If you are considering migrating your data to the Microsoft Azure cloud then you’ve probably asked yourself “How does Microsoft provide the security of my Azure infrastructure, data and applications?” or “Where is my data located?”  Here are 5 interesting facts about Microsoft Azure that you might not know:   1. Microsoft uses Machine

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As the calendar year comes to a close, most businesses are preparing for a rush of year-end activities. Even if your company does not have a calendar year-end, year-end is on many work and personal checklists right now. Time-sensitive year-end

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Holiday decorations are up, the parties planned and, in the blink of an eye, New Years will be over and your resolutions will be just starting to go out the window.  Your favorite time of the year will have arrived…

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Digital transformation is disrupting every vertical, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. In order to overcome the industrial overhaul, manufacturers need a robust business management solution at their core. Dynamics 365 Business Central for Manufacturing provides manufacturers with the

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Microsoft recently announced the next release for Dynamics GP is dropping early October 2019, and will be called Microsoft Dynamics GP. Simple! No year or version marker at the end. The Dynamics GP October 2019 release also means that Dynamics

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When is the best time to upgrade? Before upgrading, we recommend that you create a timetable of the entire upgrade process. This timetable can include the scheduling of a test upgrade, live upgrade, upgrade training, and implementation. Be sure that

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Microsoft Azure is becoming increasingly popular for businesses looking to move their Dynamics GP system to the Cloud. Azure’s scalability, security and on-demand architecture make it the smart choice for your Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment. The Benefits of Hosting Dynamics GP

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Microsoft is offering Dynamics GP customers with an active enhancement plan the ability to transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises by utilizing a License Migration Transition (LMT) upgrade. Since its launch, Dynamics 365 Business Central has been increasingly

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Since Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, there are many great features included. One of these features is Edit in Excel. With this Add-in, the option “Edit in Excel” is enabled within Business Central, which

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On May 30, 2019, Canada Revenue Agency announced that there would not be a July 2019 edition of the Payroll Deductions Tables guide (T4032), Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables guide (T4008) and the Payroll Deductions Formulas guide (T4127) as there are

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Dynamics GP includes the Canadian Payroll module.  There is no limit to the number of employees you can pay with GP. The payroll module can also be used in conjunction with GP’s Human Resources module, making it an excellent tool

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Microsoft Azure: 5 Facts You Might Not Know

If you are considering migrating your data to the Microsoft Azure cloud then you’ve probably asked yourself “How does Microsoft provide the security of my Azure infrastructure, data and applications?” or “Where is my data located?” 

Here are 5 interesting facts about Microsoft Azure that you might not know:  

1. Microsoft uses Machine Learning and AI 

Microsoft uses Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to detect and stop the seven trillion cyber threats it encounters every day. Using both machine learning and AI allows Microsoft to handle the massive volume of threats and to identify new methods of attacks or anomalies in the habits of the users, for example authentication. 

2. Full-Time Red-Team/Blue-Team rotation 

The red team is a group of full-time staff within Microsoft that focuses on breaching Microsoft’s infrastructure, platform and Microsoft’s own tenants and applications. The blue team is comprised of either a dedicated set of security responders or members from across the security incident response, Engineering, and Operations organizations. Their job, whether it is a red team attack or an actual assault, is to detect and respond to all security incidents. Microsoft employs hundreds of people in these teams to attack all their products like Azure, Office 365, Xbox Live, etc.  

3. Azure’s secure foundation 

Microsoft invests over a billion dollars annually into cybersecurity, including the Azure platform, so you can allocate your IT budget and resources towards other business-critical initiatives. 

You get to take advantage of 3,500 dedicated cybersecurity professionals working together across the Cyber Defense Operations Center, digital crimes unit and other teams to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real time. 

For physical security, Azure has hundreds of datacenters in 50 regions, and these have extensive multi-layered protections to ensure unauthorized users cannot gain physical access to your customer data. Click here to learn about world-class security at Microsoft’s datacenters 

4. Microsoft Azure Cloud is Huge 
The Microsoft Cloud is very, very large. It is connected by enough fiber to stretch to the Moon and back 3 times! That means the Microsoft Cloud is made up of millions of servers and everything is monitored 24x7x365. A majority of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure. The best part is the global infrastructure is 100% carbon neutral.   

 
5. 60% of Microsoft Datacenter Energy Comes from Wind, Solar, and Hydropower 
On the note of being 100% carbon neutral, Microsoft states that about 60 percent of their datacenter energy comes from Wind, Solar, and Hydropower. The company plans to boost this to 70 percent renewable energy by 2023 

Are you ready to move to the cloud? Contact us at Rimrock and one of our consultants will be happy to help. 

