Boyer & Associates ERP Blog Articles
Posted on 04. May, 2013 by Jack Boyer.
Each year we hold a client event for both our Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL clients and event the attendance continues to grow This year the events are being held on May 15 (Dynamics SL) and May 22 (Dynamics GP) at the Microsoft Technology Center in Edina, MN.
Now our Dynamics GP consultants may rightfully be able to claim a good part of the success on the Dynamics GP side, but both sessions (GP and SL) equally draw great interest from attendees. So why do they keep coming back for more? Here are my five top answers to why more and more people attend these Microsoft Dynamics ERP events each year.
1. 50 Tips in 60 minutes
Most users like to learn better ways to do their work. There are always new features and functions of the products and we love sharing our best tips to help our clients be more productive and successful with the products.
2. Sharing Best Practices with Other Dynamics Users
Like everything in life including software, nothing is perfect. Attendees love having the opportunity to mingle with other firms within their industry or a related industry that have similar challenges. Nothing is better than hearing how someone overcame a problem and how the software worked for them. Some clients ask for a customization, some build a small screen with only a few fields that does the job better thenimport that data, some create a process that minimizes the software’s shortcomings. In addition, the Boyer staff knows what is coming in the next versions as well to help minimize potential customizations that will either not be needed at all in the future or minimize the need for one.
3. Free Lunch, Free Consulting
“If it’s free it’s for me!” is the motto of many accountant-type people. Knowing this and to some extent being this, we’ve made the event free for Dynamics SL and Dynamics GP users. We know it helps increase the attendance and make people feel better about paying for their maintenance plans each year. Many clients consistently attend this Spring event and our year-end closing events in December. Please make this part of our annual routine to attend both. There is no fee for either.
4. 3 Slides in 3 Minutes from Best Dynamics Independent Software Vendors
The Dynamics products have tremendous platforms and the Microsoft brand. This is why so many independent software vendors have written products to integrate with them and extend the value of the products. For example, The Requisitions module in Dynamics GP is good, but if you want to see something that is great -come and see some excellant add-on tools.
5. Visit with Boyer Team and Get Questions Answered
Nothing is better than meeting face-to-face. And, for those of you on the Dynamics SL side especially, perhaps you’ve never met the person you rely on for support consistently. Now’s the time-Carpe Diem. Both Boyer Dynamics SL and GP teams will attend these events and would love to see you make it.
What are you waiting for? Join us on May 15 and May 22 for Boyer’s Annual Microsoft Dynamics GP and SL User Group events.
Click here for more details and to register.
Posted on 08. Apr, 2013 by Jack Boyer.
Customer support is a major advantage of working with Boyer & Associates. Whether through email, on the phone, or on-site, everyone at Boyer & Associates is focused on customer success and the quick resolution of cases.
If you have a support issue that needs attention, we will work to make sure your problem is resolved quickly and that your expectations are met. To help accomplish this, we recommend you review the following tips to help speed up the process before you contact us:
1. Before reaching out to us, try rebooting the workstation. Errors are sometimes resolved by doing this so always try that first.
2. If issue persists, here are some ways to define the problem in detail to the support staff:
a. Provide error number
b. Screen shots
c. Steps to recreate issue
d. Any environment changes
Once the problem is defined, as a Microsoft Gold Partners in ERP, we do have two different ways to resolve the issue. Using our knowledge and Microsoft resources to help solve the issue, we will either document the resolution in email form so you can resolve or we can remotely log into your environment and work on the workstations/servers to resolve the problem. If we discover that the issue is a bug in the software, we will start a case with Microsoft Support and start the process of a hotfix to be written.
Our goal is to keep our clients happy and providing superior support for your Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL systems… We have decades of experience and Microsoft resources to use. For further product knowledge, be sure to sign-up to receive our product newsletters and plan to attend one of our upcoming client events in May.
- Microsoft Dynamics SL Client Event 2013 – Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:30 AM CST
- Microsoft Dynamics GP Client Event 2013 – Wednesday, May 22, 2013 8:30 AM CST
We offer ERP evaluation “Shoot-out” style events for those reviewing multiple Dynamics ERP products. The next ERP Shootout event is scheduled for this June.
Posted on 07. Apr, 2013 by Jack Boyer.
Jon Augdahl from the Boyer & Associates staff recently implemented in-house payroll in Dynamics SL for a large client with more than 2,000 employees. Implementing a payroll module can be tricky if it’s not correctly, fortunately this was a quick implementation that was completed in just a couple of months., We wanted to sharea few things that Jon learned, and some tips that might help you if you decide to implement an in-house payroll system:
1. Staff – make sure that you have adequate staff to get you through the first month or two on the new system, and the last month on the old system. Payroll is the one module where making mistakes can be catastrophic. There will be many changes during a payroll implementation. Data entry screens will be different, master records and maintenance of those master records will be different. The process itself will be different. These changes alone will probably mean that the payroll staff will be putting in a few extra hours during and right after the go-live date. Communicate this change and listen to the staff. If you choose a go-live date that is aggressive, make sure you have a backup plan for staffing.
2. Change Management – if you’re considering changing to a new system, there is probably a reason. Sometimes it is financial. Sometimes it is just logical. Sometimes systems force change. Whatever the reason, make sure that you have a plan for communicating that change, what that change is going to mean not only to the payroll staff, but to the employees, and to the management of your organization. Normally there will not be any change to the employees getting payroll checks or EFT payments, but it is still a good idea to communicate to the employees that a change is going to happen. Include a reason why you are changing when communicating. A payroll check is a very personal thing, and changing anything about when or how calculations are made can make employees nervous. Every payroll system calculates things a little differently, so make sure you communicate to the employees about rounding, and about anything else that “might” change on their payroll check.
