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Powerful Financial Solutions for SMB: Microsoft Dynamics Integration

September 7, 2017
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Accounting solutions are easy to find. Getting the right one for your needs is a bigger challenge. For many companies, the powerhouse that runs their general ledger and often other modules is Microsoft Dynamics. Choosing an ERP solution like MS Dynamics GP (often referred to by its old name, Great Plains) isn’t done lightly and equal care should be taken with any applications that you integrate with it. You want to ensure that you’re able to make the most of the core financial and operational data as well as data from any other modules that you utilize, such as Project Accounting for job costing.As A Microsoft Product, MS Dynamics GP naturally offers an easy export and integration into Excel spreadsheets and that’s is certainly a plus for some functions. It’s always a bit surprising to me, despite having seen it repeatedly, how customers who have used Great Plains with all its capabilities for decades, are hesitant to update their budgeting process or tax preparation to applications that can make the most of GPs functionality and data.Today’s CFOs and Controllers can’t afford to stay with budgeting the way we used to do it even five or ten years ago. I know it’s a struggle to keep up with the times and the plethora of options that are out there but to stay relevant and remain focused on the future, it’s imperative that we automate where we can to get to the financial analysis piece that really counts. Spending time configuring spreadsheets to import and filter massive amounts of data and contort it into usable information may not be the best use of time for your organization.

Could Microsoft Dynamics Integration Bring in Bad Data?

In a word, yes. But, it’s not as likely with the correct set up. If your predecessor took a shortcut and re-named an account instead of creating a new account number for it, yes, you’d get results based on the balances brought in. Fortunately, you should be able to control what’s brought in your receiving system.The Microsoft Dynamics integration process itself is much less taxing on users than it used to be. Manual mapping of account numbers to each other should be a thing of the past. Managing the exceptions, if there are any, is where your focus should lie with any two systems that integrate. I hear that sometimes people fear that they’ll lose some control when they integrate. The reality is that the opposite is what’s actually true.

Is Microsoft Dynamics Integration Worth the Trouble?

Let’s say you’ve got 8 months of transaction data for the year in Microsoft Dynamics GP and you want to test a budgeting application to see if it could work for you. A proper interface today is set up to include the routines, protocols and tools that are needed by the other system to let it know where things are and what to do with it to get specific responses. Our Budget Maestro data connectors do just that with MS Dynamics. It matches all of the records, you only review the exceptions to determine if there had been an error made in a GP record or if a new account code may have been added. The automated checking of balances received by the connectors to your chart of accounts ensures adherence and lets you control whether to import the record into Budget Maestro or not.Controlling the frequency and timing of importing your actual ending balances is a critical point when considering integrating applications with one another. Take the time to ensure that these abilities are available with whatever you integrate Microsoft Dynamics with another application. Automating sending the records to the receiving budgeting or other system is another point to consider. Ensure that you’ll be able to either manually or automatically pull the trigger on your imports…and exports… to save team the most amount of time as you adapt to the integration process and gain confidence in its data integrity.

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