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How to Quickly Get Started with Corporate Performance Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365 Finance) was born from the widely known on-premise product known as Dynamics AX. In recent years D365 Finance has become a significant player in the cloud-based ERP market segment, quickly gaining popularity worldwide as Offices of Finance within organizations began to migrate to cloud applications. If you are considering a move to D365 Finance, the first thing to do is make sure the solution fits your needs.

As large numbers of companies plan to migrate their legacy accounting solutions from on-premise servers to the cloud, they not only have to review core ERP functionality to make sure it meets their current and future needs, but they have to also review the tools they will use for reporting, planning, and analyses. Some reporting, planning and analysis tools are native to Dynamics 365. While some others, like the Solver financial reporting and consolidations application, are approved and preferred Microsoft apps because they are considered a best-of-breed complimentary solution in a particular area.

This blog will focus on financial reporting for Dynamics 365 Finance and will look at some of the things you may want to think about to ensure you optimize your experience with Dynamics when it comes to producing:

  • Profit & Loss Reports
  • Balance Sheets
  • Cash Flow Statements
  • Operational Reports

Why Use Third-Party Reporting Apps Instead of the Native Tools in Dynamics 365 Finance?

D365 Finance’s native report writer for financial statements and other GL summary data was previously called Management Reporter. Now it is typically just referred to as “Financial Reporting”. It is an upgraded, web-based version of FRx, which was a popular legacy reporting tool that launched in the 1990s. However, much like almost any other cloud ERP system’s built-in reporting options, the native Financial Reporting tool is not usually the preferred application finance teams use to produce highly professional reports with custom formulas and advanced layout or when they want to consolidate financials across companies. This showcase of forms, templates and reports provides several hundred report examples that show the breadth and depth of capabilities a best-of-breed reporting tool can offer to improve reporting processes and analyses in your business.

While many Dynamics customers supplement their reporting tasks with manual Excel files, SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) and dashboard tools like Power BI, there is still a spot for best-of-breed financial reporting tools to offer a single, purpose-built and professional reporting experience that also helps to automate the month-end reporting process.

How to Pick the Right Reporting Solution for Dynamics 365 Finance

Much can be written about evaluation and selection of financial reporting tools. We will not go into details in this blog, but if you want some ideas, this blog highlights key areas to look at. This interactive tool will also provide a simple way to compare and score vendors. It includes an ROI calculator to analyze the cost and benefit of alternative tools versus your current solution.

In short, progressive finance and accounting teams of the 2020s want financial reporting solutions that are flexible, closely integrated with budgeting and forecasting functionality, and that provide quick time to value during implementation.

What Is Considered a Quick Start with a New Reporting Solution and How Is It Deployed?

Most Dynamics 365 Finance customers want their connected apps, including reporting tools, to be cloud based. Questions that quickly come up include: how hard is it to integrate a best-of-breed reporting solution with Dynamics, and how much cost and effort does it take to get key financials up and running, such as Trial Balances, Profit & Loss Reports, and Balance Sheets?

The typical answer: Weeks or months of effort and tens of thousands of dollars in services. However, some best-of-breed software companies like Solver, that work very closely with Microsoft and its Dynamics partner channel, have developed pre-built GL and sub-ledger integrations as well as out-of-the-box reports. For example, Solver’s QuickStart integration to D365 Finance can set a company up and running in a single day with ready-to-go, pre-built financial reports and Power BI dashboards, as well as, optional budget and forecast templates. All of these can be selected from a Marketplace that grows continuously with new templates.

A note about tools that offer integrations to Dynamics 365 Finance:

While several financial reporting vendors can claim to offer integrations to an ERP system like D365 Finance, there can be big differences in the skill and effort involved to get such integrations ready with your financial data loaded into the reporting tool.

Generally, there are three categories of integrations. Each integration requires its own effort level to get going:

  • Usually gets you there: Generic integration tools that require a lot of skills and time to configure.
  • Works but often with limitations: Connectors specifically built for Dynamics 365 Finance, but do not include an app that configures dimensions and views in Dynamics nor pre-maps to popular fields to “light them up” for its API.
  • Quickest and easiest: Connectors specifically built for Dynamics 365 Finance and that include an app or script(s) that properly and automatically configure dimensions and views in Dynamics. Then it exposes them to its API, including pre-mapped popular dimensions and data. You can see an example of this type of integration here.

What Is a Cloud Reporting Marketplace and Why Is It Important to Your Business?

Most best-of-breed financial reporting tools have by now followed Dynamics 365 Finance and other popular ERPs to the cloud. Many also offer modern and flexible functionality to deliver reports your managers and executives need, however they still have [at least] one problem: Somebody has to write those reports. This can feel very painful, especially when you factor in the time and cost involved. Just remember the effort it took to get all required reports up and running in your old legacy on-premises ERP system.

Nowadays there is a growing trend for cloud business solutions to offer pre-built apps (e.g., reports, connectors, etc.) in their own Marketplaces. Typically, this involves a few clicks to install, not that different from apps you download to your iPhone or Samsung phone. For example, in Solver’s Marketplace (see screenshot below), users can download Profit & Loss Reports and other financial statements, planning input templates, and more than 50 pre-built financial dashboards that plug right into your Power BI web service.

