Microsoft Dynamics GP: Where it’s headed and what it means for your business

September 20, 2021

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a robust accounting and ERP tool empowering thousands of organizations worldwide—but its future is uncertain, at best.

Users may have noticed that development of Dynamics GP has slowed and in October 2019, Microsoft published new lifecycle guidance for the tool that should come as a clear sign for business owners to start weighing alternative options.

If your business uses Dynamics GP, now is the time to think ahead, consider available software alternatives, and be prepared to implement them.

The current GP roadmap

Microsoft’s 2019 update transitioned Dynamics GP from a Fixed Lifecycle Policy to a Modern Lifecycle Policy, taking support of the product through at least 2028.

Under the modern policy, Dynamics GP customers receive support and servicing—which includes bug fixes, new features, and tax updates—as long as they stay current by running at least one of the three yearly planned GP releases. Keeping the software up-to-date is especially important for businesses that run Dynamics GP payroll to be able to install the necessary tax releases.

With three updates a year, the changes are smaller than those Microsoft had provided every 18 months to two years in the past.

Older versions of GP, governed by the fixed policy, received finite mainstream and extended support. You can review Microsoft’s Fixed Lifecycle Policy for Dynamics GP to understand when support for your software version will end.

3 tactics to secure your accounting operations

Microsoft is putting less support, product development, and marketing into Dynamics GP while boosting resources for their mid-market cloud solution, D365 Business Central (D365 BC). Although GP support is certain through at least 2028, this reprioritization is a key indicator that Dynamics GP will eventually come to the end of its lifespan—but when, precisely, that will happen is in the balance.

If your company uses Dynamics GP for its accounting needs, it’s important to start thinking within a strategic long-term framework to avoid a service interruption, critical system issue, or loss of data, and ensure smooth accounting operations if the software is discontinued.

Here are three proactive approaches you can take right now:

  1. Stay current with GP licensing and upgrades. This will keep you well-positioned for a transition to D365 Business Central should GP be discontinued.
  2. Conduct an assessment to determine whether D365 BC meets your business needs.
  3. Develop a solid cloud strategy and consider which GP processes you use regularly compared to the capabilities of D365 Business Central.

Careful consideration of these factors will have you well-positioned to make a calculated move to D365 BC should you chose to, or should you be forced to in the event that Microsoft announces the termination of GP updates and support. Developing a progressive digital plan now will give you a big-picture view of your organizational needs and help you chart a clear path to achieving your pillars of success before making any capital investments.

How BDO can help

BDO Canada has worked with more than 500 clients who run their midmarket business using Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, or D365 Business Central, helping them transition to the most suitable software for their operations.

Cloud-based ERP solutions enable business leaders to drive efficiency, streamline work, and secure a more resilient digital future for their company. Our consulting team can help you identify how your business can uniquely benefit from switching to a cloud ERP and develop a digital strategy to ensure a smooth transition to the software that best meets your goals.

Contact us to learn how our team can support your software requirements and improve efficiencies as GP evolves.

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