GP Year-End 2019: Planning and Resources

As the calendar year comes to a close, most businesses are preparing for a rush of year-end activities. Even if your company does not have a calendar year-end, year-end is on many work and personal checklists right now.

Time-sensitive year-end closes are Payroll and Inventory related; the year-end close for your General Ledger is less so.  The year-end process for the General Ledger updates the Beginning Balances for the new year and can be run at any time.  If you need to adjust the most recently closed year, you can do so, and GP will update those Beginning Balances. A year-end close for the Sales and Purchasing modules is optional.

Microsoft has published clear and detailed year-end instructions for each module in GP. Below is a summary of those instructions as well as the link to Microsoft’s go-to Knowledge Base article on Year-End.

  • Post final transactions in all the modules except in General Ledger.
  • Complete the month-end procedure and the quarter-end procedure for all the modules except for General Ledger.
  • Complete the year-end closing procedures for each module in the following order:
  1. Inventory – 872713 Year End Closing procedures in Inventory Control in Microsoft Dynamics GP 
  2. Receivables Management – 857444 Year end closing procedures for Receivables Management in Microsoft Dynamics GP 
  3. Payables Management875169 Year end closing procedures for the Payables Management module in Microsoft Dynamics GP 
  4. Fixed Asset Management865653 The year-end closing procedures for the Fixed Asset Management module in Microsoft Dynamics GP 
  5. Analytical Accounting – Please review KB 960356 to make sure you have properly marked the dimensions that you want to be consolidated during the year-end process. Please note that there is no separate year-end process that needs to be run in the Analytical Accounting module. When the year-end close process is run for General Ledger, it will automatically consolidate the balances and move the transactions in Analytical Accounting for dimensions that were properly marked. We encourage you to ensure your AA data matches GL data by executing the scripts in KB 2910626 before closing the GL year. 960356 The year-end close procedures for Analytical Accounting in Microsoft Dynamics GP   **IMPORTANT NOTE:  If using AA with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016, you should be 16.00.0675 or higher before closing the GL year!!!!   See Step 9 in KB 960356 for further details. 
  6. PayrollUS and Canada – Year-end procedures for Payroll are independent of the procedures in other modules. These procedures are always performed at the end of the calendar year.  
    1. US Payroll Year End  US – Year-end closing procedures for Microsoft Dynamics GP Payroll.
    2. Canadian Payroll Year End – Canadian Year End Closing Procedures

Year End Closing Procedures (KB 888003)

In addition to the above knowledge base articles, the GP community has an excellent year-end blog full of tips and other resource links.  GP 2019 Year End Blog series  

For all your GP 2019 year-end questions, contact one of our expert consultants today.

Dynamics GP: Tips for a Smooth Audit Process

Holiday decorations are up, the parties planned and, in the blink of an eye, New Years will be over and your resolutions will be just starting to go out the window.  Your favorite time of the year will have arrived… the audit. Audit prep can end up being a full time job, but Dynamics GP offers some features that can help speed up the process while ensuring that your sample data is accurate and business processes are auditable.

Here are some examples of features that can help to make the preparation process go much smoother.

Document Attach – This is a feature that GP has had since the 2013 version.  Document attach can be used for journal entries, invoices, receivables and fixed assets.  Contracts, invoices, and cost allocations can be attached to the journal in Dynamics to ensure that document support is always accessible.

Change Management – Dynamics GP allows tracking of activities. The following areas allow for activity tracking to be completed:

  • Login tracking – determine when a user successfully (or unsuccessfully) logs in
  • Access tracking – track which windows/reports a user access
  • File tracking – view additions, deletions, and modifications to transaction files, setup files, and master files.
  • Process tracking – track file maintenance, routines, and utilities processes
  • Posting tracking – track the posting of invoices, bank transactions, cash receipts, and payments.

Contact Rimrock to learn more about comprehensive change management solutions. 

Workflow – Setting up workflow in GP can help with establishing clearly defined processes and ensuring that the segregation of duties is clear and concise. A great example of the workflow in action is that an approver will receive a notification that a journal entry will require approval.

Limited user licenses – Significantly lower costs compared to a full license. Offers read only access to Dynamics GP.  Ideal for users who run reports, view information and do need or should have restricted access to enter data.

For any questions on the items above or which Dynamics GP versions they are found in, please contact us.

