When did that G/L Account get added?

This phrase was uttered in the office recently, by the person who is tracking final changes to the year end Financial Statements. Her statements were out of balance, which turned out to be a new G/L Account. The next phrase was “Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you I added that. There must be some way to to alert you because I won’t always remember to tell you!”

Yes, there must be a way! Cue the SmartList-based Home Page Reminders. This is the subject of today’s #TipTuesday post.

Step 1 - Add a SmartList Favourite

The first step to set up a reminder would be to create a favourite for the item you want to be reminded on if it occurs. In my example, I wanted to create a SmartList favourite to show me when there were new G/L Accounts created recently. I’ve chosen to set this up based on a created date of “this month”. That gives me ample time most of the year to catch newly created accounts. I would want to ensure that my monthly procedures include a step to look at this near the end of the month so I wouldn’t miss any accounts that might have been created on the last day or two of the month, before the criteria is no longer valid once you move into a new month.

I’m skipping a few steps in this for the sake of brevity. In SmartList, I started in the Accounts object then clicked on Search. In the Search window, the above window is looking up a field on which to search. I want to select Created Date, so I needed to first change the view from Selected Columns to All Columns. (I’m showing this to illustrate that you don’t need to have that column visible in your SmartList in order to search on it.)

The screenshot above shows the Search window. My criteria is Created Date “is greater than” and I chose a generic date range of “Beginning of Month”. The other approach would be to change the date each time to the last time you looked at it. I.E. set it to “Enter Date” and put in the date you last looked at this SmartList. Next time you check what’s newly added, you can edit the Search, change the date to “today”, and modify the favourite (‘save’ the change). Personally, that’s too much work so I use generic date options whenever I can!

Here is an example of the results. My sample data is from GP 2016, with a Fabrikam date of 2017-04-30 so that’s why my criteria says “Created Date is greater than 2017-04-01”. I *did not* save my reminder with the option “create reminder and a favourite”. I want to show how to create a custom reminder off of an existing SmartList.

If you already have a SmartList favourite in place for something you want to create a reminder on, the next step is for you.

Step 2 - Creating a custom reminder

For the next step, I’m starting from my homepage and as you can see below, my Tasks and Reminders area is empty.

The first thing to do here is click on New Reminder.

This opens the Reminder Preferences window and from here, I want to click on the New button in the Custom Reminders section.

There are 2 things I want to do here. One, look up an existing SmartList Favourite (in my case, my newly created “Accounts created this month” favourite). Two, the highlighted section, which defaults to an “is equal to” criteria normally, needs to be changed to “is NOT equal to” and 0. I want to know if there ARE records, not when there aren’t. :)

Tip: in looking up an existing SmartList favourite, make a note of the name of your favourite and that will make it easier to find. Most companies have lengthy lists of SmartList objects and favourites, especially considering all of the * defaults loaded with Dynamics GP in the first place. It’s a long list!

Above is the result of my custom reminder. My reminders pane now shows a reminder, with the numeric indicator (1) showing the number of results. I did not mark the “Display as a Cue” option but if I had, it would show with a visual indicator of a stack of paper; the more records in the results, the higher the stack of papers!

Where else could I use this?

Adding new G/L Accounts is just the first example and one I have used a lot at customers over the years when I was consulting. Off the top of my head, here are a few other areas where you might utilize this type of simple reminder solution:

  • Newly created master records of other types whether it be vendors, customers. Use it to audit your processes, by spot checking that there is sufficient backup to the newly added items.
  • Newly created employees. Similar to the above example, if you run payroll, you may want a reminder if new employee records are created, in case something changes that you’re not expecting.
  • Unposted journal entry transactions in prior periods. On the Account Transactions SmartList object, this is a good way to identify unposted transactions from the previous month (or earlier!). Sometimes something as simple as those pesky voids that don’t post all the way through the G/L get missed and sit there unposted.
  • Quasi-aging on A/R could be done via reminder, showing you customers with balances > $0 in the Over 60 aging bucket for instance.

There are lots of examples if you think about it, where it would be nice when you open Dynamics GP each day, if there is a situation, you see it on the home page and you don’t have to go looking for it.

The bottom line is this tip is a simple one, and easy to implement. The dependency is on the user “seeing” the reminder in the home page and not clicking off of there too quickly when they log in each day to do their regular work. Once they are used to looking for it, it should help.

There are other options that could be considered like Business Alerts. I’ll work on another post with the same “new GL account” example to see what that looks like in comparison to this method.

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