Tag Archives | accounting system

How to Lead an ERP/Accounting System Implementation

In my 28+ year career, I have seen countless ERP system implementations and accounting system implementations. While some have been very successful and made a huge difference in the company, I have seen disasters. Millions of dollars spent over budget. Complete failure for the system implementation. This is one of my “hot boxes” when I hear consulting clients, coaching participants, colleagues, and companies in my network considering new systems. If you follow my steps on how to lead an ERP system selection process, then you will save thousands to millions of dollars depending on the size of your company.

The biggest disaster was with a company that did not follow any of the steps listed below. Their original budget of $8 million went to over $30 million, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they lost nearly half their revenue because of that bad system implementation.

Reasons For Selecting a New ERP System

Before I go into how to lead an ERP system selection process, let’s look at some reasons for selecting a new ERP system.  I will use the term ERP to include accounting systems as well (although they can be two different things). But they do have common challenges and I refer to them as one in this blog. There are many reasons why you may be shopping for a new system. Some reasons include:

  • Buying your first system
  • Outgrowing your current your system
  • Entering a different industry through growth or acquisition
  • Wanting better technology

There are many reasons why you may be shopping for a new system.


The system selection process and system implementation process can be very expensive – thus tying up you cash flow. Learn about other ways to improve your cash flow. 

Download the 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow


Mistakes Made During ERP System Selection Process

Over the years, I have seen or been involved with so many different systems being implemented. While I am not an implementation expert by any means, I have been involved with enough of them that I feel very strong about the right way to implement a system. When I have seen failed system implementations, they all have many common variables. So, I came up with my list of “must haves” for a system implementation.

As a financial leader, you need to be spearheading the ERP selection process.  You want to make sure it is done right because it is well documented that a system implementation gone wrong can cost millions of dollars of over run and precious time.

11 Tips on Avoiding a Failed Implementation

Critical items that will spare you from a failed implementation:

  1. Do not set arbitrary dates for “Go Live”; be flexible
  2. A new system is NOT an I.T. project. This is a very common mistake made. Do not allow your I.T. Manager to serve as the project manager. They will have some involvement, but it must be measured.
  3. Go through a System Selection Process
  4. After you select a system, make sure the implementer blue prints your process and system, and you sign off on it
  5. Be open to changing how you operate/process; if you do not, then you will want the system to fit your process and this will cost you dearly in customization fees
  6. Have a designated Project Manager that represents your interest, not the software company’s
  7. Avoid customization; remember, you will pay up front for customization, and you will pay again when ever there is a update in version or technology because now you are stuck with a customized system
  8. Test the system, and process thoroughly in a sandbox environment; do not proceed until the system does what you want
  9. Consider running parallel old system and new systems for at least 1 or two closes
  10. Provide substantial training to your employees
  11. Be prepared to change your go live date

Go Through System Selection Process

There are many firms that do the system selection process for you. They come in and evaluate your requirements for this system. Then they narrow down the choices from dozens to a handful. This not only helps the company not get overwhelmed by the number of choices, but it also helps the company find solutions they may not have known to look for. These system selection firms are experts in this field. If you want to do it right, then hire an outside firm. It is worth every penny and will likely save you a lot of money in the future.

Assign a Project Manager for ERP Implementation

Because this is a huge undertaking, it cannot be managed by someone who a) does not represent your interest, b) is in your I.T. department, and c) does not understand your operation and processes.  This can be someone for your organization, but you might have to hire someone from the outside.

Run a Blue Print / Test Before ERP Implementation

The Blue Print designed represents your operations and process, so you must fully understand it and sign off on it.  This is part of your contract for the new system. Once you sign off on it, the burden is on you. Test your new system in a sandbox environment. This testing can also be incorporated with training your staff. Making errors in the sandbox environment will not affect your business. Errors post Go Live will affect your business.

Be Open to Change

While you are working with the system selection firm, you may not check everything off your list. While it’s tempting to just say customize it, it may be better (and less expensive) to change the way you do things to fit the system. When you customize these systems, you increase the chances of it breaking when there are updates, requiring more support, and being harder to adjust when you need it to.

