Cloud application services are expected to reach $46.3 billion this year, according to Gartner. And a good portion of that market share will be taken by cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Over the years, Microsoft has made big developments with their cloud services, such as Office 365 and Azure, and they did just that with their ERP product Dynamics GP. A huge part of Microsoft’s success is listening to partner feedback, which gives them ideas on how to improve their accounting software.

Microsoft rolls out a fresh batch of updates designed for ERP users every year. And the latest version, Dynamics GP 2016 R2, had some promising new features and enhancements. Some of the most exciting features that came out of the update released less than six months ago included:

SmartList changes

SmartList, the powerful database query tool that allows you to view and search through all the raw data in your system, received two adjustments from the latest update. In one of the changes, customized SmartLists are now searchable in Advanced Lookups windows, enabling users to easily retrieve specific information about products, customers, and other accounting details from disorganized databases.

The second upgrade gives you the ability to protect your favorite SmartLists. Simply go to Tools > Setup > System to open the SmartList Options window and set a password next to the Modify SmartList Favorite field. This gives you greater control and security over changes made to your mission-critical SmartLists.

Security for management reporter

Speaking of security, Dynamics GP’s Management Reporter, an interactive reporting feature used to create, edit, and view financial statements, also received some much needed support. With the latest version, users can access web reports and financial statements over HTTPs connections, protecting them from unauthorized access.

Power BI on Dynamics

Another addition is Microsoft’s Premier analytics service Power BI is now available on the web client version of Dynamics GP. This integration lets you display Power BI summaries on your ERP dashboard, allowing you to make informed business decisions quickly and accurately.

Batch Error ID

Microsoft also made a small improvement for batch editing. In previous versions of Dynamics, when you tried to edit or delete data sets that someone was working on, you would get a warning saying: “This batch is being edited by another user.” With the latest update, this warning message includes the user ID so you can directly ask that user whether he or she is done editing. Now, you don’t have to rely on trial and error.

Financial updates

Given that over 50,000 companies use Dynamics GP for its financial management module, many users have requested several improvements on the financial side. Some of the new features include:

  • History tables – users can archive reconciled and voided bank deals, freeing up space for new transactions and improving reconciliation performance.
  • Fixed asset tracking – allows you to set asset IDs with a suffix other than ‘1,’ helping you categorize different assets and track specific components.
  • SafePay files – that display the vendor’s name as it is printed on the check, rather than using the default name from the Vendor Maintenance Window.
  • Linked credit card and accounts payable invoices – make it easy to keep track of credit card transactions and consolidate finances across your entire company.

Purchasing and requisitions cancelation

Of course, Microsoft hasn’t neglected the distributors and wholesalers that make up a significant portion of Dynamics’ user base. Prior to recent updates, canceling purchase orders that are tied to existing purchase requisitions in Dynamics GP was virtually impossible. Today, canceling an order is as straightforward as going to the Edit Purchase Order and Purchase Order Entry windows, entering the quantity you want canceled, and hitting Continue.

Project accounting additions

A popular request from users was the ability to know whether project staff are actually working the required hours. As of the 2016 December update, Dynamics users can generate project timesheet reports, which include status reports from project managers and new report templates for part-time workers. If somebody fails to submit a timesheet, Dynamics will alert managers of the issue. All in all, this will help you monitor employee contributions and accurately calculate billing.

Human resources enhancements

On the HR side of Dynamics, a new employment history option is added, allowing you to record hire and termination dates. Under the Employee option in the HR & Payroll menu, you can now input hire date, adjusted hire date, date inactivated (for rehires), last day worked, and termination date. Any time new information is added to these fields, employee records will be updated automatically, making it easy for you to track and calculate probation periods, sabbaticals, and severance pays.

Payroll upgrade

As for payrolls, the most notable upgrade in Dynamics GP 2016 R2 is that users can print fully formatted W2 forms complete with employee and tax information without having to purchase and fill out a pre-printed copy. This eliminates manual processes and enables your payroll administrators to focus on other, more critical tasks.

Get ready for the next round of updates

If you thought that was a lot of features, just wait until Dynamics GP 2018 rolls out this December. Although not much information has been confirmed about new ERP capabilities, Microsoft’s roadmap for Dynamics GP gives us a sneak peek. This holiday season, expect more intelligent workflow options, business intelligence features, finance and HR optimizations, and other user-requested quality-of-life enhancements.

While you wait for these features, take some time to make the most out of Dynamics GP 2016 R2. You won’t regret it!

Here at WhiteOwl, we provide and support the most current updates Dynamics GP has to offer. If you need to know more about how the features we’ve talked about will benefit your business, or if you want to stay in the loop about new developments with Dynamics, give us a call.