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This article focuses on financial reporting and roll-up solutions for not-for-profit organizations utilizing Microsoft Dynamics GP.

NFP Fin Cons GP
Financial reporting and consolidations can mean different things to different people. Many larger Microsoft Dynamics GP not-for-profit customers are managing the finances of a parent organization with multiple locations rolling up to it. First things first, let’s define financial roll-ups or ‘consolidations’ as it is typically called in the corporate world. It can simply mean that an organization is combining data from multiple locations either as part of the planning process or for reporting purposes. It can also mean a lot more than just combining data. Financial consolidation is the process of aggregating transactional data from several departments and from multiple business entities within a company for the parent company. In these cases, simply combining data can be complex for multiple reasons. For instance, legal entities can have different charts of accounts or fiscal years. They may also be partially owned. This article will explore the elements and functionalities of financial consolidation for your non-profit organization using Microsoft Dynamics GP.
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This article discusses independent software vendor tools that will turbo-charge data management and analyses for Sage 500 users wanting to build a best-of-breed solution.

Some Sage 500 users will probably always wonder why they would want or need to deploy independent software vendor (ISV) tool(s) on top of their accounting system.  This confusion is perhaps an obstacle for ISVs and a concern for some Sage 500 users.  There are a couple of clarifications that seem to organically come out of the conversation.  First, no ISV can create a tool that can be a solution for every single organizational hurdle.  A great example would be how competitive mobile device brands, like Apple or Android, provide their own native mapping applications, but still allow you to download an app from another manufacturer, which is similar to modern flexible enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, like Sage 500.  Because every organization using Sage 500 has particular objectives, specific budgeting requirements, and rules, the accounting system vary in how effective it is for each company.  ISV technologies enable organizations to customize their data management and analytics.
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This article discusses budgeting and forecasting solutions for Manufacturing and Distribution companies using Microsoft Dynamics NAV, zooming in on features and functionalities.

Whether you’re putting together a budget, a forecast, or a what-if scenario for your organization, they all entail historical actuals and projections, so you can plan for managing your specific manufacturing or distribution corporation, maneuvering around obstacles and seizing opportunities in the upcoming period.  There are a plethora of software options for manufacturing and distribution organizations relying on Dynamics NAV that can expand your planning processes, whether you craft your own budgeting solution, rely on native Dynamics NAV functions, or opt for an independent software vendor (ISV) solution.  This article will discuss your best options for today’s budgeting, forecasting, and modeling demands, specifically to meet your manufacturing or distribution planning objectives with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
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This article will discuss the year ahead of us, specifically in terms of what 2016 holds for Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management for modern businesses.

Another year has come and gone, seemingly faster than ever – and we’re already into the second month of 2016.  At the end of 2015 or in early January, some people were writing about Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) trends they predicted we would see manifest this year.  However, much like my current approach to New Year’s resolutions, I felt it was important to let the dust settle, work through the workload hangover of the holidays, and have the New Year function as a soft opening.  This way, we can approach 2016 with a rolling start that doesn’t set us up for failure.  This article will discuss some key trends and trajectories that data management and analytics will take in 2016.
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This article will discuss the best options you have for financial reporting and consolidation solutions for your Sage X3 data management and analytical tasks.

There are plenty of Sage X3 users who are responsible for consolidating their parent company information from one or more manufacturing or distribution subsidiaries.  Combining financial data from more than one entity, at times with multiple currencies, can be a challenge if you don’t have a modern financial consolidation solution to supplement Sage X3 and any other ERP systems that your subsidiaries might use.  Data is only growing in size and significance to corporate decision-making, which is why more executives are seeking the best software to enable their business end users to aggregate information into a unified set of financial reports.  In this article, we’ll focus on your technology options for today’s intuitive, business user friendly financial consolidations with Sage X3.  If your manufacturing or distribution organization is rapidly growing, a high-powered reporting and consolidation software can simplify your Sage X3 implementation and give you more flexibility and power in your reporting process.
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In this article, Retail budgeting and forecasting will take center stage, specifically for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users seeking today’s planning features and functionalities.

