What’s New in Dynamics GP 18.X (Video)

Find out what’s new in Dynamics GP. We will review and show some new features in GP versions 18.4, 18.5, and 18.6, covering items in system, distribution, and financial.

Transcript below:

– [Katie] Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our “Dynamics GP Coffee Break | What’s New in Dynamics GP Versions 18.4, 18.5, and 18.6.” My name is Katie, and I’ll be the facilitator today. If you have any questions during the presentation, please type them into the question area in the control panel on the right-hand side of your screen and we’ll answer questions at the end.

This session will be recorded and posted on our blog, as well as shared with you later this week. Now, I would like to introduce our presenter today, Don McNulty, who is a solutions architect at Encore. Don, I’ll pass it on to you.

– [Don] Good morning, everyone. So today we’re going to discuss a little bit about what’s new in Dynamics GP. And when I started, I thought I’d just do 4, 5, and 6, but I’ve added a couple of 2s and 3s because there were some significant pieces that were in there as well. So we’ve got a fair amount to cover off, so I would like to get going right away. So we’ll move forward from here.

So, basically, what we have is, what’s new? So we’ve got the overview section on the Dynamics GP Learn. This is available to anybody on CustomerSource or PartnerSource, and it allows you to look at all of the changes that have been made all the way back to 2015 actually. Great web page, shows all the different pieces of the thing, and I’ll be showing some of those procedures today.

A little bit about release dates, the way Microsoft has been handling GP in the last six or six to seven years, what they’ve done is every October, they come out with a new release, and that new release includes additional features and functionality. Small changes, nothing major, usually very small changes in the database, but mostly adding features that people have asked for.

There is a place in Microsoft that allows you to put that in, and I will make sure everybody gets that. I forgot to put it in the presentation today. So October is the big date. So in October, we get the new release. So 18.6 came out in October of 2023. A couple comments about where the notes are, first off, reading the version numbers.

So the version numbers themselves and the years are important. So what happens is that 18 is that there’s a couple of really big ones that we have to talk about. 18.4 was the first full version to use modern authentication. The modern authentication allows you to safely send, using TLS2, your emails out of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

You must be on that version or higher. The actual original fix was released in early 2021, I think January or February of 2021, and 18.3.1290 was the first one that did that.

And I wanted to make sure everybody knows that because that is something that will stop you from being able to use some of the functionality that’s being added. Okay, where to find your version numbers. So inside GP, the fastest way to find what version you’re running is on the regular home screen that looks like this.

Up at the top corner, there’s a little blue question mark. You click that, you get this box here, it says About Dynamics GP, and then it opens this up. And this is the version that we’re looking at here, 18…this screenshot was taken at 18.5.1596, but it’s the 0.5 that I’m on. The demo that I’ll be showing today is on 18.6 and it says 2023 behind it there.

So that tells you what it is. It also down here tells you that you’re running it on SQL Server, but it also tells you what version of SQL that you’re running, and I’m running it on SQL 2019. This What’s New button doesn’t always work. So sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, and it takes you to the same web page that I showed on the previous slide.

So this link, and I believe Katie’s going to paste it in the chat, but also this will be part of the presentation, you can get this. This is where you need to go because it will provide you with a complete list of what’s new, okay? Versions, what do they stand for?

Okay, so these are basically what it is. Release 2018, GP 2018 was released in October of 2017. Used to come out about two months before Christmas, and they called it the year after, and then they stopped doing that in 2018. So in October of 2018, they released R2.

And then since then, they’ve gone 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, 18.5, 18.6, and 18.7. I highlighted the red one because this is the minimum number that you should be on. We’d like to see you on all those. 18.7 will be expected in October of this year coming up. It is more of a service pack after you get past 18.4. You can take 18.4, you can upgrade it.

It’s a simple service pack. It runs through very quickly and can be done without a test environment. You do have to watch your third parties when you’re upgrading, but that’s what we’re after here. So highlighted changes. So the first thing I want to do is I want to show you what that website looks like. So this website is here.

