December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Well, finally, we get to put the challenges of 2009 behind us and look forward to a more prosperous 2010 for everyone.  May each of you find many blessings in the New Year.

gptip42day - Reconcile

GP provides a way to 'Reconcile' summary and detail data within the application.  Each module has its own Reconcile utility.  For instance, Tools>Utilities>Financial>Reconcile opens the Reconcile Financial Information window.

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Now, this Reconcile is not for reconciling a GL account to the subledger, i.e., Accounts Receivable to the AR Trial Balance.  This Reconcile forces financial summary information, such as the monthly data in the Financial Summary Inquiry window, to equal the underlying detail.

Over time, some transactions don't post properly, data gets corrupted, etc, etc.  This Reconcile fixes those data errors.

However, there is one aspect of this utility that you need to be aware of.  Note that you can reconcile Open and History years.  Be very careful that you don't reconcile a History year that contains only GL account balances.  This might be the case where historical account balances were imported during an implementation because it was deemed unnecessary to import all the transaction detail.  If you reconcile a History year in this scenario, it will zero out your account balances.  Why?  Because the Reconcile process, by design, forces the summary data to equal the detail transaction data.  If there are no detail transactions - Reconcile will make the summary equal that!

Now, fortunately, GP presents a warning to this effect when you select a History year to reconcile.  Heed the warning!!

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wishing you and your loved ones very safe and happy holidays.  May you prosper greatly in the New Year.

December 22, 2009

gptip42day - Internet Information Button

Have you ever noticed the little i button on various cards within GP and wondered what it's for?  This is called the 'Internet Info' button and is used to access the Internet Info window, where email addresses, websites, images, and other electronic information specific to the particular master record can be stored. 

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This button appears in the following windows -

-  Address card
-  Company Setup
-  Customer card
-  Employee card
-  Item card
-  Salesperson card
-  Vendor card

Clicking the Internet Info button opens the Internet Info window -

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Note the various fields available to record electronic information.  The 'Login' and 'Password' fields are for storing user credentials specific to a secure website or ftp site.  The labels for each of the fields in this window can be changed via the Internet User Defined Setup window in Company Setup.


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Users tend to use other fields in master record cards to record web and email addresses because they're not aware this window exists.  Don't you be one of those users!

December 19, 2009

gptip42day - When can I apply the 2009 Year End Payroll Update?

This question has been asked numerous times over the last few weeks on multiple forums. 

The answer is - you can apply the YE update anytime, regardless of whether or not you still have 2009 payroll(s) to process.  The YE update does not include tax table updates for 2010.  Those are part of the 2010 US Payroll Tax Update.

The 2009 YE update does include all previous YE updates, hotfixes, and service packs.

December 14, 2009

gptip42day - Resource Descriptions

Ever wonder what tables and/or fields are associated with a particular window in GP?  Did you know there's an easy way to find out?  Resource Descriptions provides the answers.  For instance, let's say you want to find the tables associated with the Account Maintenance window.

Tools>Resource Descriptions>Windows

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Select the Product, Series, and 'View By' then scroll down to the Account Maintenance line and click on it.  The associated tables appear in the scrolling window in the bottom right corner and the fields appear in the scrolling window in the bottom left corner.

December 4, 2009

Here's a great article by Mariano Gomez

gptip42day - Printing Multiple Documents Easily

This applies to GP10 only but if you need to print, let's say, a list of invoices for a customer, here's how to do that without having to open each document, one-at-a-time and printing them.

First, select the Sales series button at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.  Then, further up on the Navigation Pane, select 'Sales Order Transactions'.  A list of posted transactions appears in the results pane.

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Next, sort and filter the list to get the desired list results.  Then, place a checkmark next to each of the documents you want to print.  Click the 'Print Documents' button at the top center of the results pane ribbon.  Each of the selected documents will print in sequence.

The Lists panes can also be used to print documents in any of the other series using the same process.

Thanks to my buddy Mariano Gomez (The Dynamics GP Blogster) for the suggestion for this tip!

