This article will discuss financial report writers in today’s marketplace for manufacturing organizations looking to expand their SAP Business One experience.
Have you used a Fitbit before to track your fitness activity, diet and sleep? If you have specific fitness goals to be healthier and the Fitbit carries all the features and functionalities you need, this tracker is perfect because it describes in detail an event, situation or occurrence. Similarly, a financial report writer collects and presents financial data so that it can be analyzed. Reporting is the necessary prerequisite of analysis. Reporting makes data understandable and ready for accurate and efficient analysis so you can better reach your company goals. This article will discuss your options for features and functionalities that third party solutions are offering for your SAP Business One (SAP B1) system, specifically zooming in on data management and analysis in manufacturing companies.
Financial report writers encourage and empower organizations to create custom reports that present a summary of your General Ledger transactional data, whether you are reporting direction from SAP B1 ERP and/or from a Data Warehouse (DW) or an OLAP cube. Most accounting systems, including SAP B1, have a native reporting function, but there are several independent software vendor (ISV) solutions that I suggest you consider for smarter, faster, easier report writing. ISV solutions enable financial departments to create dynamic report templates that provide analyses for business decision-making. When investing in report writers to improve data management and analysis processes, it’s important to explore your choices when it comes to ease of use, integration methods and platforms.
Modern financial report writers should be user friendly so that it is easy for you and your manufacturing company to efficiently use- and not waste any of your time. Similarly, invest in a solution that allows you to securely collaborate on analytics. Modern technology has made it to a point where their products and solutions are meeting consumer needs ease of use and secure collaboration whether you choose to go with an Excel, Web, and/or proprietary platform.
Report writers present data and information, in ways that allow decision making teams can act on it. With SAP B1 as your transactional system and a good reporting tool attached to it, your company can collect, interpret, manage and store data. With a BI data store, companies have to budget for the additional investment in software, and you will have to replicate your data from SAP B1 and potentially other data sources over to the BI database, so you can achieve an updated analysis. Although you are spending more to implement a BI database, you will be running reports on a high performance level with an opportunity for richer diversity data. Your investment might be time, money, and staffing to manage the reporting software whether you decide on a complex online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a pre-built, configurable data warehouse (DW).
When looking into a report writer, you should consider how you would like to pull your data as the base of your decision-making. Additionally, consider which method is more beneficial to achieving specific goals, whether you are integrating from a Business Intelligence (BI) data store or generating reports with information directly from SAP B1. Integrating live from SAP B1 means a real-time analysis, right from the SAP B1 database. You don’t have to replicate the required organizational information to a BI data store to get the most recent analysis, and you can typically drill down to more detailed transactional data.
Today’s third party reporting tools vary from Cloud-based, Excel-based, Web-based, proprietary, or a hybrid solution. As you know, Excel will always be embraced, hence why there are Excel-based platforms and Excel add-in software, but there are other options as well. The Web and Cloud have been taking over the technology world. Web-based financial reporting has proven to be revolutionary in terms of managing and analyzing data, due to the easy access from connecting to the Internet from anywhere and with just a browser. Companies also have pure Cloud products, which means they are hosted on the web by a third party, such as Microsoft with Azure and Amazon with AWS, and usually require a BI data store, and are typically not powered by Microsoft Excel. If you’re looking for a tool with familiar features as well as a web-based interface, there are a few hybrid tools that are both web-based and Excel-powered.
Third party manufacturers argue that Excel is inconvenient when it comes to collaborating on financial statements and linking spreadsheets. ISV vendors usually offer their own proprietary BI software that are powerful, but it would require you and your team to learn unique formulas and formatting outside of Excel. Depending on the complexity of the product and what you need to achieve your company goals, it might not be worth your time. If the solution serves your manufacturing analysis needs, it may be a great product for you. Some reporting solutions also go beyond the General Ledger and offers reporting and dashboards for inventory, logistics, operational statistics and more. You will definitely want to do your own further research to figure out what will help your company achieve your business goals.
When looking to upgrade your SAP B1 reporting experience, consider the following: business user friendliness, flexibility to design the reports you need, collaboration, and security. When seeking to find the right financial report writer for your company’s objectives and goals, you should evaluate what features and functions will assist you in current challenges and future issues.
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