This month, Microsoft will stop supporting Dynamics GP 2013. The product will still operate as usual, but Microsoft will no longer release any bug fixes or feature improvements. One way this can greatly impact your business is with your payroll. If you run payroll on GP, be aware that you will not receive the annual year-end service pack from Microsoft that includes all of the necessary payroll and tax updates for the following year. Those who run payroll know exactly how crucial it is for this service pack each year.
In addition, if you need tech support, you will no longer be able to rely on Microsoft to help. We will still support you as your GP partner, but if we need to go to Microsoft for assistance, like if something is major such as data corruption, they won’t be able to help. Third party products you’ve integrated into GP will stop supporting this outdated software. The same goes for any operating system and server upgrades; none will be compatible with GP 2013.
Time to Upgrade to Dynamics GP 2018
GP 2018 released last December, but we weren’t jumping at the chance to upgrade our clients just yet. Our policy is to not upgrade clients to the latest and greatest version until the first patch releases. These first patches contain bug fixes other users have found. We’d rather other people be testers and guinea pigs instead of our clients. That said, the first patch did release last month, thus we are now more than happy to upgrade clients to 2018.
Dynamics GP 2018’s life cycle will run until 2023. Each version after 2018 will also run about five years. At one point, Microsoft was on a rapid release path, meaning every six months they released a major version followed by a a minor version. For example, in early 2016, GP 2016 released. Then, six months later, they rolled out 2016 R2. Each minor update was packed with so many features and functionality updates that it required a full upgrade to the system to hop to that version. It wasn’t just a quick patch. Microsoft eventually received feedback from customers that the releases were coming out too fast and clients could not keep up. They decided to scale the release back to every year, instead of every six months moving forward which is much more manageable. The good news out of this though is that when you upgrade from GP 2013 to GP 2018, you will receive all the new features and functionality in between.
Microsoft announced last year that would not update the Management Reporter feature in GP moving forward. In GP 2018, the Management Reporter is still present, but it won’t gain any new features or functionality with updates. If you’re happy with the Management Reporter as it is, then it may not be a concern for you. If you need more with the reporting tool, contact your account manager and let us help you select a new tool that will fit your needs.
However, plenty of other new tools and features are available that will continue to receive updates.
Doc Attach Feature
The Doc Attach feature came with GP 2013, but it’s vastly improved since then. In the past, users had to use the OLE notes to attach documents to records and required more effort. It is now available for master record windows, inquiry windows, and transaction entry windows. Common uses for this feature is attaching contracts, signed documents, pictures. All you have to do is pull images into GP from your scanning device and the documents are stored directly in your SQL database. Document security is then maintained directly in GP.
Workflow was a huge hit when it was released with GP 2013 R2 and has been enhanced ever since. The feature allows an approval process for a document, master record, or batch. The first four workflows released were:
- Purchase Requisition Approval,
- Purchase Order Approval,
- Time and Attendance Approval (US Payroll), and
- Project Timesheet Approval (Project Accounting).
GP 2015 added approvals for the following, all with email functionality:
- General Ledger Batch,
- Payables Batch,
- Receivables Batch,
- Project Expense (Project Accounting),
- Direct Deposit (US Payroll),
- Employee Skills & Training (US Payroll),
- Employee Profile (US Payroll), and
- W4 (US Payroll).
With GP 2018, you can copy a step within a workflow, and send reminder email messages from workflow.
The reminder enhancement lets you set a reminder time period on the workflow that’s used to notify users if they haven’t reacted to their assigned workflow task within the specified time frame.
The Copy workflow step enhancement adds efficiency to the process of setting up workflows by enabling you to copy steps within a workflow, renaming the step and including substeps to a workflow.
And lastly, GP 2018 has a new a new workflow history report. You can filter the report by workflow type, workflow approvers, workflow status, and by the approval date. The option to include workflow comments on the report is also available.
PowerBI is a Microsoft Suite of Business Analytic tools that connects to hundreds of data sources to easily report on your business. With GP 2018, you can add PowerBI to your homepage for a quick overview and access to your reports and dashboards. At the time of your upgrade, we can discuss setting this up with Sikich’s PowerBI team.
The Web client allows you to access GP via a web browser, and has been enhanced with HTML5. The user interface for the Dynamics GP Web Client has also been refreshed to provide a more updated appearance. The banner in space now enables users to log in and log out, as well as indicating which company they’re logged into. GP 2018 also supports additional browsers and mobile devices, including iPad and Android tablets, as well as using multiple web browsers.
Purchasing All-in-One Window
GP 2015 R2 introduced the Purchasing All-in-One View window, which lets users view all related documents for a single purchasing transaction in the same window. For GP 2016, similar functionality has been added for sales documents. You can open the Sales All-in-One View window while viewing a customer record in master record windows, such as the Customer Maintenance window, most Inquiry windows, navigation lists, as well as from the Dynamics GP home page. The most recent documents display in the window by default. To see the next set of five transactions, use the navigation buttons under each column. The Inventory All-in-One View window displays inventory increase and decrease transactions and is accessible from the Item Maintenance window, as well as most item inquiry windows, navigation lists, and the Inventory home page.
These are only a few of the new features that await you in Dynamics GP 2018.
What’s the Same
GP will continue to be an on-premise solution, and Microsoft has no plans to make it cloud-based. If you want to move to the cloud, we can host GP in Azure, but it will never be a true cloud solution were you pay each month for all features and updates. There are definitely some pros to hosting GP in Azure instead of a true on-premises solution, which we discuss in another blog post.
The clock may be ticking for our GP 2013 clients, but there is still plenty of time to act before the end of 2018. However, don’t wait too long! The upgrade can be an arduous process, and it’s one that takes a bit of time to prep! Contact us as soon as you’re ready.