Hanna Kim
Budget Consolidation in Multi-Entity Organizations (Budgeting Series)

This article focuses on consolidating finances from multi-entity companies.

Budgeting for SAP B1

Nobody likes growing pains, but every company wants to grow. Growing pains are symptoms that an organization needs to make a transition. It is the nature of business. There is a way to alleviate these pains through automated consolidation of your company’s budget. Budget consolidation, just like financial consolidations, is growing in significance because of reasons such as globalization and the popularity of acquisitions and mergers. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for a mid-sized organization to own many legal entities in different locations. Although a business’ budget consolidation requirements may not be that complicated, creating a set of consolidated accounts can be time consuming and prone to many errors if done in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. There are many financial consolidation tools and solutions that can also automate the consolidation of your budgets and they can replace or improve existing processes and systems. This article is the second installment of our series on budgeting: Budget Consolidation in Multi-Entity Organizations.

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Hanna Kim
Best Report Writers for Microsoft Dynamics Users Using Management Reporter

This article will focus on Management Reporter (MR) and the options for investing in a new reporting tool.

Management Reporter

Management Reporter (MR) is an interactive reporting application that was designed for business professionals that can use the application to create, share, maintain, and view their financial statements. Microsoft offers MR for their ERP customers as a native General Ledger (GL) report writer in Dynamics AX, GP, and SL, almost aided by the more technical reporting tool, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to solve ERP reporting problems. If you attended Microsoft’s Amplify conference in May this year, you probably have heard that MR will no longer have any major releases, but rather go into maintenance mode with only minor updates. In other words, the product is clearly heading for the sunset. Many companies who have used MR and its predecessor, FRx, are already looking for an alternative. This blog article will zoom in on the concerns regarding the impact of this change and the solutions to these concerns.

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Hanna Kim
Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting and Roll-ups with Dynamics GP

This article focuses on financial reporting and roll-up solutions for not-for-profit organizations utilizing Microsoft Dynamics GP.

NFP Fin Cons GP

Financial reporting and consolidations can mean different things to different people. Many larger Microsoft Dynamics GP not-for-profit customers are managing the finances of a parent organization with multiple locations rolling up to it. First things first, let’s define financial roll-ups or ‘consolidations’ as it is typically called in the corporate world. It can simply mean that an organization is combining data from multiple locations either as part of the planning process or for reporting purposes. It can also mean a lot more than just combining data. Financial consolidation is the process of aggregating transactional data from several departments and from multiple business entities within a company for the parent company. In these cases, simply combining data can be complex for multiple reasons. For instance, legal entities can have different charts of accounts or fiscal years. They may also be partially owned. This article will explore the elements and functionalities of financial consolidation for your non-profit organization using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

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Hanna Kim
How Do You Know If You Need a New BI/Analytics System?

This article will help organizations identify signs that they need a new Business Intelligence system.

Trend in Business Intelligence for H2 2015

Today, plenty of large organizations, as well as small and medium-sized companies, are stuck using old or manual Business Intelligence (BI) tools that are in desperate need of a replacement. BI translates to technology-driven processes for analyzing data and presenting information that will help companies improve the decision making processes at all levels of management. Well, how do you know if you need a new BI/Analytics system? You should begin by constructing the right set of questions. What tool(s) does your organization have to have right now? What are your BI goals, and what is your schedule for building the BI toolbox to meet analytical goals? Also, outdated BI systems show several warning signs such as wasting time, harming decision-making, and keeping organizations from taking advantage of their data.

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Matthew Felzke
Data Warehouse and OLAP Cube-based Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics

How you access your data can determine the speed and efficacy you can achieve in your financial reporting processes.  This article will discuss data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

Data is driving decision-making at all levels because data continues to grow in size and significance.  Logging, storing, and evaluating data has become a big part of the business culture today.  In order to produce rich, helpful financial reports for an analysis of a company’s opportunities and challenges, you will have to routinely store, access, and manage your data.  Because of this reality, you might feel overwhelmed your technology options for storing your data.  You have a few options, but they vary in functionality, and one might be better for your company than another, depending on what analysis goals you are trying to achieve.  This article will explore data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

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Matthew Felzke
Useful Business Intelligence Add-on Products for Dynamics GP

Ever wondered why third party products are necessary with all the features and functions in Microsoft Dynamics GP for data analysis and management?  This article will explore the concept of best-in-breed software for corporate performance management.