Whether you are budgeting, forecasting, or comparing what-if scenarios for your organization, historical actuals and projected figures are required so you can strategize particularly for your retail company, maneuvering through challenges and opportunities in the upcoming months and years.  There are plenty of solutions that are impactful for retail organizations to upgrade planning procedures with Dynamics NAV, whether you elect to build your own process, depend on NAV’s built-in budgeting functionality, or go with an independent software vendor (ISV) tool.  This article will explore the most popular options for modern budgeting, forecasting, and modeling, particularly to meet your retail planning goals with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
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This article covers budgeting and forecasting for Retail companies that rely on Microsoft Dynamics AX, with a specific look at modern feature and functionality offerings.

No matter if you are budgeting, forecasting, or analyzing what-if scenarios for your company, they all consist of historical actuals and projections, so you can plan specifically for managing your retail organization, circumventing obstacles and maximizing your momentum in the coming period.  There are several tools that can assist retail companies using Dynamics AX to expand their planning processes, whether you choose to craft your own method, rely on the native Dynamics AX budgeting function, or opt for an independent software vendor (ISV) solution.  In this article, I’ll discuss your top options for today’s budgeting, forecasting, and modeling, specifically to meet your retail planning objectives with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
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In this article, Budgeting and Forecasting for Manufacturing and Distribution companies using Microsoft Dynamics AX will take center stage, with a focus on features and functionality.

It doesn’t matter if you’re crafting a budget, a forecast, or a what-if analysis for your corporation – they all require actual historical figures and projected numbers, so you can strategize effectively for management of your manufacturing or distribution business, overcoming hurdles and maximizing opportunities in the next period.  There are plenty of solutions that can help manufacturing and distribution organizations relying on Dynamics AX to upgrade their planning tasks, whether you decide to design your own procedure, depend on built-in Dynamics AX functionality, or go with a third party tool.  This article will explore some of your top options for modern budgeting, forecasting, and modeling particularly to meet your manufacturing or distribution planning goals with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
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In this article, I’ll explore what-if analytics and modeling functionality built into some of today’s budgeting software for planning that accounts for variables with Microsoft Dynamics.

Budgeting is a task that requires actual data, research, goal setting, and teamwork, and depending on your planning process, a lot can happen to change the course of your budget.  Thus, I would argue that besides historical actuals, there are enough variables in the context of financial planning for your company that makes budgeting a challenging task at times.

If you like to see some options and dynamically approach planning by being adaptable and exploratory with different outcomes, what-if analyses and modeling will allow you to do just that.  In this article, we’ll explore what-if planning and modeling functionality that comes with some modern budgeting tools for Microsoft Dynamics customers.

What is What-If Analysis? 

Basically, a what-if analysis boils down to the business end user altering the values in the cells of your budget spreadsheet to illustrate how certain changes can impact the results of your formulas.  Because a lot of companies are using Excel for budgeting, including Excel add-in planning software, we’ll talk in Excel terminology.  

For example, one term we will use is “scenario,” which is a set of values for your multiple what if analysis in excel. Users can design and save multiple sets of values on a worksheet and then substitute these scenarios into the financial plan to see the difference in outcomes. 

Another example would be if you would like to budget for your most ambitious goal setting, something in the middle, and the worst case scenario.  You can put together these three scenarios on the same spreadsheet and then, easily switch between them to see what thresholds you would need to cross to reach the results you established in your scenarios.

As we all know, budgeting is rarely a one-person responsibility, so people across the organization have to bring together actual figures and projections for the next period to set a financial plan.  If you have multiple people offering particular data in disparate spreadsheets that you’d like to utilize for scenarios, you can gather these workbooks and integrate their scenarios.  Some of the more modern solutions allow you to distribute password protected access rights, so that can smooth out collaboration and privacy concerns.  