Why You Need Dynamics 365 Business Central for Manufacturing

Digital transformation is disrupting every vertical, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. In order to overcome the industrial overhaul, manufacturers need a robust business management solution at their core. Dynamics 365 Business Central for Manufacturing provides manufacturers with the tools to transform their operations, improve efficiency and complete complex processes accurately and efficiently. Thanks to robust and intuitive features, manufacturers can stay ahead of the competition by providing customers with accurate information and on-time orders, get a clear picture of inventory levels, increase production efficiencies, and forecast upcoming product demand.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution designed especially for SMBs and features everything a small-to-midsize organization needs to manage their back-end business processes. Business Central is fast to implement, easy to configure, and simplicity guides innovations in product design, development, implementation, and usability.

Business Central comes in two editions: Essential and Premium. The Essentials license gives users access to features like invoicing, purchasing, opportunity management, budgets, finance, fixed assets, purchasing order management, resource management, workflow, contact management, simple inventory, advanced inventory, and distribution.

To gain access to Business Central’s manufacturing and service management modules, users will need to purchase the Premium license, which offers all of the vast functionality in “Essentials” plus robust manufacturing features such as:

  • Production Bill of Materials As a required protocol for the configuration of all other Manufacturing modules, this enables you to create bills of materials and calculate standard costs
  • Production Orders The Production Orders module includes a manual supply-planning tool as an alternative to automatic planning, and with it you can create and manage production orders while posting consumption and output to those orders. After a production order is created, you can calculate net requirements based on that production order.
  • Agile Manufacturing This enables you to run the Agile Manufacturing, Supply Planning and Capacity Planning modules.
  • Version Management Create and manage different versions of the manufacturing bill of materials and routings.
  • Supply Planning Plan material requirements based on demand with support for master production scheduling and materials requirements planning; basic Supply Planning encompasses:
  • a) Automatic production/purchase orders
  • b) Action messages for quick and easy balancing of supply and demand
  • c) Support for “bucket-less” and “bucketed” material requirements planning
  • d) Setup for items with their own reordering policy, whether manufactured by or purchased from a third party
  • Demand Forecasting Manage demand forecasting based on items and input demand (sales) forecasts for products and components in a more convenient way (daily/monthly/quarterly).
  • Sales and Inventory Forecasting You can take advantage of the Sales and Inventory Forecast extension to gain deep insight about potential sales and a clear overview of expected stock-outs; the built-in Cortana Intelligence leverages historical data to help you manage your stock and respond to your customers.
  • Capacity Planning Add capacities (work centers) to the manufacturing process by setting up routings and using them on production orders and in material requirements planning.
  • Finite Loading Manage finite loading of capacity-constraint resources; through Finite Loading, you can take capacity constraints into account so that no more work is assigned to a work center than the capacities can be expected to execute during a given time period.
  • Machine Centers Designed to help you manage capacity of a single machine/producing resource, machine centers allows you to plan/manage capacity on several levels – on a more detailed level for machine centers and on a consolidated level for work centers.

For more information on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for Manufacturing can help take your business to the next level, contact one of our expert consultants today.

Dynamics GP October 2019 Release Moves to the Modern Lifecycle Policy

Microsoft recently announced the next release for Dynamics GP is dropping early October 2019, and will be called Microsoft Dynamics GP. Simple! No year or version marker at the end. The Dynamics GP October 2019 release also means that Dynamics GP has moved over to the “Modern Lifecycle Policy.”

What is a Modern Lifecycle Policy?

The Modern Lifecycle Policy means that the product is serviced and supported continuously, as long as you maintain your license and keep current with the service terms and system requirements (Modern Lifecycle Policy FAQ). This move is a good thing! It is great to see that Microsoft Dynamics GP is keeping in step with Microsoft and its other products by moving to the modern lifecycle. This means that there is no end date for support for the product and it will continue to be developed. Upgrades and updates will be released more frequently, and on a predictable schedule each year, throughout the year.

The Modern Lifecycle Policy guarantees a few key things for Dynamics GP customers: 

– Microsoft will provide a minimum of 12 months notification prior to ending support if no successor product or service is offered—excluding free services or preview releases.

– For products under existing lifecycle policies (such as the Fixed Lifecycle Policy), Microsoft will continue to provide servicing and support for a fixed amount of time.

– Products that have already launched with existing lifecycle policies will continue to be supported according to the published end of support dates.

Do I Need to Upgrade my GP System?

Technically no but we encourage you to consider it! Your existing lifecycle for your current system is still in place (click here for a roadmap of all Dynamics GP products). But the benefits of upgrading to the MLP include access to guaranteed updates throughout the year, such as mid-year and year-end with a feature release each October.

