DynamicsCon Fall 2021 Preview: Management Reporter's Best Kept Secrets for Dynamics GP users

August 29 2021

Editor's Note: MSDW is a media sponsor of DynamicsCon 2021.

If you've ever had any questions about the ins and outs of Management Reporter, you can get answers at Sarah Brewster's upcoming presentation, "Management Reporter's Best Kept Secrets".

Beyond Management Reporter's basic capabilities there is a range of settings, tools, and features that can help Microsoft Dynamics GP users save time and enable them to be reporting heroes. Brewster's session is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20 from noon-1 p.m. Eastern at DynamicsCon which runs as a virtual event from September 20-23.

"I've heard people say: 'Well, you can't do that in Management Reporter.' Or they complain that they don't know how to figure things out," Brewster says.

A lot of users' typical issues with the tool have simple solutions that more advanced users may already know and use daily, she said. As such, Brewster's session is aimed at people who may have inherited Management Reporter and not received the necessary training.

"So, they're missing some of these essential information about how to do certain things because nobody ever trained them," she said. "My session will fill in some of the blanks."

MSDW spoke with Brewster, project lead at AccountingWare, about her session and Management Reporter in general.

MSDW: What is your professional history and work with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Management Reporter?

Brewster: I started working with GP and FRx in 2012 for an international ministry and that was very much an inherited situation. Nobody ever wanted to touch FRx. But I'm the type of person who picks up things that nobody wants to touch. So, I started playing with it and got us through a migration from FRx to Management Reporter pretty successfully. However, there were lot of things that I was always struggling with, and I had to figure out my own really long workarounds.

I was there for about four and a half years working with GP and Management Reporter. Now I work for an ISV, and we have a reporting software for GP. It's something that can replace Management Reporter. But that's given me more reason to really look into and learn some of the nooks and crannies of Management Reporter just because I love my software and I want it to be successful. But I'm way more interested in helping the people.

What are some of the highlights of your session?

For me, some of the highlights are being able to find more information about your reporting definitions. So being able to see the last time it was modified, the last time it was generated, see a list of your report definitions, along with what company it's for, what row and column it's using, what tree it's using, all laid out. That was magical when I found that. The ability to dynamically show or hide columns or the ability to consolidate multiple separate companies on one report is not as intimidating or complicated as a lot of people think it is.

I hear that all the time, 'I can't do this. I don't know how to do it.' Well, it's easy. You can set it up and you will think it's easy when you see how to do it. I just feel that a lot of folks don't have the time to really dig into this stuff. What I'm hoping to do is consolidate a bunch of little lifesaving, time-saving tricks for folks who don't have time to go look for those tricks themselves.

What do you see for the future of Management Reporter in the GP community?

Management Reporter is a solid reporting tool. I know that a lot of people are maybe less than positive about it. But I find it to be a completely powerful, complete reporting tool. You can get pretty much anything you need out of it. The problem is that it can be a little difficult to understand because people haven't worked with a similar software before. Since it's not as familiar and because everybody is being pushed to always do things faster, do things quicker, do things better, it's hard for folks to have time to really invest in learning it. However, that's really what people need to do to be able to use it effectively. In my opinion, it's a solid software that 99% of people on GP – those that don't have complex setups – can stay on forever. It has everything they need. They just have to invest the time in figuring it out.

You're new to presenting at DynamicsCon? What led you to suggest the session?

As I mentioned, I hear from a lot of people that they can't do this or that and that's always so frustrating. I keep hearing the same things. And I thought that since there are enough people asking the same questions, maybe I could put something together to give people a few tips and more insight into the software that could save them some time. I don't expect that anybody attending is going to hear 100% new information because everybody's experience is different. But what I'm hoping is that at least everybody who attends comes away with one new thing that will help them.

What's your overall view of how the GP community is doing these days with the remote communications and evolution of the product?

Well, it's been interesting. As far as remote goes, I feel like there's been a lot of conversion to user groups meeting online. I think that's been really great as it's not been limited to your local user group. It was nice to be able to drive to a place and meet up with these people face-to-face, but I feel like there's been almost more sharing of ideas when you put your user group on a Zoom meeting, and anybody can join that group and attend the meeting with you. I'm physically located in Lubbock, Texas and no one else is. So, it's been really great to get to be part of some different user groups that otherwise I never would have been able to attend. I think for the most part GP users who have gone online and been part of a GP community, are already used to communicating and working remotely with those people.

I think more often than not folks are still using GP as an on-premises solution. But I've found that a lot of them are actually hosting it in some way or another, whether that's on PowerGP Online, some other proprietary solution, or a terminal server that they can log into from anywhere. Although this was already in process before COVID-19, I think the pandemic probably accelerated [the move away from on-prem] because people were looking for solutions to access their GP systems from home where they may not have reliable VPNs. It's easier to log into a terminal server than it is to get a VPN working. So, I think the framework was already there but the pandemic really encouraged people to start picking it up and making use of it.

About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.

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