By customizing your system, you are significantly increasing the cost of the implementation and future maintenance of the system. Be open to change how you do things today and try to adapt to the system.

Provide Expensive Training

Now that you have invested in the system and started the actual implementation, you need to provide extensive (and expensive) training for your team BEFORE YOU GO LIVE. The training should be on site, not remote.  They will always offer remote training because it is cheaper, but it is not the same as on site training. The last thing that you want to run into is not investing in training and no one using the system. This training will not be given in a couple hours; it will probably take weeks. Invest in it to get the greatest return on investment. Or you risk them using the system and making mistakes because they were not properly trained. I have seen way too many examples of systems implemented and little to know remote training.

Run 1 or 2 Closes Parallel

What I recommend to every client and company implementing a new system is to run 1 or 2 month end closes parallel. This will help avoid disasters by getting rid of the existing system prematurely and smooth out any kinks or breaks in the new system. I always get the same response, “this is a lot of work and will cost me more man hours”.  Yes, it will. But you will avoid a blow up in the future.


Running 2 systems for 2 months can be costly – restricting your cash flow. To find other ways to improve cash flow when leading an ERP implementation, click the button below to download our 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow whitepaper.

Download the 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow


Be Flexible with the “Go Live” Date

Many times, the CEO or another executive driving the investment sets an arbitrary “go live” date. I have seen many cases where a CEO wants to launch the new system January 1 and has 50 people working around the clock… That’s a sure way to create a disaster. Have a goal, but do not have a hard deadline because there will always be something you did not plan for. 

I recently spoke to a CFO of a successful company, and she was telling me about their recent new system implementation. I was ready to hear another horror story. She told me it was a great experience. They had no real big issues and stayed with in the budget and timeline. I asked her to please tell me what they did to be successful. She basically listed the items 1-11 above.  It is a coincidence that I have listed those items for years now. But it proved my point.

Implementing a new ERP system is expensive, so if you’re company isn’t cash rich, then you may need to improve cash flow in other areas of your business to keep you afloat. Download our 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow whitepaper and start making a big impact on cash flow.

ERP Selection Process, ERP System Selection Process 

ERP Selection Process, ERP System Selection Process 

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What Accounting System Should Your Company Purchase?

Now, this is a topic that hits every company: what accounting system should your purchase? There is no question that technology has changed the way we do business. When I started working in the late 80’s, we had our first system implementation in an oil and gas company I worked for. It was a huge server(s), and they mainly ran our accounting system. It was an oil and gas producer, and we had thousands of joint interest billings and partnerships to account for. Before this, it took an army of bookkeepers and accountants to track this information manually via Green Bar Paper, written ledgers, etc. The revolution of the computer has changed the world – especially the accounting world.

What to do and what not to do!

As companies grow, their needs will change. We do not promote any software, but our professionals and myself have had great experience with everything from Spreadsheets, Quickbooks to SAP and Oracle.  I would not recommend that anyone keep their accounting records on spreadsheets, but Quickbooks, SAP, and Oracle are all great systems. Here is the kicker… Which accounting system  should I purchase ? It depends on your unique situation. Unfortunately, we see companies make two mistakes over and over again.

Mistakes Companies Make When Purchasing an Accounting System

What are those two mistakes?

  1. They either refuse to spend the money and upgrade above Quickbooks, when they have clearly outgrown Quickbooks
  2. They did not have to upgrade, or did not need such a monster package and they purchased the wrong system, maybe one that was to big

You need to understand if you need just an accounting system or a full blown ERP system. There are also big differences in just accounting systems and you still need to understand the different accounting systems through a system selection process.

Understanding your processes in your own company is a big part of selecting a system, and knowing what you must have and what you can live without.  Click here to start your Internal Analysis!

