How to Learn Great Plains Software

Great Plains, also known as Microsoft Dynamics GP, is an accounting and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software package. The software is used in a wide variety of industries for different purposes including finances, sales, purchasing, payroll, inventory control and many others. Each of these different series can contain many modules. Additionally, third-party applications are available to integrate into Great Plains. This means that learning how to use Great Plains software varies according to which modules are used.

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General Understanding

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Determine which version of Great Plains you have and which modules have been installed. This can be done by opening the software, reading the About page, and navigating through available menus, as well by reading the documentation that came with the software.

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Talk to the system administrator who installed and manages the Great Plains software on your network to determine which modules have been installed and who uses them.

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Talk to others in your organization who use Great Plains, including those in other departments. Modules used by the sales department may be different than those used by the accounting department, but they often share the same data. Knowing what each department uses the software for will enhance your understanding of the system as a whole.

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Read the online support documents pertaining to your modules. These are available from the Microsoft Dynamics website. (See Resources)

Tutorials

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Use the online tutorials built into the Great Plains software by opening the software on your computer. These are the fastest way to get hands-on experience in learning how to use the software.

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Locate the tutorial by clicking on "Help" on the right of the top menu in the Great Plains window. Click on "Tutorial" in the drop-down menu.

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Select a tutorial from the menu of lessons presented. Begin with Lesson 1, "Entering a quote."

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Follow the step-by-step instructions for the lesson. Screen shots are presented through each step of the tutorial, allowing you to compare your work to the instructions in the tutorial.

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When finished with Lesson 1, proceed through the other lessons. It is important to follow the lessons in sequence, as the skills learned in the earlier lessons will be built on in the later lessons.

Other Ways of Learning

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Go to the library or bookstore and find a book on Great Plains. There are many good books available on the software containing much more detail than is available on the Internet.

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Take a course at your local college. Accounting or computer courses may be available which specialize in Great Plains.

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Visit online forums where others using the software share their experiences and rely on each other to help them work through questions about the software.