Matt Felzke
Financial Reporting, Budgeting and Dashboard Software for Intacct

This article will discuss your options for powerful and modern Business Intelligence solutions for financial reporting, budgeting, and dashboards to enhance your Intacct experience.

Accounting technology research firm Software Advice recently reported that software replacement – Business Intelligence (BI) technology included – was largely because of organizations outgrowing their current systems.  In addition, top requested functions included robust financial reporting, with a majority of prospective customers seeking something web-based.  And all of this likely makes sense to you as an Intacct customer.  You’re aware of the power and flexibility of web-based software, and it might even be a reason for your own growth.  If you are experiencing growth and looking to replace, expand, or simply deploy powerful, modern financial reporting, budgeting, and/or dashboards, this article will give you the head start on the research you should do to find the best solution(s) for your team’s specific business needs.

Let’s start at what I consider a foundation for software implementation: data integration methods for building best-of-breed BI for Intacct.  You have a few options when integrating company data to and from Intacct and a BI solution.  Only a couple tools integrate live to Intacct, with a handful offering General Ledger (GL) and sub-ledger analysis.  Should someone on your executive or finance team need a report or dashboard with up-to-date data, an easy and efficient integration is key.  Depending on the number of users who have to query large data sets, BI toolscan make the Intacct server sluggish.

If your company runs reports or pulls information more routinely like a quarterly statement, you can integrate from a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube.  BI data stores provide higher performance reporting, budgeting, and dashboards, but this route requires replication of your data to the cube or warehouse.  Moreover, data warehouses offer Intacct users a potent platform for financial consolidations, aggregating diverse types of company data from multiple sources, so you can build reports and dashboards and/or budgets or forecasts that pull data from Intacct and other sources, like Salesforce, for richer analyses and more informed decision-making.  Good news: there are solutions that allow you the flexibility to decide between integration methodologies.

The more sophisticated BI software on the market today are true hybrids when it comes to integrating data, with options for real-time and BI store integrations – for flexible and dynamic financial reports, budgets, consolidations, dashboards, etc.  This hybridity might be necessary for some organization and excessive for other companies.  When evaluating what you need, think about how many Intacct users might be querying substantial data sets, slowing down the server, and how important a high performing BI data store integration could be for your team.  BI software is all about how to manage and assess your data, so you should also be thinking about your method of data storage for a best-of-breed Intacct experience.

The main data storage offerings are OLAP cubes and data warehouses.  OLAP cubes are multi-dimensional databases, so you can think of them as three-dimensional spreadsheets.  A data warehouse is a configurable database that stores diverse data types.  Management of an OLAP cube requires someone on your staff to have OLAP-specific skill sets to set up, organize, and maintain the cube because they are complicated.  Traditionally, data warehouses were a development project for the IT department, but are now offered commercially as pre-built and configurable.  Today’s commercial data warehouses are easy to use so that the financial team can manage the product, instead of IT professionals.  When looking for BI tools to improve your Intacct experience, commercial data warehousing is going to be an easier, potentially more cost effective method.  You should be shopping for BI solutions that make your processes easier and quicker, instead of slowing things down.

Next up on the list of considerations: Excel-based or proprietary platforms.  Because Intacct is entirely web-based, the native report designer is also web-powered.  It is, however, important to note that most accounting teams have been relying on Excel around the world since undergraduate days.  Microsoft Excel’s familiarity arguably makes Excel add-in BI solutions an extremely valuable investment.  There are very few BI tools that are Excel-powered when built for a Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like Intacct, but they enhance the ERP with Excel formatting for flexible and familiar report design, calculations, and charting, all the while within a web browser.  Alternatively, proprietary interfaces can be powerful, but don’t offer familiarity of features and functionalities, so this could mean more money spent on training and consulting.

