Matthew Felzke
Convert FRx Reports to Management Reporter or Look for Alternative Options?

Now that Microsoft has retired FRx, report conversions have become a checklist item for replacing the retired financial report writer.  This article will discuss FRx report conversions and the third party reporting tools offering FRx upgrades.

The era of FRx is over – and has officially been over for a little while.  On this blog, I have written about how to replace the Microsoft financial report writer – and the costs associated with that task.  But now, as companies are moving away from FRx, replacing it with Microsoft’s successor, Management Reporter (MR), or even already replacing MR, there is a demand for converting the financial reports created in FRx to the selected new solution.  Logically, some software manufacturers anticipated this and produced a conversion tool, ensuring that the transition in reporting is more automated.  However, as some companies may still be procrastinating with replacing FRx, there is probably a general confusion about options to make this upgrade.  In this article, I’m going to discuss the routes for FRx conversion, so that if you haven’t participated in this important task or have moved on, but still holding on to FRx because you don’t know how to convert your old reports, you will be aware of your options.

http://youtu.be/ZB9UcDYXwC0

Let’s first tackle MR since I know a lot of people went to Microsoft’s replacement, probably by default.  If you are in this boat, you might already know that MR comes with automatic conversions of FRx reports.  MR is the follow up to FRx, and the two products are very similar, with perhaps the main exception being an updated main user menu and some minor feature enhancements (and loss of certain features), so this conversion is not necessarily rocket science.  However, the real frustration with MR is the all too familiar limited features and functionalities.  It is still a proprietary interface, so the familiarity of Excel is not there.  The conversions assist this update, but MR is arguably not much of an upgrade with only providing basic GL reporting, but you can feel pretty confident that your FRx reports will come with you using this financial report writer.

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Operational Reporting with BI360

While “Financial Reporting” often used to be synonymous with financial statements such as Profit & Loss reports, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow statements and consolidated reports, these days companies are using dual purpose tools like BI360 to also handle their operational reporting.

A quickly increasing number of BI360 users are developing operational reports such as:
– Reports help them manage inventories with details about standard cost, quantities and physical value.
– That shows purchase orders versus requisitions with related information about delivery dates, unit price, quantity ordered, purchase price and purchase quantity.
– Production orders with trend charts that quantities items ordered by date.
– Work-in-progress reports (WIP), quantity per order, how much of an order has been started and the WIP amount.

The above types of reports are particularly popular amongst Microsoft Dynamics AX customers because a good number of them are in manufacturing or related industries.

We also see more customers deploy the BI360 data warehouse in order to combine their ERP data with other operational data sources. Examples of these are healthcare providers that combine financial data with payroll and patient data to produce reports or dashboards that show average cost per patient day, statistical trends like Average Length of Stay (ALOS), etc.

As companies go operational with their reporting and the business users that truly understand the information needs of the business are able to design the reports, the result if often high value reports that earlier where non-existent or that had to be pieced together manually in spreadsheets.