It is also very important to have consistent communication to and from management. If management has agreed that this change should occur, make sure that management communicates in a positive manner to all employees. The last thing that a payroll department needs after a go-live is to get bombarded from employees with complaints.
3. Data Conversion / Migration – this is the biggest part of implementing a new payroll system. Determining how to configure the new payroll system is the fun part, and probably the easy part of implementing. The messy and hard part is converting the data from the old system to the new system. All payroll systems are not created equal, so just because you might have earnings codes set up one way in your “legacy” system, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will want to set them up the same way in the new system. The same is true with deductions, taxes and benefits. Make sure you have a plan for how you are going to get data out of your “legacy” system, and what rules you need to apply to that data to get it into a format that you can use to import into your new system. Start working on this early in the implementation because you don’t want to run into conversion “gotchas” the day before going live.
4. Data Conversion (part ) – If you are converting to a new payroll system at any other time besides January 1, we would advise you to import your Quarter to Date and Month to Date information for the current year prior to going live, if at all possible. During the implementation described above, we did not do that. We ended up importing the first three quarters of 2012 payroll data in January of 2013, just in time to get the 941s and the W2s printed and sent. This did work, but we ended up having two stressful moments during the implementation, and that could have been avoided if we had imported the first three quarters at the go-live.
5. Configuration – If all organizations were startups, configuration would be pretty easy, because you could set up everything in payroll exactly the way you want to set it up without even thinking about how you are going to get the data that you need from your legacy system. Since most organizations are not startups, and data conversion must be considered, configuration is not always easy. That being said, I do recommend setting up the new system to take advantage of new features and functionality that your legacy system might not have had. Consider data entry, processing, and reporting and analytics with all of the decisions that you make during configuration. This is a great time to “fix” bad habits and broken processes.
We hope these tips are helpful to you. Should you have additional questions or would like to talk more about your Payroll options, feel free to contact us as we’d be happy to help.
Posted on 22. Mar, 2013 by Jack Boyer.
This post will discuss changing or updating the system and processes that affect the most valuable asset your organization has- your employees. Timing and accuracy was on Paul James (Boyer consultant) mind during the entire implementation of the HR component for a large Dynamics SL client located on an Indian Tribe in Northern Minnesota.
As you can see above, this nice HR module for Dynamics SL was created in the Dynamics SL toolset so minimal user interface training or integration is needed during the implementation.
The most important lesson that became apparent as our project was starting was the need for communication between Payroll and Human Resources. Like many organizations, this firm’s employees’ paychecks consist of inputs from both the payroll and HR departments. Even though the HR module contains many features that do not have an impact on payroll, making sure both departments were part of the decision making process helped both departments. Both could see the whole process and agree on the best decisions for their broader organization and not just their department.
The Dynamics SL ISV (Independent Software Vendor) HR module from Silver Brook Systems contains many features that may be above and beyond what is currently needed at your organization. Choosing which features to implement was key to focusing on the data migration and configuration needed. In addition, the stress and learning curve of the employees using the system was reduced by starting only with the processes they were familiar with. After the Payroll and HR staff became familiar with the software, new processes and additional features were implemented. This greatly reduced the risk of delays and errors on employees’ paychecks.
With the HR module comes specific settings to separate the duties of HR and Payroll and a synchronization process to keep the two modules updated. It was important to review which department was responsible for specific data inputs and processes to ensure that payroll checks were accurate.
The most important process was the synchronization of the HR module benefit elections to the Payroll module benefits. Developing a process for a deadline of any HR changes and timing of the synchronization prior to a payroll check run was an important lesson and contributed to the success of the implementation.
As with any new system or process, training was an important contributor to the success of the implementation we assisted with. The user manual, while detailed and useful, has far more information than most people have the time to read and will not contain information on any customizations that may have been done.
Creating a custom manual that highlighted only the features and processes that were being implemented was very useful to our client. A much smaller manual that was specific to the organization’s processes gave the Payroll and HR staff the feeling that learning the new system would not be difficult. We will remember this lesson for our next HR implementation of either Dynamics SL or Dynamics GP. As the users started to use the system a follow up training session was helpful in answering questions about those exceptions that are typical.
Posted on 21. Mar, 2013 by Jack Boyer.
If you are extremely interested in Dynamics GP and our Boyer twice a year meetings are not enough for you, please consider joining the Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG). Kristen Hosman, from the Boyer staff, is a member and would be happy to be your host for the next meeting. Some of the meetings are virtual so you don’t even need to leave work. Kristen has attended the GPUG Summit as well and can share with you what that was like last year.
The Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG) is a place for users to share their experiences and learn more about GP. The group is made up of Partners and users who share the ambition of utilizing GP and all it has to offer. The community of users gets together remotely and face-to-face to share knowledge and best practices. Here are some of the key benefits of becoming a member of GPUG; the full list can be found at www.GPUG.com.
· Networking: The GPUG community of users gets together (remotely and face-to-face) through a myriad of conferences, virtual tools, and programs to share knowledge and best practices.
o Each region/chapter holds quarterly meetings where members can meet face-to-face to discuss their experiences using GP. They also include training sessions on different modules within GP.
o GPUG holds a yearly Summit where users can attend 100+ classes/seminars on GP modules and processes. Partners and third party vendors are also invited so users can get their questions answered.
· Webinars: GPUG holds multiple webinars monthly that teach users about certain areas within GP or modules.
· GPUG Bloggers Corner: Is a place where users can find blogs from experts/users/partners that are jammed packed with ideas, experiences and best practices.
· GPUG Academy: Offers online training from GP professionals that offer classes on how to improve your use and advance your business effectiveness with over a 100 different classes. There are also two certifications available currently for the GPUG Academy Certificate program which are Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable; with more to be released in the future.