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Is My Custom Tool Working?

Does my custom tool work? How can I tell if I need it or can my ERP do the same thing?

If you are a non-profit or a union organization, there are a lot of government required reporting regulations. We always get the same question of, “How do I track this information in my ERP system?” Followed by, “Can I track this information in my ERP without adding a lot of unneeded steps?”

There are companies out there that will tell you that you need to have a custom tool and that is your only option.  Before you spend the money on a custom tool or even go to a company that has a tool already created, here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you are getting the best option for your needs:

  1. Do you process inter-fund transactions in your ERP?
    1. Dynamics GP has an inter-fund module. This module works much the same as the intercompany module only within the same database.  To configure it you go to Tools/setup/financial/Interfund management. Here is where you setup the ‘due to/due from’ accounts.  Once this is setup, the inter-fund transaction automatically happens on transactions from all modules. On these transactions, when you open a journal entry, you will see the additional inter-fund lines.
  2. Do you fall under any Federal Filing Requirements?
    1. As a Nonprofit, there are different types of Federal Filing requirements that must be followed. The question is can your ERP provide the information that you need to follow these reporting requirements.  Most of this can be handled through how the transactions are tracked within your ERP system.  Don’t be fooled if you are using Dynamics GP; there are many options to track additional data within the system without having to customize anything.  I am going to go thru two options below that both come with Dynamics GP and are fairly simple to configure and use.
    2. Multidimensional Accounting (MDA)
      1. MDA is inside the financial module in GP and to configure your setup Accounting groups under Cards / financial / analysis groups.  Here is where you create the groups that you need to track.  Once you have the groups, you can then go to cards / financial / analysis defaults.  Under the analysis defaults, you can select the GL accounts that you will use for your analysis groups.  You can have more than one group per account.  You also can default a group or when you are processing a transaction you can specify the amount at that time.
    3. Analytical Accounting (AA)
      1. AA is used when you need to track additional items in your ERP however you do not want to bog down your system with a large COA.  Within AA you can create dimensions that you can then assign codes to.  You can then set up what GL accounts the codes should go to, and you can require a code, make it optional, or not allowed.
      2. In AA, you also can create a budget for each code and print financial statements based off a code to see the profit (loss) of the code.

It is always a good idea to review your system periodically.  If you have a custom tool, it could be advantageous to look into your ERP to see if there have been changes or upgrades that can handle what your custom tool is doing.


Colleen graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from California State University San Bernardino.  She has extensive accounting experience over the past years working as a staff accountant and controller.   Colleen has over 10 years Great Plains experience and over 6 years of working with BI360, which includes many implementations for public and private companies.  She also has extensive experience with Business Intelligence, budgeting and report writing while working on BI360, QuickBooks, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Timberline and Solomon.  Colleen has worked in various industries that include: real estate, property management, timeshare sales, publishing, and insurance.  These various industries have given her the necessary experience to handle large company consolidations and report writing, budgeting and forecasting, project accounting, sales invoice processing, and fixed assets.

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