It’s called What’s New? And inside here, you have a list of all of the different pieces inside here of what is new for each of these different ones all the way back to 2015. So this was ’14, this was done in ’15, this was ’16, ’17, ’18, and ’19, 2021. Each one of these is one year apart from each other all the way back.

Inside each of these, as you click on them, you can see the capability overviews and it’ll show you what they’ve added to the different pieces. And what I decided, I went through this and decided to highlight a few items inside here. Some will be of interest to you, but if you’re looking for other things, have a look inside there.

You’ll find all of what you need inside there. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about what the changes are that I wanted to highlight. So we’ll go back in 18.2, they added two extra description fields, and I wanted to show those today because they’re very important. One of the comments that people said to me all the time was, “I don’t have enough room to type information on my transactions.”

So they added extra length to an accounts payable transaction. There’s a long description, and they added two more fields into GL transactions that you can add information to so that you’ve now, instead of having one reference per journal entry, you now have three reference style fields. Those reference fields are automatically available in all smart lists. The other thing that I felt needed to be talked about was the scheduling of check links.

So in 18.3, they scheduled the check links. You could put into the report scheduler the check links. We all know that check links needs to be done periodically from this point of view. We also know that it takes a long time in most people’s cases. So we want to schedule this after hours: Friday night, Saturday morning, something like that, and let it run all day.

They allowed you to schedule it in 18.3, and I wanted to mention that because on a future release, they improved that one more time. Then, of course, the TLS2, this is the email one, this is the largest piece that they had to do. They had to move to modern authentication and it allows you to use exchange properly without having to go through mapping and things like that.

Sort inquiries. So when we’re in an inquiry, a lot of times, we open up the inquiry and it defaults to say document number, but document number means nothing to us. We want it by document date or we want it by vendor ID. The problem is that some of these screens take a while to populate and then we have to change the thing, and then they take a while to repopulate.

You can now set those on the View Mesh and I’ll be showing that in a couple of seconds. 18.4, they also added project code modifiers. So if you’re a project accounting firm, a firm that uses project accounting, you can change your project codes, and this allows you to change your project code from A to B. And that way, you can combine them together, you can streamline and correct some of the errors that may have been done through data entry.

Very powerful tool, very much like the account changer, the customer changer, and the vendor changer which were in previous releases. It’s now available for the project code as well. This one, I won’t show today, but this one was very important because it allowed you to auto-post batches.

So if I sent a batch of GL transactions around for approval, once the approval came back, somebody had to go in and post it once it had been approved. Now, the final approving stage can also post the transaction. So I can enter the journal entry, I can send it to the controller. The controller can say, “Yes, it’s approved.” When he hits approved, it automatically posts so that nobody has to deal with it in the future.

It keeps everything flowy, nice, and they have improved on that since 18.4 as well in that they now allow you to auto-post in a number of different locations besides just the batches. All right, 18.5. So 18.5, summary for the EFT bank rec.

For those of us using EFTs, we know that when we run a check run inside Dynamics GP, we ended up with, in our checkbook, we ended up with every single EFT being listed on our bank rec. So we would do a batch of 15 transactions, we would get 15 line items in our bank rec, and we have to check all 15 of those off when they cleared the bank.

But on the bank statement, you got one line item because the bank took the money as a bulk number. This allows you to match that up so that you can push the summary and it goes on to the EFT. It pays the individual vendors, but it only places a single entry on your bank rec so that you’ve only got the one EFT entry to offset when you’re doing your bank rec.

It makes it a lot easier and it matches up with your bank statement much better. Print and email documents in a single pass, they finished this, they did some of this in previous releases, but this was when it actually was completed. This allows you to print a batch of transactions. So if I’ve got sales order processing transactions, I’ve got 35 invoices in my system, 20 of them are going by email, 15 of them are going by mail.

We’re actually going to physically use snail mail. It used to be that I had to print it once to send all the emails, and then I would print it again for the 15 unprinted documents in order to get the actual physical print jobs. Now you can select Print All, and when you print all, it will print those to email that needs to go with the email, and those that don’t need to be emailed actually get physically printed to the printer.

