Are you on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 Release 2 (R2)? If not, you should be before Microsoft releases the Year-End Update, especially if you use the Payroll module in Dynamics GP. To determine if you are on R2, navigate to Help > About Microsoft Dynamics GP and look for your Dynamics GP build number. If your Dynamics GP build is 14.00.0725 or higher, you are on GP 2015 R2.
As part of Microsoft’s six-month cadence for updates, GP 2015 R2 wasn’t a small blimp on the radar to fix bugs, it was a major release with significant updates and added functionality to the software. In May 2015, over 15 new features were released with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2, which included payables transaction approval workflows, moving debits in front of credits in a SmartList and the ability for employees to print their own W2 statements in the Employee Self-Service module. While the release of major updates every six-months is beneficial, there is one challenge—these updates introduce major software changes, including new windows and database table changes. These major software changes can prove problematic for third party software, customizations and/or integrations you may have as part of your Dynamics GP solution.
Another wrinkle to throw into the mix is if you use the Payroll module in Dynamics GP, you’ll need to apply Microsoft’s Year-End Update at the end of the calendar year to receive the latest updates for W2 forms, Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting, tax filings and more. Here’s the catch, these updates are cumulative and if you are not already on Dynamics GP 2015 R2, you will automatically get upgraded to R2 when you apply the Year-End Update. However, if you wait until the end of the year to apply the Year-End Update, you may not have enough time to install and test these major software changes in a development environment. Additionally, you risk not giving your third-party vendors enough time to update their code for R2.
Test Now, Be Stress Free Later
It’s critical to apply the R2 update in a development environment now, which will not only allow your users time to perform thorough day-in-the-life testing, but will also give your third-party vendors time to update their software and make sure their add-ons are compatible.
When you start planning for the Year-End Update early, you can actually apply and review R2 in the test environment now and apply R2 to your live environment this fall. By preparing early, when Microsoft releases the Year-End Update in late November/early December you will minimize your risk given the majority of the table changes will already be in the live environment, and therefore you’re not introducing any major table changes at an already hectic time of year.
Dynamics GP Year-End Update Timeline
While some may be worried about Microsoft releasing a Dynamics GP Release 3 update that may undermine their carefully thought out game plan, don’t be! Microsoft does not plan to introduce R3 for GP 2015 until early 2016.
What About Dynamics GP 2013 Users?
If you are a Payroll client still on GP 2013 you should be ok on your current build, since GP 2013 R2 came out in May 2014 and as part of last year’s Year-End Update you should already be on R2. Microsoft does not have any additional major releases planned for GP 2013. To confirm which build of GP 2013 you are on, go to Help > About Microsoft Dynamics GP and confirm your build as 12.00.1745 or higher.