Matthew Felzke
Replacing FRx and Management Reporter with Cloud Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics

Cloud Reporting for IntacctThis article explores the cloud reporting options you have for replacing FRx and Management Reporter.

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that some companies might still be using FRx, as the product was retired by Microsoft – and replaced with Management Reporter (MR) – years ago. But MSDynamicsWorld.com recently hosted a webinar about replacing either, and hundreds of registrants attended. When I zoom out and think about process overhauls or technology replacements that I have been a part of, for the most part, they generally haven’t happened rapidly. Also, we’re all regularly in the trenches of our jobs, in this case producing reports or consolidating company financials for an understanding of company health, so taking the time to research, watch demos, have calls with sales folks, and test the power and viability of a new product can be tough. But as companies look to replace FRx and MR and at the same time prepare for a future move to a cloud ERP system, we’re seeing a lot of finance departments take the first leap by implementing a modern cloud reporting and budgeting solution, proving that a true business improvement momentum is building in the enterprise technology sector. This article will discuss the power of cloud reporting options not only to replace FRx and MR, but also as a strategic catalyst for a bigger picture cloud technology migration.

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Hanna Kim
How to Prepare for Your First Financial Reporting Implementation

This article will discuss the process of preparing for a successful financial reporting implementation.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

In the modern business realm, you cannot avoid financial reporting. Whether it is a homegrown Excel process, a legacy software program, an independent software vendor (ISV), or a native enterprise resource planning (ERP) report writer, every company is doing it. Investing in your first modern reporting tool typically means automated financial statements, accessible collaboration, modern security, and self-service analytics. Don’t worry if it sounds like gibberish to you. In this article, we will discuss preparing for your first reporting implementation so you are able to select the best reporting tool to navigate your organization in managing and analyzing data.

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Matthew Felzke
Business Intelligence for Sage 100

In this article, we’ll explore what Business Intelligence solutions can do to help you achieve a best-of-breed Sage 100 experience that drives smarter organizational decision-making.

The modern business world moves at such a pace that it is imperative that our tools be accessible and flexible for our analytical processes.  Mobile applications are just one example of how independent software vendors (ISVs) are delivering Business Intelligence (BI) tools that speak to consumer needs for financial reporting, data management, and analytics for Sage 100 users.  Today, you should be investing in BI technology that is nothing short of the flexibility you require, in terms of how you get to your transactional and operational information for more streamlined, smarter decision-making, regardless of where you are working.  Third party software vendors are bringing flexible BI solutions to market for an upgraded, modern end user experience.

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Hanna Kim
Common Management Reporter Challenges and Alternatives for Microsoft Dynamics AX Users

This article will focus on alternative report writers for Dynamics AX users who share common Management Reporter (MR) issues.

MRAs a regular subscriber to several Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) user groups, I’ve come across common issues regarding Management Reporter (MR) for those using Dynamics AX. In today’s business world, a modern, dynamic financial reporting tool is extremely important to making smart business decisions while developing your company and brand. This article will discuss the options for investing in a new reporting tool to expand your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics AX experience.

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Matthew Felzke
Reporting for Healthcare Companies using Sage 100

This article discusses the modern, dynamic, and business user friendly financial reporting options available for Healthcare organizations using Sage 100.

It has been a while since I have blogged, and in that time, I have had several great opportunities to talk to finance and accounting professionals, as well as executives, about their Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) needs.  Some of these conversations happened at BI360 Focus 2016, some of these manifested as one-off conversations, and one even occurred on a flight to Portland.  Lately though, it seems like I have not only been in conversation with more healthcare professionals, but I’ve also found myself personally and professionally curious about this industry.  The healthcare industry seems to be one of the most complex and regulated sectors – and for good reason obviously, but the effect it has on financial reporting requires sophisticated, yet business user friendly BI tools.  The best financial reporting tools for Sage 100 users offer Healthcare-specific data management that produces the necessary financial reporting and/or dashboards.

This blog article will focus on modern financial reporting with Sage 100.  I’ll first discuss the bigger picture of what you should be looking for to achieve your financial reporting and analytical objectives.  Then, I’ll zoom in on the financial reporting modules delivered by certain, more dynamic products that can enable Healthcare organizations to produce traditional financial statements, meet regulations, and present information to key stakeholders and decision-makers.

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Hanna Kim
Excel- and Web-based Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics GP

This article will discuss your financial reporting options for your Dynamics GP.

reportingdynamicsgpYour organization needs a powerful and dynamic financial reporting tool to help you stay competitive in your industry by managing and analyzing your data without any disruptions. Navigating through Business Intelligence (BI) is much like maneuvering through the streets of a foreign country without a map or any directions. In this article, I will explore Excel-based and web-based financial reporting options, so you are able to select the best reporting tool to navigate your organization in managing and analyzing your data using Microsoft Dynamics GP. Continue reading

Hanna Kim
How to Reduce the Number of Report Writers in Your Organization

This article will discuss the benefits of consolidating your many reporting tools.

reporting

How many of us use five or more report writers across our business systems? I know it sounds absurd, but most organizations do use that many reporting tools across their ERP system and other databases. When looking to invest in a reporting tool, how you integrate and present your data is very important. It is the backbone when it comes to making wise business decisions. In this article, I will focus on various options for consolidating multiple reporting tools to navigate your organization-specific issues in managing and analyzing your data.

