Our Journey from Microsoft Dynamics GP to the Business Central Cloud Part 4: Go-Live Week
This series has been focused on our migration from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central. We’ve discussed the challenges we were facing and a desire to eat our own “dog food”, our plan for adopting cloud-first technologies, and our actual implementation activities leading up to our Business Central go-live.
Now go-live week is here, the first week of January. Part of our pre-go-live implementation activities included:
Bringing in our G/L transactions to Business Central up through March 2020
Reconciling the financial reporting in BC with our GP financial reports up through March 2020
Populating customers and vendors in BC
Once we did that, we had to perform dual maintenance in GP and BC as new customers and vendors were onboarded
Tested all business processes that touched BC (invoicing, cash receipts, G/L entries, checkbook reconciliation, etc.)
At this point, Business Central and GP were in sync from a data perspective through March of 2020.
These activities enabled us so that on 1/1/2021 we would:
Suspend all posting activities in GP
Begin transacting in BC (this was mainly related to sales invoicing – we just left them as unposted while we completed the rest of the activities)
Export out the G/L transactions from GP and import them into BC
This was relatively easy by using a SQL script to get the data out of GP, doing a little “massaging” on that data in Excel to account for some restructuring we did (we used an Excel VBA macro for this, then using the copy/paste functionality in Business Central.
Exporting uncleared bank transactions from GP and importing them into BC
Exporting open A/R and A/P balances from GP and importing them into BC
For the bank transactions and A/R and A/P imports, we used BC configuration packages developed by our implementation consultant
Reconcile monthly financial reports in BC with our GP financial reports from April through December (this was mainly just ensuring the G/L account category totals matched in both systems)
Overall, this process took about 3 business days. By business day 4, we were up and running completely in BC. The key to our success was having a knowledgeable consultant that had done this before with several other customers. This give us confidence in our ability to be successful prior to our Business Central go-live, the actual activities were just about checking items off the to-do list.
You might be thinking…“Wait – you didn’t talk about your payroll implementation. I thought you implemented Payroll NOW as part of this process as well.”
We did indeed implement Payroll NOW in Business Central after migrating from GP payroll. While there are a few dependencies on core BC functionality (G/L and vendors), most of the Payroll NOW implementation can be completed in a bubble of sorts. Our HR Manager completed our Payroll NOW implementation with some help from our knowledgeable implementation team. Most of these setups were completed before go-live. Given that we were doing a 1/1 implementation, we didn’t need to bring over any historical transactions. Also, we had a couple weeks to finalize our Payroll NOW implementation in January because of how the pay periods fell. Honestly, the Payroll NOW implementation was a breeze.
In our next post, we’ll look at what our migration from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central has enabled us to do as part of our larger initiative of moving to cloud-first technologies. Stay tuned…