A good accounting software solution is just one piece of the puzzle for most non-profits. For example, associations may have a Social CRM or a membership system in addition to their accounting system. Similarly, non-profit healthcare organizations may have one or more medical billing solutions along with their accounting solution. They may also have an outsourced HR/Payroll solution. And, charitable organizations, for example, may have a separate fund raising solution. On top of this, all of these organizations are probably using Excel to manage budgets and complex allocations.
The fact that non-profits are using multiple systems is not a bad thing. In reality, there are many advantages to having a best-of-suite or best-of-breed approach to your systems, the biggest of which is the fact that it allows you to provide better service to your stakeholders and constituents. Of course, having multiple systems can also create challenges. With multiple systems, for example, you typically have duplicate data entry and it is difficult to access information on a timely basis or get timely financial reports because your data is in multiple places.
With Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can have the best of both worlds. Because of the ease with which you can integrate other applications to it, you can have a best-of-breed approach to your systems without the typical challenges like duplicate data entry and untimely reporting.
There are actually two primary tools for integrating other applications to Dynamics GP. One of these is an optional Dynamics GP module called Integration Manager. Integration Manager is a workhorse application that allows you to easily create data mappings that can be used on a repeated basis to import batches of transactions into Dynamics GP. For example, you can import a batch of G/L journal entries or a batch of vendor invoices.
An even better integration tool is SmartConnect from eOne Solutions. Like Integration Manager, SmartConnect allows you to easily map your source data to Dynamics GP. In addition to that, it allows you to build in custom business logic or rules to control where and how the data is imported. For example, if you have multiple companies and the source file contains data for more than one company, SmartConnect can be configured to automatically import the data into all of the companies at the same time rather than forcing you to run the import for each company like Integration Manager does. SmartConnect can even create intercompany transactions, if needed.
SmartConnect also lets you schedule the integrations to run automatically. We have several of our clients configured so that their integrations run automatically every night with no user intervention. The only time the users need to get involved is if they receive an e-mail from SmartConnect that something didn’t import properly (e.g. there was a missing G/L account number).
SmartConnect offers many other benefits, including the ability to create data entry templates in Excel and use it to post transactions directly to Dynamics GP. We’ll talk more about that in our next Blog.
Maner Costerisan – a Michigan-based CPA firm and technology consulting firm specializing in helping Not-for-Profits improve operations and support their mission through financial accounting, CRM and productivity software solutions. We are Certified Partners for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Intacct and Avectra Social CRM. For more information on how we can help you excel in these challenging economic times, please contact us via phone at (517) 323-7500 or visit our website at www.manersolutions.com.