10 Things I Hate About Dynamics GP

This is now the third consecutive year of publishing this list. And again, I want all who read this to understand this post for what it is; a list of MY frustrations with Microsoft Dynamics GP.   I have been implementing and supporting Dynamics GP, by choice, since 1996.  I freely share my list with folks during demonstrations in an effort to set expectations correctly.  I also suggest potential clients ask for a similar list from the people performing the demonstrations of competing products…  As it turns out, all other software is perfect, zero defects, nothing they can do any better, just ask them.

If you would have asked me for this list, when I was a fledgling consultant, my list would have started with Btrieve error 20.  A couple of years ago the top item on my list was the Year-End Close window.  Here’s an interesting and important observation about my list, it is ever-evolving, and this year is no exception.  Great Plains and ultimately Microsoft have managed to consistently resolve the issues I find most objectionable.  Sometimes solutions are a long-time coming, like having to choose your desired printer prior to printing a report, which roughly translates into not being able to change the printer select after a report begins printing, which previously checked in at number four on my list.  Coupled with the fact that some reports like those generated after utilities are run, cannot be recreated, this was more than moderately annoying.

Other issues, I never knew I had, until an improvement was introduced like SmartLists.

My list follows…  You will note some of the list has been struck through – these are items Microsoft resolved with the release of GP 2013.  So, without further adieu here is MY list of 10 Things I Hate About Dynamics GP:

  1. Required Fields Error.  On save, GP should shift focus to the problem field or list required fields with NULL values.  It does not.
  2. There is no Account / Sub-Account relationship in Dynamics GP, so users must create every possible posting account combination.
  3. Expansion of some GP windows sometimes give you 4 more inches of Grey Border, instead of more columns of data.
  4. Discard Changes option is not universal. You open a transaction, review and close it.  GP asks you to save it, but you don’t remember changing anything. What do you do now?  Delete the transaction?  Save an undesirable change?  How about a third option, no matter where you are in the system; Discard Changes?
  5. Weak Active Directory Integration.  Progress: Management Reporter, SSRS (SQL Server Reporter Services) Reports, and the Dynamics GP Web Client ALL use Active Directory, but Dynamics GP proper still uses SQL Authentication.
  6. Dynamics GP has two Bill of Materials Modules. These modules have different features, functions and tables and are completely incompatible going forward.
  7. State Payroll Reporting has been left to Greenshades, a third party.  Every US business reports to at least one state.
  8. There is a disconnect on some Modular Voids. Transactions that originate in other modules must be voided in these originating modules to maintain accurate accounting records in Microsoft Dynamics GP. If you use Bank Reconciliation to void a transaction that was entered in another module, you receive a warning message that suggests that you void the transaction in the other module. You may continue through this message. However, the original transaction remains in the module in which the transaction was created. Reference KB858473
  9. Standard Navigation’s departure from palettes to multi-level chained navigation.  Ah, the good old days.  I look back fondly on the days when one could navigate to Tools > Setup > System > Security and a palette containing all Security related menu options would open (User, User Access, User Security, etc.)  This palette could be pinned down, so you could move effortlessly between these related windows.  Now, it takes four levels of navigation to get to these options, and there is no easy way to transition between these related windows.  If you don’t remember this feature, you can’t miss it.  You really had to be there. Progress: The Administration tab, and the Navigation Pane in general, has solved some of this, but clicking on any system link in the Administration tab  prompts for the system password. 
  10. Report Writer could use a Face Lift. Well-trained folks are all powerful with this tool, novices are typically lost.  There has to be a happy medium.  Easy to use, and incredibly flexible.  And don’t get me started on why a customer needs to buy a third-party solution to replace a default report with an SSRS version. Progress: The introduction of Word Templates, provides a powerful and flexible report design tool, better, but still dependent on the Report Writing tool to add and modify fields.
The problems enumerated below formerly featured near the top of my list. Microsoft has addressed these issues, and made progress on others.
  1. Year-End Close window is (was) poorly designed; No Progress Bar, No Confirmation, No Options. This window was completely redesigned in a recent release. Users can now see progress, receive confirmation and can undo a close.
  2. Desired printer must be selected before print.  Now, Dynamics GP supports standard windows functionality, and printer destinations can be changed on the fly.
  3. Expansion of the SmartLists window was poorly executed.  Now, users can toggle the navigation components of this window on and off to get more real estate. Right clicking in the navigation allows for the expansion or reduction of the navigation pane.
One of the best things about Microsoft Dynamics GP has always been the enthusiastic partner channel that works tirelessly to fill the gaps in what always ever will be an imperfect system.  In many ways this asset has made it possible for Microsoft to “take its time” while managing significant change.