I have found Dynamics to be not very user friendly. The GL analysis function is quite lacking when comparing to other systems I've used in the past. In addition, the report writer again is not very user friendly and intuitive. Lastly, the sorting function uses coding language for the filters which makes training new users quite cumbersome.
- Adequate layout of detailed general ledger report.
- Easy copy and paste feature for general ledger from Excel.
- Interacts well with certain Microsoft products and functionality.
- Reporting features to provide more robust flexibility.
- Import features can be improved to be more user friendly.
- Interface can be improved to provide more access and edit to basic functions like print setup, setting up templates for reports, and user preferences.
- Better support packages and more training at reasonable pricing.
The program is not very appropriate for non-profit accounting environment because it does allow for fund accounting very appropriately. Any organizations that require complex reporting structure should also look at other software that has more robust reporting features.
- Project accounting is linked to the Financial modules - there is no need to duplicate data entry. Reporting in Project Modules is extensive.
- Validation of fields for data entry and solid integrity of data.
- Customizations of screens for data entry for users and addition of fields.
- Purchasing does not have a budget validation to warn or stop a purchase from going over budget on a project level.
- Project budgeting does not have an interface with inventory ids.
- Financial modules could have more quick vewing screens for example a quick way to find the check no. of an invoice.
- Provides flexibility for complex project based cost accounting
- Strong and flexible allocation processer for cost allocations, markups, and pricing
- A "Flexible Billing" module under the project controller series that allows for multiple billing formats ranging from fixed price schedule of values, T&M or Cost Plus, and scheduled billing.
- Flexible reporting with options using Crystal Reports, SSRS, a Quick Query tool, and ability to tie into MS Office tools such as MS Access and MS Excel
- Tight integration with Financials, but also the ability to integrate with modules such as Sales Order, Inventory, and Field Service
- Customization abilities ranging from a VBA (visual basic for application) foundation to allow customizing existing forms to the ability to use the SDK (Software Development Kit) to build more complex customizations that integrate with Dynamics SL.
- Incorporate some functionality provided by third party products into the core product.
- Since Dynamics SL has strong multi company capabilities, incorporate functions to secure projects within a company to certain groups.
- Improve the budgeting, forecasting, and change order interfaces so that the tools are more online.
- Improve the forecasting capabilities to include more robust and integrated tie in to the project EAC/ETC (Estimate at Completion/Estimate to Complete) numbers. This would allow project revenue/margin/cash forecasting.
- Expand on the subtask concept
- Improve the interface for multi level rate entry for pricing and cost allocations such that more security can be applied and reduce risk of inadvertent changes.
- Field service modules (dispatch, contracts and equipment tracking) work very well for us. Each service location has control of their operations, but their service information is visible across the company.
- Multi-company operations are a great benefit. We have 7 individual corporations operating in a single database. there is a single repository for shared information, allowing us to appear as a single seamless operation to our customers, while maintaining separate operational reports and separate and consolidated financial reporting.
- TCO is very competitive. We have invested less than 150 K in the Product and user licenses. Our annual fees for support are under 30 K.
- Dynamics SL has a strong independent Users Group. This resource is very valuable as I know people across the world that are a good forum for seeking answers.
- Customization Manager and the Visual Tools software development kit allows us to easily customize and extend the functionality to meet changing business requirements. We have created solutions for Inter-Company inventory transfers, multi-currency financial reporting and many small changes to enhance productivity
- The field service module is not multi-currency compliant. I would like to have this feature added to the product in the near future. We have customized the modules to print in multiple currencies, but the underlying data is stored in a single base currency.
- Payroll reporting is weak. Workers compensation reporting needs a lot of work. We have outsourced the fulfillment of depository and tax reporting (W-2, tax deposits, reporting and filing.
- Financial reports (FRx and Management Reporter) are slow and cumbersome. We have built our own financial reports and reporting trees that are much faster and more flexible.
- Ability to add companies, and sub-accounts on the fly allows for the growth of the system without conversions, and flexible reporting allows for the quick utilization of the data.
- Multi-Company allows for easy and automated data entry and reporting across multiple legal entities and business segments.
- Multi-Company also allows for easy centralization of business processes (AP check writing and Fixed Assets for example), while spreading data entry across the enterprise.
- Ability to Copy/Paste into Dynamics SL has always been a strength- especially from Excel. The additional power of being able to use Excel for a myriad of calculations, including complex allocations, and formatting the result into a JE to paste directly into the Journal Entry Screen has saved countless hours in data-entry, and made re-use of complex items very easy.
- Built-in functionality for workflow/reviews/approvals could be improved.
- Better documentation of controls and reporting of the audit trail (think SOX).
- Better remote office, work from home capabilities (such as cloud bases SAAS) would help resolve security and speed/performance constraints.
- AP, AR and GL processing is straight forward and quite efficient. Period posting is a great control of operations.
- Project setup is quite easy for users, as is review and analysis. We manage by budget for each project and have never had an issue or need for additional information
- Time and Expense capturing by employees is painless and efficient. This is highly important to a project centric organization. It meets our needs and users are content.
