Weekly Dynamic: Partial Month End Module Closing

At month end we tend to close module categories as they are finished. Done with AP? Check the Purchasing box and close the whole module. Every once in a while we get burned though. We balance the bank accounts but leave the whole Financial module open so that we can finish up JE’s. Then someone posts a bank transaction into the month we’re trying to close. Now the completed bank rec doesn’t match the GL any more.
Well, you can get fine grain control of closing periods. Simply go to Tools->Setup->Company->Fiscal Periods, just as you always would, and then pick Mass Close. (I know, dumb name if you’re using it this way.)
Limit the selections to the Series and Periods you want (Financial, Period 2 for example). Here you can check the boxes to close Bank Transactions, Bank Deposits and Bank Transfers, thus preventing them from posting while leaving GL, Clearing and Quick entries open for final adjusting entries. This works with all the modules (close PO’s but leave AP open for example) to give you better control over the close.
A couple of observations:
1) If modules are partially closed at month end, the checkbox for the full module remains unchecked (i.e.: if you close Bank Trx, the main Financial box is still unchecked)
2) The main month end close boxes override the ones checked via Mass Close. So if you close Bank Trx, later close the Financial Module and then reopen the Financial Module for a last minute transaction, you’ve also reopened the ability to post Bank Transactions for that period.

Convergence Map is Available

A map of the San Diego Convention center with Convergence information is now available at the Convergence website. If you’re going to Convergence, wear good shoes, drink lots of water, visit a party or two but remember, you’re not in college any more!
For those of you that I owe a drink to, this is the place to collect!

Weekly Dynamic: Process Server

If you find that certain areas of processing really slow down for you in Dynamics GP, consider adding a Process Server. This is just a dedicated machine(s) that allow GP to offload the processing from the client to these machines.
So if you find that AP posting takes forever because of the number of transactions, you can easily setup a process server to process just AP posting and immediately free up the workstation for other tasks.
Setup is pretty easy. You simply install the GP client on the process server and then use Tools-Setup-System-Process Server to tell GP what process servers are available and processes you want to offload to the Process Server(s).
You can have more than one process server and different machines specifications are fine. The process servers don’t have to be dedicated machines but it’s better if they are. There is basic load balancing and the ability to track start and stop times for processes to improve load balancing.
Often companies have a few spare PC’s lying around so if nothing else, this is relatively painless to try. Certainly it is easier than upgrading your server and client machines to better handle the load.
No, Process Servers aren’t a panacea and they can introduce problems of their own but it’s important to know that Process Servers are an option.
For more information, the Dynamics GP Help file actually has a lot of really good information. Simply search for Process Server and start there.

Smartlist Video Color Problems

There are some color problems with the Smartlist video using the Windows Media or iTunes links. I’ll try to get a replacement with better color up this week. For now however, the YouTube link seems to be much better. If you’re having problems, please give the YouTube location a try.
I’m sorry about the problem, I think I know what caused it I’m just unable to fix it at the moment.

Convergence 2007 Hotels are Sold Out

All of the official Convergence 2007 hotels are sold out which bodes well for conference attendance. Although it stinks if you don’t have a room yet.
I’m on Convergence Connect as mpolino if anyone wants to get together and say hi at the conference.
Make sure you stop by the Accolade Publications booth and tell Richard Whaley hi. I’m working on getting him on as a podcast guest.

SQL Server 2005 SP2 is Now Available!

With a nod to Kim Tripp who pointed this out to me first, SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 is now available. The list of new stuff and improvements is waaaayyy too long for me to cover so you’ll need to read it for yourself.
Also don’t forget to download the Books Online Update as well. It’s not updated by default when you install SP2.
I guess it’s time to stop waiting and upgrade our main GP install to SQL Server 2005.

I’m on the “Accounting Best Practices” Podcast

In case you’re not sick of me yet, I was interviewed by Steve Bragg on the Accounting Best Practices podcast. We talked about Transit TV’s use of run charts to benchmark and determine accounting staffing levels.
I’ve used a bunch of Steve’s best practice tips in conjunction with GP to help us reduce our month end close time and improve our Fixed Asset, AP, AR and Purchasing functions. His Accounting Best Practices book has been a big help for us so even if you can’t stand listening to me any more, give Steve’s books a try or listen to some of the podcasts that don’t include me.
Thanks again for the opportunity Steve.