It allows you to do it in a single pass. You can also add, “We need a copy as well,” so that you will also get a copy of it at the end of it if required. So they just made it a lot easier for people to send the emails and the multiple pieces like that. Then back to that one about the report scheduler, in the report scheduler up until 18.5, you could schedule it, but you could only schedule the day, which meant that at 01:00 in the morning, if your machine was running overnight, it would trigger the report scheduler not at a time but as soon as it happened.

So everything that was on the schedule would all run at once. They added a time feature so that you can actually put in a time, and I’ll be showing that today. That was the reason that I added the scheduling of check links. So now you can schedule check links for 06:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning or 02:00 in the morning. If your backup runs at 1:00, you want to run your check links at 2:00 so that it starts after the backup is done.

TLS2 in the web client, this allows you to do emails correctly in the web client for those of you using the web client. We have very few clients using the web client. Probably, I think we’ve got 4 or 5 out of 500. So not very many, but it is a feature that they added. 18.6, they have three big ones.

This one here, I have no idea why it took Microsoft and Dynamics so long to put this on, but when you go into summary inquiry in the general ledger and you look at a GL code, before this, what would happen is you would look at it and go, “Oh, that’s not right.”

You’d go back, you’d make a journal entry for it, you’d post the journal entry, then you’d come back to the summary screen and it didn’t change. So you had to close the window and reopen the window in order to see the change. You now have a Redisplay button. Most people who see this go, “Whoa, why wasn’t that there years ago?” Very good question.

Even the person who put it in said, “I can’t believe we didn’t have that before.” Shared email for sender, so this allows you to set a box that is not an individual’s box for email. So when I’m sending out sales order processing documents, I can set the email, the responding email, and the email address that it comes from to AR on AR or a company and an AR or an AP control or whatever you wish to use so that it’s not defined to a single person.

So it doesn’t have donmcnulty@encore as the email address. It has a generic email that depending on who’s doing it, it will always go to the same email address. This allows you a much easier way of being able to handle those kinds of emails coming through. The last thing I wanted to talk about today is the full deletion of document attachments.

Before this, when you hit the delete button inside document attached, it moved the storage from active to deleted, but it didn’t actually physically free up disk space on your SQL Server. Document attaches are all done in blob storage inside SQL and we want to remove it directly.

So now it comes up with a question, would you like to permanently delete this? And I’ll be showing that in a second, okay? All right, so let’s go on to this and we’ll just do this. All right, so the first one that I want to talk about is adding the long descriptions and the summary post.

There’s two pieces, they’re on the same screen. They’ve been added as inside your payables management setup. You can now enable this and allow the summary. By enabling the long description, when you do a transaction entry inside GP which I will just close this for a second and I have a long description now, this extra bar is now here, this allows you to enter in this long description inside here.

And this allows you to type whatever you want. I believe it’s 100 characters, but it’s a lot more space than what we had before, which was the 25 that sat in the description field. The description field is still the field that goes to the general ledger. The long description stays with the accounts payable transaction and does not flow into the general ledger, okay?

So that’s the first one, and one of the other ones that we talked about was the summary post checkbook for EFT and credit cards. So it does it both for credit cards and for EFT so that if you’ve got a large number that are being paid by a credit card, you can put a single number against your bank rec because that’s how you paid for it. Again, it’s a matter of trying to match the records in your bank rec to the same numbers that are showing up on your bank statement coming in from the bank.

We have the batching inside…the cash receipts allows us to do a batch for the cash receipts. We can see that on a deposit. So we see one number instead of 15 checks. And they did the same thing for the EFT, and they’ve just added that as two separate things. Now, when you first activate these new versions, these two boxes will be unchecked. You must go in and check them if you wish to use them.

In other words, when you add the new versions, it does not change the way your system operates. There’s a toggle to turn almost all of these things on, okay? So the next thing I wanted to talk about was the general ledger, the extra fields in the general ledger. So underneath your general ledger setup, what we have down here is we have the user-defined labels at the bottom.