- Reporting in the Project module is lacking functionality. I understand that most companies have specific needs when it comes to tracking project information but the standard reports are not good.
- I would recommend a product like Management Reporter that is for Projects only. Project Reporter should allow users to pull in all Project related data into reports.
- Fixing suspended batches. Obviously all of us users have experienced this mess. SL knows what needs to be corrected and there could be some step by step fixes in a separate repair module to do the steps we do in Query Analyzer.
We are much happier with the web apps having moved off of the business portal time entry tool which was extremely slow and time consuming.
We use Dynamics SL across the whole organization and everyone enters a timecard. We use the software for expense reporting and evaluating which were good projects and bad, which tasks were good and which were bad. We use the software to help us make better estimates on future similar projects.
We've used Dynamics SL the entire 20 years we've been in business and really love it.
- Facilitates Time Entry from any device.
- Facilitates billing with "Allocator" which is really a transaction creator-creating billing records from time cards using unique rules
- Simplifies the review of draft invoices-making transactions not ready to be billed yet default to the next billing period so revenue does not "leak".
- When we have a lot of invoices rather than just a few large invoices, we can be frustrated by how long it takes Flexible Billings to generate a lot of invoices
- It would be nice if Dynamics SL had an easy integration to some of the nicer salestax tools such as Avalara and CCH.
- It would be nice if the fixed assets module and electronic banking were not third party.
Dynamics SL, like Dynamics NAV has a tremendous toolset for customizing. If you allow the customizing to occur-make sure that you have the staff or budget to support lots of customizations as the mods do make support and upgrading a bit more challenging.
- SL Dynamics has a deep background in project costing. For over 15 years, the product has focused on this type of business and added deep functionality. We have many government contractor and other professional services firms that run their business a project at a time and SL is a great fit.
- SL also has strong multi company accounting capability. One of our customers has 52 entities. Due to and Due From accounting is automatically managed. Cost allocations to entities is quite strong. Users can work in more than one company at a time.
- SL also has deep functionality for distributors. Inventory, Sales order and purchasing are quite strong. For firms that have inventory and also are project oriented, it is one of the few products that manage both functions in a single system.
- Core financial accounting is also strong and there are many add on products that enhance the capability of the product.
- Because the product has been used in Windows since the mid-90s, there is a lot of feature depth. This sometimes gets in the way of customers with simple needs. Training can usually address this concern.
- The application is client server at this time, so it can be hosted in the cloud using Terminal Services. Web enabled functions are starting to be released in the last year and more are to come, so in a few years, the product will be browser based.
- The payroll module (used by less than 10% of our customers) could be easier to use and needs some new features, but it is a 3.5 out of 5.
- Microsoft doesn't have a good budget solution, but there are good products from Solver (BI360) that do a great job of addressing complex budgeting needs.
- The main reports in SL are Crystal and SSRS. Third party tools for simple reporting are available to help get data out. The new Smart Reports address this need also.
There are other distribution solutions that are easier to use, so it might not be the first choice for that type of firm.
Payroll and HR are not the strongest in this product so a company that needed the best in that area, might look at Dynamics GP.
For Professional Services firms, it is an excellent choice!! One of the best.
- Easy to create debits and credits to applicable accounts.
- Easy to keep track of payments, which can be seen on the easy to access Aging report.
- Easy top view line items of each transaction made to each account
- Difficult to reverse an incorrect entry.
- Difficult to complete some tasks without authorization to certain modules.
- Would freeze up a lot, and would therefore have to start over.
- Built on a SQL Server back-end. SQL Server is fairly easy to use and integrates well with other Microsoft products, such as the Office suite of applications.
- Screen customization. It's relatively simple to customize existing screens to expose user fields and to modify field layouts to make screens fit the needs of different users.
- Familiar interface. Users appreciate the similarities between the look and function of SL screens and those of other Microsoft products, particularly Office.
- Manufacturing. SL isn't a great product for discrete or process manufacturing.
- Built-in Reporting. The built-in reporting options, Crystal Reports, FRx, and SQL Server Reporting Services, are inadequate. You'll find, eventually, that you'll need a better reporting tool (after you tire of struggling with your own custom solutions).
- Planning. SL doesn't provide any built-in method for planning, budgeting, or forecasting. Thus, SL isn't great for Supply Chain Management either.
- Able to create and post journal entries accurately.
- Balance sheets and detail general ledgers formats are easy to look at which makes it easier to tie out everything at the end of each month.
- You can use it in many different departments. If it is tax, AR, AP, or general accounting. Makes everyone's job easier and accurate and we are all able to work together.
- When the server is busy, it seems to slow down a lot and is sometimes hard to post transactions and look up information.
- If a problem goes wrong for some reason on one person's end, it could effect everyone in the office as everyone uses similar sources on Microsoft Dynamics SL.
- Applications I use on this seem to disappear from time to time. IT department seems to always find the error though.
- It is sufficient to process AP
- It is sufficient to process POs
- The reporting functions should be much more robust
- We have too many glitches and work - arounds
- Our support has been minimally effective
- The licenses are too expensive for the quality of the product
Review: "Aside from Integration and Reporting, Microsoft Dynamics SL is a Good Small Business Solution"
- Controls - Administrators can set very specific user roles and allow access to only the modules and screens that an employee needs. As far as accounting controls, the system does not allow you do delete items, manually adjust sub-ledgers, or other things that might raise red flags to auditors.
