Andy Sather – The One to Talk to as the Year Comes to a Close

Written By: Eric Gjerdevig

from December 17, 2012

Andy Sather is a Senior Support Engineer for Microsoft at the Fargo, ND campus. He is a member of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Applications Support Team and is a graduate of Valley City State University with a degree in Computer Science. He worked for a Microsoft Partner called Datatranz before joining Microsoft about five years ago. In addition to being an application support engineer, Andy is the product captain for Microsoft Dynamics GP Word Templates. In October 2012, I visited with Andy to talk about Microsoft Dynamics GP year-end and what Microsoft is doing to educate and support clients through the annual year-end close process.

Eric Gjerdevig: You’ve helped hundreds of Microsoft Dynamics GP customers make it through year-end close over the past five years. That makes you an expert in my book. What helpful tips do you have for a successful year-end with Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Andy Sather: The first tip is very important and should be an obvious one to everyone. That said, I can tell you that each year we run into someone who doesn’t follow the advice. MAKE A BACKUP! Backup all of the databases related to Microsoft Dynamics GP and even make an export of your modiἀed reports. If customers follow the correct process it should go very well, but there are an extremely small percentage of customers that will experience an issue such as a power failure or make a mistake. When that happens, having a backup is extremely important! I can’t stress it enough.

Eric Gjerdevig: Great place to start! Making a backup is the first suggestion. What other tips do you have?

Andy Sather: Year-end close in Microsoft Dynamics GP is not necessarily a technically challenging task. Why customers have challenges with closing Microsoft Dynamics GP is because they only do it once a year. That makes it hard to remember the process. The next important suggestion is to make sure to review the process, understand the correct order, and have access to the necessary resources and documentation for help. For example, start ἀrst with closing Inventory Management. Then close receivables Management, Payables Management, and Fixed Assets. The order is very important. Those are all necessary before closing the General Ledger. There are a lot of details customers need to be aware of. Customers should make sure to work with their Microsoft Dynamics Partner, contact Microsoft support, or review the Knowledgebase articles on CustomerSource and the blog entries on the Microsoft Dynamics Communities. The Community Forums are a great way to get a ‘how-to’ ques-tion answered. These are all great resources to help Microsoft Dynamics GP customers have a successful year end.

Eric Gjerdevig: Are there special considerations when closing Payroll in Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Andy Sather: It is of course a separate process and one that again starts with getting the proper information. Custom-ers need to watch CustomerSource and the Community page for Microsoft Dynamics GP – all of the information will be out there no later than December. One important note here is there will only be a Payroll Year-End Service Pack for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, 2010 and 2013.

Eric Gjerdevig: You mentioned the Community Forums – would you explain to everyone how those can be used?

Andy Sather: Absolutely! The Community Forums are a great resource for customers on any question or how to scenario. Customers can access these and submit a question without paying for a support incident. They are monitored by our partner MVP’s as well as by our support teams. Questions get answered pretty quickly and it’s proving to be a great way to get answers. If customers have a break-fix issue and need a deeper level of assistance, a support request still may be the most effective tool, but the Community Forums are a great place to answer many questions.

Editor’s Note: The Microsoft Dynamics GP Year-End Close Resource Center at www.dynamicsuniversity.com/gp-year-end includes links to all the resources described in this article