What is a Monthly Flash Report?

Flash Reports are considered management reports and are often used by executives and finance managers to quickly get a picture of most of the company’s important metrics. Some key functionality in this type of dashboard report shows actual and budget data for the current month, last month, same period last year, as well as, for each individual month this year. Variance columns with traffic lights help drive attention to outliers. The rows show key statistical and financial metrics. You will find an example of this type of dashboard report below.

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Purpose of Monthly Flash Reports

Companies and organizations use Monthly Flash Reports to easily detect outliers and exceptions in their key metrics. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Department, a company can improve its ability to quickly detect and react to problems or opportunities, as well as, reduce the chances that a situation arises unseen until it is too late.

Monthly Flash Report Example

Here is an example of a Monthly Flash Report with financial and statistical metrics.

Monthly Flash Report Example

Monthly Flash Report Example

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Dashboard report?

The typical users of this type of dashboard report are: Executives and Managers.

Other Dashboard reports Often Used in Conjunction with Monthly Flash Reports

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Monthly Flash Reports, along with financial reports, operational reports, dashboards and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

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