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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eliminate Manual Entry by Integrating to Dynamics GP This Month’s Focus – Banking

Posted by Theresa Brown

In a previous life, I had full-time staff devoted to reconciling monthly bank statements. Waiting for the statements to arrive and ticking off each of the items that had cleared took several frustrating weeks and held up the monthly close. Are you still reconciling statements manually (yes, Excel is manual!) and then recording manual entries to close your books? Many companies in the same position have made the decision to work smarter–not harder–by integrating Dynamics GP with their other business systems and external business partners.

Some integrations are what I call “plug and play,” while others require some mapping and minor configuration. The most complex ones require thorough planning and will often require programming.

There are several out-of-the-box integration tools available from Microsoft for Dynamics GP that require small to medium effort to configure and test. Banking integrations are the ones we are asked for most often. Here’s a summary of the eBanking options available:

eReconcile: Download your bank statement data in the applicable format for upload to GP. All items that match will be automatically marked as cleared and you can print your reconciliation reports. Any manual adjustments can be made during the reconcile process, including bank fees and interest income, etc.

EFT for Accounts Payable: Pay your vendors via an electronic payment through your bank. This integration is very handy for processing of employee expense reimbursements! GP will produce a file in the appropriate format designated by your bank. Generation of this file becomes a part of the regular check run process.

SafePay or PositivePay: Send a file to your bank after producing checks to alert them the checks you’ve cut that are authorized for them to clear. This is a great fraud prevention tool!

ACH for Accounts Receivable: Generate files for submission to your bank, which request the drawing of funds from your customer’s bank accounts. This is perfect for customers who are on a monthly recurring billing plan.

Lockbox: Receive a file from your bank with customer payment data which has been directly deposited to your account. This greatly reduces the amount of time required to process customer payments.

Implementing eBanking solutions from Microsoft can speed up your closing process, reduce errors and save time. Regardless of the level of complexity, you should always allow sufficient time to plan the integration up front, including working with your bank. Armanino Consulting has implemented each of these solutions for a variety of clients with both national and international banks. Contact me at tbrown@amllp.com or your account manager to find out more about these solutions.

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