Financial Reporting with Microsoft Dynamics GP
With data continuing to increase in importance to business decision-making processes, it is vital to have a powerful, business user friendly financial report writer, so your company can use analytics to understand what will help you to remain competitive. In this article, we will lay out your options to find the right reporting solution, zooming in on feature and function offerings, for your specific business demands as a Microsoft Dynamics GP customer.
Most report writers generate unique financial reports, utilizing historical actuals from your data sources, with the choice to pull data directly from Dynamics GP or other data management systems, or from a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube. Dynamics GP has a built-in reporting function, also known as “Report Writer,” in addition to FRx/Management Reporter, Smartlist, and SQL Reporting Services, but similar to other accounting systems, these software options are not built for BI analytics, so third party software manufacturers are proving to be more powerful in their analyses. These independent software vendors (ISVs) are enabling finance professionals to design and reuse personalized report templates that speak to the health of the company, so executives can make more informed decisions about what’s next. We know from experience that a lot of GP users typically move on to the Microsoft BI Stack – or Management Reporter (MR) and PowerBI, when moving beyond the native reporting feature in GP, but other options are too valuable to not consider. You will want to evaluate how other options offer you better reporting when it comes to accessibility, ease of use, flexibility, and integrations, amongst other aspects.
Let’s begin by discussing preferences when it comes to how you integrate your data. Some financial reporting tools only integrate with a BI data store, while others can pull data directly from the GL and sub-ledger modules in GP. With an OLAP cube or a data warehouse, you are going to be investing some extra money, and you’ll have to build data replications into your processes for your data to be available for analysis. But, if you have enough GP users that simultaneous and/or significant data queries slow the GP server down, BI data stores offer a higher performance without a sluggish GP. On the other hand, integrating live from GP gives you real-time analytics, which is usually a top priority for accountants and less essential for non-financial managers.
Microsoft Management Reporter and Solver’s BI360 both offer live integrations for Dynamics GP, which is not as common as you might think, as most report writers rely on a BI data store. BI360 can also integrate with a BI data store, like their own data warehouse, so you’ll want to evaluate your financial reporting needs and determine which software will help you achieve your BI goals. You’ll also want to consider how you can access your data with the platform options you have today.
To continue learning more about financial reporting solutions for Microsoft Dynamics GP, read the rest of this article here.