PowerPoint SmartArt tips & tricks

This blog is about some tips for easily showing some fancy stuff in your PowerPoint presentation to fake animation of the SmartArt feature. I *love* the Office suite’s SmartArt feature and use it a fair bit in Word to graphically display elements where words are just boring! It doesn’t seem you can animate a SmartArt feature, at least the way I would like to automate it. If you know, please add a comment below!

I’ve been working on a side project for a client, and teaching myself some basic video editing skills, mostly by trial & error. I’ve found I’m having a blast working with video, having never had to do anything with it in the past. I’ve used and am learning Camtasia to create a fun video for an internal “day in the life” presentation their department is preparing for. I’ve volunteered to take on the video editing role as no one internally had the skills or interest to take it on and, heck, learning is fun, right?

By the way, thanks to TechSmith for giving MVPs complimentary keys for both Camtasia and Snagit, two outstanding products. I use Snagit nearly every day without fail for documentation and capturing various moments. What I love about it most is professionally adding something to a captured screenshot. Especially for blogging purposes, things like highlighting a certain area or adding text or arrows or circling an object to focus on makes the supporting graphics look just that much better. I cringe when I look at some early blogging days screen shots with amateur hand-drawn circles around objects!

Multiple instances of GP & applying service packs

I recently purchased a new laptop and loaded it up with 16gb of RAM so it could handle having multiple instances of Microsoft Dynamics GP on it.  Two of the instances are of GP 2016. One of the wrinkles of having test machines with multiple instances of the same version of GP is ensuring you apply service packs to exactly the instance you want, without affecting the others.

Dynamics GP Word Template Error & Compatibility Mode

A client of mine is implementing Dynamics GP EFT for Payables (yay, no more cheques soon!)… and I needed to modify the Remittance Form that gets emailed to the vendors when they are paid. If nothing else, I needed to change the title “Check Remittance” to anything but the US spelling of cheque!

I did my modifications – pretty basic ones. I changed the title, I altered the size of a couple of header boxes to line some things up and removed some fields that the client didn’t need. (Who really needs Document Amount, Discount Amount, Net Amount and Amount Paid anyway?). Overall, pretty basic stuff, and nothing I hadn’t done before at other clients.

8 Tips for Using Forums Effectively

Over the past few months, I’ve put more of a concentrated effort on helping answer questions on various #MSDYNGP forums. I’ve responded off and on over the years, but only in the last few months have I attempted to regularly work at contributing in that way. I’ve noticed a few things that are either pet peeves or simply my opinion on right and wrong ways to use public forums for advice when it comes to your Dynamics GP question. Most of these items can easily be applied to any forum experience but mine are more specific to ERP forums in general.

Cool Excel Tip: Dates without holidays included

Have you ever wanted to put a schedule together in Excel with planned dates for something over a period of time, and then manually reviewed the formula, to change dates so they didn’t fall on a holiday?

A client of mine prepares a billing schedule a year in advance where they have to incorporate certain specific holding periods and factor in different holidays of both themselves and their service providers (mostly the same holidays but some different). For example, their data is read by a third party service and it takes so many business days after a scheduled read date to get the data back for billing; then they have a window of so many business days to finish and post the billing cycle etc. All these dates are based on a start date and a factor of so many days – business working days – but excluding holidays.

Looking for special characters in SQL

Recently, a client was starting a SafePay & EFT implementation for Dynamics GP and one of the requirements of the bank was that the vendors cannot have any special characters outside of a handful of “regular” special characters. Their specifications and instructions had a list of acceptable characters and a longer list of unacceptable characters.

Transaction vs. Batch Posting

I was working with a new Dynamics GP user recently, and one of the issues that they asked me about was an error they received when they tried to post a cash receipt transaction.

More Azure – part 1

In early May 2016, we saw the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 and the general availability of the first two Canadian Azure data centres in Toronto and Quebec City. That combination gave me a chance to roll up my sleeves again and work with Azure a little more, as I want to ultimately host any of my own Azure machines in Canada, and of course, play with the last version of Dynamics GP!

One year ago now, I wrapped up a series of posts detailing my adventures with Microsoft Azure, learning about how it works, and what the cost looks like over the first few months of activity. The wrap-up post is here, which has the index of the series I wrote. Reading through those, most of what I wrote is useless now!

I hope to write some updated blog articles on what’s changed in Azure since I wrote about things last year. My experience recently has shown me that nearly everything I thought I knew last year, has changed! There is a new portal, which means deploying resources differently, with different terminology, different locations for finding some things etc.

Poor man’s dashboard?

A client asked me where they could find out some metric-type information from the last couple of years’ processing in Dynamics GP, such as the number of A/P invoices processed, number of cheques processed etc.; and the same for A/R if possible.

Simple question, not so simple answer. I admit it never occurred to me, this information isn’t particularly easy to get to in GP in aggregate form, or I’m drawing a complete blank on where to get it. There are many inquiry windows but most with this type of thing are at a customer level, not company level.

So, I wrote a couple of quick smartlists – one for A/P, one for A/R, and I thought I’d write it out as this client likely isn’t the first one to ask this question! I’ll call it a poor man’s dashboard… it’s simple, and for those who haven’t delved into dashboards yet or graphs or KPIs, this may suffice for some simple information about what you’re processing in Dynamics GP.

How to add the Employer Address to T4 Forms

For some reason, out of the box, Dynamics GP Canadian Payroll T4 Forms don’t have the employer address. Why? I have no idea… but the information is there to be added easily, and here’s how to add it to your T4 reports for Employer and Employee versions.