November 30, 2009

gptip42day - Launch FRx from within GP

Wanna launch FRx from within GP?  Go Reports>Financial>FRx.  If the path isn't already set, the FRx Setup window opens to allow you to specify the path to the FRx.exe file.  Enter or browse to the path and click OK.

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Now FRx will launch from within GP.  You might even want to set a shortcut on your Home Page or in the Navigation Pane so you don't have to navigate through the menus to launch it.

November 26, 2009

No tip 42day

But Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Best wishes to you, your families and friends.  Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving Day or not, let's all take this opportunity to give thanks for the blessings we have.

November 24, 2009

Interview on DynamicsWorld

Amongst other things, DynamicsWorld profiles Dynamics MVPs on their website.  I'm honored to have been asked to do an online interview for them.  Follow this link to learn how I got into this crazy business and who my GP inspiration is -

November 20, 2009

gptip42day - Upgrading to SQL 2008

I try to stay away from the technical stuff in this blog and keep it oriented toward daily transaction processing and reporting but in my opinion this is worthy of mention, especially if you do a lot of SSRS reporting.

One of my frustrations with SSRS in 2005 and previous versions of SQL is adding a subtotal to a column of data.  One would think it would be a simple matter of inserting a formula in the column, much like entering a formula in an Excel spreadsheet, but it's not nearly that easy.  You have to enter a significant amount of code to enter a subtotal in a report.

However, SQL 2008 provides more flexibility in grouping, totals and subtotals using the 'Tablix' data region, which replaces the previous Table, Matrix and List elements in prior versions of SSRS.

Going into the details is beyond the scope of this blog but I encourage you to have a look at the Tablix feature in 2008 if you use SSRS.  It makes entering subtotals a piece of cake.

November 16, 2009

gptip42day - FRx Account Sets

If you use a lot of the same formulae in your FRx row formats, you might want to take a look at using Account Sets.  These can make setting up your row formats quicker and easier.  Here's how they work . . .

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Here is the GL Account Links row definition window using the standard row formula method.  This is all well and good if you'll only use this forrmula in one report.  However, if you'll use this formual in multiple row formats, then it makes sense to save it as an Account Set.  To do so, just click on the Account Sets 'Save As' button.  The 'Save As Account Set' window opens.

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Give the Account Set a name and a description and click 'OK.  The GL Account Links window opens.  Note that the individual account ranges are replaced with your new Account Set name.

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That's all there is to it!  Now when you create a new row format in which you need the same accounts on a particular row, just pull the Account Set into the Account Links window instead of typing all those individual accounts in again.

November 12, 2009

gptip42day - The GP Blogs

I'm a proponent of the saying 'Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day.  Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime'.  My goal as a GP consultant is to teach my clients to fish, not hand them the fish.  However, lucky for me that some of my clients don't like to even bait the hook, let alone throw the line in the water, else I wouldn't be able to make a living doing this thing I enjoy so much.

So, today's tip is about fishing.  Here's one of my favorite fishing holes -  This link will take you to a bevy of GP related blogs and other GP resources. 

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If you have access to CustomerSource or PartnerSource, click on the link above to go directly to this page.  If you're a customer and don't have access to CustomerSource, you need to get it.  Contact your GP Partner and they will help set you up.  There is so much relevant reference material on this site it would be a shame not to leverage it.

Good luck.  Catch a big one!

November 9, 2009

gptip42day - The Quick Journal

The Quick Journal is an excellent tool for posting recurring journal entries where the accounts stay the same from period-to-period but the amounts change.  A good example of this is a Monthly Vacation Accrual. 

As opposed to standard journal entries, Quick Journals do not use batches but can be saved to be used multiple times.  To create a Quick Journal, go

Transactions>Financial>Quick Journal

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Enter a new Journal ID.  When you tab off this field, GP asks if you want to add the journal.  Click 'Add'.  The Quick Journal Setup window opens

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where you add a Description, Source Document, and the Offset Account (the account that will receive the total of the debits/credits - in this example, the Vacation Accrual liability account).

Then, add the rest of the accounts in the Accounts scrolling window. 

If you want users to be able to override the Offset Account when entering transactions, check the 'Allow Override' box.  If you don't want them to be able to override this account, leave the box unchecked.

