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Briware Solutions Inc.

Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 – Why can’t we just get a comparison checklist?


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Comparing Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 isn't like comparing apples to oranges, it's more like comparing apples to pears.

 

Both apples and pears are crisp, sweet, and firm.  They both have seeds in the middle and are available in red, yellow, or green.  But there is a different texture, there is a different juice, there is a different sharpness.  They are similar, but different, and both are good.  But one might be better to use than the other depending on the desert you're making.

 

Every day my team is trying to compare Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Not just because our clients are asking for a comparison, but also because we recently moved our own small business from running on Dynamics GP to running on Dynamics 365.

 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just give you a checklist comparing the two?  We've sat down on several occasions to try and do just that.  We've started with module lists, we've started with transaction or master record types, we've started with general functionality areas...you get the picture.  Every time we start the list, it grows into this hard to manage, hard to read monstrosity.

 

Why is this so difficult?

 

Dynamics 365 is changing constantly

Obviously, Microsoft is investing a ton of time and resources into the product.  Some people have tried to say that that means the end of all the other products.  It doesn't.  It just means this product needs a lot more work. For example, it is possible that they are going to flesh out the inventory screen eventually and it will be closer to what you get out of Dynamics GP today.  The Dynamics GP inventory window has existed for 25 years, it has had more time to mature.

 

While continuous improvements are awesome, it can make writing posts like this one difficult.  In the time that I have been writing this post Microsoft added some basic BOM functionality - the lack of which had been a whole paragraph in this post!

 

Sometimes, similarities are differences in disguise

One of my favourite things about implementing accounting software is that there is almost always more than one way to accomplish a task.  Sometimes you can invent functionality simply by using something in a way it was never intended to be used.  I'm sorry to the stodgy purists out there, but workaround has never been a bad word in my view.

 

When you're comparing two systems, it isn't enough to ask, "does it have?".  You need to ask, "can it do?".  And even then, sometimes the answer "sort of" is enough.

 

Here are a few examples of the differences that could be similarities - and similarities that are actually differences - that we have found so far:

  • Batch processing is strong in Dynamics GP, while Dynamics 365 does not have batch processing at all.
    • However, in some cases processing of multiple documents (the biggest argument for batch processing) can be accomplished in Dynamics 365 by using the "select more" feature inherent in every list view.
  • There is no basic receivables or payables entry windows in Dynamics 365.
    • D365 calls this functionality "Journals", though, so I guess you could say that Dynamics GP doesn't have subledger journals.
  • Dynamics 365 and Dynamics GP both have an inventory module complete with warehouse management.  However, Dynamics GP's warehouse management and replenishment features are much richer.
    • In Dynamics GP it is possible to restrict items so that they can only be transacted in certain warehouses.
    • There is no bin management in D365 as yet, though I hear that this is coming soon.
    • The item master in Dynamics GP has a ton more replenishment related windows and fields.  Things like Minimum order quantity and order multipliers exist in Dynamics GP, but don't have a corollary in Dynamics 365.
  • Both systems have an Electronic Bank Reconcile.
    • Dynamics 365 has a module called the Envestnet Yodlee - Bank Feeds Service which took me almost no time at all to set up.  It reaches directly into my bank accounts and Paypal service for transactions and auto reconciles where it can.  From the reconciliation window, it is very easy to convert unreconciled transactions into ledger entries - including cash receipts and cheques.  D365 is the functionality winner here.

There are fields that exist in one system that don't exist in the other, or windows that don't exist but are replaced by concepts. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to capture all that granularity in a neat checklist or grid. It is not always a yes or no answer and grids don't lend themselves well to "sort of".

Can you help me compare Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365?

Instead of starting with the software when doing this comparison, try starting with your business needs instead.  When a company asks me to compare the products I sit down and start asking them about their business.  I ask them to let me answer that later and then start asking questions to determine how they work and how complex their business is.

 

Questions such as:

 

  • How much do you rely on your inventory system?
  • Do you need to do bin processing?
  • How do you purchase your inventory? How do you sell it?
  • Do you have anything that you invoice for but don't necessarily want on a proper invoice, for example debit notes and credit notes?
  • Do you need consolidated financial reports?  If you do, is currency translation a concern?
  • Do you plan to integrate data from any other systems?

 

Once I know how the customer works, then I can start to compare the two products because now I know what they care about.

Are you just trying to sell me Dynamics 365 because it is new?

The truth is, I've been doing Dynamics GP for a very long time. Like a lot of people, I'm passionate about it.  I do think it's a rock solid product.  In fact, having reread this post so far, I can see my own GP bias coming through.

 

But there are some exciting features in Dynamics 365 for Financials.  Features that no other product (other than D365 Enterprise edition) can boast.  And if it meets all of your business needs then why wouldn't you consider it?  I did.  Within my own business, I had the opportunity to run inexpensive Dynamics GP or full price Dynamics 365.  I chose Dynamics 365 because it was the right business model for me.  It was the right product for my business.

 

That is the way I approach product evaluations for my customers too. What is the right business model for them?

 

In the past, if we didn't feel Dynamics GP was a fit for a company we didn't have an alternative other than to walk away.  Now, if their needs are not complex enough for Dynamics GP, we have something else we can offer.

 

So while I can't seem to provide an organized yes/no checklist, I will continue to do my best to educate you on the differences we find as my team and I continue to work with both systems.

 

If you are evaluating a new accounting system, and want to talk about Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 for financials, contact us at 844-BRIWARE or rod@briwaresolutions.com.

 

By Briware Solutions, www.briwaresolutions.com

 

Follow me on Twitter: @Briware_Rod

2 Responses to “Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 – Why can’t we just get a comparison checklist?”

  1. Good afternoon Anthony,

    Thanks taking the time to read this through and respond.

    In relative terms, given the number of releases the product has had since Business Edition’s initial release last November, this post is actually quite old.

    In the past 5 months, a lot of functionality has been added – and the inventory module in particular has been much improved. That said, a field for field and feature for feature comparison of the 2 systems with respect to inventory replenishment, management, and distribution still leaves GP ahead – for now. I would expect this to change with the Tenerife release, bringing both solutions more in line.

    As for my GP bias, I have actually been accused by my GP peers of having a D365 BE bias. I am hoping that the Tenerife release is all that it is promised to be and that I can continue to build a practice around this product. I believe it is a rock solid product.

    Again, thanks for your time and response.

    Regards,
    Rod

  2. anthony rucker says:

    I get the GP bias, that’s your business. However, your statements about warehouse management in D365 for Finance and Operations are not correct.