a step I have seen forgotten countless times, is verifying account posting types.  It is critical before closing your year to make sure that your Balance Sheet accounts are classified as Balance Sheet accounts and that your Profit and Loss accounts are classified as Profit and Loss accounts.  What is typically recommended during year-end close is to run a SmartList where you show all accounts with a natural account greater than 3999 (or whatever your last Balance Sheet account may be) AND a posting type of Balance Sheet. 

Search Accounts in Dynamics GP

Next you would run the opposite (natural account less than 4000 and posting type of Profit and Loss) as well.  Ideally, your SmartLists both result in 0 records found.  However, if you do find any records, you want to make the necessary changes before closing the GL. 

Keeping this SmartList void of records all year long will help speed up your year-end close process for two reasons – you won’t have to fix anything at year-end and you will avoid the painful process of having to fix your GL after you’ve closed a new inventory account to retained earnings.  In order to keep track of these all year, just create the SmartLists as you did above, however this time, save them as favorites with reminders.  If you set your reminder to tell you anytime the record count for either of these is greater than 0, you will be notified as soon as the account is set up incorrectly.

With GP2010, Microsoft introduced visual cues, which means I can now see my reminders as a stack of papers which actually do increment with the number of records.

Visual cues or To do in Dynamics GP

In order to set a reminder to a visual cue, there is a checkbox at the bottom of the reminder setup screen that says “Display as Visual Cue”.  All you have to do is check it to have a quick eye-catching reminder that you have some accounts to change.


2. Use Document Date Verify For Easier Reconciliations

Within Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can restrict GL posting dates by managing the Fiscal Periods setup window.  However, did you know that this setup does not follow through to your sub-ledgers?  You can key in a date of 4/12/2341 as a document date and it will be accepted (Note: You cannot enter this as a posting date).  This may make for a year-end nightmare when you are trying to reconcile.   Microsoft has recently made their Professional Services Tools Library (PSTL) free for Dynamics GP customers.  One of these tools is called Document Date Verify and it deals with the situation above.  With Document Date Verify installed, you cannot key in a date where the fiscal period does not exist.

Document Date Verify in Dynamics GP 

This tool also has another feature, it still allows you to key in a document date for a period that exists but is closed, however it does make you click through a warning just in case you entered that date inadvertently.

Dynamics GP Document Date Verify

With Document Date Verify installed, your year-end close can go more smoothly, but it also has other benefits – it takes away the inability to void documents because they are in a period that doesn’t exist and it allows you to pay your vendors/collect from your customers at the correct time.


3. Using the Post Through Setting

The first step in every module close checklist is to make sure all batches for the year you are closing are posted.  One way to speed this up in your GL is to set the batches from your sub-ledgers to “Post Through”.  (A note here, this setting is optional and up to the comfort/discretion of your company.)  What the “Post Through” setting does is eliminate the need for you to post all batches again in the Financial Series post.  Once they post in a sub-ledger, they automatically go through to your GL.  This can save time at year-end in going back and researching batches that may have been missed when users either forgot the second posting or didn’t know what the batch was. 

 4. Paid Transaction Removal

Transactions in your Sales/Receivables modules don’t automatically move to history once they are fully applied like they do in Purchasing/Payables.  The reason for this is that you may have a payment returned from the bank or need to assess late fees.  This means that you need to run the routine yourself to move these paid transactions to history.  In the Paid Transaction Removal screen, you have cutoff date and document options. 

Paid Sales Transaction Removal in Dynamics GP

Don’t move anything to history that is still pretty new just in case you need to void, assess a fee, etc. later.  However, running this on a routine basis will move documents into a historical table, which will save you a lot of time when running your year (and month) end trial balances.  The aging and trial balance process through all of the records in your open tables to see what needs to be moved or displayed on the report.  If you don’t ever move the transactions to history, GP will run through all of them each time you run the report which can be quite time consuming!

 5. Use a Printer Alternative

Using something other than a printer can save you time and money.  There are several month end reports that you may want to keep for your records, but at 400 pages, your printer is tied up for a while, you’ve used up almost an entire ream of paper, and where are you going to put it?  Of course you can always print GP reports to a file instead of a printer, but we all know those don’t come out looking the way you’d hope.  The type of printer alternative doesn’t matter, but here are a few options that will keep your reports looking clean and legible:

-  Purchase or download a free .pdf writer

These are extremely useful and let you automatically convert your documents to .pdf files.  Just make sure that within GP you have the .pdf writer set as your default printer since the feature to change printers after printing to screen isn’t coming out until GP2013.

- Export to Excel by using SSRS reporting

By deploying your company’s SSRS reports, you are able to access most of your reports that are within GP on the web.  From here you have several export options including .pdf and Excel.

- Use GP email functionality

With the release of Dynamics GP 2010 R2, you have the option to email any option- based reports.  This means that you can run your trial balances and agings and send them to yourself or others instead of printing

Dynamics GP Email OptionsDynamics GP Email Options

InterDyn Artis, established in 1989, is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner dedicated to the implementation, training, and support of the Microsoft Dynamics line of products including Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and ProclaimCRM. Let us help you have fun with your ERP software.

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