As Intacct has proven, the mobility and flexible access of a web platform is a powerful evolution, and the BI marketplace is following suit.  As the business world becomes more and more international, web platforms are a response to consumers’ need for flexible access to company data.  Web report writing, budgeting, and dashboards allow business end users to manage and analyze information from anywhere with an internet connection, with some solutions also providing familiar Excel formatting, resulting in quicker, richer decision-making.  Additionally, as an extension of web-based BI, mobile BI applications have also begun rolling out.  If you have to access a report while on the go with information from Intacct, you can invest in a BI tool that also has a mobile application, giving you access on your smartphone or tablet.  One more thing to consider: a suite of BI tools, so you can build a modern toolbox to tackle your analysis processes.

You might just be looking for a budgeting tool at the moment.  But if you look ahead, whether it is 18 months or 5 years from now, a comprehensive BI product suite will ensure that if you want to add a financial report writer or dashboards, it won’t require more than one team of consultant or sales professionals.  Some third party manufacturers will also give you a discount when you purchase more than tool at the same time.  BI is basically the definition of planning ahead in action, so you should be doing just that when you shop for a BI tool.

There’s plenty to consider when preparing to invest in a vital BI tool, and it can be overwhelming.  Solver, Inc. is happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s web-powered, easy-to-use Excel and mobile BI tools with both real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis, budgeting and collaboration as a way to accelerate company performance management beyond Intacct.

Matt Felzke
Project Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

This article will tackle budgeting, forecasting, and modelling for projects, using Microsoft Dynamics NAV with third party budgeting solutions.

You can go ahead and nod your head in agreement when I say that financial planning is such an essential element of corporate performance management (CPM).  Sometimes, the caliber of your planning processes can mean life or death for enterprises, particularly in the context of the all too recent recession.  Company-wide planning processes are generally routine and almost always require multiple moving pieces to bring together actual transactional figures and projections for the upcoming planning period.  Alternatively, there are times when an organization or a consultant has to budget for a particular task or project.  Whether you are a project manager overseeing multiple projects, a consultant tracking your billable hours, or a freelance professional crafting a bid for a job, project budgeting then is an important Business Intelligence (BI) term in your role.

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Matt Felzke
Financial Consolidation Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP

This article will discuss the necessity of powerful financial consolidation tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP customers who manage parent company portfolios, while exploring key features and functionalities.

Plenty of Microsoft Dynamics GP customers are managing the financials of a parent company, with multiple subsidiaries.  Combining organizational information from more than one company, sometimes with diverse currencies, can be tedious without a modern financial report writer and consolidations solution.  Data continues to grow in size – and in significance, regarding decision-making for the future of a company.  Executive teams are thus shopping around for an easy-to-use tool for the regular hurdle of aggregating data into unified financial statements.  If you’re a Dynamics GP user who is charged with consolidating subsidiary company data, this article will highlight the few options you have that combine power, modernity, and business user friendliness.

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Matt Felzke
Mobile Reporting and Dashboards for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

This article will explore mobile options to access, manage, and analyze company data for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users.

I recently spoke to a COO, who lives and works in Kansas City, MO about the obstacles and restrictions she has been facing as her job has taken her to different client sites to oversee projects, while also contributing to the executive team’s responsibility to chart the path to the future for the company.  Over the past couple of years, as the company has taken on more clients, some international, she has been traveling a lot more.  Her team relies on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and a combination of Excel and the built-in financial reporting tool, but she is ready to seek a true upgrade to report writing and dashboards that is flexible in how and where you can access your data.  Are you in a similar boat?

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Matt Felzke
Cloud-based Reporting and Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics

This article will discuss the intricacies of deploying financial reporting and budgeting solutions in the Cloud for more modern and flexible data management and analysis with Microsoft Dynamics.

Web-based reporting and budgeting, with Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, are becoming more and more important for Microsoft Dynamics users, but for some, the whole concept might still seem a little bit confusing in regard to deployment, security, and functionality.  I understand this uncertainty.  Even though it seems pretty straightforward and is picking up momentum, we’re used to hosting our technology on premises, so we don’t have the hands-on experience of Cloud computing.  You probably have questions of access, cost, management, and security, which can be overwhelming.  Regardless, as Microsoft Dynamics customers, you have some powerful Business Intelligence (BI) options, and it will only give you a head start to know about the available solutions.  In this article, I will explore Cloud-based financial reporting and budgeting and some of the solutions for Microsoft Dynamics.

