Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) is a popular financial management/ERP software with older versions of its product sunsetting in 2025. With 2025 fast approaching, CFOs and their teams are under pressure to shift to a new technology. According to new research from Sage and studioID of Industry Dive, nearly four out of five financial executives (78%) believe that it is extremely urgent or very urgent to replace Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains.
Sage and studioID conducted the research — encapsulated in a newly released report — to understand what CFOs and other financial executives are thinking about when it comes to selecting software that can support the future of their departments (and their companies). The report, titled Microsoft Dynamics GP Users See the Benefits of Change as ‘Urgent’ Transition Approaches, is driven by the results of a survey of 169 financial executives.
Strategic CFOs Face Challenges
The research found that CFOs are increasingly becoming strategic partners to the C-suite and the business overall.
Nearly all financial executives (98%) surveyed agree that, as their organizations grow, the Finance function is becoming more strategic and integral to the business. Almost half of financial executives (47%) report that the main pressure CFOs are currently experiencing is the increased expectation to work across silos and collaborate with other departments, and other pressures reported by financial executives are new responsibilities related to HR, IT, or digital transformation (32%), and increased expectation to provide insights to the C-suite (31%).
At the same time, financial executives are experiencing key challenges working with Microsoft Dynamics GP.
The consideration mentioned most often by financial executives as one that would cause their organizations to be more inclined to switch to a new software provider, for example, was better capabilities to understand/analyze core financials (46%). Also, many obstacles exist in the monthly financial close. The biggest obstacles are technology limitations (19%), data inaccuracies (18%), lengthy data entry/manipulation processes (14%), and the impact of reconciliation and investigations (12%).
In the midst of these pressures and challenges, CFOs and their organizations are open to change.
Not only do four out of five financial executives (81%) believe their organizations are extremely or very open to change, 95% of them concur that being even more open to change would benefit their organizations.
Yet financial executives aren’t as open to change as they claim when it comes to the transition away from Microsoft Dynamics GP. The majority intend to move to Microsoft’s successor product: Seven out of ten financial executives (72%) say that, given the announcement that Microsoft will discontinue its support for Dynamics Great Plains, their organizations intend to transition to or have already transitioned to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (38% intend to transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and 34% are already transitioning to the product).
Finding Success with a Robust Solution
With the survey data suggesting that there are gaps between what finance departments want and what Microsoft Dynamics GP and its successor product, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, deliver, CFOs are wise to look into a more robust solution.
“It is a very, very smart time to look into a new solution because you’re not rushed,” says Scott Freedman, Sage’s director of industry marketing for Sage Intacct. “Your product [Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains] is still working, but you can take the time you need to figure out your needs and talk to people who can help you along the way to make a good, informed decision. Your vendor has given you the impetus to change, and if you’re ready to move to the cloud, you can take advantage of what a robust solution has to offer.”
Modern cloud-native solutions like Sage Intacct enable financial professionals to consolidate data siloed across solutions creating a single source of truth, eliminating the need to juggle spreadsheets. Financial professionals can share real-time actionable data across the organization through individualized dashboards. Audit trails simplify cross-functional processes like invoice approvals. And AI automates AP, AR and other critical functions using customized templates and automated error detection so financial professionals can spend time on more strategic work.
The full report — Microsoft Dynamics GP Users See the Benefits of Change as ‘Urgent’ Transition Approaches — expounds on the benefits of embracing a robust solution in this time of change for CFOs.