Making the Decision on an Accounting System

I have made it a hobby of mine to observe how CEOs, Boards, and business owners go about decision making for an accounting system. And most of the time, these are some of the ways they have made their decision:

  1. The CFO or Controller worked with that package in his past, so that is what Company A decided to implement – WRONG
  2. The I.T. department makes it their project and selects the system – WRONG
  3. The CEO or Business Owner has a buddy that runs his own company and uses Software X, and he highly recommended it – WRONG
  4. A sales person finally gets through the door and convinces that decision makers that they must go with either Software A or Software B. No other choices. – WRONG
  5. The CEO of a small company has friends that are very wealthy and own huge companies, and his own clients are huge companies and he wants to be like them, so he purchases Software X  – WRONG (nothing wrong with either of those systems but not for this company, this was a past client of mine)
  6. This is the beauty that I lived through – The PE Group run by 30-something-year-old Ivey League MBAs must have learned in a text book that S$! was a cool system.  So these “X!#&$*!”  forced S$! in a new acquisition that was a regulated utility. They dictated who the implementer was going to be, what the time line was going to be, and when we would flip the switch and go live. – WRONG  (more on this story below)

These experiences that other businesses have lived through resulted in very costly experiences. I have heard horror story after horror story and millions of dollars wasted in cash, productivity lost, and many sleepless nights for those involved. Also, lost jobs.  There is a right way to acquire an accounting software system.

what accounting system your company should purchase

Example of Accounting System Implementations Gone Wrong

Everything below are real stories that have happened to me or a client.

Borderline Bankruptcy of a $220 Million Company due to a failed system implementation

Background: Company X was recently acquired by a fund that was managed by a large well-known equity group. The representatives running the show and giving orders to management were three 30-something-year-old (the three musketeers) highly intelligent individuals. They only had a couple years of experience in the real world outside of their protected environment.

Mistake #1 – Inexperienced Highly Intelligent People Should Not Be Calling the Shots

The three musketeers hired a salesman to act as, “interim President” and chairman of the board. The chairman, a dominating personality, with 40 years of sales experience convinces the young lads that he will take control and make their problems go away. The three musketeers were told by a friend running another portfolio company, that they really need to implement “Software S$!”. The chairman salesmen hires his buddy, a former school teacher, to run the “Software S$!” implementation. This is not a knock on “Software S$!”. It is a fantastic system but only for the right company and when implemented properly. Unfortunately, between the three musketeers, the chairman salesman, and the school teacher, this accounting system implementation was doomed from the beginning.

The original budget for the system implementation was $8 million dollars. Even for this $220 million revenue company, this was a major part of their CAPEX. But the following are other mistakes that compounded the problem with the implementation:

Mistake #2 The IT Department Was Put In Charge Of The System Implementation

The system implementation should have been a Management project, it is never an IT Project. The CFO, Controller, the CEO or his delegated VP of Operations should be managing the implementation.

  1. There was no system selection process. Someone up the food chain determined that the company would install “System S$!’. It was the wrong system for this regulated utility.
  2. Someone up the food chain mandated that the system would go live in 8 months. – WRONG. As with all projects, there should be a project timeline, but this timeline is a projection. It should not be a drop dead date that only exaggerates mistakes and issues.
  3. Since time was a concern, there was a rushed process to Blueprint the system and testing was minimal.
  4. When the CFO hired one of the Big 4 and expert internal people, they identified the weaknesses and presented a possible train wreck to the Board. The dominating chairman ignored warnings and moved on. – i.e. management was shut down.

Result of a Bad Accounting System Implementation

The resulting consequences were that the implementation of the system escalated to over $30 million in costs and the system did not work. The company had service contracts in place and the system did not generate a single report that was correct. The services contracts were all terminated within a 90-day period. The company lost 50% of its revenue in 90 days.  This caused the cash flow to the company to be cut in half, and they defaulted on debt covenants.  The company was now in a tailspin out of control. The financial crisis escalated and the finger pointed started. The company would have ended up in chapter 11 if it were not for two very patient lenders that modified covenants and believed the long term story of the entity.

what accounting system your company should purchase

Suggestions on how to go about the system acquisition

I mention this story because it could have all been avoided. There was no need to go through all of this and 1,200 employees lost their jobs. These are some suggestions to CEOs, CFOs, and business owners about selecting a system.

