Customizing Microsoft Dynamics GP

How many times have you looked at the workflows in GP and wanted to use them, only to find out they do not work with your company’s business processes? Does this mean you can’t use the workflow within Dynamics GP or is it possible to customize the workflow to work within your business processes? Let’s walk through how the workflow works for Accounts Payable within Dynamics GP and see how a trained consultant can customize it to match your business process.

Step 1: Identify your business process for AP approvals

  1. An invoice comes in either via Mail or email to the accounting department.
  2. This invoice needs to be approved by the correct person
  3. Accounts Payable Clerk needs to rout this invoice to the correct person for approval
  4. Once approved the invoices need to come back to the Accounting clerk.
  5. The invoice needs to be posted in Dynamics GP
  6. The invoice needs to be paid.

Limitations of the standard workflow within Dynamics GP

You can create a workflow, however when you enter a transaction into Dynamics GP and select submit, at that time you don’t select who that transaction is submitted to for approval. On the workflow step you can add conditions for the transaction. You can specify who that transaction would go to for approval, however you cannot identify on a transaction by transaction basis. This is the major issue that many companies have with the workflow for Accounts Payable in Dynamics GP.

You can customize the workflow within Dynamics GP to work with your business process for accounts payable processing. So, how would you do it?

Step 2: Customize your Dynamics GP Workflow for Accounts Payable transaction:

  1. You need a way at the time of transaction processing to identify who that transaction would go to for approval.
    • In creating the workflow steps, create a step for each person or department involved in the Accounts Payable transaction approval process.
      • If the people or departments involved have various levels of authorization, for example, Approve, Delegate, Reject or any combination, you can customize the workflow step window.
    • Using dexterity coding on the accounts payable transaction entry window, you can add a drop-down screen that links to the workflow steps.
  2. You can also create a custom email that goes with the submit and approval. With this email you can add the fields from the Payables Transaction entry screen so that the reviewer / approver can see the information from the email. You also could attach the document to the payables transaction. Then, when the transaction is submitted for approval the document will be attached or imbedded in the email.  Neither of these processes require a customization to the workflow.

Step 3: New Business Processes

  1. Receive an invoice from your vendor.
  2. Within Dynamics GP create a batch APWAITINGAPPROVAL
  3. Enter the invoice into Dynamics GP Payables transaction within the APWAITINGAPPROVAL batch.
  4. Select from the drop-down list who this invoice should go to for approval / delegation
  5. Submit the invoice to the correct person.
  6. An email will be triggered from Dynamics GP workflow step.
  7. The appropriate user will receive the email and directly from the email based on the system customization and the workflow step
  8. The user will approve, delegate or reject the invoice
  9. Once the invoice is approved, the Accounts Payable clerk will receive an email notification
  10. The Accounts Payable clerk can go into Dynamics GP and post the Payables transaction once it is approved.

How can this customization help your business?

  1. If the invoice is not entered into Dynamics GP when it is received, how does your Accounts Payable Department keep track of the invoices out for approval?
    • By entering these transactions into Dynamics GP, and using workflow, your Accounts Payable clerk can run a smartlist of all the transactions waiting for approval.
    • You can use a calendar in the workflow and trigger additional email or rejections and resubmittals to keep the transactions going through the system.
  2. When you manually hand out invoices for approval, you don’t always know whose desk the invoice is on.
    • When you are using the workflow within Dynamics GP on the Payables transactions entry screen, there is a workflow history button where any Dynamics GP users can look and see the status and history for that transaction.
  3. Want to go paperless?
    • This process can help any company work towards a goal of going paperless. Using the document attached on the payables transaction screen the email will contain all the information along with a copy of the invoice and any other documents needed for approval.

How can you put something like this in place?

There are a lot of companies out there that can take your business processes and write up a customization to meet your exact business process. If you don’t want to spend the money to customize something just for your company, you can investigate an add-in to your GP that will fit your processes.  Doing it this way allows for the following.

  1. If you have a customization specific to your company, how do you upgrade your GP?
    • Any development company that is doing a customization or a third party add in to your Dynamics GP will provide you an upgrade path along with the documentation.
  2. Does adding a customization to your Dynamics GP void any warranty you would have with support from Microsoft?
    • If you have a customization on your Dynamics GP and get an error message on a screen with a customization, there are ways to determine if the error is from the customization or not. If the error is a result of the customization, Microsoft will not be able to support or fix the issue because it is due to a customization. But if it is not, Microsoft will address the issue and fix it.
  3. What should you get from a developer who creates a customization on your Dynamics GP?
    • You should have documentation that goes through the installation and configuration of the customization.

 

To wrap up, we took a business process on the Accounts Payable invoice approval process, which for most companies is a manual process, and discussed the option of adding a customization onto the Dynamics GP workflow for payables transactions.  If this is something that interests you, contact KTL Solutions. We have this product available to drop into any environment and would be happy to help you with any customizations that you may need. To get started, contact us today.

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