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    February 11, 2022

    Accounting Pro Still Using GP? Here’s How BC Can Make Life Easier.

    For decades, Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly known as Great Plains), has been a reliable solution for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to manage finance and accounting workflows. 

    But as Dynamics 365 Business Central has claimed its place in the market as a dependable and powerful option – with the added benefit of having a Cloud option – many organizations are evaluating whether they should make the switch. 

    Microsoft is not sunsetting support for GP, and will continue to develop the product to keep up with tax and compliance requirements and to improve usability. Still, new features will be limited. And accounting teams may find the upgrades in functionality available in Business Central to be well worth the move. 

    Microsoft has shifted development resources to Business Central, which supports greater integration across systems and provides more flexibility for scaling and remote access. 

    Business Central also offers a modern and intuitive interface and tools that support collaboration across the organization and improve on what finance and accounting professionals already do. Many companies are finding greater efficiencies and visibility with BC than they had in GP for core processes. 

    Standard Workflows in Accounting 

    We have seen that core functions are simpler in Business Central.  

    Business Central allows SMBs to better manage cash flow, bank reconciliations, fixed assets, budgeting and project costing while shortening cycle times with late payment-prediction extension. It easily supports multiple currencies, exchange rates, consolidations, intercompany transactions and localized tax regulations.  

    It also reduces month- and year-end closing times with connected general ledger, accounts receivable, payables and fixed assets data. And approval workflows are streamlined with Power Automate. 

    Edit in Excel 

    You can edit spreadsheets from the dashboard within the application, as Business Central is integrated with Excel. Doing the same in GP would require add-ons or modifications for the necessary data exchange.  

    In Business Central, the Edit in Excel feature opens the source data with all fields and allows the option to update and save back the data. Details from transactions are easily exported into Excel and can be used for analysis. When you return to Business Central and refresh your batch, it updates as seen below.

    Other Integrations 

    Business Central works seamlessly with other Dynamics 365 apps, Office 365, PowerApps, Power Automate and Power BI. It also integrates cleanly with third parties, with apps available as extensions in Business Central and with no difference in the look and feel of the core application.  

    Process Transactions in Email 

    Because Business Central integrates with Microsoft 365, it also integrates with your email. You can process transactions such as sales and purchasing quotes, orders and invoices from your Outlook email without launching Business Central. 

    For example, a salesperson sends an email to a customer regarding a quote. That salesperson can click on the Business Central button right from Outlook to create a new sales quote. That quote can be emailed to the customer. 

    Because it recognizes the user by contact name, a user never has to log in to generate quotes, purchase orders and other common documents. (See example below.) 


    Reporting within Business Central is more meaningful and powerful than in GP. Use built-in reports, Excel or Power BI and unlimited data dimensions to get real-time cash flow, identify financial patterns, analyze trends and improve business planning. Connect reports, charts and Power BI data from across accounting, sales, purchasing and inventory teams. 

    One of the biggest differences between GP and Business Central is that you can define dimensions, such as attribute or category, and tag those to any transaction in the system. Default dimensions can also be set based on customers, vendors, items, etc. This allows you to do dimensional reporting, slicing and dicing data. In GP, you need a third-party tool and workarounds to tag transactions in this way. 

    Users find Business Central’s dashboards drive greater overall financial visibility, enabling faster and better-informed decision-making. Access to real-time updates on accounts, sales, top customers and receivable balances saves teams a lot of time.   

    Training Integrated into the Platform 

    Business Central makes it easy to quickly learn how to use a function. Boxes pop up throughout the system to explain how a function works, with the option to take a quick two- to three-step tour of that feature. It also allows you to do things like hover over a field to get a definition, with the option to click and learn more on how to execute that function. Video is also available within the embedded training documentation. 

    Supporting Future Needs 

    The pandemic had an impact on where finance and accounting teams are focused. According to a recent report from the Institute of Management Accountants, organizations are spending more time now on reporting, including KPIs, management, variance and statutory.  

    Cash forecasting and management has become increasingly important, as has risk management, with nearly half of respondents spending more or much more time in this area. Business Central is ideal for these functions. 

    Talk to one of our Enavate experts to learn how Business Central can help your organization gain better financial visibility and improved efficiency. 

    Sandy Williams

    Sandy Williams is Sr. Leader of Client Experience Strategy at Enavate. She has spent the past 20 years in the Microsoft SMB and Enterprise space optimizing technology, experience, and implementation methodologies to ensure the delivery of a smooth, frictionless and consistent experience to clients. Sandy has worked in various industries with the Microsoft solution stack to architect, re-design business processes and implement customer success through business needs and industry best practices.

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