Once you have configured and assembled all of the scenarios that you want, you can produce a summary statement that includes data from these scenarios.  This report showcases all of the scenario data in one table on a new spreadsheet.

Another Excel term that has to do with what-if analysis dashboards is a data table.  Data tables only work with one or two variables, but can include many different values for these variables. 

If you are employing a formula that has one or two variables – or even several formulas that all utilize the same variable, you can employ a data table to view all of the results in one space. 

In terms of business user friendliness, data tables are easy to understand and share because you are zooming in on only one or two variables.  While data tables are limited to just two variables, a data table can use as many different variable values as you need whereas scenarios cap out at 32 different values.  Additionally, if automated recalculation is set up for the workbook, the information in your data table recalculates automatically for fresh, real-time data.

How to Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario with What-If Analyses

What-if scenarios do have their potential drawbacks.  Because their purpose is to determine the risk and probability associated with the marketplace, evaluating past performance and projections for the future, there is a chance that the worst case scenario can happen because of the way the variables roll out in the business world.  

The worst case scenario can more or less occur even though a what-if analysis establishes that outcome as an outlier – and can you tolerate that result?  One way to be more prepared and aware of the variety of results is to do a random factor analysis, running thousands of independent trials with your software to randomly assign values to your factors. You may be wondering how to do a factor analysis in excel? The most prevalent kind of random factor analysis is called a Monte Carlo analysis, which randomly assigns factor values from a data set configured for the variable’s specific probability distribution.

Historical actuals help decision-makers understand past performance with straightforward simplicity, but revenue and expenses from last year have no influence on future performance, risk or return.  Therefore, what-if analyses can model multiple ways that your future can play out, so you can prepare to meet your own informed goals, objectives, and plans for the year.  Luckily, Microsoft Dynamics customers have a lot of options in terms of planning software.

What-if analyses and modeling are just pieces of the pie in regard to budgeting – and now couldn’t be a better time to start considering a modern, powerful budgeting tool.  While most companies are relying on homegrown processes in Excel or Microsoft’s mature budgeting offering, Forecaster, independent software vendor (ISV) products are becoming more prevalent in finance departments around the world.  Simply, this is due to the consumer-driven features and functionalities in third party offerings that provide an easy-to-use, secure, and collaborative planning for business end users.   You should consider several things, so you can pick the right solution for your planning needs.

When looking at third party software for what-if analysis dashboards, you’ll want to choose the best platform for your team. To make the best decision first evaluate the following: 

  • How secure the program is for powerful collaboration
  • Ability to fully integrate the software 
  • Comprehensive suite of BI tools
  • User friendliness of the product for your colleagues to utilize

You will also want to make sure that the tool comes with important functionality, like what-if analytics, modeling, multiple year budgets and rolling forecasts, etc.  You have a lot to consider, but budgeting as a corporate task is worth your time, money, and energy to find the premier software that can take your planning processes to the next level.  

Contact Solver for What-If Analysis Resources 

Solver offers an Excel- and Web-based budgeting module stand-alone and as part of the comprehensive suite of BI modules and would be happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use Planning solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities, like what-if analyses and modeling, with Microsoft Dynamics.

The information you are reading is more than 2 years old and may be outdated. Read new blogs.

This article is going to explore your budgeting and forecasting solution options that can expand your Manufacturing and Distribution planning processes with Sage X3.

Regardless of whether it is a budget, a forecast, or a what-if scenario you are putting together for your company, you will need actual historical numbers and projections, so you can plan effectively for managing your manufacturing or distribution company, meeting challenges and seizing opportunities in the coming period.  There are several software choices that can aid manufacturing and distribution companies using the Sage X3 ERP system in taking their budgeting to the next level, whether you choose to design your own process, rely on native Sage X3 functionality or select an independent software vendor (ISV) tool.  This article will discuss some of the premier options for today’s budgeting, forecasting, and modeling specifically to meet your manufacturing or distribution planning needs with Sage X3.
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