Recently, I saw a user on LinkedIn pose a question, asking fellow Microsoft Dynamics GP users if they had some documentation regarding why the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system needs Independent Software Vendor (ISV) products.  It was an interesting discussion, perhaps a challenge to ISVs, and a legitimate question for Microsoft fans.  Several people chimed in, and a couple recurring comments seemed to organically surface.

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Matthew Felzke
Financial Consolidations for Microsoft Dynamics and Other ERPs

A financial consolidations tool is essential for any parent company that manages subsidiaries and wants unified reports to analyze overall company health.  This article will explore the key features and functions of today’s financial consolidation software.

There are plenty of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system users that are managing multiple companies or subsidiaries under a parent company.  Making sense of data from different entities, divisions, and sometimes, with different currencies can be a logistical nightmare without a professional financial consolidation and reporting tool.  As data becomes a bigger and bigger part of corporate decision-making, CEOs and CFOs of corporations that own multiple companies are looking for a Business Intelligence (BI) solution that includes a robust and business user friendly consolidation module.  For professionals in this boat, it can be frustrating, but specifically for the typical ERP users, there are not too many choices that combine power and ease of use.

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Matthew Felzke
F9 and Other Excel Add-in Report Writers

After decades of providing a simple Excel-based report writer, F9 might be seeing a resurgence of sorts.  But before you rush out to snag this product to replace FRx or Management Reporter, let’s put it to a basic features test.

Originally released in the late 1980s, F9 was initially developed as a DOS add-in and was soon built for Microsoft Windows.  It is a simple Excel add-in financial report writer, and I have heard from a handful of partners that its popularity might be picking up lately.  If you go to their web site like I did, you will see that they position Excel’s popularity as their key sales pitch.  And they’re right on the money.

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Nils Rasmussen
Better Reports = Better Decisions

If you took a poll to find out which financial reports businesses most frequently use to monitor their performance and decision-making, you’d probably get hundreds of answers. But if we drilled deeper into the questioning, we would probably start seeing the 80/20 rule take effect. In other words, 20% of a company’s reports are used for 80% of performance monitoring and decision-making.

P&L Report

So, which reports would you say are the top 4-5 that truly help you get the FULL picture (albeit at 10,000 foot level of what is going on with the company)?

1. Profit & Loss Report with all the typical columns (current month actuals, last month, last month prior year, budget, year-to-date, etc.)?

2. Balance Sheet?

3. Cash Flow?

4. Narrative management summary report?

Narrative Report

5. KPI/Scorecard report for the top metrics?

6. Sales report showing e.g. the top 50 sales transactions for the month?

7. Payables report showing e.g. the top 50 payments made this month?

8. Receivables report showing e.g. the top 50 aging receivables?

9. Graphical trend reports or dashboards?

10. Other reports?

Aging Report

Assuming you have a set of “favorite” reports that you and your managers consistently use to help manage the company, here are the next questions:

•  Do you have the technology to produce all of these reports as part of an automated process, or is it a manual process to pull everything together and to deliver it to your management team?
• Do you have a process to capture the discussions once managers have reviewed the reports?
•  Do you have agreed upon thresholds in your report package that can trigger management ACTIONS based on the thresholds (for example, if free cash flow passes a certain level, a manager can make a certain investment without delaying the decision with approvals and meetings)?

Revenue Analysis

Hopefully this could spark ideas for anyone trying to put together the “ultimate” management report package.

Nils Rasmussen
Big Data Analysis and Online Marketing Costs

Have you ever wondered what the cost is for your company’s web marketing efforts? In the following paragraphs we will look at an example where we analyze web site traffic and mix this data with the online marketing expenses tracked in the accounting system.

The first thing you would do is to download web site traffic data from your Web Analytics service provider. For example, this can be Google Analytics. If you plan to do this very often, you would connect to Google Analytics using a web service. If not, you can also download the data to e.g. an Excel file, and then import it to your data warehouse where you combine it with the general ledger data, where marketing expenses are tracked.

If you own BI360, you would typically use the BI360 data warehouse as the data store where you load the web statistics data and the general ledger data used in the examples in this blog.

Once you have the data in the data warehouse, you can use the BI360 report writer to create reports that combine the web statistics and marketing expenses to calculate metrics such as Average Marketing Costs per Web Visitor, and then display the result as a formatted report or a dashboard.

Web Statistics – Report

Referral Site Analysis