Dynamics GP 2016 – Year End Close Tips & Tricks
Hello and welcome. This is the TMC webinar series. We’re going to do Dynamics GP 2016 year end close process today. My name is John Hoyt, I’m the solution specialist here at TMC, and I’ll be taking you through our process in the webinar today.
First I want to give a shout-out to my source material. I have liberally borrowed from my colleagues online inside Microsoft. There is an excellent 2016 year end blog series available. It has probably a dozen or more blog articles that will take you through each of the major module groups in GP in great detail. There’s some other tips and tricks that I’ve tried to incorporate into the presentation today, but anybody who’s going through the GP year end closee process for the first time,
I would really strongly recommend spending some time here on the community.dynamics.com/GP website. That’s the community web, and from there you can search for the 2016 year end blog series. Just a separate note: We will also be making a PowerPoint available later for this entire presentation, so don’t feel like you have to quickly write down things as I go past the different slidesClick edit button to change this text.
I’ll give you all of the source material in a PDF, including all of my notes. Second, as we go through the webinar today and each of the slides, some of the slides will reference specific kb articles. Those are the knowledge base articles available at support.microsoft.com/kb/whatever the number is that it will be in reference to. They are tips and tricks; they are what to do if you run into an error message; there’s a lot of really good information available at that support.microsoft.com site. For the agenda that we’re going to go through today, we’re going to take you through the install and upgrade process that puts in place the latest service packs and updates the year end tax changes, etc., and then you need to go through the modules in the order that they’re listed here on the slide. This is critical to having the year end closed process work smoothly. We’ll start with inventory, go through receivables, payables, fixed assets, analytical accounting if you’re using that part of our solution, and finally at the end, general ledger. A special note here about payroll: When you do US or Canadian payroll year end processing, that is always done at the end of the calendar year regardless of when your fiscal year might be done. So in that sense, it is done independently, so to speak, of the other modules. But for most companies that run on a regular calendar and fiscal year ending December 31st, we’ll go through the same two processes at the same time. So payroll gets done last if that’s appropriate for you.
When you do the install and upgrades, all of the updates are cumulative; that is, you can simply grab the latest service pack or update and install it. It will include all of the prior service packs, hotfixes, compliance, year end updates, everything. There’s only one that has to be done. Both the update and I’m sorry, well, first the update must be installed at the servers and all the workstations that have a GP installation—everything’s got to stay synchronized in that regard. And in terms of doing the year end close process itself, remember that needs to be done directly on the server where GP is installed. Don’t try to run year end close from your local client, your local workstation. You need to know how to make a backup of your Dynamics database and all the different company databases that you have on your installation. If you’re not certain how to do that, you can go to the help menu and learn how to do it. It’s from the dynamics GP dropdown under maintenance, and then you can do backup. I’d be doing local backups and we’re going to do a backup essentially at the completion of each module group’s year end close process, so each step along the process will do another backup. The reason we do repetitive backups over and over again is if something goes wrong, say when we get down to doing the fixed assets year end close, and I have to restore the backup, I want to be able to restore it to the most recent close that was successful. I don’t want to go back to the beginning of the process and start all over again.
If you have any modified reports or forms, you need to export those out to package files. They will get re-imported at the end of the year end close process, but to make sure there’s no changes or damage done to those reports, export them out and have them saved somewhere. Get things to your modified reports and forms, the dictionary files, etc.—you want to have backups in case anything could possibly go wrong. And if you have time in the environment to do so, we strongly recommend that you configure a test environment and run through this whole process in a test environment first just to make sure there’s no hiccups, there’s no problems.
when you’re running the updates, you must have local admin rights or be able to run as administrator when you do the installation. If you just have … don’t have local admin rights or are just a user on that machine, the install will fail. There are essentially two components: you need to update the application itself, that’s the software that’s going to be used, and then you upgrade Dynamics and the company databases using the Dynamics GP utilities. And typically, I said we always do this first at the SQL server, and don’t try to do any of this stuff remotely.
