Pros & Cons of Dynamics GP for Capturing Time Data
The underlying technology for entering time in Dynamics GP has changed a lot since the days of using Business Portal. Support for more browsers and mobile platforms has improved accessibility to the features that are now delivered via the Employee Self-Service portal. However, the data, workflows and time entry capabilities have changed very little since the discontinuation of Business Portal. As a result, time captured via the Employee Self-Service portal is limited – and you may not be getting all the insights or functionality you need. Additionally, Microsoft’s discontinuation of support for older versions of GP (such as GP 2013, which will lose mainstream support in April 2018) makes relying on GP’s time entry functionality difficult.
The Pros: Dynamics GP Time Entry
Employee Self-Service includes a couple of different places for employees to enter their work- and vacation-related time data. The project timecard allows them to enter time against projects in GP based on project access lists available in the Project Accounting module or 3rd party project accounting solutions. A separate interface is used for entering paid time off. As is the case with the project timecard, employees have access to the appropriate time off information based on their profiles in GP.
Both types of time entry are supported in all modern browsers. Entry of paid time off is also available via an app for mobile devices. All time entered in the Employee Self-Service portal is available in GP for project costing and posting to the general ledger.
The Cons: Enterprise Time Data Needs Not Covered by Employee Self-Service
However, there are still significant gaps in Dynamics GP time entry functionality, as compared to standard features offered by enterprise time tracking software providers:
- Ability to collect all types of time and expense data in one user interface. Employees shouldn’t have to open different timecards to track different types of time. What’s more, employees should be able to track all time related to the work they do – not just project-specific time and time off.
- Ability to enter all types time and expense data through mobile entry. For employees who don’t always sit at a desk, the ability to complete all time and expense entry on a mobile device helps get your data turned in on time – and is essential.
- Ability to collect “custom” data like bonus, commissions, equipment costs, “widgets”, etc. within the same user interface. When it makes sense to track other data related to time, you need the flexibility to do so in the same system.
- Resource planning and reporting. When assigning employees to projects, it is necessary to know who is available and what the status is of their other assignments in order to plan projects effectively.
- Data entry validation rules like min/max hours, conditional data object selection, automatic overtime rules, etc. Automated rules that fit your policies help cut down on user entry mistakes and reduce the need for corrections later.
- Multi-level approval workflows for time, expense, project and time off requests. Those who need to review time, expense and project data need to be able to. Setting up and editing the approval workflows also should not require a programmer.
- Robust project cost reporting that eliminates the need to give managers access to GP or continually run reports on their behalf. Spot reporting in the time system allows project managers to keep track of status and budget with real-time data.
- Crew-based time entry. Enter time on behalf of a group of employees – instead of entering time for each individual.
- Flexible accrual calculation and display for end users. This would give employees the ability to view current accrual balances while submitting requests for leave in the future.
Third party time and expense tracking software that integrates with Dynamics GP provides additional benefits to GP end users that are not present in the native GP timecard entry. Enterprise time entry systems with robust GP integrations still provide easy access to the time data in GP. They also make it easier to tie in with third party payroll solutions.
Want to Learn More?
Journyx integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP and offers a complete time and expense tracking solution for your organization, including everything described above. Learn more about Journyx for Dynamics GP.
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