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Matt Felzke
Excel-based Financial Reporting for SAP Business One (SAP B1)

This article will explore the flexibility and familiarity of easy-to-use, modern Excel-powered financial report writers, so you can get a head start in upgrading your data management and analysis processes.

Financial reporting is arguably the premier tool in the world of Business Intelligence (BI).  For SAP Business One (SAP B1) users, this process can be repetitive, tedious, limiting, and mind-numbing, depending on the software you rely on to put together financial statements.  Data management and analysis is a big task that only gets bigger every year as types and amounts of information continue to grow.  The larger the amount of data and the more diverse the types, the richer the analytics that can inform stronger decisions and strategies for the future of your company.  In this article, I’m going to discuss the power, flexibility and business user friendliness of today’s best Excel-based financial report writers for SAP B1 customers.

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Matt Felzke
Collaborative Web-based Report Library for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

This article discusses in detail the new product category of web-based reporting in an intuitive, powerful library for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users.

The future of Business Intelligence (BI) and more specifically, financial reporting, is here – and it would be a mistake to ignore it.  I’m talking about the importance of a comprehensive solution that responds to several organizational needs, while putting ease of use, flexibility, and collaboration at the core of the technology.  Let me be more specific: a web-based report library for Microsoft Dynamics NAV takes financial reporting to the next level – a new normal of synergy, modernity, and business user friendliness.  As technology marketplaces continue to move in the direction of Cloud computing and web-based products, so does the BI sector.  This article will discuss some of Dynamics NAV users’ needs addressed by a web-based report library as a framework to understand the new product category better for consumers.

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Matt Felzke
Best Project Accounting Reports for Microsoft Dynamics SL

This article will explore the intricacies of project accounting reports for Microsoft Dynamics SL customers, in the context of shopping for the right reporting tool to meet your team’s business needs.

Project accounting is different from standard accounting in its approach to how you are tracking financials.  In traditional accounting, you are working to evaluate comprehensive development of an organization.  With project accounting, you are analyzing the progress of a specific project.  The project accounting software marketplace is offering more and more advanced functionality for industries and particular organizations that are charged with monitoring the productivity and financial health of a project, especially in comparison with the budget.  This article will explore project accounting for Microsoft Dynamics SL, in the context of key considerations when searching for the right tool to assist in your reporting and analysis of projects.

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Matt Felzke
How to Create Modern Multi-Tab Financial Reports with Excel

This article will discuss accelerated, streamlined ways to organize your data in modern multi-tab reports with powerful third party financial reporting tools, like BI360.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Senior Consultant at Solver, Stephanie Gamber, after her popular session at the Annual BI360 User Conference, Focus 2014.  Gamber presented on the topic of multi-tab Excel reports, an extremely relevant activity to accountants and CFOs as corporations grow in locations, divisions, or departments.  The traditional way of building multi-tab Excel reports can be nearly unmanageable or inaccessible based on the vast size, depending on the number and/or type of tabs that you might employ to break down your data for different analytics.  This article will zoom in on the limitations of traditional multi-tab reporting and the powerful options you have for more streamlined financial statement generation.

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Matt Felzke
Best Budgeting and Forecasting Tools for SAP Business One

This article will contribute to the conversation regarding third party budgeting and forecasting tools and their key features and functionalities for SAP Business One.

Unless you are a part of the special interest population of people that enjoys budgeting, it’s safe to say that budgeting and forecasting are probably some of the most dreaded business tasks today.  It might be related to the flimsier tools budget managers are relying on to perform the task.  Companies of any healthy size are realizing that manual Excel spreadsheets just are not robust enough for their business needs and are starting to seek an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) budgeting solution to streamline their planning processes.  Today’s modern offerings accelerate budgeting and forecasting by inviting secure collaboration into the process.  Managing financials is so important to living within your company’s means, so that you can remain competitive.

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