Checking the 'Breakdown Allocation' box allows the printing of distributions for allocation accounts on the Quick Journal Edit List and Quick Journal Posting Journal.

After you have all the details of the Quick Journal entered, click 'Save'.  The Quick Journal will now be available for recurring use until it is deleted.

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November 6, 2009

gptip42day - The GP MVB

Which button would you vote to be the Most Valuable Button in the GP application? My vote would be for this one -

That's right - the ubiquitous Help button.  The amount of information available in the GP Help files is amazing.  This button takes you to context-sensitive Help, providing not only an overview of the window or transaction you're working in and how to process the relevant transaction,  it also provides a detailed description of the purpose of nearly every button and field on every window in the application. 

And if that's not enough, the Help button introduces you to the world of Printable Manuals - detailed manuals that provide step-by-step instruction on practically every action you can take in GP.  These manuals are presented in pdf format and can be easily printed for future reference or just a good late-night read.

I strongly encourage you to use this button frequently.  Make it your best friend and it, in turn, will make you a GP expert!

November 2, 2009

gptip42day - General Journal Posting SmartList

As we're nearing the end of the Fiscal Year for many companies, one of the reports external auditors ask for is a listing of all general journal entries posted for the year, who posted them and when they were posted, primarily to see if entries were posted during non-business hours.  Unfortunately, if you're using GP9 or a previous version, the options for this type of report are rather limited unless you're using GP's Audit Trails or a 3rd party audit tool.  This is because the GL tables in these versions don't contain a date/time stamp field.  This shortcoming is corrected in GP10.

So, how do we satisfy the audit requirements?  Use the Account Transactions SmartList, filter for Financial Transactions, and add the following Columns -

-  User Who Posted
-  Originating Posted Date
-  Reference

The 'User Who Posted' field, of course, lists the user ID who posted the transaction.  The 'Originating Posted Date' reflects the system date on the user's workstation on the date the transaction was posted.  This isn't quite as good as a date/time stamp because if a user really wants to game the system, they can change the system date on their PC or the GP user date before posting the transaction, thereby reflecting a bogus posting date.

The 'Reference' field reflects the general journal description, which is usually meaningful in describing why an entry was made.  (By the way, use the Note fields to provide detailed support for your journal entries!)

Although this solution isn't ideal, in most cases auditors will sign off on it, if for no other reason than it's about as good as it gets in terms of JE audit trails without the aforementioned audit trail tools.

October 30, 2009

gptip42day - Purchase Order Receipt Tolerance

Do you wonder why GP allows you to over-receive against a PO?  So do the rest of us.  In my opinion, this is a shortcoming that is basic to exercising adequate control over the purchasing process. 

However, if you do need that functionality in your business, Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) Professional Services, does offer a customization (at a fairly nominal cost) they call 'PORECTOL', or PO Receipt Tolerance.  This easy-to-install customization provides the ability to set a tolerance for excess receipts against your POs.  You can choose a zero tolerance or some reasonable low tolerance which prevents receiving in excess of the tolerance you set.

For more information, contact MBS Professional Services through your GP Partner.

October 27, 2009

gptip42day - Account Framework

Just a tip to remind you that if you or your consulting team are installing a new instance of GP, make sure you allow for expansion in your account segments.  I have a client that wants to change their accounts from a 3-segment to a 4-segment number to add a division code at the beginning of the number.  Unfortunately, the consultant who set the account framework at installation 2 years ago didn't allow for expansion in the account segments.  See below -

Tools>Setup>Company>Account Format

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Currently, the Main segment is the first segment of the account, which has a Max Length of 4 characters.  However, we want to make the first segment the Division code and the second segment the Main segment.  Note that the Max Length in the second segment is 3, and we need 4 characters for the Main segment.   The Max Length is set during account framework setup and can't be changed without using either the PSTL Account Modifier or Corporate Renaissance Group's Reformatter, neither of which comes free.

Making the Max Length in each segment longer during initial framework setup would have prevented this.  It would have just been a matter of setting the segment length to the desired values.

October 21, 2009

gptip42day - Default Sales Transaction Type

Are you annoyed that every time you want to enter an invoice in the Sales Transaction Entry window, you have to manually change the Transaction Type?  Here's how to avoid that annoyed . . .

Tools>Setup>User Preferences (GP9 & Previous)
MDGP>User Preferences (GP10)

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Set the Default Sales Doc Type to 'Invoice' and there you go.  Note that this setting is by user, not global.  This allows each user to determine the Sales Doc Type that works best for them.

October 20, 2009

gptip42day - FRx Security

Here's another FRx tip, courtesy of one of the GP forums.  When setting up security in FRx, make sure that the usernames and passwords in FRx match GP usernames and passwords EXACTLY.  The reason for this is that FRx has its own security module that does not communicate with GP security.  When using FRx security, there are actually two validations that occur - one in FRx and one in SQL.  If the FRx username and password isn't exactly the same as the GP credentials, access to SQL will fail because SQL access is granted via GP credentials.

Also, if a GP user changes their username or password in GP, you must manually update their FRx credentials to match or SQL validation will fail the next time they try to login to FRx.

This isn't an issue if you're not using FRx security because the only validation that occurs in that case is the SQL validation, which uses the GP credentials.

October 19, 2009

gptip42day - Restricting FRx Row Results to Specific Columns

Let's say you have a statistic, perhaps 'Employee Headcount' from a unit account that you want to appear on your FRx Profit and Loss Statement but you want the headcount to appear in only one column, not in all the columns on the report.  Here's how to set that up -

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Placing the column in which you want the headcount to appear in the 'G' Column of the report Row Format tells FRx that you want that data to appear only in that column.  If you want the data to appear in multiple columns, enter those columns separated by commas, i.e., C, G, J.

October 14, 2009

gptip42day - SmartList GoTo

It's a pretty safe bet that anyone who uses SmartList knows that you can double click any record in the results pane and drill into the underlying document.  However, did you know you can use the Go To button to access windows other than the default window?

Here's how - SmartList provides a number of related windows that are available by clicking on the Go To button in the upper right corner of the SmartList window.  For instance, look at all the other windows available for Receivings Line Items. 

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SmartList is a great jumping-off point for data inquiry and transaction processing.  Before GP10 and its Lists, I used to advise clients that they might want to use SmartList as their primary navigation tool for daily GP tasks.

October 6, 2009

gptip42day - Year End Close - Sales

Closing the Fiscal Year in Sales updates Year-to-Date, Last Year, and Life-to-Date information in the Customer Payment Summary window and Customer Yearly Summary Inquiry window.

Closing the Calendar Year does not affect amounts in those windows but does update information in the Customer Finance Charge Summary window.

In preparation to close the Fiscal Year -

1.  Post all transactions for the current Fiscal Year.  If you need to enter transactions for a future period before closing the year, save the transactions in a batch but don't post it until after closing the Fiscal Year.

2.  Backup the company database.

3.  Perform a Receivables Aging (Tools>Routines>Sales>Aging) and print an Historical Aged Trial Balance as of the last day of the Fiscal Year.  Keep this report for your records.

4.  Close the Fiscal Year.  If your Fiscal and Calendar Years coincide, choose the 'All' radio button in the Year-End Close window.  If not, choose the 'Fiscal' radio button.  Click 'Process'.

Tools>Routines>Sales>Year-End Close

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5.  Close the Fiscal Periods for the Sales series (optional).  Tools>Setup>Company>Fiscal Periods.

6.  Close the sales tax periods for the year (optional).  When you close the Tax Year, accumulated totals in the Tax Detail Maintenance window are cleared and transferred to last year's tax totals.  (Note - you should close the Tax Year only after both Sales & Purchasing series are closed.)

Tools>Setup>Company>Tax Details

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Year-to-date tax totals can then be added for the new Tax Year.  Tax amounts entered after closing the Tax Year are added to the new year's totals.   

Tools>Routines>Company>Tax Year-End Close

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Refer to GP Help for further information on the effects of closing the Tax Year.

7.  If your Fiscal and Calendar Years do not coincide, close the Calendar Year at calendar year-end.  Post your Calendar Year transactions, backup your company database, then choose the 'Calendar' radio button and click 'Process'.

Tools>Routines>Sales>Year-End Close

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8.  Make a final backup of your company database.

Tomorrow we'll look at closing the Purchasing series, a process which is very similar to the Sales series close.

October 5, 2009

gptip42day - Year End Close - Inventory

Closing an Inventory Fiscal year transfers summarized current-year information to history. You can also choose to remove Discontinued Items, Sold Lot Attributes, Sold Receipts and Cost Change History, and change your Standard Costs to prepare for the new year.

Be aware that changing Standard Costs DOES NOT create a financial batch to reflect the inventory valuation change in your general ledger. This entry must be prepared manually by referring to pre- and post-close Stock Status reports to determine the valuation change.

In preparation for closing the year –

1. Enter and post all transactions for Sales Order Processing, Invoicing, Purchase Order Processing, Inventory Control, Bill of Materials, Project Accounting, Field Service, Manufacturing - any transaction that might affect inventory.

2. If needed, complete a Stock Count, then enter and post any adjustments.

3. Print the following reports for your permanent records.

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4. Make a complete backup of your company data.

5. Open the Inventory Year-end Closing window.

Tools>Routines>Inventory>Year-End Close

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6. Choose records to remove. You can remove records for discontinued items, sold lot attributes, and sold receipts and historical cost changes, as needed. For more detailed information on these items, refer to GP Help.

7. To update Standard Costs for items with FIFO Periodic or LIFO Periodic valuation methods, check 'Item’s Standard Cost'.

8. Click ‘Process’ to close the year.

Note - While the year-end closing is in process, you won’t be able to post transactions or batches, reconcile quantities, change valuation methods, or change decimal places. If you attempt to begin one of these procedures, an alert message will appear, warning you that you must wait until the year-end closing process has been completed.

9. After you’ve closed the year, you should make a final backup of your company data.

The effects of closing the year in Inventory are as follows –

- All summarized current-year quantities, costs, and sales information of items you’ve been keeping summarized sales history on are transferred to transaction history.

- The Beginning Quantity of each item is updated from the On Hand quantity at each site. (Some reports—such as the Turnover Report—use the beginning quantity field in calculations.)

- The Quantity Sold field for each item is reset to zero.

Depending on the selections made in the Inventory Year-End Closing window, these tasks might also be accomplished –

- Purchase receipts of items that have been completely sold are removed.

- Cost change history information is removed.

- Discontinued items that have been completely sold are removed.

- Lot attributes of items tracked by lot numbers that have been completely sold are removed.

- Standard Costs are updated from the value in the Current Cost field for items using FIFO or LIFO Periodic valuation method.

Note again, that updating Standard Costs DOES NOT create a financial batch. Print a pre- and post-close Stock Status report to determine the valuation change. Then create a manual journal entry to post the difference.

Tomorrow we'll look at Closing the Sales year.

September 25, 2009

gptip42day - Why does my Next Check Number skip a beat?

This can be a vexing issue with no apparent cause.  It also can lead to questioning the integrity of GP.  Here are some primary reasons why GP can appear to be skipping a check number (or PO, or SO, etc. - any document number that automatically increments).

The value in the Next Check Number field increments by one each time a check is written in any of the following windows:

- Bank Transaction Entry window
- Print Payables Transaction Check window
- Payables Manual Payment Entry window
- Print Payables Checks window
- Payroll Manual Check - Adjustment Entry window
- Print Payroll Checks window

The Next Check Number can also skip if you have multiple users entering checks in any of the above-mentioned windows. If several users simultaneously access the Next Check Number, then later decide not to continue entering the check, it is possible that check numbers could skip.

If you do need to change the Next Check Number,


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and change the value in the Next Check Number field to the desired value.

September 24, 2009

gptip42day - Account Category

Account Category - one of the required fields in the Account Maintenance window - seldom seems significant except to those companies that use AFA (Advanced Financial Analysis).  AFA uses the Account Category in presentation of financial reports.  But for the fact that it is a required field, it is mostly ignored.  You could enter any Category in any account and suffer no ill consequences unless you are using AFA.

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However, did you know that FRx can use the Account Category also?  In the 'Link to General Ledger' field in FRx, click the drop down arrow to open the GL Account Links window.  The window opens with the 'Account Code' radio button selected by default.

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Select the 'Account Type' radio button.  The GL Account Links window changes appearance.  Click the drop down arrow in the Account Type field and the 'Select General Ledger Account Type' window opens.  See the Account Categories?  By selecting the desired Account Category, all the accounts associated with that category will be selected for that row in the FRx Row Format.

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Finally!  A reason to make sure your Account Category settings are correct and meaningful!

September 22, 2009

gptip42day - Inventory 'Change Valuation'

Sometimes it is necessary to change the valuation method on one, many, or all of your inventory items.  This can be due to an item having been setup incorrectly or perhaps a management decision to change the inventory valuation method from say, Average Perpetual to FIFO Perpetual.

GP provides a means to accomplish this - 

Tools>Utilities>Inventory>Change Valuation

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1.  Select a new Valuation Method.

2.  You can choose to change all items or a range of items based on Item Number, Description, Generic Description or Class ID.  GP will filter the items based on multiple range restrictions.

Note:  There can be no items on unposted transactions prior to performing the revaluation.  All item transactions must be posted!

3. Prior to processing the change, it is advised that you print the Valuation Method Change Audit report by selecting File>Print, or by clicking the printer icon in the lower left corner of the window, to verify your item selection.

4.  Click the 'Process' button.  The valuation method will be changed for the items selected.

Important!!  This process DOES NOT create a Financial Batch to restate your GL inventory balance(s).  This must be done manually.

5.  Print an Inventory Stock Status report immediately before and immediately after running this Utility.  The difference between the values on the reports will be the basis for the journal entry.

September 21, 2009

gptip42day - Shipping Method

A Shipping Method is one of many ways that goods are transported to your company from your vendors, and from you to your customers. You can use the same Shipping Methods for your vendors and your customers.

A Shipping Type indicates whether goods you are buying are delivered by the vendor or picked up by you and whether goods you are selling are delivered by you or picked up by the customer. The Shipping Type is used when calculating taxes.

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If you’ve marked the 'Use Shipping Method when Selecting Default Tax Schedule' option in the Company Setup Options window, GP uses the Shipping Method assigned to the transaction to determine where the exchange of goods takes place, and provides the appropriate Tax Schedule as the default schedule for the transaction.

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For instance, if you're selling an item to a customer and the Shipping Method uses a Shipping Type of 'Delivery', the customer's Tax Schedule is used because the exchange of goods takes place at the customer's location.  If the Shipping Method uses a Shipping type of 'Pickup', this means the exchange of goods takes place at your location and hence, the tax rates in your locale are applicable.

The Shipping Type could be considered equivalent to FOB (Free on Board), which determines where the legal passage of title to the goods takes place. 

September 18, 2009

gptip42day - Tax Details vs. Tax Schedules - It Taxes My Mind

This topic can be a user confuser so let's make it simple.  For example, here in the Sunshine State (FL), the state sales tax is 6%.  Most counties and some municipalities also impose a local sales tax.  These two components of sales tax are each considered a 'Tax Detail' in GP-speak.  The combination of two or more tax details is called a 'Tax Schedule'.  The importance of Tax Details and Tax Schedules comes down to accurate, detailed reporting to the taxing authorities.

Tools>Setup>Company>Tax Details

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When setting up Tax Details, some users mistakenly lump multiple components of the total tax into one Tax Detail.  This is all well and good - the correct tax amount is calculated on a sales invoice.  But when it comes time to report state and local tax to the taxing authorities, how do you breakout the state vs. local tax?  That's where the Tax Schedule comes in handy.

Tools>Setup>Company>Tax Schedules

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Setting the multiple tax components in a Tax Schedule allows for accurate calculation and reporting of taxes to the respective taxing authorities.  Just set all your Tax Details first, then in the Tax Schedules window, mix and match the Tax Details to create all the Schedules you need to correctly assess sales tax on your customer invoices.  Then go into your Customer Cards and set the correct Tax Schedule for each customer.  The result will be automatic tax calculation of the correct rate(s) on Sales Invoices and the ability to report accurately to the taxing authorities.

Note:  Tax Details are setup separately for Sales and Purchases.  Make sure when setting sales tax details for customers and vendors that you make the correct selection in the 'Type' field.

Monday, we'll look at how the 'Shipping Method' affects sales tax calculation.  Have a great weekend all!

September 17, 2009

gptip42day - SmartList Window Size - GP9 and Prior Versions

One characteristic of SmartList that can be frustrating is the way the SmartList window shrinks when you drill into another window from a SmartList record.  When you close the sub-window, the SmartList window remains at its reduced size and you have to click the "Maximize' button to maximize the window size again. 

Then, with the next record you drill into, it happens again.  Grrrrr, right?  Well, here's a way around it.  The real culprit behind this is the default window size setting.  Why the default setting isn't 'Large Window' out-of-the-box is beyond me, but what do I know?

When you have your SmartList open, go Extras>SmartList>Options -

In the 'Initial SmartList Size' field, select 'Large Window' then click 'OK'.  The next time you open SmartList, it will open in a large window. You won't have to maximize it to see more of the records and it won't shrink when you drill into the records.

While you're in the Options window, check out some of the other default options you can set.  You can customize your SmartLists even more than you might have known!

September 14, 2009

gptip42day - 'Add Item'

Companies that use the Inventory module and manually enter purchase orders for their items may find this tip useful. 

When entering POs for inventory items, manually typing item numbers can lead to errors in the PO because, unless you check the 'Add Item' checkbox prior to data entry in the PO, there is no validation against incorrectly entering an item number.  (Note - in GP9 and previous versions, find 'Options' under the 'Extras' menu in the main menu bar).

Checking the 'Add Item' Option causes this message to be displayed if you incorrectly type an item number in the PO -

GP validates the item number entered and if the if it isn't a valid item, the dialogue box opens asking if you want to add the item you've just typed.  Although not officially a warning, it can be used as such to advise that an incorrect item number has just been entered.  Of course, there are times when you're ordering non-inventory items so if you don't want to add the item, just click 'No' and continue processing the PO.  If it is a new item and you do want to enter it in the item master, click 'Yes' and the Item Card opens.

Unfortunately, the default setting for the 'Add Item' Option is 'unchecked'. Also, even if you have checked the Add Item Option, as soon as you close the PO Entry window, the checkmark is cleared and you have to remember to re-check the Option each time you open the window. Not cool, to say the least.

However, all is not lost.  There is a  chunk (.cnk) file available from MBS Professional Services that changes the default setting to 'checked'.  And, believe it or not, it's free of charge.  Why this isn't included in GP out-of-the-box is a mystery.

Now, if you don't know how to contact MBS Professional Services or would rather take an easier route to getting the Add Item chunk, shoot me an email at  I have the file and will email it to you.  Until tomorrow . . .

September 10, 2009

gptip42day - 'Allow Account Entry'

One recurring issue, at least in my experience, is clients keeping their Accounts Payable control account reconciled to the AP Trial Balance.  A frequent contributor to this is general journal entries being posted to the control account.  We're going to look at the way to prevent this, not just in the AP account, but all control accounts in your general ledger.

Look at the Account Card screenshot below -

When the 'Allow Account Entry' box is checked, this account can be entered in distributions in any transaction.  Unchecking this box will prevent the manual entry of this account in a distribution window.  To that you might say 'Yes, but sometimes we need to enter this account into a transaction'.  To which I would respond - 'No, you don't.  Not if your system is setup correctly'.

If you need to manually enter a control account in a distribution window, your Posting Accounts setup is incorrect, whether it's Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, or any other module.

Unchecking this box will prevent posting a manual journal entry to your AP control account, thereby eliminating one of the most frequent causes of the account being out of balance with the AP Trial Balance.

In fact, not only should you uncheck this box for the Accounts Payable account, the same should be done for the rest of your control accounts so they'll tie to their underlying (subsidiary ledger) -

Cash (Checkbook Register)
Accounts Receivable (AR Trial Balance)
Inventory (Stock Status Report)
Fixed Assets (Fixed Asset Depreciation Report)
Purchase Accrual (Received not Invoiced Report)

Now, if you want to take a further step to control this, take access away from the Account Maintenance window to all but one person who is responsible for maintaining accounts.  If that isn't possible and you have Field Level Security, apply a password to this field and provide it to one person, perhaps the controller or accounting manager.

Prevent manual journal entries into these accounts.  You'll be glad you did.

September 9, 2009

gptip42day - The Ubiquitous Note Field, Part 2

Today, we look at how to attach documents in our Note window.  Open a Note window -

Click on the paper clip to open the OLE (Object Linking & Embedding) container -

Click on Edit to insert an object -

Select ' Insert New Object' -

Note that in this window, you have a number of options.  You can Create New.  When you select this option, a drop-down box opens to allow you to select from a dozen or so types of objects, such as a Word document, Excel document, Excel Chart, etc.

You can also Create from File.  This is probably what you'll use most as you can just browse to find the document you want to insert.

Once you've selected the file to insert, you can either have the file show as a link in the OLE container or have the actual document contents show there.  If you choose 'Link', you can also have the link appear as an icon, like the Acrobat Reader icon in the example above and you can change the icon to any of a number of pre-defined icons by clicking on 'Change Icon'.

Once you've made your selections in this window, click OK, then in the Note window, click 'Attach'.  Your document is now attached in the Note field.  Anyone who has access to the window in which the note is attached, and has the correct viewer (such as Adobe in this case) on their workstation, can view the note and the attached document.

I'll reiterate that Notes and attached documents are not secure - anyone who can view them can modify or delete them so make sure all users in your system understand this.

September 8, 2009

gptip42day - The Ubiquitous Note Field, Part 1

I am frequently puzzled that most users, especially accounting staff, don't make better use of the Note fields that are available in every window in GP.  One would think accountants, with their need to document transactions for subsequent review and audit, would make the Note fields their best friends.  Perhaps users just don't get trained properly on the benefits of using Note fields, so here we go -
Use the Note window to create, display, or modify a note for a window or a field.  Record-level notes apply to the specific transaction, will change with each transaction, and are always found next to a field in the transaction.  Window-level notes are specific to the transaction window, do not change with each transaction, and are always found at the bottom of the window.  A window-level note is used to describe something about the use of the window itself.
Note buttons show whether a note is attached to a window or record. If a note is attached, the "page" will appear to have lines of text in it. If no note is attached, the "page" will appear to be blank.
As you can see, a note in this general journal entry would have been perfect to document this transaction.  Instead of entering 'See Wendy P. for detail' in the Reference field, the person entering this transaction could have attached a complete description of the transaction and even supporting documentation in the Note next to the Journal Entry field, eliminating the need for a subsequent reviewer to 'See Wendy P.' unless further discussion was necessary.
To view a note, just click on the Note icon

These are the fields within the Note -
Note ID
Displays the window name or record ID to which this note is attached.
Last Changed
Displays the date and time when this note was created or last modified. This field will be updated each time a user changes the note.
Attachment icon button
Opens a window where you can add an attachment. Attachments are available only for record-level notes, not window-level notes.
You can attach links to documents or images within the Note window. For example, you can attach customer payment overdue notices to a customer note, or attach an image of an inventoried item to an item note.
If an attachment is linked to the note, the "paper clip" on the button will appear to contain a note. If an attachment isn't linked to the note, the paper clip will appear empty.
Attachments are stored in the location specified in the OLEPath= line of the Dex.ini file. (Note - if the OLEPath in the Dex.ini file has not been defined, the paper clip icon will not appear in the Note window - see your IT personnel if this is the case.  The OLEPath should be a shared directory so all users can view the notes.)
Attach button
Attaches the note you have written to a window or field.

Delete button
Removes a note attached to a window or field.
A couple of things to be aware of regarding Notes -
1.  Never store sensitive or confidential information in Note fields.  There is no security on Notes.  If a user can view the window, they can view the notes and attached documents.
2.  Notes can be modified or deleted by any user who has access to the transaction or inquiry window where the Note resides.
Stayed tuned for Part 2 on Notes tomorrow.  We'll cover in detail attaching documents to the Note field.