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Hanna Kim
Reporting for Manufacturing Companies with Sage 100

This article will explore financial reporting features and functionalities in today’s solutions for manufacturing organizations looking to expand their Sage 100 experience.

manufacturingforsage100reporting

In today’s business world, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are becoming the modern way of turning valuable company data into rich decision-making for a company’s future. Navigating through BI is much like maneuvering through the wilderness without a map or a compass. It can get overwhelming, but I’m here to help. This article will focus on what users should know about in modern reporting solutions to improve your Sage 100 experience, specifically zooming in on manufacturing data management and analysis.

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Hanna Kim
Best Budgeting Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP Users Replacing Forecaster

This article will focus on Forecaster and the options for investing in a new budgeting tool.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Have you been using Forecaster to budget your finances? Microsoft recently made the announcement that Forecaster will not be available or supported for new Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 customers. There are around 48,000 GP customers of out of 200,000 Dynamics ERP users, and around 2,000 organizations are using Forecaster in their budgeting procedures. Therefore, companies who have used Forecaster as a budgeting tool are looking for an alternative.

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Nils Rasmussen
With Management Reporter riding into the Sunset, what is next?

As many Management Reporter (MR) customers and partners have now heard, there were two announcements from Microsoft in the past few weeks about the future of Management Reporter: one was at the Amplify conference in Anaheim, California on Sunday, May 22 last month, and the other was in writing and can be found here. This blog is a follow up to the first one, written after the Amplify conference, but now with more information available from Microsoft.

For people that like to analyze and read between the lines in vendor announcements, you can read into what is meant with “no major enhancements (of MR for GP)”. For anyone that has been in the software industry for a while, it typically means one thing: MR is going on life support, but there will be bug fixes and maybe some small improvements as well as the typical 10 years of support that Microsoft often offers on major products that are being sunset.

What about MR for Dynamics GP (whose team the recent MR announcement came from) vs Dynamics SL and Dynamics AX? The recent MR announcement came from the GP team, so the slowdown of MR development there is confirmed. Now, MR supposedly has the same engine, albeit different integrations, regardless of it being AX, GP or SL, so it would be quite strange if there would be full development of deep MR functionality (not talking User Interface here) for AX, but not for GP. However, that is just speculation and for sure there will be someone taking care of MR, at least for AX 7/cloud and maybe later AX updates. So, let’s leave that door open as AX in the cloud is a very high priority for Microsoft.

And, it is a known fact that SL has a smaller customer base than GP and thus, less resources behind it, so although there has not been any MR announcements from the SL team, it would be very strange if MR’s destiny is not the same there as it is for GP customers using MR.

What about Dynamics NAV? Microsoft tried to use MR on NAV for a while, but it was discontinued a while back because MR really did not work well on NAV’s multi-dimensional database, and NAV customers moved on and today, use the native NAV report writer or ISVs, like Jet Reports and BI360.

However, Dynamics customers have many choices, probably more than most ERP systems on the market, and reporting and CPM vendors are as usual standing ready to help the customers to greener pastures when they decide the time is right to move off MR.

With that said, while existing customers that are completely happy with MR can easily stay the course with MR for a while, new customers should then decide if it is worth the risk to invest time and money in MR report writing or if they should implement a closely integrated ISV product that does the same as MR and maybe more, like reporting on both GL and sub-ledger data. There are several of these products, including BI360, BizNet, Jet Reports, Prophix and ZAP. Some of them using Excel and some using browser interfaces or both. As with any type of ISV product in the ERP space, the goal of an ISV is to stay relevant and grow by always staying ahead of the ERP vendor’s own functionality, which is often free and embedded, like you will see with MR for AX on Azure.

So, let’s assume that MR has reached its retirement age for all or most of the Dynamics ERPs and is now moving into the retirement home to enjoy the rest of its life there, with “minor releases.” What is next from Microsoft? Are they going to ignore the need for financial reporting? Are they going to look beyond MR’s limitation to only report on GL data? What about budgeting features or embedded visualizations?

Let’s make some educated guesses about the alternatives Microsoft may be thinking about for financial reporting and corporate performance management (CPM). Here are some potential options (not in order of likelihood):

Option 1:

Microsoft can change their strategy on MR and rebuild it into a modern, non-proprietary, cloud friendly report writer and try to expand it into also reporting on sub-ledgers, so customers don’t need to use two or more report writers for their different ERP reporting requirements.

Option 2:

Microsoft can keep MR on life support until they launch a brand new tool. Who knows, maybe they are in stealth mode and already working on something related to expansion of Power BI into a more full-fledged combined BI and CPM tool?

Option 3:

Microsoft can acquire a CPM vendor. It would then be likely be a modern, cloud-based tool since Microsoft is extremely focused on the cloud in almost all regards these days.

Option 4:

Microsoft can develop partnerships with financial reporting or full-fledged CPM vendors while they figure out the future, which again will likely be #2 or #3 above, or they may lean on their ISV channel for the longer term.

Ultimately, Microsoft knows that they will need a good reporting and budgeting tool for AX Cloud, Madeira and NAV, as these three ERPs seems to be what they bet their long term cloud and on-premise presence on.

In the meantime, Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, GP and SL customers probably have the best ISV community of any their ERP competitors, so there are plenty of pre-integrated third party solutions ready to take Microsoft Dynamics’ financial reporting to the next level. What that next level is can be food for thought in a future blog.