And you can define these as whatever you wish, right? You can call it Description 1 and Description 2 like so. And when we click OK, when I go back to my financial inside here and I go into my general ledger transactions, I now have these two fields inside here for us to add additional pieces.

The reference, as usual, is always there, but these two have also been added onto the transaction, and those have been added into your major file so that you can have them at all times. Again, they add all these descriptions that you put in there. They add them to the smart list automatically. So that’s fine. Report scheduler, this one here has got the two-part. It has both a start date and a start time.

But what they added was before this, you always had access to this, and most people don’t know it even exists, to run specific reports overnight or schedule them so that they happen automatically in the morning or whatever it happens to be. The challenge was that there was no time or date. So now on this list, you’ll see there’s check links down in here, and that’s just for the financial check links.

And if I scroll down to sales, if I go down far enough, there’s the check links for all the different sales ones. So you can set up your sales history and your sales setup and things like that. And you can schedule these just by selecting them here, and then you can select inside here what time you wish it to run. So you can schedule it. Now, in order for this to run, the workstation must be running with the user that set the schedule.

So, therefore, you would then leave your machine logged in overnight and move forward from there. One of the challenges with overnight is that it pops up with a message saying, “Would you like to change the date?” You can turn that date off, that date request off, and have it automatically update.

That is a DEX INI setting, and Katie will remind me and I will make sure that it is part of the piece that you need. I’ll put it inside the presentation as well. So there it is there.

So this is how you would do the check links. And as I come down, you can see there’s all kinds of check links down inside. Take reporting, next, calculate date, every day, what day, and every X number of days. So you can schedule this, and frequency, of course, we’ve got daily, weekly, monthly, hourly, and things like that. So it’ll just automatically do that and we can publish. Now, I’m going to just leave that as it is there.

So next thing is the inquiry. I wanted to talk about the inquiry. So inside your inquiry, if I just type in my favorite guy who’s got lots of information, he’s got ACE TRAVEL. So you see here that it automatically is sitting… When I first come in, it comes in and looks like this. Now, I go into here and go, “Well, what I really want to see is I want to see the open transactions and I want to see it sorted by date. That’s what I want to see.”

This is my open transactions for any given vendor. Now, ordinarily, when I go, “Okay,” I go, “Fine, that’s fine,” when I come back to that same place, transactions by vendor and we go ACE TRAVEL, you’ll notice that it’s backed by document numbers, and I have to do this, and then I have to do this, and then I have to go redisplay, and there it is there.

But I can actually now underneath the view button, I can save my window preference. So if I click the Save Window Preference, there it is there, and now when I close this and I open it up again, you’ll see that the history button is unchecked. Document date is there, and now when I go ACE TRAVEL, I get the view that I’m looking for without having to go through the effort of changing those two things.

And you can change it anytime you wish. You just have to create the new one and then click it again and it will automatically change it to the screen that you had before. This is true. I would say almost all inquiry screens, that Save Preferences has been added so that there’s a place that it keeps track of it so that it can say, “Okay, this is how you want it,” and it is done by individual.

So based on the fact that I’m logged in as SA, anybody logged in as SA is going to get this. If I was to log in as somebody else, I would get a different view potentially, so I don’t have to worry about it, okay? So the last one is really quite simple. This one here was one that… Cash operating, there we are. So here’s a list of all these transactions.

Obviously, these are the transactions. If I was to go and post anything, nothing would have changed on this screen, but I can now hit a redisplay. And when I hit the redisplay, it goes and reads anything that anybody has done. So if somebody’s done a transaction while you’ve been looking at this, it will automatically refresh by hitting the refresh button.

This refresh button was not available until 18.6, one of the better features that they added from that point of view, okay? So what I’m going to do quickly here is I just want to kind of look at a few more ones that are inside here. So as I scroll down on this here, the daily, they’ve added a couple of things in the receivable statements.

This was a little hard to demo, so I thought I’d just show it here. What they’ve added is they’ve added whether or not we include all of them or open items and what it is that we’ve got. They have added a new Display Only Open Transactions. So you can get rid of all your historical transactions as a result of that. So that was something that they added.

