Recently MVP Belinda Allen and I both enjoyed reading Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book, David and Goliath. The book uses the Biblical story of the shepherd and the giant to illustrate how to deal with threats or problems that seem insurmountable, using your strengths, not your opponent’s.
At the same time, the Microsoft Dynamics GP team has been talking in terms of rocks. Big features with lots of development work being added to GP 2013 are the big rocks. The big rocks determine when the release is complete. At the same time, there are small rocks going in, too. These are identified features with smaller development efforts. Notice that the GP team’s definition is around development effort, not necessarily impact. Like David and the five smooth stones he selected, the small rocks may really be the giant killers in the update coming this spring.
With a nod to David and his sling, here are five little rocks that will make a difference in the next update to Dynamics GP 2013.
1. Copy and paste from Excel to GL
Dynamics GP 2013 will get native copy and paste from Microsoft Excel to the GP 2013 GL. This import will include Analytical Accounting. In the first release, it doesn’t look like we’ll see negative debits (sometimes required in non-US accounting) or negative debits automatically becoming credits, but those are under consideration. For companies with large journal entries, this will be a real time saver. It’s also functionality that competitors have, so it at least brings parity to the conversation. And frankly, it’s also just really cool.
2. Undo Year End Close
The ability to undo a year end close, essentially reopen the year, is a big deal, and not just for fixing mistakes. I’ve confirmed with the team that this will not be restricted to only one year back. Companies will be able to open multiple past years. This can be huge when trying to combine multiple companies into a single GP database.
In the past, opening multiple closed years either required a Microsoft Consulting engagement, or some wizardry practiced by a few consultants. In either case, it was not trivial. Companies won’t want to undo the year end close regularly, but at least it will be possible.
3. Doc Attach to Payables
Doc Attach gets some nice new features, but the real highlight is the ability to attach documents to payables transactions. This improvement makes the other Doc Attach features pale in comparison. People have been asking for this since Doc Attach was first announced and now it’s here.
Another feature that users will enjoy is the ability to scan directly to doc attach from a scanner. Also, OLE notes will be moving into the database.
4. Reprint Bank Rec Outstanding Transactions
Like last year’s feature of changing printer at time of printing, reprinting the outstanding transactions report from a bank reconciliation is way overdue. Before, you had to make sure to print the edit list version in case the printer failed during the reconciliation. Now, you’ll be able to reprint the report for your records or for your auditors.
5. Assign item to multiple sites
GP 2013 will now get the option to easily add an item to multiple sites and mass remove items from multiple sites. Item/Site management is awkward enough that it’s one of those things that regularly causes people to stop and ask “Wait, you mean it doesn’t do that?” Now it can.
There are a lot more rocks, big and small, coming to GP 2013 in the first half of 2014. They all get wrapped up in a big sling as the ribbon interface from the web client comes to the desktop too. Now it’s your turn to pick up some rocks and resolve giant problems in your organization. (They don’t have to be giants, you can fix small problems too.)
Postscript: Belinda Allen adds the following to Mark’s thoughts:
I loved Mark’s (MVP Mark Polino’s) analogy of the Microsoft Dynamics GP to the title story in Malcom Gladwell’s latest book (David and Goliath.) Brilliant my friend!
After reading Gladwell’s explanation of the title story, I realized it would have been a shock if Goliath had won the battle. Putting that into perspective of your analogy, you are spot on Mark that many users haven’t picked up and used the small stones that exist in their current system, not to mention those that are coming in GP2013. As Microsoft partners, we have both seen businesses pay for their entire GP systems with a single stone.
A special Thanks to you Mark, for your hard work educating the masses of all the available stones and for inspiring me to do the same.
By Mark Polino, Senior Consultant, Integrated Business Group on 17 February 2014
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