This article will discuss your options for modern financial reporting solutions with Intacct.
Financial reporting is the cornerstone of corporate performance management (CPM) tools, as the process does the work of summing up the financial health of your company. Today’s business world relies on financial reporting and related KPIs 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 Sage Intacct ERP system.

GL, general ledger, variance, quickstart, monthly, ytd, budget, forecast, actual, results, comparison, P&L, income, net income, profit, loss, quarterly, consolidating, multi-entity

Multi-entity P&L report consolidating entities into one report with last year to date, current year to date and budget.

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 Sage Intacct, incorporate a financial reporting functionality into the application, but is usually somewhat limited and not great at producing rich, formatted reports beyond the GL. The built-in ERP reporting tools are a great starting place for what you should be looking for in a report writer, but the moment you find yourself fixing and formatting reports in Excel, it is probably a good time to look at CPM solutions, like Solver, that comes pre-integrated to Intacct.

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.

Example of a Revenue Comparison and Consolidation Dashboard to Streamline the Monthly Reporting & Consolidations Process

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 Sage Intacct deployments, tools like Solver has pre-built integrations to pull data from Sage Intacct into specialized analytics clouds, which is where you can create reports, budgets, and dashboards.

What is the Effort to Implement a Financial Reporting Solution for Sage Intacct?

Most Sage Intacct customers want their connected apps, including CPM tools and dashboards, to be cloud based. Key questions that quickly come up are: how hard is it to integrate to Sage Intacct and how much cost and effort does it take to get up and running?

The answer typically is weeks or months of effort and tens of thousands of dollars in services. However, Sage Intacct software partners, like Solver, that work very closely with Sage and its partner channel, have developed pre-built integrations as well as out-of-the-box financial reports, planning input templates and Power BI dashboards. For example, Solver’s QuickStart integration to Sage Intacct can get a company up and running in a single day with 100+ pre-built budget and forecast input templates, Power BI financial dashboards, as well as financial reports. All of these ready-to-use templates can be selected and downloaded at no additional cost from a continuously growing Template Marketplace.

It has taken some time for cloud technologies to become trustworthy and widely adopted in the business world, but no more. 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 Planning and Planful are exclusively web portal platforms, but there are also hybrid solutions on the market, like Solver, which is both Excel-powered for report design and web-based for end users. This means that users can create and design financial reports with data from Sage Intacct right within Excel and share them with end users in a modern web portal.

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 Sage 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 Sage 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 Solver’s easy-to-use Excel, web, and cloud platform for real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis using Sage Intacct.