They also added the ability here to print and email cash receipts. They added it in October 2021, and they’ve improved it in 2023. So what they’ve done is they’ve allowed you to now print a receipt. And the reason for the receipt is that a lot of people were using this for things like donations and things like that.

So you could just do a cash receipt and you could print the cash receipt, and now you can email that cash receipt as well. Some reprints and stuff like that. The 1099s, everything is now in a box that looks like this so you can print it on plain paper. That came out for our U.S. clients who are running 1099s. This makes it so that you do not need to print it on a pre-printed form like you used to have to do, okay?

So each of these have different capabilities as you move through here. There’s the Print Cash Receipts. As I said, this is when they started it. Inactivate, things like that. Now, as you go down, you’ll see that the 2023, 2022, 2021 only have capabilities. When you get to 2020, there was a lot more transactions that were there and they separated them into the four separate areas.

And this enhancement inside here, this one here, this TLS 1.2, this is the one that changed over the modern authentication, the multifactor authentication and things like that. And you’ll see this is where they schedule the check links, and up here is when they added the time for it as well. All right, so have a look at these.

If you’ve got any questions on them or you need any help with them, please contact me or contact Encore. We can be more than willing to show you how each of these features works. And we’ll open our slide and questions.

– I have a few, so thanks, Don. If anyone has any questions, please enter them into the question area in the control panel. I do just want to let everybody know I have added that Microsoft What’s New document into the chat.

So you’re more than welcome to copy that, and you can get all the information that Don has just been talking about. First question here, Don, so someone is having issues with modified check remittance reports and reprints that were overrun in the October 2023 18.6 update. Do you have any knowledge on why the GP standard report prints correctly but the Word template does not?

– You may need to put a new template in. They did make a change. They called it a feature. The feature that caused the problem was this one, is they added Remittance with Message Fields, so they changed the file structure.

So you may need to rebuild your Word document to get it to work properly. So you can use the default Word document and then rebuild it the way that you want it. That’s the only thing that I’ve come across, is that we have had some issues with that. So they added this. When you choose to reprint, we’ve extended the functionality to include the customized message field. So as a result, they’ve added that field, so now it’s looking for that field.

So that could be why your particular Word document is not running.

– Perfect. Next question here, what is the purpose of doing check links?

– Check links in GP validates whether or not the data in your database is “correct.” So what it does is it looks to find out if there’s any orphan records or records that don’t make sense. So it doesn’t need to be run very often, but sometimes it needs to be run…

So if you’ve got an orphaned…if you watched our last coffee break, there was an SOP orphan transaction. So you end up with an orphan transaction that you’ve got no header but you’ve got detail lines. There’s no place in GP that you can bring up the detail lines to delete them.

So, therefore, how do you get rid of them? You run a check links against that particular table and it compares, “Oh, this is a document with a transaction number, but there’s no header transaction for my detail.” So, therefore, it will remove the detail transactions.

It will create batches, it will add things that are missing if something has gone wrong inside GP that fundamentally shouldn’t be part of it. As a general rule, you don’t need to run check links very often, but the running of check links is one of the first things that we do when we get an unknown error in GP.

So in other words, we go, “Why is this document not showing on this screen but does show on this screen?” The first thing we say is, “Okay, let’s do a reconcile and let’s do a check links.” The reconcile makes sure that all the summary records are correct. The check links make sure that all the detail records actually are valid. And the problem is that a big company with a large sales order transaction file, the check links could take somewhere between 4 to 12 hours to run.

So it’s not something that you want to do during the day, you want to kind of do it at night, and hence they made it so you can time it for the weekend, okay?

– Thanks, Don. There are a few questions left, but we are at time today unfortunately. So if you have asked a question in the question box, we will get back to you by email later today. I’m going to add in the link to our events page to the chat if you’d like to register for upcoming GP coffee breaks.

I will also add a link where you can set your email preferences and opt into our monthly and quarterly emails so that you can stand to know about upcoming events and see our latest blog articles. All right, thank you, Don, for the information, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today.

– Thanks all.

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