  1. Hire a company that will assist you in going through a detailed system selection process. Yes, this has a cost, but it is only a fraction of the cost of choosing the wrong system. Companies that assist with system selection process know the market, know the vendors and will understand your operation before you make a decision.
  2. Do not have any one system in mind when you start the selection process, forget what the next guy uses. Let the experts do their job.
  3. A good company that assists with the system selection process will shop the system world, narrow down less than a handle full of systems and allow you to make the ultimate decision based on cost, timing and capability.
  4. As the decision maker, do not set drop dead dates for “going live”. You will run into problems and you will need to extend that project time line at least once.
  5. Have a budget, write the contract to commit to a system and be aware that modifications are on you. It is very much like building a house. You want a 3,500 SQ Ft home with one story and no pool. If you change along the way and want a 2 story home with a pool, then you will pay for it.
  6. No system will perfectly fit your company and the way you do things, unless you are prepared to spend millions customizing a system. Most likely, your company will need to change at least some of the processes and the way you do things. Know this up front and tell your people to be open to change.
  7. This is a Management project. Not an IT project. So, never let your IT people run the project. At most, they would participate in one of the committees supporting the project.
  8. Keep it simple and chose a system that will allow for growth. But do not purchase the Rolls Royce if the Honda will get you there. The cost difference can be millions of dollars.

Conclusion

There are many good companies out there that can assist you with a system selection process. Do not do it alone, and make sure you go through a detailed system selection process.  Rely on the experts, they are your trusted advisors during this project. If you need any assistance with any part of this, then we would be more than happy to assist you and your company. In the meantime, access our free Internal Analysis whitepaper to assist your leadership decisions and create the roadmap to implementing a new accounting system.

What Accounting System Your Company Should Purchase

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What Accounting System Your Company Should Purchase

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Time Saving Tip for Filing Vendor Invoices

See Also:
Accounts Payable Turnover
Accounts Receivable
Accounts Receivable Turnover
Chart of Accounts (COA)
Problems in Chart of Accounts Design

Current Practice

How do you file your paid vendor invoices? Alphabetically? Who taught you to do it that way? Have you ever wondered why?

How often do you go back and research a paid accounts payable invoice? How much time does it take?

Have you ever thought that there might be a better way?

History

Filing vendor invoices alphabetically has been a practice since before the time of computers. With accounting theory in existence for centuries it is safe to say that the practice has been in place for some time. In a manual environment, it is useful to be able to research invoices, especially if there is a lot of volume involved. But is it necessary in today’s computer environment to manually sort data?

Best Practice for Filing Vendor Invoices

By using the computer to sort for information, you no longer need to do so manually. Once a vendor invoice has been paid you should then file it in check number sequence or by date. This practice will save both the time to prepare the file folders, sort the paid invoices and the filing of those invoices. Additional benefits include not having to use as much supplies nor take as much space to store.’

Arguments Against

The most common argument against this best practice (other than that’s not the way we have been doing it!) is that we need to be able to go back to the original invoice. There might be certain situations such as construction job costing that would require you to review previous bids. However, most often this objection can be countered by recording the required information in the computer, negating the need to go to the source document. In fact, as more companies adopt scanning of original source documents the ability to use a manual filing system will go away.

Conclusion

If you have not re-engineered your filing practices for paid vendor invoices then you are not realizing all of the time savings efficiencies of the computer. In fact, your system is a hybrid manual and computer system. Instead of designing your accounting system around the computer, you take the computer and wrapped it around your manual system!

filing vendor invoices

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Skimming Fraud

See Also:
The Fraud Triangle
Larceny (fraud)
Auditor
Audit Scope
Compliance Audit

Skimming Fraud Definition

Skimming fraud is the theft of cash from a business prior to its entry into the accounting system for that company. Although skimming is one of the smallest frauds that can occur, they are also the most difficult to detect.

Skimming Meaning

Skimming is also known as an “off book” fraud because the cash is stolen before it is entered into the bookkeeping system. In business, skimming is the most difficult to detect because there is not direct audit trail that can be followed to the source. Often, skimming fraud is discovered by accident, or if a company suspects that it is going on. A company will often investigate for skimming fraud if a certain part or the business as a whole is low on cash for no reason. If the problem is ongoing companies will often investigate themselves or hire someone to do so like a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

(How are you’re dealing with a fraudulent employee? Learn more about what it feels like to have fraud committed against you here.)

