At a recent implementation the customer required the ability to report on revenues and costs by Project while minimizing complexity in the Chart of Accounts. There are several basic ways to solve for this in Microsoft Dynamics GP and since every implementation is unique, following are some of the considerations.
Adding an Account Segment called Project is one way to solve for this requirement, but could result in a substantial number of valid GL Accounts and some may consider this cluttered. For companies that are looking to track a very small number of projects, this may be a quick simple solution as there is minimal setup. The data entry is probably simplest with an additional Account Segment as there is no need to open an additional form. Reporting will be most robust and require the least amount of enhancement because the data is built into the account combinations.
Some of the benefits of using Account Segment include:
• Recurring activities and defaults can save Project Code breakdowns (purchase invoice entry, purchase orders, sales invoice generation, journal entries, adjustments, etc.).
• Standard reports with account values in them will inherently include project break down, maximizing reporting options.
• An additional form is removed from data entry of any tasks requiring cost break down.
• Budgeting by project is simplified within a given fiscal year.
Some of the disadvantages of using Account Segment include:
• Each project code will need to be set up for each account and any other segment configured, such as Department.
• An increase in the number of projects could result in a cluttered Chart of Accounts.
• Budgeting is only available for one fiscal period at a time.
Using Multidimensional Analysis (“MA”) with Analysis Groups is another option. MA has less functionality than Analytical Accounting (“AA”) described in the next section, but the setup is simpler and the data entry is completed in the same form as AA (Note: see this microsoft page for a detailed listing of the differences between MA and AA). SmartLists and existing canned reports can meet many basic requirements. MA does not allow for entry of Budget values in the standard budget, but can be completed in the AA budget.
Analytical Accounting (“AA”) was introduced for this kind of tracking and reporting, but some users may find AA data entry a little more cumbersome than using an Account Segment. Although there are some mixed reviews about using Management Reporter with AA data, it is a supported solution that will continue to evolve with an expected re-work of the back-end expected 10/1/12. MR (or FRx) is used for financial reporting at most organizations, and budgeting with AA codes is possible through the AA Budget functionality with only minimal additional setup and training. Further, budgeting in AA allows for tracking budgets across multiple years.
Project Accounting (“PA”) is the most advanced solution within the Dynamics GP products, but it also requires the most setup, maintenance and data entry. PA is intended for organizations that work projects on a daily basis as their primary business activity, that have numerous projects occurring simultaneously, and that need the ability to capture time and material expenses for billing and accounting purposes.