I have been working with a client recently where the focus is to minimize any manual reporting in Excel and use Management Reporter more, to the extent that they can leverage it. They are using Dynamics GP 2013 R2 and of course, Management Reporter (MR) comes with Dynamics GP so it's theoretically "free".  It is hard to argue against using a product that comes with an ERP solution right?  Realistically now I see it as a good stepping stone to, perhaps, ultimately a more robust reporting tool in the future.

In this part of the project, the client is booking entries to "last year" (a closed year) to record opening IFRS balance sheet adjustments that they have been doing manually in Excel to produce IFRS statements.  They are also now using an "elimination" company in Dynamics GP to hold entries they don't want to book in production, like consolidation entries between their entities, and the odd IFRS reclassification they don't want permanently in production just for the sake of financial statement presentation.

If the client was using FRx, everything I've been trying to do, based on what I have done in the past, would be easy to do and it would be relatively smooth sailing. I was a loyal FRx proponent for years and as much as that product had some warts, my memories of it grow fonder with every day I work with Management Reporter so far.  It's that frustrating at times. Every product has its quirks, for sure. Dynamics GP has them and so does every other ERP and reporting solution… that's not news to anyone nor (in my opinion) is it slagging the products I have based my career on. However, I'm finding so many little things that haven't worked with MR that I've lost track. Some were bugs that were updated to the latest release resolved. Some things hit the dreaded "Microsoft cannot reproduce this issue therefore it's not a bug" wall. Some things are documented specifically as something that doesn't work "by design" (which is my least favourite reason for some things not being fixed ever!). I won't even get into Active Directory and need a domain to install MR… don't go there. 😄

I try to be fair to a product I'm relatively new to. Most of the clients I work with have used Dynamics GP for 5/10/15 years, before MR's introduction, and so far very few have adopted MR, even after upgrading to GP 2015. So, I'm new to MR. My default position when something doesn't work is that I must be doing something wrong, and I try to validate that what I expect a product to do is reasonable and that it "should" work. Emphasis on "should". I don't know everything, as much as I may try!

Here is one thing that has been an annoyance and I plan to note a few more things over the coming weeks, with ways to work around them.

Unposted entries aren't pulling on the report

Granted, this is not a problem many people will encounter. Lucky for me, it did! Here's the KB article, this is "by design"!  Why on earth would there be unposted entries in a historical year? In my client's case, for comparative statements, some opening IFRS adjustments needed to be booked to the first period of their last fiscal year, which was closed long ago.

Sidebar comment: I don't want to assume that everyone knows this already but users can post to a closed year in Dynamics GP if it is the most recent closed year. The fiscal periods have to be open as well as ensure the Allow Posting to History is checked in General Ledger Setup. And of course, a new feature in Dynamics GP starting in GP 2013 R2, is re-opening a closed fiscal year is an extreme option if an organization ever needed to book an entry back farther than one closed year.

In a more common real-world example though, for years, I have always told clients that (because of being able to post to a recently closed historical year), there aren't any good reasons why the fiscal year needs to remain open while waiting for auditor's adjustments, for instance. Any entries that users post after a year is closed Dynamics GP automatically adjusts opening retained earnings (if it was a P&L account) or opening balances so there weren't many good reasons for waiting to close the fiscal year.  However, my statements were always based on the fact that users should be able to book adjusting entries as required, leave them unposted and run financial statements to validate before posting.

This "feature" of not pulling in unposted journal entries means I may have to alter my recommendations for those using Management Reporter now: either don't close the year until all entries are in and validated or post your adjusting entries in order to generate financial statements to view them, if they are in a historical year. In this case, "measure twice, cut once" applies and after checking the entries thoroughly match what is required to get the opening balances correct, we posted the historical entries and then ran statements to validate!

There is quirk #1, soon to be joined by its friends! 😄