So here’s the first reference to a kb article. There are particular installs that may fail for whatever reason; there are knowledge base articles that will talk about how you create a windows installer log to find out where the failure is going. That windows installer log is something that either the TMC technical team or the Microsoft support team will ask for. It shows them step-by-step what’s happening in the background and where the failure might be. A Dexsql log doesn’t take up a whole lot of space, but it does again give us that ability to go through and kind of analyze if there’s a failure, where that failure might be taking place. And an important note here: if your database upgrade fails for some reason, do not restore the databases. The troubleshooting that we need to do can take place at the point of failure, and we may be able to correct the problem and move forward from there. You don’t have to go all the way back to the beginning and start again.
If for some reason there’s a red X next to the company name when you try to update your company’s, that table conversion has failed. There are specific support topics depending on which version of GP you’re running: GP 2013, 2015, or 2016. A reminder for anybody who’s still on GP 2010, you’re going to need to work with TMC because that product is no longer officially supported by Microsoft, and that does include year end close. If you have any questions about that, just contact your project manager or let Jim know, and we’ll make sure somebody gets in touch with you and will provide the support you need.
All the upgraded reports, modified reports, and dictionaries—so we’ll get those, again, backed up and stored offline. And the upgrade file can be pushed out to your client workstations, so the changes you made at the server, we can use the automatic client update group policy, something like that, to push all those changes out if necessary.
And finally, we get done with the install, the upgrade, everything should be ready to go from the database and the client software perspective. We’re going to make, again, a backup the Dynamics database and all the company databases and again export out all those modified reports and forms. That gets us to the point where we’re ready to start doing the first year end close, and that’s going to be done in inventory.
So the inventory module should be closed at the end of the fiscal year, before any new transactions get posted that would affect inventory quantities have a date of the following year. So any receipt of purchase orders, any sales invoices, adjustments, transfers, etc.—you need to get those activities after … or closed first, and then we’ll start to record next year activities. When you run inventory control, the year-end process, we’re going to do a couple of different steps in the background. All the summarized current year information gets rolled into the sales history. We’re going to update each item’s beginning quantity, so their quantity on hand now gets updated to the beginning quantity value. We’ll zero-out quantity sold, because that’s a year-to-date number, and then there’s some options: you can at this point choose to do things like remove discontinued items, remove sold receipts or sold lot attributes. It’s really kind of a function on your side, or decision on your side—do I want to try to save some space inside the database, do I want to keep all this history around, have it available for analysis purposes later, etc.
So before you get started closing the year, again, enter and post all your purchase order processing documents, all your invoicing and sales order processing documents, and any inventory transactions for the current year. There is a detailed knowledge base article that takes you through these step-by-step and where to find each one of the windows to allow you to do this. Key points to remember: always have that restorable backup when recommended. As you get started in this process and you make your first backup, I’d practice restoring at that point just to make sure that I can do the restore correctly case I need to. Let’s find out early in the process if there’s going to be any issues. I want to reconcile my subledgers, so I want to reconcile sales order, then purchase order, then inventory. And again, the sequence of these steps are important; please try to do them in the recommended sequences. And then, related knowledgebase articles, again, will take you through those steps, the year end closing procedures, what to do if something like I accidentally tried to close inventory twice, how do I unwind that? Pretty much at this point, we’ve been doing the year end close process in GP for 20-plus years; most of the year end processes have not changed significantly. We know the kind of errors that people can potentially run into, and I will almost guarantee there’s a knowledge base article that’s written to cover what to do in case something gets done incorrectly or gets done twice or something.
From inventory, we go to receivables. Both calendar year and fiscal year end close should be done at the end of the calendar year, again, prior to posting any transactions for that next calendar year, so that’s kind of the critical step. I need to get this process completed, year end close done, before I start to post any transactions for the following year. We’re going to close calendar year and fiscal year information, move those values into the last year fields, so when I look at my sales summary for various activities, last year’s activity now gets rolled into, or I’m sorry, current year gets rolled into last year, current year get zeroed out, because that’s going to be the start for the next year. Post all your transactions. And again, that knowledge base 857 444—that will take me to the detailed steps. Same key points to remember. So, always have a restore backup. Receivables management is not completely date sensitive—there are some things that we can get away with, but in most part I want to get year end close done first and then move into the next year. Related knowledge base articles that relate to receivables.
