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    November 19, 2022

    Work Smarter in Microsoft Dynamics GP: Tips and Tricks

    In Microsoft Dynamics GP, there are often multiple ways to perform the same task. At Enavate, we’re all about less clicks and working smarter, not harder. We’re hosting a five-part webinar series covering tips and tricks to help users be more efficient and productive in Microsoft Dynamics GP. For each, we’re putting together a blog that outlines the tips and tricks featured in each session.  

    In this first part of the series, you’ll learn:  

    1. How to make your Home Page your go-to for all Microsoft Dynamics GP modules. 
    2. What SmartLists are and why you need them. 
    3. How to use a tool for reconciling sub-ledgers to the financial ledger. 

    1: Make Your Home Page Your Go-To 

    You can set up your Home Page so it’s most efficient for your daily needs, reducing the number of clicks it takes per task and cutting out repetitive work. 

    Navigation: Menu Bar vs. Navigation Pane 

    There are two basic ways to navigate around Microsoft Dynamics GP. One is the Menu Bar at the top and the other is the Navigation Pane down the left-hand side.  

    Menu Bar  

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    Pros 

    • Familiar because it’s Microsoft’s original navigation menu style 
    • Similar to other Microsoft software navigation 

    Cons 

    • Multiple clicks needed to get to a screen 
    • Need to click, hold and drag 
    • Easy to lose your place and need to start again 

    Navigation Pane  

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    Pros 

    • Less clicks 
    • Very visual 
    • You can customize your Home Page to add links and simplify usage 
    • Same look from module to module 

    Cons 

    • Can seem overwhelming 

    Note: Out of the box, you have a basic toolbar, but you can also customize this toolbar by creating shortcuts.  

    Switching Between Companies

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    If you work in multiple companies, you don’t have to log out of one and back into the other. Simply click on the company name in the bottom left and the Company Login window will pop up. Use the dropdown to see the companies you have security access to. Once you click on another company, after taking a few seconds to populate, you will have switched to that company. 

    User Preferences 

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    Many people aren’t aware of the User Preferences options. You can navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP from any module by clicking it in the top toolbar. From here you select User Preferences, and a window will pop up with several options. Here, we’ll highlight a few of the most useful. 

    Default Report Destination: Printer or Screen  

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    If you constantly get a window asking where you want your report to print, either the Printer or the Screen, you can set your default in User Preferences. If you set Screen as your default, it will always default to Screen. This reduces clicks and saves time. Posting journals aren’t affected by these settings. This works for some reports, but not all.

    Enter Key: Tab vs. Return 

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    Dynamics GP defaults to the TAB key as your ENTER key, meaning how you get from field to field. If you're used to hitting ENTER or RETURN to get from field to field, you can turn on that option. This is user specific, so it only affects your user ID.   

    Windows Command Display 

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    A few versions ago, when Action Panes were introduced in Microsoft Dynamics GP, this choice was added to User Preferences. This gives users three options for their menus on Windows: 

    • Action Pane(the large icon action panel) 
    • Action Pane Strip (the small icon action panel) 
    • Menu Bar (the way the windows used to look) 

    Note: Any change here requires the user to close Microsoft Dynamics GP and re-launch.  

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    Examples of Window Command Displays 

    Default Sales Document Type  

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    If you're using Sales Order Processing in Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can set a default type for SOP documents. For instance, say your choices are Quote, Order Fulfillment, Order Invoice or Return. If your company doesn't use Quote, set Order as your default type and it will default to Order. This is also user specific. If you just do invoicing, you may want to set your Sales Document Type to Invoice to save time. The intent is to select whichever SOP Doc Type you use most often in your day-to-day transaction entry and make that the default. That saves at least one click every time you open this window.  

    Human Resources (HR) 

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    There's an HR button in User Preferences for setting what’s available to you when you log in. If you have access to the HR module, you have the following options upon system login: 

    • Open a To-Do List 
    • Open Personal To-Do List  
    • Roll Personal to To-Do List Forward  

    Here, you can also change your Organizational Display. If you have categories displayed as Codes but your departments are numbered and you don't know every code, you can change this display to Description, so you see the description instead of a code. 

    Quick Links 

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    Instead of having to navigate through multiple levels of Tool Bars, Quick Links gives you direct links to Microsoft Dynamics GP windows Web Pages and external files or programs – all in one spot.  

    From your Home Page, go to Customize This Page and select or deselect items you want to see on your Home Page. You can also hover over the Quick Links pane, select the pencil icon in the top right corner, then click the Add button to add new links. From this window, you can also modify the name of your link and change the order in which all links appear on the Home Page. 

    You can also choose whether you want your home page to lay out in one, two or three columns, and how you want the columns to stack. 

    To add Quick Links, you can either click on Customize this Page OR hover over the Quick Links pane, select the pencil icon in the top right corner of the pane, and then click the Add button to add new links. 

    If you want to add a Microsoft Dynamics GP window, click Add GP Window and select the window you want a Quick Link for. Once it populates to the bottom of the list, you can move it where you want it located. Then, select Okay. To see the new Quick Link, you can force a refresh by selecting the arrows at the top right to refresh your screen. 

    You can also create Quick Links for: 

    • A GP navigation list 
    • A web page 
    • A file, such as an Excel spreadsheet 

    Other Home Page Tips 

    For every module, the Navigation Pane has the same seven boxes. There are six action areas and Setup. You may not have access to all of them due to security. You can make the action areas you use most larger on your screen to easily see your options. 