Here are some of the highlights of the October 2019 release:  

If you are thinking about upgrading, please contact us. Our expert consultants are always available to answer any questions about what an upgrade will mean for you and your business.

DYNAMICS GP UPGRADE FAQS

When is the best time to upgrade?

Before upgrading, we recommend that you create a timetable of the entire upgrade process. This timetable can include the scheduling of a test upgrade, live upgrade, upgrade training, and implementation. Be sure that the scheduled time to upgrade takes place during a time that works best for all Dynamics GP users and for your information technology (IT) staff. You may not want to upgrade before processing payroll checks or closing a year.

During the period of a test upgrade there is typically no “down time” or “outages” expected to your current production environment; but during the live upgrade, you should expect to be hands-off Dynamics GP and any Reporting Tools that access those databases for the duration of the live upgrade. Arrange for alternate staff work during that time. If keeping down time to a minimum is critical, we will work with you to discuss options for upgrading outside of regular business hours.

What impacts upgrade time?

– The number of companies
– The extent of and complexity of customizations
– The more ISV software used, the added time you will need for your upgrade
– The version of your current Dynamics GP instance: Older versions take longer to upgrade as they may need to “hop” to a version or two between the current version and the latest version
– Age and status of your infrastructure: It is recommended to deploy further versions of Dynamics GP in Microsoft Azure for maximum security and scalability

What are the key steps to planning an upgrade?

1. Determine when and how often your business should upgrade.
– It is important to decide which upgrade path suits your business best, based on the new features, and other considerations. You will want to ensure availability of power users and make sure users are able to complete testing and attend training so they can put what they learned to good use.

2. Inquire about a test upgrade.
– A test upgrade, though not always necessary, is recommended if you have multiple add on products, customizations, or integrations. The test environment provides a place to try it with your own data before putting it into your production environment.

3. Evaluate moving to Azure (aka the cloud).
– Since part of the upgrade process usually involves a new server, it’s a good idea to review cloud options like Microsoft Windows Azure. No matter which option is selected, the upgrade process itself mostly stays the same. If you need some guidance on the topic, please contact our experts to walk you through it.

4. Assign a power to manage the project internally.
– Assign a technical resource and power user from your team. These resources should work directly with the Consultants performing the upgrade.

5. Research which new modules and features you want to use.
– Each version offers advancements, improved efficiencies, and new functions and features. If there are features, functions, or modules that have been available for a while that have been on your business wish list, now is a great time to add that to your training list.

6. Make sure your backups are complete and recent.

7. Make sure your hardware/software is compatible.
– This link takes you to the System Requirements published by Microsoft.

What should I do if I am ready to upgrade my version of Microsoft Dynamics GP?

To get your Microsoft Dynamics GP solution upgraded and working smarter for you and your staff, contact us today.

Dynamics GP: Why Microsoft Azure is the Smart Choice

Microsoft Azure is becoming increasingly popular for businesses looking to move their Dynamics GP system to the Cloud. Azure’s scalability, security and on-demand architecture make it the smart choice for your Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment.

The Benefits of Hosting Dynamics GP on Azure

1. Faster deployment

A Dynamics GP installation in the cloud with Azure means you don’t have to worry about setting up an infrastructure or procuring and configuring hardware. As a result, deployment can be completed in a fraction of the time. Upgrades and patches can be applied in less time as well.

2. Cost Effective

Hosting Microsoft Dynamics GP on Azure is an extremely cost effective deployment option. There are no hardware costs to purchase or maintain and Azure’s scalable platform means you only pay for consumption of data and power that you use. The result can mean significant savings for your organization.

3. Little to No Downtime

With Microsoft’s large server architecture, a company’s data is not confined to a single machine. Instead, Azure distributes it across multiple Virtual Machines (VM) for optimum security. In case maintenance needs to be performed on one of the machines, a company’s Dynamics GP deployment can continue to run on other machines. Microsoft Azure promises 99.95% up time meaning that your GP environment will always be available and supported.

4. Flexible Deployment Options

In addition to deploying Dynamics GP in the cloud or on-premise, Microsoft Azure gives the option for hybrid deployment, which enables a user to select some workloads to host on Azure and keep other workloads on-premise or at the data center.

5. Scalability

Microsoft Azure’s infrastructure scales and grows along with your business. Increasing data storage, adding more users, or integrating additional applications with your Dynamics GP deployment are all managed from an online console to accommodate changing needs quickly and seamlessly.

6. Security

Azure has enterprise grade security and is coupled with disaster recovery features that can accommodate complex environments securely with full redundancy while meeting tenant data compliance requirements.

