This is a common question, especially with new users of Dynamics GP, and I was recently reminded of it by a post in the Microsoft Dynamics GP Newsgroup. While every transaction type will be slightly different, there is a basic lesson that is important for all GP users: beware of the Delete button. Most GP actions are updated automatically and immediately and there is no undo or discard changes available. So sometimes users inadvertently delete valid transactions because the messages GP prompts them with might not explain enough about what’s really going to happen.
Below I will go through examples of the three most common transactions I see this happen with: Sales Order Processing, General Ledger, Payables. I will also, when possible, tell you what you can do to help mitigate this.
Sales Order Processing
When editing a Sales Order Processing transaction, let’s say you change the quantity on one of the lines – as soon as you tab off that line, the change is saved in the database. Out-of-the-box, the old value is no longer stored, so all GP knows about now is the new value you have entered. At this point if you go to close the screen, you get the following:
Read this very carefully – it does not ask whether you want to save or delete your changes. The message talks about saving or deleting the document (aka transaction). Your options:
Save the transaction as it is now, with your changes.
Delete the transaction. Yes, this deletes the entire transaction and it is not reversible.
Cancel for now, make additional changes, but then you will have to either save or delete afterwards.
In Sales Order Processing to minimize the risk of inadvertently deleting a transaction you can either disallow deletion of transactions or allow them but set up a password:
These settings can be different for every combination of Transaction Type and ID. So if you have 10 different order type IDs, you would need to change the settings for each of them individually. Note that the password is not masked, meaning anyone that has access to this window will be able to see or change it.
General Ledger is where I see this issue most often. A typical scenario is this: one user will post transactions in a subledger and another user will review these transactions in the GL before posting them. The reviewer will go to close the screen, thinking no change was made, but GP detected a change, perhaps because of clicking around in the fields, so the user is prompted with:
This is worded a little differently but your options are the same – you can either save the transaction with your changes, delete the entire transaction or cancel to go back to the transaction as it is now. There is no option to undo your changes.
Deleting GL transactions was prevalent enough that starting with version 8.0 of Dynamics GP a setting was added to globally disallow deletion of saved transactions in the General Ledger (Tools > Setup > Financial > General Ledger):
This is a per company setting and I recommend to always have this option unchecked in all your companies. There are very few cases where a GL transaction actually needs to be deleted. In those cases, this setting can be temporarily changed, then put back. For day-to-day GL transaction deletions, use the Void option instead.
While all the prompts asking about saving and deleting are very similar, I think the message in Payables Transaction Entry is the most misleading of the three I am writing about:
This one actually asks about changes and doesn’t mention deleting the transaction, but still, if Delete is chosen, then entire transaction will be deleted. Even more bad news about Payables: I don’t know of any setting to prevent this. The only option is to disallow deletion of printed transactions (Tools > Setup > Purchasing > Payables):
However 99% of the users that I know never print payables documents (to do so, click the bigger Print button in the middle of the toolbar on a Payables Transaction Entry window), so this setting is not much help. If you happen to print a check during the Payables Transaction Entry, that will automatically disallow deleting the transaction (and rightly so), but most users do not print checks from the transaction entry screen. On the other hand, re-entering a saved payables transaction is typically not as bad as a GL or sales transaction, so if I had to pick one without an option to disallow deleting, payables would be it.