Weekly Feature: v8.0 Toolbars

Since upgrading to 8.0 I haven’t spent enough time with the new Toolbar feature. Some of the customization options aren’t obviously available so I thought I would a spend a few minutes on toolbars.

Toolbars are the new icon bar at the top of Great Plains 8.0. On the surface, they don’t seem terribly helpful. It’s a basic Financial functions bar. No right click, no obvious way to customize it. BUT, pick View->Toolbars and the toolbar world starts to open up.

You can select to enable multiple tool bars with the mouse. The different tools also seem to be color code by module for easy reference (it’s not perfect but it works). Click View->Toolbars->Customize and you can create your own toolbars or modify existing ones.

Customization options include changing the standard tool bar, adding items, moving locations, representing items by text, icon and both. You can add divider lines, change icon images, all kinds of stuff. Since the toolbars appear to follow the menu tree, third party add-ins are also available for selection on a toolbar.

The Toolbar feature is actually very complete for a first release. Anyone remember the first releast of Dynamics Explorer (now Smartlists)? I think this completeness reflects more of Microsoft’s influence. More people are watching the space and what MS’ apps include. More eyeballs means more scrutiny.

In short, if you’ve upgraded to 8.0 and haven’t used the toolbars yet, give ’em a look. If your still on 7.5 or earlier, here is one reason to upgrade.

Scripts, Downloads and Features – OH MY!

The framework of DynamicAccounting.net is starting to take shape, slowly, but things are happening. Like what? Well, the Forums area now provides the last 10 posts in the MBS Great Plains newsgroups along with subscription options – RSS, email and soon to come, MSN Messenger alerts.

The Downloads section now has a few offerings including self-logout for 6.x and 7.x versions of Great Plains. Some SQL scripts have been added to the Scripts section for our advanced users and the Weekly Features from the blog are all being archived in one place.

To get all this shamelessly self promoted content, all you have to do is go to DynamicAccounting.net and register. Registration is free, painless, and easy. Plus, we’ll never give out your name, sell your info or send you spam.

So what else is coming? Probably this week, I’ll debut a Weekly Gotcha. what’s a Gotcha? A Gotcha is a feature or process in Great Plains that incredibly non-intuitive. It’s not a bug, a bug is unintentional. One can only conclude that Gotchas were created that way on purpose, but with an ugly result. Kind of like the Solomon interface. But I digress. The Gotchas are geared more toward newer users, most long time users have used up their swear word budget on these items a long time ago, but it’s still fun to reminisce.

Look for more tools, features and gotchas over the next several weeks and thanks for visiting.

Weekly Feature: Account Rollup

I stumbled on this little gem in v 7.5 so I don’t even know what version it was added in to. If you need to look at groups of accounts this is the inquiry for you. You can even perform calculations!

What is it?
Account Rollup is an inquiry that you build which allows you to see different GL accounts rolled up together. Additionally, you can perform calculations on those accounts.

We use this for all kinds of things like:

  • What’s the Fixed Asset total across all divisions?
  • What’s the commission allocation based on sales?

Those kinds of things. Yes FRx will do this, but freqently, I don’t want to launch FRx and run financial statements just to get a breakdown of my FA accounts. So how does this work?
In Dynamics GP, select Inquiry->Financial->Account Rollup
Enter an Option ID, tab and click yes to add the option.
You set the number of columns you want to see up in the right side. If all you want is totals, one column is fine. For calculations, use at least 2 columns.
In the center, you set the types of columns, but we’ll come back to that. At the bottom, you add criteria like accounts, departments, divisions, etc. UNLIKE OTHER GP criteria areas, you can multiple independent criteria here. So if you want to see Chicago and New York but not LA. You add Chicago, then add New York.
Save and click redisplay. Controls on the right let you see net change or period balance totals. If you want to see what makes up the total number, select a month and click the blue column header.
Now, to get really fancy, you can ad calculated columns to a rollup. Simply create or modify (with the button) a rollup.
Change the type from Actual to Calculated. In the Selection column, click the More Info button. In v8.0 this is a little arrow.
Back to my commission comment earlier. Let’s say, I accrue 8.9% of sale as a commission accrual. My first column is my monthly sales. So I’ll pick the only available column in the column box and hit the double arrows (>>) then add the multiply sign (*) then in the constant box I’ll add .089 and hit the double arrows (>>).
You formula now looks something like C1 * 0.089. Save and refresh and you get a report with sales and the commission allocation for each month.
This is great for all those estimates you do every month. You can just take the numbers and do a JE.