Our GP expert Ian Grieve explains everything companies need to know about the new version of GP, when to upgrade, and how his five favourite new features will benefit your business.

Why is the new GP update important?

In the last six versions of GP, we’ve had maybe 300 important new features come in, such as the introduction of workflow document attachments, access to GP via a web client, the ability to link credit card invoices to original invoices, and many vital UI changes that have made accounting tasks much easier. Microsoft has also included an Invoice Receipt Date field for purchasing invoices, in order to meet changing regulatory requirements in the UK.

With GP, Microsoft always listens and respond to what people want. Improvements were made by adding Power BI integration with the new Power BI Content Pack and nearly all of GP 2018’s added features are just things that users and Microsoft’s Most Valued Professionals (MVPs) have asked Microsoft for. New features have been added over time to streamline payments, prevent fraud and access GP remotely so that people can work with GP even more efficiently.

My Five Favourite New Features of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018

  1. Copy Workflow Steps

I’m very much into the workflow side of things; I’ve blogged quite a bit about it, written two books on it, and Microsoft invited me to write a guest post on workflow as part of the Feature of the Day series for the launch of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018. So, for me, the best new feature was one that I actually requested: the ability to copy workflow steps.

You can’t use parentheses in step conditions, so you can’t easily define multiple conditions. If you have several steps which were mainly the same, you had to duplicate them manually, which was unnecessarily time consuming. Now, however, you can easily copy your step, including child steps, which cuts down the effort of creating workflow steps quite a lot. This saves your staff a lot of their working time – and that inevitably means your business is saving money.

  1. Enhancements to the Web Client

Although GP used to be just a desktop client, it can now also be hosted on Azure or on-premise and you get access to the web client version, on any device you want. That means you don’t have to be in the office or on the network, you can fire up your web browser and go to the webpage, log on and there’s GP on your tablet or laptop.

This greatly increases the accessibility of GP as your employees can work on the go. You’re getting the most out of their time. Business is becoming increasingly mobile and it’s great that people can use GP whilst travelling on the train, out of office hours or even on their own devices.

  1. New Password Protected SmartList Favourites

SmartList is an ad hoc reporting tool that lets you take control of your data by customising reports with the columns and search criteria that you want. You’re able to save a favourite that will remember your search criteria and column selection. In this new update, you can now password protect these favourites, meaning other users cannot delete or modify your SmartLists without the password.

Now, your report configuration is so much more secure. This change is something clients always ask me about so I know this will be quite a significant feature, saving both time and effort for many users.

  1. Improvements to the document attachment function

This handy module on GP provides the ability to scan or attach Word documents, PDFs or Excel sheets to records in GP. They’ve made this feature easily accessible on the action pane, and that saves people time for routine tasks. It means if, for example, when you get a quote through from your supplier, you can now simply attach it to purchase requisition then send it through a workflow for approval. That attachment will be emailed to the approver as well – and they don’t even need to be a GP user, which saves on licensing costs.

It’s a more organised way of bringing together and electronically storing important historic documents in a centralised repository. You can see when and by who documents have been attached to a record as well as recalling the document to view, instead of needing to trawl through an archive of printed documents. Your business can really benefit from such effortless efficiency.

  1. Changes to the purchasing system

GP has traditionally been very American-centric, and because of this everything has been about cheque payments. However, especially in the UK, everyone does electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments. This might sound like a relatively small thing, wording changes, but I know it’s been frustrating for UK users. In response to this Microsoft have now renamed all windows containing the word “cheques” to use the word “payment” instead; so “Select Cheques” has become “Build Payment Batch”.

It just makes much more sense and it’s updating the system for the type of payments people actually do in the system. Making these changes shows Microsoft’s commitment to improving the usability of the platform for UK users – we are just as important as the USA.

How do clients know when to upgrade?

The work for our Microsoft Dynamics GP clients is never completely done. As a consultant, I have regular conversations with customers about where they’re at with the system and where they want to be. They’re normally aware there’s a new version coming out because they’ll ask to do something with GP that can’t be done with their version, but the functionality is available in a later one. This is a particularly important reason clients should keep up to date with new upgrades because otherwise, they’re going to miss out on vital new features.

The account managers also keep in touch with clients to keep them informed of new releases. When a customer knows there’s going to be functionality that they want, planning can start for the upgrade and what assistance they will require. If clients keep up with the GP upgrades, their business can benefit from staff who have the ability to work more efficiently and productively.

As part of this continual communication, we always advise clients that they should not be more than a couple of versions behind. Upgrades are fairly straightforward but if a client is on an old version of GP then some of the versions in between your current one and the most recent one need to be run in order to upgrade the system to the latest upgrade. When you consider that updates can take up to nine hours each, the more upgrades you need, the more downtime your system will have. Obviously, we work around our clients’ schedule with any work that needs to be done, for instance, we can upgrade GP overnight, but it will cost clients less money and less time if they keep up-to-date and upgrade more regularly.

Contact us today to find out more about the exciting new Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 upgrade, and how it could improve your business.

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What Perfect Image can do

We do much more than just sell licences

Perfect Image are a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Value Added Reseller (VAR) so we don’t just sell GP licences; we’ll do the install, the configuration, and the training. We’ll help identify any gaps in what the system can offer, to see if there’s a need for a third party Independent Software Vendor (ISV) add-on, for customisation of the system, or development for specific functionality. For GP projects, we are full end-to-end service providers, and once the system is in and user training is complete, we will do continual business process reviews, health checks, full system reviews, and ongoing day-to-day support.

Client satisfaction is our highest priority

In the six years since I’ve worked at Perfect Image, I’ve seen our client base grow exponentially. Our focus is our clients and making sure their system is optimised and meeting their business needs. We remain in regular contact to constantly provide the level of assistance they need to be properly supported. Our quality of services can’t be beaten, we have a strong customer focus and work around clients’ needs. The goal for us is to become trusted advisors with a strong, long-term partnership approach with our clients.

About Ian Grieve – Perfect Image’s GP Expert

Ian Grieve has been an MVP (Most Valued Professional) in Microsoft GP since 2013 – one of only fifteen in the world – and is the only MVP in all of Europe. Dealing extensively with GP since 2003, he has experience with all aspects of the product lifecycle including presales, implementation, technical and functional training, and post go-live support. Ian is currently ERP Practice Manager at Perfect Image, where has worked since 2011. In Ian’s spare time, he runs the popular GP blog azurecurve, and has released six books on Microsoft Dynamics GP. He will soon be releasing his next book on the new updated Workflow module in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018.

Interested in Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Find out how we can help

Reviewing your current Dynamics GP support contract? Find out exactly how we can assist you and optimise GP to ensure it meets your business needs – take a look at our dedicated GP website here.

Book a one to one demo of GP

If you would like a personal guided tour of Microsoft Dynamics GP then please get in touch today to book a one-to-one demo and see exactly what this innovative accounting software is capable of.