Lesson Learned: Integrating Microsoft RMS and Dynamics GP

When integrating third-party programs into your accounting system, the tendency in implementation is to take the data that is the third party program and force it into the accounting system. 

Even when the software programs are compatible, and there is a stock integration path available, it is important to plan for your end result.  By this I mean that you should review the accounting system first, and determine what financial information you want out of the system prior to setting up your integration.  Then, if possible, make changes to the entry of the data in the third-party program to accommodate the end result you wish to achieve.  In doing so, your integration will go smoother and you will have fewer post-integration changes to make.

An example:

We have a client that has an integration between Dynamics GP and Microsoft RMS (RMS).  The integration was set up by a different provider, and technically, it works great.  However, they started with the point of sale system, and tried to make it work with the accounting system.  What they ended up with were point of sale processes that are not compatible with the import of transactions into the accounting system.

This client has requirements to track discounts, trade-ins, promotional credits and deposits in the point of sale system.  All these features were set up in RMS.   However, they established a system that requires negative quantities or negative dollar amounts on sales invoices-both of which are allowed by the point of sale system.

Negative quantities and negative dollar amounts do not integrate well into the accounting system.  They continually have to fix transactions that have been imported, or failed to import altogether, because they did not start with the accounting system requirements and then develop procedures on the point of sale system that would create valid data for the integration.

The issues this client had never came to light until a key staff person left, and a temporary accounting service was hired.  The staff person had accepted that the issues she was correcting each day were normal, and did not attempt to fix the point of sale data issues they were having.  If they had started with the accounting system, and worked back to the data entry in the point of sale system, the daily integrations would have gone smoother and the transition to new staff would have been simple and painless.