Next Steps

For companies who would like to upgrade Dynamics GP to the cloud, Rimrock can provide a complete end-to-end business solution. For more information on Azure, or to find out which option is the best fit for your business, contact us today. Our consulting team is here to help you every step of the way.

License Migration Transition (LMT) Upgrade From Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Premise

Microsoft is offering Dynamics GP customers with an active enhancement plan the ability to transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises by utilizing a License Migration Transition (LMT) upgrade. Since its launch, Dynamics 365 Business Central has been increasingly adopted by organizations looking to digitally transform their work-spaces. 

In October 2018, Business Central became available for on-premises deployments. Dynamics 365 Business Central is available worldwide and localized in a number of countries.

License Migration Transition Upgrade (LMT)

As of July 1, 2019, Dynamics GP customers with an active Enhancement plan can transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises via an LMT upgrade. However, customers need to meet the eligibility criteria for the LMT Upgrade path.

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises Upgrade Policy has now been updated to reflect the mapping for Dynamics GP.​

Read how Dynamics GP differs from Business Central.

If you would like more information on transitioning to Dynamics Business Central on-premises via an LMT upgrade, please contact us. Our experienced consultants are always available to help you.

Edit in Excel: The Easiest Way to Modify Data in Business Central

Since Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, there are many great features included. One of these features is Edit in Excel. With this Add-in, the option “Edit in Excel” is enabled within Business Central, which allows users to export the data in an Excel workbook. Users can then quickly and securely modify the data directly from Excel and re-publish them in their ERP without leaving Excel. There is no need to fuss with an integration tool or labour for hours keying into Business Central.  Edit in Excel is the easiest way to modify your data in Business Central.

Edit in Excel allows you to quickly and easily:

  • Update descriptions on accounts
  • Change customer addresses
  • Load a set of new accounts
  • Add a new group of customers or vendors
  • Import large journal entries 

To implement this function it will be necessary to meet the following requirements:

  • Users will have to authenticate with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
  • Enable OData authentication using SSL.
  • Install and configure Business Central Web Server to use SSL (https).
  • If your deployment is multitenant, Business Central Web client must accept host names for tenants.
  • Business Central client computers must have a supported version of Excel.  At present the minimum requirement is Excel 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about the Edit in Excel function, or any other Business Central features, please contact us here. One of our Microsoft Dynamics experts will be happy to help.

Canadian Payroll News: No Mid-Year Tax Update

On May 30, 2019, Canada Revenue Agency announced that there would not be a July 2019 edition of the Payroll Deductions Tables guide (T4032), Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables guide (T4008) and the Payroll Deductions Formulas guide (T4127) as there are no legislative changes or updates required.

For customers using Dynamics GP Canadian payroll, that means there will be no mid-year tax update! The next update will be at the calendar year end.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay current on Dynamics GP news!

GP Tips: Dynamics GP Canadian Payroll with ePayStub

Dynamics GP includes the Canadian Payroll module.  There is no limit to the number of employees you can pay with GP. The payroll module can also be used in conjunction with GP’s Human Resources module, making it an excellent tool to track basic and more detailed employee information.

Dynamics GP Canadian Payroll allows you to process employee earnings, benefits and deductions. T4s and Records of employment are also generated by the module.  Both the T4 and Record of Employment routines create electronic files to be uploaded to either Canada Revenue Agency or Services Canada. Detailed reports for Workers’ Compensation, Employer Health Tax and Canada Revenue Agency remittances can be generated. When paired with the ePayStub module (separate purchase), employee pay stubs and T4s can be password protected and emailed to each employee. 

Processing payroll with GP will update your general ledger, and thereby financial statements with actual payroll costs. You may choose a very general costing method for payroll; such as separating direct and indirect employee costs. You may also track payroll costs at a more detailed level, perhaps by adding employee departments. This detail will then show on your Income Statement.

Smartlist is an excellent tool to use with payroll as it enables you to export your payroll data to Excel for analysis.

Payroll Area page

Reporting for Remittances

  1. WCB – can be configured to calculate multiple Workers compensation rates
  2. EHT – will calculate Employer Health tax by province where applicable
  3. Receiver General information in Summary or by Employee. Also allows for multiple Business Numbers

Emailing PayStubs

Adding the ePayStub Module, allows you to email Paystubs, T4s, etc.

Cost Allocation

Direct and Indirect costs can be allocated to a departmental level.

Smartlist Views

New views can be added to the standard SmartLists.  These can also be exported to Excel for data analysis.

If you would like to learn more about Dynamics GP functions and features, please contact us. Our experienced consultants are always available to help you streamline your business processes.