Skimming Example

Grant owns a sandwich shop named Real Good Wich. Lately, Grant has noticed that the cash account has been dwindling, and decides to hire Mason a CFE to investigate. Mason arrives on the scene and orders a sandwich. skimming fraudAfter observing the cashier for a while he notices that one of the employees is pocketing the cash when the exact amount for a sandwich is paid. Mason takes note of this and returns to Grant and explains the problem. He explains that when the exact amount is paid the employee can simply pocket the cash. This is because there is no need to open the register for change and no sale needs to be recorded. Mason also provides a quick fix to the problem.

If Grant were to provide a free sandwich to his customers if no receipt were given to them on the sale it would significantly reduce the amount of skimming fraud. Grant takes Mason’s advice and fires the employee, and implements the free sandwich. After a while Grant sees that his cash has increased as well as overall profits.

Check out our free Internal Analysis whitepaper to assist your leadership decisions as you deal with fraud AND prevent it before it happens again.

skimming fraud
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skimming fraud

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Subsequent Events

Subsequent Events Definition

The definition of a subsequent events are generally defined as events that occurs after the year end period but before the financial statements have been issued. A subsequent event falls underneath the disclosure principle and can be confusing to many accountants that encounter them. However, the codification provides guidance under ASC 855 subsequent events. This allows accountants to distinguish separate events and how to write subsequent events disclosure.

Subsequent Events Meaning

The problem arises for companies because subsequent event accounting could dramatically alter an investor’s opinion. It might be misleading to issue the statements as they are at period end. There are generally two types of subsequent events.

1)The first is a recognized event whereas the second is a non-recognized event. Recognized or type 1 subsequent events are typically events that occurred at the financial statement date. But that may have concluded after the year end. The financial statements must then be altered to include this event because it would be misleading not to list the event.

2) Type 2 or non-recognized events are then events that were not ongoing and occurred after the year end. These accounting subsequent events should not be disclosed within the current financials, but a subsequent event footnote disclosure should be made in the financials so that investors know that the event did occur.

Subsequent Events Examples

Type 1 event (recognized)

Honyota Inc., a car manufacturer, has had some ongoing litigation proceedings concerning the safety of its cars in the United States. Year end occurred a month ago but the financials have not been issued at this date, the litigations proceedings have finally concluded after months and Honyota will be required to pay $50 million in damages to various customers around the U.S. Honyota has accrued for this event since the litigation proceedings began and has gone ahead and paid the amount needed. Then recognize the event as a type 1 event because this has been ongoing for months. In addition, conclude the final amount paid.

Type 2 event (non-recognized)

After year end, Welder supply has lost one of its customers due to bankruptcy. Welder Supply has not issued it statements yet. Owen, an accountant, is trying to determine if he should recognize this event in the year end financials issued within a few days. Owen determines that the company does not need to recognize the change in accounts receivable because Welder Supply had no indication that its customer was in financial distress. Therefore, Owen should not recognize the event in the year end financials. Owen should however make a subsequent event note disclosure within them stating the event that did occur to prevent litigation from presenting misleading statements.

Note: An event of this type would include a small customer that suddenly declared bankruptcy. And the company had no idea before the year end date. This would cause the accounts receivable to change as the company expects not to collect.

Download your free External Analysis whitepaper that guides you through overcoming obstacles and preparing how your company is going to react to external factors.

subsequent events

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subsequent events

See Also:
Accounting Principles
Probable Losses
Contingent Liability
Accounting Changes

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Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

See Also:
When to Buy New Software
How to Choose New Software
Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains
How to Obtain a Microsoft Dynamics Licensing Agreement
New Microsoft Dynamics Licensing Program

Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Partners sells Microsoft Dynamics but the licensing agreement is between Microsoft and the organization that licenses the software. The Microsoft Partners will help you determine what version as well as what modules you need to license to provide you with the functionality needed.

What drives software licensing costs?

The cost of licensing and using business management technology varies greatly among companies. The following factors have an up-front impact on the overall cost of your total business solution:

Business software components: The components you’ll need are influenced by the type of business you’re in, and the current and future software needs your company might have.

The number of people who will use the software: The size of your staff, the kind of tasks they perform, and the software access that each person needs will affect total costs.

