As the year comes to a close, the Sikich team is working hard to install required annual updates for our clients.
Clients who use GP for payroll usually need to install the annual update from Microsoft. This update includes functionality changes for the new year. For example, in 2020, employees have more choices for their Federal tax deductions. The annual update adds to GP the necessary windows and fields to accommodate this.
Sikich reaches out to GP clients each year to notify when the annual update is available. We are happy to answer any questions on the process.
Having said that, here are our tips for the Dynamics GP annual update.
- How do I know if I need to have Sikich install the update?
- Microsoft will always recommend you install the Dynamics GP annual update. Also, if you are on version 18.2 of GP 2018, you will be required to keep current on these updates.
- Payroll clients typically need to have the update installed. The updates provide the functionality for changes in W-2, 1095C, W3, W2, and other IRS-related functions.
- Changes to the various 1099 forms may also require GP payables users to install the update.
- If the year-end update contains a fix for an issue that you are encountering, you will want to install the update.
- Should I do a test update first?
Running a test update is an option for all clients. It is the only way to be certain that the annual update will not disturb custom functionality such as reports and integrations, or ISV products. We strongly recommend that clients with complex systems run a test upgrade. Sikich can advise what tables are affected by the update and can discuss whether client reports and integrations might be affected. We also recommend a test update for any client who cannot afford to be without GP for more than a few hours. If you cannot afford to have your system down, you need to do a test update.
- Can I install the annual update myself?
For most clients, we recommend you work with the Sikich GP team to install the update on your server and update the databases. Our team will ensure that ISVs are validated, backups are made, and other concerns are addressed. However, your internal IT team should be able to assist in installing the annual update on workstations and additional RDS machines.
- Do I have to update any of my other GP-related products?
Depending on which third-party (ISV) products you have installed, you may need to update those products as well. For example, Binary Stream MEM and Mekorma MICR typically have their own annual updates that also must be installed. Sikich’s policy is to confirm with each ISV vendor whether an annual update is required each year.
- Do my GP users have to be out of the system to install the annual update?
Yes, users must be out of the GP system while we install and update the databases. The duration of the downtime depends on the size and number of your databases and can vary anywhere from less than an hour to eight hours or more. Sikich offers the option to run these updates after working hours at a premium rate.
- Does this annual update also install the new payroll tax tables?
No, the payroll tax table update is a separate process that many clients address themselves. The tax table update can be run from GP Menu –> Maintenance –> Check for Payroll Tax Updates. You will need your Microsoft authorized phone number and the “sa” login to update tax tables. One important note: you can run the annual update as soon as it is released by Microsoft. That is typically in mid-November. However, you need to wait to update the tax tables until you have finished ALL payrolls for the current year. That means you need to have completed all regular pay runs, as well as those year-end commissions and bonuses.
- If Sikich installs the annual update, what will you need from my IT team?
In addition to the downtime, the following items help our process move faster, which limits the downtime and makes the process more cost-effective for your team:
- WORKING remote access to your GP system – Every year, about half of my time is actually spend re-establishing remote access to your system. Once your annual update is on our schedule, please confirm that Sikich’s remote accounts are reactivated, and passwords have been updated. We will need access to your SQL server for backups. We will need access to one server or workstation with GP installed, to run the table update. If you have requested additional workstations or servers, we will need administrator-level access to these as well. If your site does not allow vendors independent remote access, be ready to schedule a Bomgar session with your Sikich consultant in order to finish this work.
- A good time to run the update – the annual update can be run as soon as Microsoft releases the code in November.
We strongly recommend, however, that we not run the annual update the day before critical processes such as payroll or payables check runs. The best time to run the annual update is right after a payroll has been completed. This gives us time to deal with issues in the unlikely event that issues arise.
- Additional access – we will need the “sa” password if we don’t already have it on file. Alternatively, we will need available an IT professional with access to that password, to enter it on demand. We are also finding that we need FULL rights to the GP folder. This is the folder that contains the GP code. The default location for this folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics. The user installing the update must have full rights, or else the new code will not be added into the server or workstation installation correctly.
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your client account manager at Sikich.
Best wishes to everyone for the new year.