Can you recover a deleted record in Dynamics CRM 2011?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, unless you restore the database from a backup which is not really practical for a single deleted record.  However, you may be able to recover some data if you have auditing turned on and follow the steps in this Microsoft blog below.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2011/05/23/recover-your-deleted-crm-data-and-recreate-them-using-crm-api.aspx

You can also use a free tool to recover data (again if auditing is turned on).   http://www.crmcodex.com/products-page/applications/crm-codex-record-recovery/

If record deletion is a problem:  One solution is to remove “delete” privileges from most users and encourage users to deactivate records.  This way the record can still be reactivated.  If space is an issue, you can create Bulk deletion jobs that delete inactive/deactivated records every X days.

View relationship between Sub-Ledger and GL in Dynamics GP

How many times do you wish that there was report that would show you the link between a sub-ledger and the GL? Here is a little trick that will help you see some of this sub-ledger information through a GL Smartlist. It can especially come in handy when reconciling your Accrued Purchases account as there is not a routine to help you through this process.

Here are the steps:

Go to Microsoft Dynamics GP > Smartlist. Expand the Financial Folder and then Expand the Account Transactions folder.

Click on the default Smartlist indicated by an asterisk.

Sub-Ledger and General Ledger Smartlist

Click on the Columns button and search for the word Originating. This will bring you to fields such as Originating Master ID, Originating Master Name, Originating Document Number and so on.

These will be the originating Master Record and document information that generated each Journal Entry. The Originating Master ID will be either the Customer ID or Vendor ID depending on which module the Journal Entry originated in. When reconciling your Accrued Purchases account for instance, you can restrict the list to the Accrued Purchases GL Account and then export this data to Excel.

Then take your Credits minus your Debits to get the net changes and subtotal by Originating Master ID to get your Vendor received not invoiced totals.

This list can then be compared to the Rec’d/Not Invoiced Report subtotaled by Vendor. By doing this, you will easily be able to determine what vendor or document is causing issues and more easily resolve the discrepancy.

Sub-Ledger and GL in GP

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Activity Feeds

We have gotten quite a few inquiries regarding what Activity Feeds are and how to best use them to satisfy specific business needs.

Activity feeds are not meant to replace face to face conversation, emails or automated workflows, although you can trigger workflows off activity posts and vice versa. Instead, they are meant to increase collaboration between teams working with the same account, opportunity, case, or custom entity etc.

Much like Facebook News feeds, Microsoft CRM Activity feeds allow you to:
1. Stay up to date or follow users or records (leads, accounts, opportunities, cases etc.) that are important to you.
2. Keep others informed with your posts regarding specific records.
3. Communicate in real time. Your posts become available on followers Walls immediately.

Note: In order to see activity feeds for a specific record, the user must have appropriate permissions to that record.
This Microsoft Getting Started Video actually provides a good overview and business case of how to use Activity Feeds (if you can tolerate the Microsoft background music).

Although I believe Activity Feeds can be very useful, I do caution the amount of “noise” it can create within the organization. It can be effective if a user is only following the records or users that they have a vested business interest in. Activity Feed rules also have some limitations such as not being able to create new rules for an entity. Furthermore, you cannot tweak existing rules, you can only activate or deactivate out of the box rules.

The Activity Feeds managed solution is pre-installed and configured on all Dynamics CRM Online Organizations provisioned after the service update in Nov 2011. For CRM 2011 On-premise and for CRM Online Organizations provisioned prior to service update in Nov 2011, the Activity Feeds managed solution can be downloaded from the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace. http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-us/applications/microsoft-dynamics-crm-activity-feeds-12884926310

Management Reporter and Microsoft Forecaster

We often get asked the question from our customers and prospective customers, “What will the future hold for Management Reporter and how does Microsoft Forecaster fit into that future?”  There are big plans for this reporting tool from Microsoft.  As many of you know Management Reporter just released their latest version, Management Reporter 2012.  There were many needed enhancements to Management Reporter included in this new release, highlighted here  . However, there was no functionality added that involves forecasting or collaborative budgetting for Management Reporter for Dynamics GP or Dynamics AX (as well as other Microsoft ERP products).

What about financial forecasting and collaborative budgetting?  What are the plans for Management Reporter and these important areas?  I spoke to a reliable resource close to the Management Reporter and Microsoft Forecaster teams and I was told that there are no immediate plans to add this functionality into Management Reporter.  The team will continue to support this functionality in the existing Microsoft Forecaster 7.0 tool, and for the foreseeable future they will rely on this product and the other 3rd party applications out on the market to meet this need.

Look for more exciting enhancements to Management Reporter, but don’t look for a collaborative budgetting or forecasting tool any time in the near future.

Sales Tax Automation for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics AX

If you do business in several tax jurisdictions, or in complex states, it can easily become more than a full-time job just to keep up with the ever changing tax rates and product taxability rules. Not only is compliance difficult to maintain, but even the simplest of mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars if audited.

Although you, or Tridea Partners as a Dynamics partner, can configure Dynamics GP or Dynamics AX to handle complex tax tables, we recommend using one of the third party solutions that handles the tax updates automatically.

One of the leading solutions is by Avalara (www.avalara.com), the creator of AvaTax – a cloud-based system – to help address your unique sales tax challenges. With complete integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics AX, AvaTax removes the difficulty of managing sales tax compliance by helping to eliminate the tedious work and complexity that goes into calculating, reporting, filing and remitting taxes.

Sales tax automation software can help:

• Achieve full end-to-end sales tax compliance
• Automate manual processes involved with managing tax tables and updates
• Eliminate compliance holes associated with using a flat state rate or zip code-based systems
• Reduce your audit exposure through ‘bullet-proof’ compliance
• Outsource all of your sales tax filing requirements
• Automate the paperless collection and management of certificates

Managing sales tax can be complex and time consuming. Depending on your unique requirements, a sales tax software application may dramatically simplify things for your organization.