The level of service that’s right for your company: Depending on your business and IT staffing structure you may choose varying degrees of software service, training, and more.

Depending on what your company needs, the type of system and level of service will vary. The only way to discover that is to conduct an internal analysis. Click here to access our Internal Analysis whitepaper.

Microsoft Dynamics Editions

Microsoft offers two editions of pre-selected (packaged) software functionality, as well as additional add on components. The pre-selected editions are licensed based on the number of concurrent users. Concurrent users means the number of users actual logged on to the system. You can create unlimited number of users but only the number of users licensed can log onto the system at any given moment.

Add on components licensed are mostly licensed aa a flat fee, and they are not related to the number of users in the system. The exception is the Payroll and Human Resources modules that are licensed based on the number of employees for which the module is used.

The following information outlines the functions available in different editions of Microsoft Dynamics.

Business Essentials

This edition addresses core financial management needs and includes essential features for integrated financial and business management. It is streamlined for ease of installation, rapid user adoption, and affordability.

Financial management includes the following:

Supply chain management includes the following:

Business intelligence and reporting includes the following: Microsoft FRx Desktop (1 user)

Basic configuration and development tools

In addition to core functionality, the Business Essentials Foundation Pack includes one full access user license. You can license additional full access users and partial access users. You may also license a limited set of additional components—such as payroll components— for this edition.

Advanced Management*

This edition addresses the needs of organizations that are looking for a solution with an extensive set of advanced functionality.

All the functionality of the Business Essentials edition is included plus the following:

Advanced Business Intelligence and Reporting

Customer relationship management, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional Server** (at least one user license must be purchased for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional to use this product)

Manufacturing

Advanced supply-chain management, including:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Requisition Management

In addition, the Advanced Management Foundation Pack includes one full access user license. You may license additional full access users and partial access users.

Advanced Management Enterprise: Extend Your Solution*

For organizations with even more complex needs, Advanced Management Enterprise components are available.

These additional components let you extend the Advanced Management edition by providing the following rich set of advanced functionality:

  • Advanced manufacturing functionality, including shop management, capacity planning and job costing
  • Field Service Management
  • Advanced project management
  • Advanced configuration and development tools including source code access

**Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Get It Separately or With Your Business-Ready License

In addition to being available with the Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Management edition above, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional continues to be available through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program. The Microsoft Volume Licensing Program uses the same licensing module in Microsoft Office, Windows and Microsoft Exchange.

User Access

Businesses also vary greatly in the number of people within the company who need to use specific software functions. In addition to licensing an edition, you’ll likely need additional user licenses to give your people access to functionality within the software. You typically have a choice of full or partial access users, depending on your needs.

Full access user licenses

A Full Access user license allows one user to access all functionality within the edition at any one time.

Partial access user licenses

Several types of Partial Access user licenses are available. Find a Partial Access user license priced lower than the Full Access user license. It is also a way of extending access to your Microsoft Dynamics solution to many more people across your organization. One example of a Partial access user license is the Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server, which includes a number of self service applications that provide employees access to important business information and processes.

Service Options

Many Microsoft partners offer implementation and support services to help you implement and maintain the Dynamics solution and help you reap the benefits that the proper configuration and usage of these solution will bring you. Microsoft offers a broad selection of service plans that include support, training, and product upgrades.

If you are ready to bring on a new system like Microsoft Dynamics, then first conduct an internal analysis. Why? Because you may uncover some weaknesses or strengths that are will be exposed or not optimized respectively with the new system. Click here to download your free Internal Analysis worksheet to start developing and enhancing your strengths as well as start reducing and resolving your weaknesses.

Microsoft Dynamics

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Microsoft Dynamics

 

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Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains

See Also:
How Do You Know When It is Time to Buy New Software
How to Choose New Software
Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Functionalities
Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

What Are the Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Functions

Dynamics Great Plains is one of the solutions that Microsoft offers as part of its Dynamics product line. Microsoft offers the following 2 versions of Dynamics Great Plains as part of the current “Business Ready Licensing” program:

The “Advanced Management” version includes all functionality of the “Business Essentials” version. In addition, it includes other functionality. Additional modules are available, but some of these are not available with the “Business Essentials” version. The following table describes what major modules of functionality are available in what version and what additional functionality can be licensed in addition to each version.