Inventory, then receivables, then payables. Again, run this at the end of the calendar year prior to posting any transactions and the fiscal year end close routine the end of the fiscal year. If you have those running on different dates, you’ll do different year end close processes depending on which year end you’re approaching.
What we do in the year end close process in the summary window: calendar year transfers information for, like, 1099 amounts from year-to-date to last year; the fiscal close will transfer all other amounts from year-to-date column to last year column. 1099, the only part of our payable system that is calendar date driven; everything else will be done off the fiscal year, however you have that set up in your company setups. So steps to take: I want to o post all my transactions; any transactions for the new year have been saved to batches, they’re not yet posted; make a backup; and then follow those detailed steps in the year end closing procedures. I refer to detailed steps, and I don’t want to scare anybody who hasn’t done this before; for the most part, there’s a single window, couple of checkboxes, and a process button that you’ll need to hit to go through those. Again, payables management is not fully date sensitive, so that is, it’s going to be looking at some things based on your fiscal year end not your calendar year end; 1099 is the calendar year end one. Any vendor who is going to be issued a 1099, make sure that they’ve been marked at the time all your transactions are posted or paid in order for the 1099 information to auto-populate. You can manually adjust those 1099 values in the summary window if you need to for some reason—that’s the detail that GP is going to look for when it prints the 1099, is out of the summary, but it’s preferred, of course, that we go through and do this properly. So get all the 1099 vendors marked properly first to make sure all the appropriate transactions are posted and paid, and then run the year end close process. After payables, we to to fixed assets next. A couple things to pull out. If you’re on Dynamics GP 2013, there are separate 1099 address fields. There’s additional functionality that has been added on the 1099 details window. There’s also some more editability functions. There’s also … don’t forget to print 1096 summary forms. Got ahead of myself.
Here is the beginning of fixed assets. So after payables management is closed, before we get to general ledger, if you have multiple books set up in your fixed asset system, they can be closed separately or you can do a mass close, but all of your fixed asset books must be closed before you can do any processing in fixed assets for the new year. You might be tempted to try to take a shortcut and just work on the internal book because that’s the one that rules the GL, but no, you need to get every book closed first, and then we can start to go through the module.
The fixed asset year end close: what have we accomplished in this? So the year-to-date maintenance is cleared from the expand last maintenance date window, the quantity is copied to the begin quantity field in the expand quantity window, and that the asset book windows we’re going to do year-to-date appreciation get zeroed, cost basis gets copied over the beginning year cost field, life-to-date depreciation is copied to the beginning reserve field, and salvage value is copied over to begin salvage value. In the book setup window, we’re going to take the current fiscal year, we’ll increase that for each closed book. In GP 2015, there’s a fixed asset year end report that got added—not available GP 2013, but 2015 and 2016 will have this. It’s simply a status report of all the assets that have been affected by the close process you’ve gone through. It’s very important, you must depreciate all of the assets through the final day of the current fixed asset year before you close the year. Make sure the depreciation’s been run all the way through to the end of that year. Print out any report you’re going to need for the year you’re closing. Do that before I get the closing process started. Again, make a backup. And then the kb article for the details on these steps.
If you’re using our analytical accounting year product, there is a year end close process there, but it’s not really separate, it just automatically closes along with the GL because analytical accounting is really an extension of the GL process. So you’re going to do both at the same time if you’re using that. So if you have any steps, you want to check that AA data, make sure it’s accurate and complete. you need to do that prior to starting the close of the GL year. AA just basically takes … open year to historical information, updates the balance brought forward etc., and then any dimensions in the year end close that you choose can be consolidated and tied to that balance brought forward entry as well. There’s again a detailed kb article. There are scripts you can use to check your AA data against GL just to make sure that everything ties together, you can mark your dimensions to be consolidated, and then there’s a utility we’ll run to move historical year data to history. This is a one-time process that needs to be done. You’ve been running on GP for quite a while, as you see it goes back to GP 10, service pack 1 earlier. So again, AA automatically closes with GL; you need to run through the scripts contained in that kb article first; don’t forget your management reporter data mark is reading from the AA tables; make sure that AA has been installed and enabled on every workstation where GL’s being closed. You have some people who are not using AA but are using GL; they’ll still need the software installed. And as always, we are going to make that backup.