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    You can also make Reports dynamic, meaning nothing that changes is hard-coded, so you’re not forced to go through several screens each time. Say you want to be able to look at a Summary Trial Balance or AP Aging. You want to run it on the previous period. When you’re doing the setup, choose all parameters, but for the date field be sure to choose any options except for Enter Date (i.e. choose previous period, previous year, etc.). Once you have it how you want it, click on My Reports, give it a name and hit Save. Now, when you go back to the Home Page, your report is there. When you click on it, it automatically populates the report with your saved parameters. That’s one click as opposed to six or seven!

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    SmartLists 

    SmartLists are a great tool for getting ad-hoc information out of Microsoft Dynamics GP. You give the SmartList parameters, and it gives you results. The data populates with information on one line per document. It makes it easy to export any SmartList to Excel with one click and do any slicing and dicing you need. 

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    You’ll notice that SmartLists that come out of the box with GP have an asterisk next to them. You can also save favorites, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and define your search parameters every time.  

    Importantly, with SmartLists, you can: 

    • Find data from sub-ledgers on financial transactional SmartLists 
    • Quickly check for Account Posting Types prior to Year-end Close 
    • Find a specific dollar amount to troubleshoot problems 

    How Do I Use SmartLists?  

    1. Expand the Module folder and the Options folder to see default SmartLists.
    2. Shut off Auto-hide for the Navigation Pane. The Navigation Pane seems to disappear, but in the top left next to the blue bar there is a “greater than” sign you can click to see the pane. If you don’t want it to disappear when you open a SmartList, go to your SmartList options, select the Favorites Pane and turn off Enable Auto Hide.
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    3. Start with a * SmartList and build off that. It helps to start with an asterisked report, starting with the basics and adding or removing as needed. For example, if you’re looking for transactional information in the General Ledger, go to Financial Account Transactions, where you can build off existing information.

    Add Columns 

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    You can add columns by clicking Columns in the top ribbon and hitting the Add button. Then click on the column that you want to add and it will populate at the bottom. You can move it up and down using the arrows. 

    If there’s a column you don’t need, click on it and hit the Remove key. 

    You’ll notice there is a display name and original name. When you set it up, keep in mind you can change the display name here.  

    Select Search Parameters 

    If you want to search, say for a particular date, you have four search parameters you can input selections into. Let’s say you use transaction date. You can use the filters, such as ‘contains’, ‘equal to’, ‘begins with’, ‘is between’, etc.  Say you want all transactions between two dates. Select those dates. Select Okay and it will come back with documents within the transaction dates. 

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    Save SmartList 

    To save your SmartList, go to Favorites. This equates to Save. Give it a name other than the asterisk. You can make the SmartList visible to your system, to just a company, a particular User Class or User ID (typically yourself). Once you make the selection, select Add Favorite, and it will show up as a custom report without an asterisk. 

    If you make a change and want to save your changes, you would go back up to Favorites, select Modify and it will save the changes, similar to Save As.  

    *See further demonstration details in the webinar below. 

    A Tool to Reconcile Sub-ledgers to the General Ledger  

    You can use the Reconcile to GL tool to balance back to your sub-ledgers. If you are running later versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP (such as 16 or 18) it is available to be used for Payables, Receivables, Inventory and Cash. In prior versions of GP only Purchasing and Receivables are available.  

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    The Reconcile to GL tool is in the Financial module under Routines. The reconciliation date defaults to the system date. For example, if you want to look for an August “out of balance” in the Payables module. Choose Payables Management as your module and populate the Account Number. Then enter August dates and select an output destination for the file. If it prompts you that you're missing something, it's usually the output file.  

    When you select Process, it opens an Excel file and the top section gives you Unmatched Transactions. Nine times out of 10, this is the only place you'll need to look. The left-hand side will always have the sub-ledger, whether it's payable, sales, cash, etc. The right-hand side will have the General Ledger. 

    If something's showing up under Unmatched Transactions, there is some drill down capability here where you see a blue number. Go into the actual document in Inquiry and try to map out the progression of the transaction to determine why it is unmatched. Remember this is only a tool to assist with balancing. 

    Say there's a lot of things on the sub-ledger that never hit the General Ledger. Go into your sub-ledger and try to find out why these didn't hit the General Ledger. If you think they should have and they didn't, you will need to create a journal entry to get them into the General Ledger.  

    If you've gone through all the Unmatched and resolved those and you're still out of balance, look at the Potentially Matched. Normally these are transactions GP thinks probably match up but could be a clue to your out balances as well. 

    HubSpot Video

    Simplify Microsoft Dynamics GP Functionalities  

    There may be several ways to perform the same function in Microsoft Dynamics GP, but some ways are easier than others. Save yourself time by customizing settings to fit your preferences and workflow.  

    If you are interested in learning more about how to leverage Microsoft Dynamics GP for your year-end task list, be sure to check out our webinar, Dynamics GP Year End Close Process Webinar.   

    Lynn Fidei

    Lynn Fidei is a Senior Dynamics GP Consultant on the Client Care team. She brings over 30 years of experience in both Microsoft and Finance. Her overall passion is helping others understand and love Microsoft Dynamics GP as much as she does. Working smarter not harder is always her goal! Outside of work, she spends all the time she can with her five grandkids.

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