Rapid implementation of financial reports and CPM for Dynamics 365 Finance with pre-built templates from Solver Marketplace

Rapid implementation of financial reports and CPM for Dynamics 365 Finance with pre-built templates from Solver Marketplace

In other words, with true Marketplace templates you should be able to provide your managers with professional reports and dashboards the same day you install the reporting tool! Now that’s a quick deployment!

Summary

For new or existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers, the 2020s hold a lot of promise as Dynamics 365 Finance continuously improves and expands their ERP system. Customers are also able to tap into its flourishing ecosystem of third-party apps that further enhance the benefits of a Dynamics ERP system. Picking the right solutions, including one for reporting, can significantly improve your processes, save you time, and drive faster and better decisions by putting the right information in front of your managers and executives when and where they need it.

Example of a Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report

What is a Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report?

The Consolidated Statement of Income is consider a Call Report and is used by accountants and compliance managers to submit quarterly data as per Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) requirements. Some of the main functionality in this type of regulatory report is that it can both be used as an input form and as a formatted report ready to submit to OCC. Any data that can be imported from the ERP system or other database will automatically be pulled into the form without having to be re-entered. Only the top portion of the form is visible in the screenshot. You find an example of this type of regulatory report below.

Purpose of Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report Templates

Banks use Call Report Templates to automate the input and and submission process to OCC. Because this type of template is in a cloud-based reporting system, users can log-in and work on the report from anywhere. When used as part of good business practices in Accounting- and Compliance departments, a bank can improve its processes and save labor costs, and it can reduce the chances that data entry mistakes occur.

Example of a Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report Template

Here is an example of a OCC Call Report with quarterly Consolidated Statement of Income data.

Example of a Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report

Example of a Consolidated Statement of Income Call Report

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Regulatory Report?

The typical users of this type of regulatory report are: Accountants, compliance managers, CFOs.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Form 5300 Call Report Templates

Progressive Accounting- and Compliance departments sometimes use OCC call reports supported by internal income statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, trial balances, transaction detail reports and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from bank systems and 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Top Ten Customers by Profitability Report for banks

What is a Top Ten Customers by Profitability Report for Banks?

Top Customer by Profitability Reports are considered customer ranking reports and are used by managers and account executives to get a snapshot of the top most profitable customer by branch. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it groups and ranks the top 10 customers by branch location. The columns include: Average account balance, Total revenue, Total expense, and Net profit. The color indicators help the user quickly see important metrics. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Top Customers by Profitability Reports

Banks use Top Customers by Profitability Reports to at any time be able to identify their most important customers at the branch level and overall. When used as part of good business practices in Executive- and Account Management departments, a bank can improve its customer retention strategies, and it can reduce the chances that top customers are not getting the optimal nurturing.

Example of a Top Customers by Profitability Report

Here is an example of a Top Ten Customer Report that ranks each customer based on profitability and groups them by branch.

Example of a Top Ten Customers by Profitability Report for banks

Example of a Top Ten Customers by Profitability Report for banks

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Account executives, production managers, branch managers, analysts.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Top Customers by Profitability Reports

Progressive Executive- and Account Management departments sometimes use several different Top Customers Reports, along with detailed customer transaction reports, financial statements, annual budgets, KPI dashboards, customer dashboards and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from bank systems and 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a New Customer Acquisition Report for Banks

What is a New Customer Acquisition Report for Banks?

New Customer Acquisition Reports are considered growth and profitability analysis tools and are used by sales managers and leaders to monitor new customer growth and profitability metrics. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it shows new customer KPIs for any given month and branch. The rows list new customers and key columns include detail and totals for: Average product balance, Net interest amount, Monthly cost, SFAS cost and Net profit. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of New Customer Acquisition Reports

Banks use New Customer Acquisition Reports to easily analyze the quantity of new customers a branch has acquired and the level of profitability associated with each customer and in total. When used as part of good business practices in Production- and Account Management departments, a bank can improve its revenue growth strategies, and it can reduce the chances that unprofitable tactics are not quickly addressed.

Example of a New Customer Acquisition Report

Here is an example of a New Customer Acquisition Report with a detailed listing of new customers for any given month as well as related KPIs.

Example of a New Customer Acquisition Report for Banks

Example of a New Customer Acquisition Report for Banks

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Account executives, production managers, branch managers, analysts.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with New Customer Acquisition Reports

Progressive Production- and Account Management departments sometimes use several different New Customer Acquisition Reports, along with financial statements, annual budgets, sales forecasts, KPI dashboards, customer dashboards and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from bank systems and 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Term Deposit Profitability Trend Report for Banks

What is a Term Deposit Profitability Trend Report for Banks?