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Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Business Essentials vs. Advanced Management

Functionality Group                       Business        Advanced
                                              Essentials      Management
Financial Management 
General Ledger                            YES            YES
Intercompany                              YES            YES
Multicurrency Management                  YES            YES
Analytical Accounting                     YES            YES
Fixed Asset Management                    YES            YES
Encumbrance Management                    YES            YES
Receivables Management                    YES            YES
Payables Management                       YES            YES
Bank Reconciliation                       YES            YES
Safe Pay                                  YES            YES
Cash Flow Management                      NA             YES
Collections Management                    NA             YES
Customer/Vendor Consolidations            NA             YES
Electronic Bank Management                NA             YES
Lockbox Processing                        NA             YES
Cashbook Bank Management                  ALC            ALC
Electronic Reconciliation Management      ALC            ALC

Business Intelligence and Reporting 
FRx Currency Translation                  YES            YES
Microsoft FRx® Desktop User(1 BE user)    USR            USR
Advanced Analysis Cubes Library           NA             YES
Analysis Cubes Library                    NA             YES
FRx Report Manager                        NA             YES
FRx Report Server (first engine)          NA             ONE
Key Performance Indicators                NA             YES
FRx WebPort                               NA             USR
Microsoft Forecaster                      NA             USR
FRx Report Server (per additional engine) NA             ALC
Microsoft Forecaster                      NA             ALC
SmartList Builder                         ALC            ALC

 Supply Chain Management
Inventory Control                         YES            YES
Invoicing                                 YES            YES
Landed Cost                               YES            YES
Purchase Order Processing/Receiving       YES            YES
Sales Order Processing with Adv Invoicing YES            YES
Available to Promise                      NA             YES
Bill of Materials                         NA             YES
Order Management                          NA             YES
PO Generator                              NA             YES
Requisition Management                    NA             YES
Returns Management                        NA             YES
Advanced Distribution                     NA             ALC
Advanced Picking                          NA             ALC
Extended Pricing                          NA             ALC

 Manufacturing 
Manufacturing Bill of Materials           NA             YES
Manufacturing Order Processing            NA             YES
Master Production Scheduling              NA             YES
Materials Requirements Planning           NA             YES
Capacity Requirements Planning            NA             ALC
Engineering Change Management             NA             ALC
Job Costing                               NA             ALC
Microsoft Demand Planner                  NA             ALC
Quality Assurance                         NA             ALC
Sales Configurator                        NA             ALC
Sales Forecasting                         NA             ALC

 Project Accounting
Contract Administration                   NA             YES
Project Accounting                        NA             YES
Time & Expense                            NA             YES

 Field Service
Dynamics CRM Professional Server          NA             ONE
Depot Management(requires Returns Mgmt)   NA             ALC
eService Call                             NA             ALC
Preventive Maintenance                    NA             ALC
Service Call Management                   NA             ALC

Human Resource Management 
Payroll – US                              ALC            ALC
Payroll Direct Deposit                    ALC            ALC
HR                                        ALC            ALC
HRM Self Service Suite (US)               NA             ALC

Collaborative Workspace
Business Portal                           NA             USR
Business Portal
           (Named Vendor/Customer Users)          NA             ALC
Client for Microsoft® Office
           and SharePoint® Server                 NA             ALC
Client for Microsoft® Office and
          Windows® SharePoint® Services           NA             ALC

Configuration and Development
Customization Site License                YES            YES
Integration Manager - Conversions         YES            YES
Developer Toolkit Microsoft Dynamics™ GP  NA             ALC
Dexterity                                 NA             ALC
Modifier w/ Visual Basic for Application  NA             ALC
Great Plains Extender                     ALC            ALC
Integration Manager                       ALC            ALC

YES = Included

ALC = Additional component or users available a la carte

ONE = One Instance Included. Additional instances are available a la carte

USR = One User included with each AM (or BE) User as noted. Additional users are available a la carte

NA = Not Available

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Dynamics Great Plains
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Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains

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