Year end close—we finally get to the general ledger. So we’ve done all the subledgers in sequence, which brings us to the point where we’re ready to start to do general ledger. So just a reminder, you should have done, already, inventory, receivables, payables, and fixed assets in that order. The year end close routine is going to take all of the open year transactions from the GL20000 table to the GL30000 table. That’s the history table. It doesn’t go away; we can still report against it, but it makes reports and inquiries, searching through smart lists etc, a lot faster because that all that stuff gets moved from open year to historic year. We will create and bring forward all the balances where appropriate. Any inactive accounts that do not have a balance or history get removed if you’ve chosen to set them as inactive. This is the flag on the GL card, of course. For GP 2013 R2 and up, this is also going to clear out the balances in all of your unit accounts if you have them marked to do so. I’m using a unit or statistical account to track balances over the course of a year. This process can be used to zero those out for the new year, and then all the balance sheet accounts are rolled forward to the new year, of course. P&L accounts get rolled into retained earnings, or if you have it set up with divisional, you can have multiple retained earnings accounts. Fiscal period tables get updated to mark the year just closed as a historical year. It automatically closes analytical accounting, and the year-end close report prints at this point. If you need to save that report for auditing or other purposes, please print that out; there is no option to reprint those reports for year end close, so I need to do this now if I’m going to do it. Again, the kb article. If there’s any issues or errors, again, we’re just going to restore the backup and we’re only going to go as far back as the prior module that got closed successfully, so if inventory was the last one, or fixed assets, whatever it might be, just roll back that far. It’s very important to remember this. Always be making the backups; know how to restore them; if you got any questions about that before you start, please ask. We’re happy to help with that. And do not ignore or try to skip any errors, even if it’s an error related to a part of the system that you think won’t impact you, IT will impact the year end close process. So if you get an error message, take a screenshot and let our help desk know this is where I am and this is the error message I just got. You have to have all your other users out of GP when you do this. If you have the system up to date and smooth, this process shouldn’t take very long, so it’s not a huge inconvenience, but you will need everybody out of the system while you’re doing it. Make sure you do the year end close at the server, and if you are worried about free space on the server, basically what we need is, the size of the GL20000 table is going to double. So if you’ve got a GL20000 table that is 500 megabytes in size and you’ve only got 400 megabytes of data storage left on that server, we need to free up some space. My rule of thumb would be have as much space available as the size of your entire company database; but at a minimum, it needs to be the size of that GL20000 table. If you’ve never run the GP year end close process before, you may notice the little fuel gauge. Once you start, the year end close process for GL gets started. It will run up to the fifty percent mark and then it will appear to stop or hang; it hasn’t, it really is still running. What it’s doing in the background is a lot of work, communicating back and forth at that point to SQL server, and the client isn’t doing anything. Just let it run. Be patient; go grab a bite to eat, talk to a colleague, but it will keep running. If you do not see a specific error message that says its stopped, just let it go. There have sometimes been issues with divisional retained earnings, because it doesn’t update the GL40000 table properly if it gets marked and unmarked. This has been fixed in GP 2013 and shouldn’t be an issue for anyone on the webinar today; but just in case, in GP 2013 they added some additional features, and some more in GP 2013 R2, including the ability to reverse your historical year. So if we needed to for some reason, we can now simply go in there and say I want to reverse the last closed historical year bring it back to open status. And then finally, some of the kb articles that are available. Like I said, there are quite a few of them and I will be happy to make this entire presentation available to anybody who inquires to Jim. Again, you’re just going to go to that one website and then walk through. There is additional material that I’m going to have in the handout that we’re not going to cover today, which are things like payroll year and close and some other specialty things, but they are available in full detail on that handout. At this point I would like to say thank you very much for listening to this year end close webinar for GP, and if you have any questions or anything you can reach out to either Jim or myself at TMC.
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