Monday, May 5, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a mid-market business accounting software package that runs on top of a Microsoft SQL Server database. It is a part of the Microsoft Business Solutions family.
The product was originally made by Great Plains Software, an independent company located in Fargo, North Dakota, which was founded by Doug Burgum. In late 2000, Microsoft announced the purchase of Great Plains Software for $1.1 billion. This acquisition was completed in April 2001.

Great Plains was one of the first accounting packages with capability to record and play back macros. Macros are saved in .MAC files in the Dexterity programming language. It is possible to export data from Excel or Access to Great Plains modules by programming a Visual Basic macro to create a MAC file using data from the spreadsheet or database. The MAC file would contain commands to enter specific data into Great Plains; for each set of data, a new MAC file would need to be created.

Crystal Reports is widely used in building and designing reports with Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Microsoft Enterprise Reporting: a system for automating data collection (from multiple sources) and reporting processes to control consolidations, budgeting and financial analysis.
Microsoft Forecaster: extracts real-time data from General Ledger to create and manage accurate budgets and plans which can be shared across the management team via a Web-based interface. Easy to learn: has the look and feel of a spreadsheet.
Microsoft FRx Professional: applies a “building block” approach (row formats, column layouts and trees) to create with ease financial and management reports for instant use and rapid distribution. Reports can be based on any periods from the General Ledger and for unlimited budgets. Reports can be output to paper, drill-down viewer, e-mail, Excel, pdf or XML. Easy to create customized reports with appropriate access privileges.
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services: offers eight sample customizable reports for Sales, Purchasing and Manufacturing. Data can be manipulated and presented in Web-based charts and graphs for sharing across the organization or with designated suppliers or contractors. An integrated architecture supports a range of common data sources.
SmartList Builder: easy to use, yet powerful query tool to output data (no matter where records reside) based on virtually any specified criteria into a user-friendly format for screen view, for print or for saving in Excel or Word (auto-formatted). Combine and link data from up to 32 separate tables, including third-party dictionaries. Many common data-analysis functions are available in pre-configured SmartList objects that can be downloaded from Microsoft.

Customization tools
Customization: comprehensive customization tools to enable .NET developers to create real-time, transactional connections between Microsoft Dynamics GP and other applications and expand potential for new features and functionality.
Integration: integrate and incorporate data with a high degree of safety, flexibility and speed from any source, even those not based on Microsoft platforms. Uses industry-standard technologies, such as Microsoft BizTalk Server, Component Object Model (COM), the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), Web services and XML.
Earlier versions of Greatplains were written in and dependent upon the Dexterity programming language.

Financial management
Analytical Accounting: enables transactions to be tagged and reported by limitless user-defined dimension codes – financial, date or statistical.
Bank Reconciliation: customizable summary and detailed views of bank account balances and all transactions: cash, check and credit card. Tools available to sort and mark transactions to improve reconciliation capabilities.
Cash Flow Management: calendar-based interface to view and manage cash inflows and outflows to improve day-to-day financial planning. Big picture and full drill-down options available.
Collections Management: customizable interface enabling you to enter and view all your collections in one central point. You can target and follow up on overdue customers with automatic delivery and tracking of collection letters, e-mails, statements and invoices.
eBanking: an essential aid to reduce administration costs and manual input error as well as improve productivity and cash management – all in a security-enhanced environment. Routine accounting tasks are moved online and bank transactions are electronically enabled and reconciled. Transactions are applied to accounts when they occur rather than days or weeks later, such as BACS payments or payment collections via Direct Debits or credit cards. Special feature verifies that sort codes and bank account numbers entered for suppliers and customers make sense.
eExpense Automated Expense Management: enable employees to create and submit expense reports via the Web at any time and from any location; features electronic receipt imaging.
Encumbrance Management: encumbrance accounting module specifically designed for Not for Profit and Public Sector organizations to ensure that actual expenditures and related commitments do not exceed available funds.
Fixed Asset Management: create, define and manage an unlimited number of assets. Features standard fields and up to 15 user-defined fields with graphical user interface. Numerous depreciation methods available to automate depreciation routines. Integration into General Ledger to post depreciation journals and into Payables Management to pull in purchase information to fixed assets. Location IDs to aid inventory management: matching actual with recorded location. Information-sharing enabled with standard and custom reports.
General Ledger: automates key accounting tasks to improve accuracy (includes automatic correction of posting errors) and streamlines your budget planning and financial decision-making with comprehensive reports and easy-to-use enquiry tools (features Excel wizard interface). Features up to 66 alphanumeric character codes, up to 10 segments and user-defined fields with 50 character descriptions.
Grant Management: tracks grants, demonstrates accountability and compliance and also assists with future funding applications. As grant transactions are entered, the Analytical Accounting module will automatically validate them against the budget. Affords real-time views of budget status and of grant transactions and allocations. Particularly useful in the public and Not for Profit domains.
Multi-currency Management: designed for multinational operations to effortlessly manage financial statistics and accounting operations involving multiple currencies and dealing with ever-changing exchange rates.
Payables Management: control expenditure, control payments (check and BACS runs) with flexible selection criteria and track supplier documents and information. Features include unlimited addresses/contacts per supplier, discounts, min/max payments, holds, returns, debit/credit notes, auto-allocation, performance and history reports.
Receivables Management: tracks customer-related documents and information, controls cash, generates simple invoices as well as creates, prints and e-mails statements. Produces sophisticated debtor related reports at any point in time and performance reports including turnover, gross profit and payment days. Other features are flexible credit limits, unlimited address/contacts per customer, min/max payments and ability to handle insufficient funds, interest charges, debit/credit notes, returns, write-offs and auto-allocation.

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