Dynamics GP Alternatives: Finding the Best ERP Solution for Your Business


What do you replace Dynamics GP (Great Plains) with? Everyone wants the answer. 

From our last post, we asked the question, “Is it time to Replace Dynamics GP”. In this post, we answer what you could replace GP with. 

The default answer tends to be Dynamics Business Central. However, Dynamics Business Central (formerly Dynamics Navision or NAV) is not an upgrade, it is a different application that will require a re-implementation. If you are reimplementing you should take advantage of the opportunity to evaluate other options. 

We will break down the market into two general segments: Mid-Market and Enterprise.  There can be quite a bit of crossover between the markets. 

Mid-Market Solutions  

Acumatica, Dynamics BC, Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct (note we have not reviewed the SAP mid-market products in detail recently). 

These are all solid ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems which can work well if implemented correctly. 


Acumatica is differentiated from the rest for several reasons: 

  1. The availability of U.S. Payroll and soon Canadian Payroll. The payroll is also suited to staffing and employees with different work locations. 
  2. The payroll price point is much more cost effective than other offerings in the market and includes built in features like geocoding for local payroll taxes and garnishments. If you would like more pricing information you can answer this quick survey for details.
  3. There will be fewer integration points with your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and time collection systems and fewer vendors to manage. 
  4. Acumatica has licensing options that are not per user so you can provide secure access to the system to all your team members who could benefit from it. 
  5. Acumatica has an option to include automated, mobile expense capture and recognition. These receipts are stored directly in Acumatica for processing immediately upon submission.  

If you never plan to take payroll in-house, we still prefer Acumatica for several reasons including: 

  1. Integration capabilities – Acumatica was developed as a cloud application and not a legacy application enabled for the cloud. Thus, their REST API capabilities and other integration points are strong. 
  2. Acumatica consistently wins awards for the leading usability in the market. By consolidating things like Pay Stubs and Expense Management your team has fewer logins to remember. 
  3. The functionality is strong and is a better fit for most customers coming off of Dynamics GP (better than Dynamics Business Central). 
  4. The licensing is not user based.  This gives your company the option to provide access to Acumatica’s ERP to as many users as you would like without changing your licensing. 
  5. The flexible integration and licensing also work together for you to be able to have users in other systems access Acumatica data without more licensing.  Your ATS users can see real time customer and invoice balances right in that system. 
  6. The Acumatica financial structure works well with staffing – Companies, Branches, Accounts, Sub-accounts allow you to easily report on your operations. 
  7. Acumatica is customer and partner focused and is more reminiscent of the strong Great Plains ecosystem. 

Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC)

Reasons to move to Dynamics BC. 

  1. We have been involved with a few Dynamics BC implementations for staffing companies with an external payroll. If you want GL/AR/AP capabilities and never want payroll as part of your ERP system, then Dynamics BC is a solid offering. 
  2. Dynamics BC/Navision has been around for 25 years and in that time there has been a ton of online content and how-to guides published online. Dynamics BC and GP both have among the strongest ERP communities sharing information. 
  3. If you love your Microsoft partner and the service they provide, that is the most compelling reason to move to Dynamics BC and stick with your current provider. You will want to do some due diligence and find out about their Dynamics BC team and if you will be able to continue to work with your key contacts (or get solid replacements). 

Reasons to avoid moving from Dynamics GP to Business Central 

  1. It is not a migration – it is an entirely new implementation. While Dynamics Business Central and Dynamics GP are both called Dynamics, other than a few user interface items that is where the similarity ends. Dynamics BC could be your best option, but like any other ERP system, such as Acumatica, it will be a new implementation, not a migration. 
  2. Dynamics BC will not have a Microsoft provided, integrated payroll system. Microsoft has been moving away from their payroll offerings for years for Dynamics GP and Dynamics Finance and Operations. 

Oracle Netsuite and Sage Intacct 

The Najaxa team has done less hands-on work with NetSuite and Intacct but has done some integration work. If you are looking for core GL/AR/AP capabilities without an integrated payroll for staffing they will work if implemented correctly. If you are in a scenario where you have a mix of systems such as QuickBooks, GP, NetSuite, and would like to consolidate them all, Najaxa can help. 

Enterprise Solutions

Najaxa’s experience with Enterprise solutions is focused on integrations. Our customers often have a mid-market ERP solution for specialty brands or acquisitions that we help to integrate into their Workday, SAP or other Enterprise systems. 

Please Note: Najaxa focuses on solutions for staffing companies. For Staffing, core financials (GL/AR/AP), financial reporting, operational reporting, and payroll are key components.  Project Accounting, Expense Management, Fixed Assets, etc. can also be important, but distribution, manufacturing, etc. are not taken into consideration here. 

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