Matthew Felzke
Enterprise Technology Cloud Strategy with Reporting and Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

This article will discuss leveraging corporate performance management (CPM) solutions as a foundation for an enterprise technology cloud roadmap.

I find myself thinking about cloud technology all the time these days. And this is particularly peculiar when I zoom out and think about how I was an English major in college. However, cloud is permeating the culture – both popular and business – and I can’t help but think about how it is changing the way we store, manage, and leverage data. I have even seen memes on social media that make fun of the fact that we keep so many pictures – “for what?” is the punchline. The answer is because we can, and our massive and growing amount of data doesn’t bog down our devices because it is housed in the cloud. Beyond that though, in the business world, cloud as a platform follows the consumer marketplace trend of subscriptions to outsourced services as opposed to buying something outright. This is such a major shift in the business culture, and it creates a more efficient relationship in the context of technology management for both the vendor and the consumer. This article will explore the journey of transitioning reporting and budgeting solutions to the cloud – and suggest a starting place.

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Alex Geller
My Prediction: Convergence between Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management Vendors in the Mid-Market

This article will focus on the demand for convergence of Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management tools and why this benefits mid-market companies.

Image taken from Gartner.

The latest release of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence strengthened my conviction that the market will see consolidation between the Business Intelligence/Visualization (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) vendors. Gartner classifies them in separate quadrants because the respective tools are evaluated differently during the sales process. Furthermore, BI tools usually sell into marketing and sales teams while CPM targets finance and accounting professionals. Consequently, there has been limited Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in the space. Note that this article assumes readers are familiar with the basic definitions to focus on a narrative explaining the demand for their convergence.

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Hanna Kim
The Benefits of Dashboards in Your Month-end Financial Presentations

This article focuses on using dashboards in monthly financial presentations for stronger decision-making.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Graphics are everywhere. They are literally everywhere we go, filling our kitchen pantries and even the clothes we wear. Red Crow Marketing Inc. mentions that “digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day.” If we’re drawn to visuals, doesn’t it make sense to apply visuals to your financial reports and presentations? Think about receiving multiple pages of spreadsheets full of data. Is this how you best extract your financial analysis at the end of every month? This is where a dashboard comes in handy. Dashboards are defined as charts, graphs, and scorecards that convey data trends, successes, and problem areas with key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you are looking at a store, region, product, and a corporate department in particular, or the entire organization. A dashboard presents key data from various financial and operational sources on a single page, and uses graphs and tables to summarize a large amount of data. In this article, Solver Controller Gina Louie will talk about her experiences in presenting month-end financial presentations to the management team.

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Hanna Kim
The Power of Good Drill-Down in Dynamics NAV Reports

This article focuses on the importance of the drill-down function in your reporting tool.

gooddrill-downHave you looked at the summary page on your bank statement and not been able to recall a transaction you made? Or has your department made a large transaction and nobody in your team was able to figure out what the company’s money was spent on? This is where a drill-down feature in your reporting will benefit you. A drill-down is a feature that can be found in your reporting tool, and it allows the end user to see details of the transactions the user is reporting from. If you are relying on Microsoft Dynamics NAV for your business, this article will focus on what you need to know regarding drill-down features to expand your reporting processes. Continue reading

Matthew Felzke
Top 5 CPM Trends for 2017

Image taken from Shutterstock.

This article will highlight the top 5 corporate performance management trends for 2017, zooming in on features and functionalities and looking at the bigger picture roadmap for the marketplace.

It’s that time of the year again – the beginning of the year, specifically – where we move from organizing ourselves and goalsetting to the work of achieving our objectives.  There appears to be a collective understanding that 2016 was a rough year, at least in pop culture, no doubt a result of social media and specifically, the meme-driven culture.  Regardless of your perspective on how the business world fared in 2016, a new year brings with it a chance to do better, to improve processes and outcomes of teamwork.  And in that vein, this article will zoom in on the trends you can expect to see emerge for Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM).

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Matthew Felzke
Web Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

This article will discuss the details of the revolutionary future of planning processes that has officially arrived for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users – web budgeting.

What can I say about budgeting and forecasting that I haven’t already said?  On this blog, I have written about the importance of shopping for business user friendly, dynamic, and collaborative planning solutions.  A discussion of the costs associated with implementation of planning software drilled down into the details of budgeting for…a budgeting solution.  I’ve pointed out some tips on how to shop for the right tool for your team’s specific business needs, and all the while, I have been quick to acknowledge how frustrating of a process that budgeting has traditionally been.  But there’s something on the horizon – the future of budgeting, as we currently know it, has arrived.  Web budgeting is rolling out from some independent software vendors (ISVs), and this article will cover this development for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users.

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Matthew Felzke
Rolling Forecasts and Multi-year Budgets for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

When it comes to budgeting using data from Dynamics NAV, modern third party BI tools can offer the functionality you need to put together rolling forecasts and multi-year budgets, in addition to traditional planning, project budgeting, forecasting, and modeling.

Are you like most people I talk to who find budgeting to be a true pain in the neck?  Most CFOs and other finance team members I have spoken with about their budgeting procedures generally go from pleasant to exasperated in seconds as they detail their headaches putting together an actionable plan for their company’s financials in the coming year.

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Matthew Felzke
Useful Business Intelligence Add-on Products for Dynamics GP

Ever wondered why third party products are necessary with all the features and functions in Microsoft Dynamics GP for data analysis and management?  This article will explore the concept of best-in-breed software for corporate performance management.

Recently, I saw a user on LinkedIn pose a question, asking fellow Microsoft Dynamics GP users if they had some documentation regarding why the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system needs Independent Software Vendor (ISV) products.  It was an interesting discussion, perhaps a challenge to ISVs, and a legitimate question for Microsoft fans.  Several people chimed in, and a couple recurring comments seemed to organically surface.

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Matthew Felzke
Project Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics and Other ERPs

Project budgeting is a task that most companies have to tackle, in some form or another.  This article will address how to financially plan for special projects using Microsoft Dynamics and other ERP systems.

At this point, it probably goes without saying: budgeting is such an important aspect of corporate performance management (CPM).  In some cases, the quality of the budgeting process can be life or death for a company or a public sector organization, especially in today’s post-recession marketplace.  Budgeting and forecasting for an entire organization is a routine process and generally involves many moving parts to come together, linking actual data and projections for the upcoming fiscal year.  However, sometimes a company or a professional will have to budget for a specific task or project.  Whether you are a professional managing one or more projects, a consultant calculating billable hours, or a freelancer putting together a bid for a job, project budgeting becomes a relevant Business Intelligence (BI) term in your job.

Solver COO Corey Barak gives some tips when considering project budgeting solutions.

Last month, I had a conversation with a management consultant who had the task of bringing a company into the 21st century in terms of Business Intelligence.  He was in the beginning stages of the project, and he did not know if he was going to find a comprehensive BI suite of tools for simultaneous implementation that would meet the financial goals of the organization for this initiative.  We got to talking about the structure of budgeting for a consultant of his sort – and that naturally segued into a full-fledged conversation about project budgeting.  He said that, in his experience, most people understand it as a fuzzy art at best, but in practice – and with the right tool, it can be significantly more accurate than widely perceived.

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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.