This article will discuss your options for modern financial reporting solutions with Intacct.
Financial reporting is the cornerstone of corporate performance management (CPM), as the process does the work of summing up the financial health of your company. Today’s business world relies on financial reporting in a major, indispensable way. As it is a requisite aspect of running a business, automation of reporting processes and streamlining the content only makes sense. As you seek to understand the data that you pull from cloud and on-premise technologies, reporting is becoming more crucial, even just as a way to consolidate information. This article will zoom in on second generation cloud reporting tools and how the right one can benefit your data management and analysis tasks from your Intacct ERP system.

Until recently, financial reporting has proven quite limited in the cloud, but has reinvented itself as cloud technologies have gained momentum in changing the landscape. When investing in a modern reporting tool today, you are looking for accessibility in terms of collaborating with team members and offices in different places, automated financial statements, robust security, and self-service analysis. The premier enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, like Intacct, typically incorporate a financial reporting functionality into the application, but is usually limited and not great at producing rich reports beyond the GL. And the built-in ERP reporting tools are a great starting place for what you should be looking for in a report writer.
Must-haves that your reporting tool should offer you: Microsoft Excel is number one worldwide, with familiarity in formatting, formulas, and business rules. In looking toward the future with a cloud report writer, make sure that it is business user friendly beyond offering Excel familiarity. Web interfaces offer you flexible access for reporting on the go. If you opt for a tool that isn’t easy for your team to manage financial statements from end to end, you will probably end up back in manual Excel spreadsheets. Don’t waste your time and money on “solutions” that do not make reporting teamwork a simple, key aspect of the process – and make sure security is top notch. With today’s leading cloud financial reporting vendors, limitations are being eliminated by consumer demand and technology developments. Cloud technologies are picking up speed in terms of developing intuitive functionality.
Cloud corporate performance management (CPM) is relatively new to the financial reporting marketplace, but vendors have invested significant amounts of money to develop cloud reporting options that evolve report writing – for the better. While the first generation of cloud reporting tools were web-based only, the second generation of cloud report writers on the market have included some Excel add-ins that you can run in the cloud. One important benefit of this new wave of cloud CPM providers is that some come with flexible databases, or a cloud data warehouse (DW).
The importance of a DW is simple: companies are able to consolidate their data into one storage space to eliminate all of the different report writers for each data source. In terms of cloud-based Intacct deployments, tools like BI360 and Adaptive Insights have pre-built integrations to pull data from Intacct into specialized analytics clouds, which is where you can create reports, budgets, and dashboards. Not a lot of solutions offer live integrations, but BI360 also integrates live with on-premise implementations of certain ERP systems like Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL, as well as with a cloud-based Intacct deployment, making it more convenient for users that migrate from on-premise ERPs to cloud (or in a rare case, vice versa), as well as for reselling partners that only have to learn one universal reporting tool to assist their Intacct customers with reporting.
It has taken some time for cloud technologies to become trustworthy and widely adopted in the business world, but there’s a true momentum building now. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, two of the largest cloud service platforms, are providing web applications, virtual machines, data management, and more, so that your organization can work hard from anywhere you can connect to the internet, all while being managed by a cloud vendor.
A lot of today’s businesses rely on employees working together from different coordinates on the globe. Web reporting responds to this business culture demand for flexible access to decision-making data. Adaptive Insights and Host Analytics are exclusively cloud platforms, but there are also hybrid solutions on the market, like BI360, which is both Excel-powered and web-based. This means that users can create and design financial reports with data from Intacct right within Excel and share them with end users in a modern web portal. You can also choose whether to deploy BI360 on-premise, in the cloud, or both in a hybrid setup.
CPM vendors who deliver report design within a web interface typically have acceptable traditional reporting, but not as robust as an Excel add-in. Without Excel add-in technology, you’re unable to produce highly customizable, formatted financial statements, such as profit and loss (P&L), cash flow, and balance sheets. Web- and cloud-based solutions are the definitive future, if not the new normal for CPM, and third party report writers add flexibility for Intacct. Finally, a common concern for CPM technology consumers has been security. Second generation financial reporting vendors have made that concern a top priority for their cloud products. And they’ll continue to invest time and money to stay ahead of threats to security, meanwhile making it easy to configure and manage by user and role.
If you are (still) reading this article, you’re probably looking to expand your financial reporting output with Intacct, but one caveat: do not just look at stand-alone report writers. If you’re planning for growth, investing in a complete CPM suite, which also offers budgeting, dashboards, and a data warehouse to combine Intacct information with your other data sources, is likely the best investment in the long run. There is plenty to absorb about the cloud, and there are several things to consider when investing in the right financial reporting tool for you and your organization. Solver, Inc. is happy to answer any questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use Excel, web, and cloud platforms for real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis using Intacct.

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