- Multi-Currency - We use three different currencies, and Dynamics allows us to easily create journal entries, raise sales invoices, and receive payments in any of those currencies. The system automatically converts other currencies to the home currency for reporting purposes based on Fx rates that you enter each month. Any payments received in other currencies are applied to the invoice and then any gain or loss on the exchange is automatically booked to the Realized Gain/Loss account.
- Subaccounts - Subaccounts/Classes/Dimensions are easy to set up for each GL account. You can control the combinations of subaccounts and accounts that are used to prevent users from accidentally keying invalid combinations. You can run reports on subaccounts to see all revenue or expenses for a specific subaccount.
- Not Intuitive - A lot of the functionality of Dynamics is not intuitive. For example, when you are on a field where you can enter information from a pick list, you have to hit F3 to show the list. Once you get used to it, it's no big deal, but the initial learning curve is pretty high if you are trying to learn it on your own.
- Reporting - The reporting feature is another area that is just not intuitive. There are a lot of canned reports that are separated by module, but you have to know how to use the feature to even get a basic report to work properly. I've been on the system for almost 10 years and I there are still some basic reports that I struggle to run if they're not ones that I use regularly (ex. an Aged A/R or customer statement for a single customer). The export to Excel leaves a lot to desire as well since the reports always have to be reformatted manually to even be usable.
- Integration with other Systems - We use a separate CRM and quoting system to track customers and create sales quotes. Once the quotes are created, they have to be imported into Dynamics using a integration tool. The import crashes frequently and there are a lot of bugs.
- Sales Tax - Dynamics does allow for the use of sales tax, but it is not very robust. We use a third party to import sales tax rates every month. Our sales tax is a little more complex than what the system can handle so we end up doing a lot of manual adjustments and double check every invoice before it is processed.
- General ledger allows users great flexibility to define the subaccounts. This allows information to be tracked & reported in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the organization. the subaccounts could be used to track departments, regions, locations, etc.
- Dynamics Sl has a strong and flexible Project Accounting system that integrates with the Financial Accounting system
- Dynamics SL is easy to customize allowing for integrations with other systems
- Dynamics SL uses industry standard SSRS and Crystal Reports for reports
- Dynamics SL accepts transactions entered in foreign currencies. The system automatically convents these transactions into the reporting currency. Currency gains & losses are automatically calculated by the system.
- Dynamics SL supports multi-company environments. The system will automatically calculate the due-to - due-from entries and post to the appropriate entity
- The Cash manager account reconciliation process is very cumbersome.
- General Ledger transaction drill down should expand to all modules. Currently it is available to only AP and AR.
- Purchase order Receipt batch numbers must be consistent between General Ledger in Inventory. Assigning two different batch numbers to the same transaction is ridiculous. Microsoft took the easy way out of this issue creating a tracking nightmare for purchase receipts
Additionally, we also use SL in the Accounting Department for GL, AP, AR, and Fixed Assets (this is an add on module).
- It is very robust in the Project Modules. There are many different ways to use Project functions and many companies like the flexibility of having it be stand alone or integrated with other modules.
- The web piece, Business Portal, is also a valuable asset to SL. While not having every function that the regular program has, BP allows users who may not need the full install to do day to day functions like time and expense entry, check reports, etc.
- The Accounting Modules are pretty straight forward. While SL itself is lacking in many of the standard reports, there are add on pieces to make this easier. FRx in versions past, and now BI360. Both are excellent options.
- A standard Fixed Assets module would be wonderful. While there is a piece out there as a third party, bringing that in house would be a giant step in the right direction.
- Process Manager can be cumbersome and difficult to use. There are many mysteries as to when it's going to process records, aside from the midnight. Additional options in set up to push types of jobs at specific intervals would be an amazing option to have, as well as perhaps a process flow somewhere of what it's looking for and priority that it's processing requests. Even Microsoft hasn't been able to answer all of this very well when asked for clarification!
- A more user friendly way to customize SL would be great. Seeing products like AX that have a more advanced customization piece in place makes me very envious. SL seems to be a little behind in keeping up with this.
- A mobile solution for a direct sales type company. We struggle with wanting consultants to go mobile, but the foundation isn't there for it to be done easily. From what I have seen, SL is behind in moving into the mobile era for retail businesses. It's possible but again requires third parties and getting the data back into SL can be clunky and tedious.
If the customer is looking for mobile solutions there are better options out there. If they are looking for basic order processing, warehouse functions, and accounting, then SL may be a good fit.
Microsoft Dynamics SL Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Microsoft Dynamics SL
Microsoft Dynamics SL is one of the ERP products in the Dynamics family.
This product was acquired from Solomon 2000.
The product is typically used by SMBs, particularly in project-based businesses (e.g. construction). It has strong accounting and project management capabilities.
Microsoft Dynamics SL Integrations
Microsoft Dynamics SL Competitors
Microsoft Dynamics SL Technical Details