Term Deposit Profitability Trend Reports are considered operational reports and are used by executives and managers to analyze monthly trends in term deposit metrics. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it dynamically lists the months of the year across the columns and loan metrics down the rows with a Gross Profit total at the bottom. Some of the key rows include: Portfolio average balance, Deposit production, Nbr origination, Average size, FTP Income, Interest Expense, Net Interest Margin, Average First Year NIM, Average Doc Prep Fee, Average Origination Cost, FTP Income, Interest Expense, Net Interest Margin, Servicing Costs, Teller costs, Online costs, Total expenses, and Gross Profit. The green, yellow and red exception colors help highlight months with high/low profitability. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Term Deposit Profitability Trend Reports

Banks use Term Deposit Profitability Trend Reports to give leaders an easily understandable format to analyze monthly trends in term deposit revenues, expenses and profitability. When used as part of good business practices in Production- and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments, a bank can improve its net profit and related term deposit strategies, and it can reduce the chances that major exceptions or trends are not quickly discovered.

Example of a Term Deposit Profitability Trend Report

Here is an example of a Term Deposit Profitability Report with monthly trends in term deposit metrics and profitability.

Example of a Term Deposit Profitability Trend Report for Banks

Example of a Term Deposit Profitability Trend Report for Banks

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Executives, branch managers, finance leaders, loan managers, production managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Term Deposit Profitability Trend Reports

Progressive Production- and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments sometimes use several different Term Deposit Profitability Reports, along with detailed term deposit reports, term deposit portfolio dashboards, KPI dashboards, branch benchmarking reports, annual budgets, profit & loss trend reports, balance sheets and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from deposit management systems and 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Loan Profitability Trend Report for Banks

What is a Loan Profitability Trend Report for Banks?

Loan Profitability Trend Reports are considered operational reports and are used by executives and loan managers to analyze monthly trends in loan KPIs. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it dynamically lists the months of the year across the columns and loan metrics down the rows with a Gross Profit total at the bottom. Some of the key rows include: Portfolio average balance, Loan production, Nbr origination, Average size, Interest rate, FTP Expense, Net interest margin, Total Revenues, Origination costs, Servicing costs, Teller costs, Online costs, Total expenses, and Gross Profit. The green, yellow and red exception colors help highlight months with high/low profitability. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Loan Profitability Trend Reports

Banks use Loan Profitability Trend Reports to give leaders an easily understandable format to analyze monthly trends in loan revenues, expenses and profitability. When used as part of good business practices in Loan- and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments, a bank can improve its net profit and related loan strategies, and it can reduce the chances that major exceptions or trends are not quickly discovered.

Example of a Loan Profitability Trend Report

Here is an example of a Loan Profitability Report with monthly trends in loan metrics and profitability.

Example of a Loan Profitability Trend Report for Banks

Example of a Loan Profitability Trend Report for Banks

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Executives, branch managers, finance leaders, loan managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Loan Profitability Trend Reports

Progressive Loan- and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments sometimes use several different Loan Profitability Reports, along with detailed loan reports, loan portfolio dashboards, KPI dashboards, branch benchmarking reports, annual budgets, profit & loss trend reports, balance sheets and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from loan management systems and 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of a Balance Sheet Report for Bank Branches

What is a Balance Sheet Report for Bank Branches?

Branch-level Balance Sheets are considered essential month-end reports and are used by corporate executives and branch managers to track actual balances and variances for assets, liabilities and equity figures. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it enables the user to run them for any month and any bank branch, including at the consolidated level. The columns compares the current month to the same period last year as well as to the budget, and it calculates the variances and enables drill-down to detail. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Branch-level Balance Sheets

Banks use Branch-level Balance Sheets to enable variance analysis for branch-level balance sheet metrics. When used as part of good business practices in Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments, a bank can improve its fiscal- and strategic decisions, and it can reduce the chances that managers don’t quickly discover major variances and the reasons behind them.

Example of a Branch-level Balance Sheet

Here is an example of a Branch-level Income Statement Report with prior year and budget variances.

Example of a Balance Sheet Report for Bank Branches

Example of a Balance Sheet Report for Bank Branches

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Executives, branch managers, finance leader.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Branch-level Balance Sheets

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments sometimes use several different Branch-level Balance Sheets, along with income statements, consolidated balance sheets, cash flow statements, trended financial statements, KPI reports, executive dashboards, budget models and forecasts 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Example of an Income Statement Report for bank branches

What is a Income Statement Report for Bank Branches?

Branch-level Income Statements are considered essential month-end reports and are used by corporate executives and branch managers to track revenues, expenses and profitability. Some of the main functionality in this type of report is that it enables the user to run them for any month and any bank branch, including at the consolidated level. The columns compare the current month to the same period last year as well as to the budget, and it calculates the variances. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Branch-level Income Statements

Banks use Branch-level Income Statements to enable self-service analysis of the monthly performance of each branch, including monitoring of variances from plan and prior year. When used as part of good business practices in Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments, a bank can improve its strategic decisions and profitability, and it can reduce the chances that managers don’t quickly discover major variances and the reasons behind them.

Example of a Branch-level Income Statement

Here is an example of a Branch-level Income Statement Report with prior year and budget variances.

Example of an Income Statement Report for bank branches

Example of an Income Statement Report for bank branches

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Executives, branch managers, finance leader.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Branch-level Income Statements

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) departments sometimes use several different Branch-level Income Statements, along with consolidated income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, KPI reports, executive dashboards, budget models and forecasts 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)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples