Microsoft Dynamics GP 2020 Roadmap: Introducing Intelligent Edge

Microsoft has released their latest Dynamics GP Roadmap which is a high-level development plan out to 2020. Along with some improvements and enhancements being planned over the next two years, there is a whole NEW area of capabilities driven by their new Intelligent Edge platform!

Note: GP2018 R2 is scheduled for release on October 1, 2018

Intelligent Edge

Intelligent Edge is designed to bridge Dynamics GP, which is largely an on-premise solution, to the Intelligent Cloud through Dynamics 365 Business Central. In other words, Dynamics GP will have access to all the built-in capabilities of Business Central which includes:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based analytical capabilities
  • Power BI visualization and reporting capabilities
  • Through PowerApps and Flow, the ability to create powerful mobile applications
  • Data access and storage through Common Data Services

 


Intelligent Edge Illustration (Source: Business Applications Release Notes)

In this illustration, think of Dynamics GP as the Edge device. GP customers will connect to an instance in the Intelligent Cloud through Business Central, at which point company data will be replicated in that environment. Once in the Cloud ecosystem, the application usage is hugely powerful and versatile. This will dramatically improve data-driven insights and reporting capabilities, as well as enabling access through mobile devices. The release of Intelligence Edge is slated for October 2018.

There will be much more to come on the release of Intelligence Edge and its compliment of Dynamics GP, and we will share as it becomes available. In the mean time, you should feel good about Microsoft continuing to build a solid future for Dynamics GP and how they are incorporating it with their world-class technologies.

Hotfix for GP Canadian Payroll January 2018

Microsoft has released a January GP Hotfix that will be available the week of January 22nd.

Main Concern:

  1. If you submit a T4 XML file without the hotfix or a manual edit, it will be rejected by Canada Revenue Agency.
  2. The Quebec tax calculation in GP is currently calculating less tax than required.

Hotfixes include:

  • Update to XML file for T4’s and T4A’s – Currently an additional line added to the file results in the file being rejected by CRA. The fix can correct this, or the line can be manually removed.  Joesoftware can help with removing the line if you require assistance.
  • Updated RL-1 Slip
  • Update for Quebec basic amount (TP-1015.3-V). A script is available to update existing employee TP-1015.3-V values.
  • The Alberta basic personal exemption amount may be off by $1 after the year-end update. There is a script available to update existing employee basic personal exemption amounts.
  • Update for Quebec tax calculation – Currently GP is calculating less tax than required; the hot fix corrects the calculation issue.

Versions affected:

GP 2013 (This is the last patch for this version, you should be planning an upgrade before mid-year!)

  • Version 12.00.2230

GP 2015

  • Version 14.00.1100

GP 2016

  • Version 18.00.0427

Here is the link to the official Microsoft Dynamics GP blog with the details; you are encouraged to read what is affected in case it impacts your business!

If you have any questions or concerns, or want more information on whether these fixes will affect your organization please contact us at support@joesoftware.com.

Why Your ERP Provider Should be Your Trusted Business Advisor

Well implemented ERP systems are the lifeline of successful businesses.  Their reach should be vast, the data should flow quickly and they should push insightful performance metrics to stakeholders in a timely manner.  Getting your ERP to meet these lofty objectives is a challenge that many businesses face.

When we think back on the many projects Joesoftware’s team has completed, we see common threads woven through the best projects and we seek to repeat these positive outcomes as often as possible.  One of these success threads is the relationship between our team and our customer.  As we analyzed the culture of our best projects, it became obvious that these were very complimentary relationships based on mutual respect, open, honest communication, a focus on achieving a unified goal and an awareness of the complimentary expertise each party brought to any discussion.  The result of this culture manifested itself in many ways and always ended with innovative solutions.

Unlike other vendors, your ERP partner should be one of the few companies welcomed into your inner circle of trust.  Similar to your board of directors, accountant or lawyer, they will be exposed to the most intricate details of your business ranging from your financial health to employee remuneration and business policies.  You will be openly sharing some of your secrets such as competitive advantages and internal weaknesses to mention a couple.  As the project advances, their knowledge of the nuances of your business will grow and their ability to match system functionality to business challenges will increase.  As your project evolves, the level of trust between the parties needs to be mindfully nurtured and is best accomplished when both parties see it as an intentional objective rather than an unexpected benefit.

Once the initial implementation is finished and trust is established, the best companies recognize and leverage this symbiotic relationship.  Business leaders realize they have gained access to highly specialized and experienced resources who have intricate knowledge of capabilities of their software systems that is complimented by operational and financial insight into their company.  Using these specialists selectively on teams provides a perspective unmatched by any internal resource at a fraction of the cost of adding similar skills as a full-time employee.  Decisions become more robust when they are considered by a team with diverse, complimentary expertise and your ERP partner is a simple addition.

This approach may seem obvious when considering options to change payables processes for increased efficiency; however, it is equally valid when discussing union negotiations to provide perspective on magnitude of complexity on each proposed contract change, to provide insight into team readiness/implications on prospective new business activities or to assist with infrastructure vendor selections.  As someone who has broad insight into your business, information systems and IT best practices, your ERP partner can provide unequaled value when you see them as one of your trusted business advisors.

Supercharging Your Dynamics GP With Add-On Solutions

One of the most important benefits of Microsoft Dynamics GP is the large customer base.  This attracts Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who have developed a wide variety of software solutions that “Add-On” to Dynamics GP.

In most cases, clients come to Joesoftware with a specific need, and we research ISV solutions we know will best meet their requirements.  But why wait until a process becomes painful to look for ways to get more out of your Dynamics GP solution?

GP Optimizer Magazine, by Rockton Software, is a tremendous resource to keep up to speed on Dynamics GP Add-On products.  Rockton, a long standing and reputable ISV provider, recognizes that there is an abundance of ISV Partners that should take a role in educating the industry on available solutions.  As Mark Rockwell, President of Rockton Software states, “Each article focuses on making your investment in Microsoft Dynamics GP more worthwhile by addressing issues that you may be experiencing, and providing ways to remedy them.”

GP Optimizer Magazine is a free quarterly publication and you can sign up for easy delivery here.  Not sure you want to commit yet?   You can check out the latest edition without having to sign up and decide for your yourself.

Joesoftware is a Microsoft Certified ISV offering a range of products including Penny and Spencer.

Learning About Financial Performance From A Sculptor

What can a sculptor teach you about making net profit and cash flow?  A lot.

Think about how a sculptor does their work.  Obviously they start out with a block of stone.  But no matter how beautiful the stone may be, it does not mean the sculptor will end up with a pleasing statue.

The stone is nothing more than the raw material – the potential – for the sculptor to create the desired end result.

To create the statue they want, the sculptor uses a variety of tools to remove only what is necessary – things that don’t contribute to the end result they want.

And that’s where you can learn from the sculptor.  Because you are a sculptor too – a sculptor of net profit and cash flow.

In your case, your raw material for sculpting net profit and cash flow is your revenue.  This is your starting point.

Like the sculptor, your raw material does not guarantee a pleasing end result.  In your case, simply having revenue is no guarantee that you will end up with financial performance that you will be pleased with.

By taking three lessons from our sculptor friend, however, you can give yourself much better control over how you transform your block of revenue into net profit and cash flow that you will be pleased with.

 

Lesson 1

Start with a clear vision of what the end result should look like.  The sculptor knows in advance what they want their finished sculpture to look like – what it should do when it is complete.

In your business, you need to clearly define your target financial outcome – how much net profit and cash flow your business needs to create in order to meet your goals.

These goals should include defensive goals (making enough money to help you weather economic rough patches), offensive goals (making enough money to build a war chest to take advantage of opportunities that may arise), and hygiene goals (making enough money to allow you to execute on your current strategic plan).

It is the process of carefully defining your targeted financial outcome that allows you to deduce how big a block of revenue you need to start with.  You can decide if you need to get a bigger block, and how much, and where, you need to carve away to create the net profit and cash flow you want.

Avoiding this fundamental step is like the sculptor starting to chip away at the block of stone without a clear picture of the end result.  They could chip away with all the positive intentions, all the optimism, and all the energy they can muster, and STILL wouldn’t end up with the finished sculpture they really wanted.

 

Lesson 2

Get familiar with the necessary tools and be able to use them effectively.

Imagine our sculptor’s performance if they only knew how to use one tool – let’s say one a one-inch chisel.

They might have a crystal clear vision of their sculpture.  But having just that single tool available would result in a sculpture that would, at best, be an approximation of what they envisioned.  And producing that rough approximation would be so much more difficult, less fun, and require much more effort than it needed to.

In your business, the tools you need to be familiar with and be able to use properly are things such as pricing plans, profitability analysis, product margin analysis, customer profitability mapping, breakeven analysis, and scenario planning.

If you aren’t familiar with these tools, don’t worry.  You will be receiving training opportunities to learn about these tools in the near future.

 

Lesson 3

Control who has access to your studio.

The sculptor would NOT allow anyone to walk into their studio and randomly chip away at their sculpture.  If they allowed other people to randomly chip away at the sculpture, there would be no way they would end up with what they wanted.

All the vision, effort, and knowledge would be wasted because they would end up with a worthless lump of stone.

You need to control who is allowed to remove chunks of your “stone” (your revenue).

Don’t simply add expenses to your business on the assumption that “it will pay for itself.”   That’s like letting anyone into your studio to chip away at your sculpture.

Do some analysis and decide if removing that piece from your revenue is necessary to accomplish your envisioned end result – the net profit and cash flow that aligns with your target financial outcomes.

So art and business do intersect.  You now have three lessons learned from a sculptor that you can start to apply in your business and create net profit and cash that aligns with your strategic financial targets.

 

About Steve Wilkinghoff

Steve is a leading global expert helping private companies, and their owners, managers, and teams find, unlock, and leverage hidden financial performance.

He is a bestselling author of two books – Found Money: Simple Strategies to Uncover the Hidden Profit and Cash Flow in Your Business, and Found Money Roadmap – The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Making More Profit, Cash Flow and Fun.

Using a combination of unique processes, tools, software and systems, developed by over 25 years of experience working with thousands of private companies around the world, Steve makes the guarantee that ANY business has hidden financial performance, profit, and cash flow just waiting to be unleashed for good into the world.

He delivers his consulting, training, and tools through the company he founded, BizDogGroup.com

 

Interested in learning more about how to better use Dynamics GP to help Sculpt your business.  Register now for Steve Wilkinghoff’s free webinar on July 26th, 2017.