Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Approaching Acquisitions with Dynamics GP

Sometimes in this line of work, you get so used to doing thing one way, it take a bit of jolt to remind you that there are other ways to approach things.  Sometimes that jolt comes from a coworker's comment, or a client  asking a question.  I like those moments, because they encourage innovative, creative thinking.  And innovative, creative thinking challenges me and, honestly, makes this job a whole lot more fun!

One example of this sort of situation is with acquisitions.  Specifically, situations where a company on GP  is acquired but has plans to stay on GP through the transition.   Typically, this means the following...

  1. Identify closing date of acquisition
  2. Set up a new company database
  3. Transfer over acquired assets and balances as of the transition date

This approach works well when  you are dealing with a single company. Or maybe a couple.   It works because its...

  1. Straightforward
  2. Relative simple
  3. Clean (the client can  keep the  history of the former company in the old company while the new company starts fresh)
Where this  process doesn't work so well is when we starting talking about...

  1. Lots o' companies
  2. Lots o' data/modules/customizations/integrations
In these cases, the idea of setting up multiple brand new companies, copying data, ensuring that customizations/integrations work, can be a bit daunting in the midst of an acquisition.  This is doubly true if the customizations/integrations support critical day to day business operations.  Those of you that know me know that I don't believe that just because something is "daunting" that we shouldn't do it.  But these "daunting" things do mean we have to approach the project with a higher level of due diligence in advance as well as project management during to mitigate risks.

So what about another option?  Can we avoid setting up all these new companies?  Yes, we can.  It just requires a bit more creative thinking.  As an alternative, we can approach it like this...

  1. Continue forward with same companies
  2. Backup companies at transition date to create historical companies
  3. Remove history as needed from live companies
  4. Enter manual closing entries as of the transition date (assuming fiscal year is not changing, and transition is not fiscal year end)
  5. Reset assets and any other balances as needed (this can be the tricky step, involving scripts to original cost basis = net cost basis, etc to move forward)

Now, the process above does require due diligence in advance as well to make sure all transition needs are identified and planned for.  But it can save effort and reduce risk in some cases.  So...a solution to consider.  What other creative/innovative approaches have you seen to handling acquisitions in Dynamics GP?  I'd love to hear from you!

Christina Phillips is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified Professional. She is a director with BKD Technologies, providing training, support, and project management services to new and existing Microsoft Dynamics customers. This blog represents her views only, not those of her employer.

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