This article will discuss project planning processes and the third party budgeting, forecasting, and modelling tools to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics AX project management experience.

It’s common knowledge that financial planning is such an important element of running a business – and it always has been.  The caliber of your planning processes can sometimes make or break your company, especially in the context of the recession back in 2008.  Company-wide budgeting and forecasting is usually routine and almost always involves multiple players coming together with actual transactional figures and projections for the period you are planning.  But sometimes an organization or a project manager has to plan for a particular task or project.  If you count yourself amongst the consultant, project manager, or other professionals who are tracking and billing hours, overseeing multiple projects, or crafting a bid for a job, project budgeting is something you know inside and out in your career.
Read more

In this article, project budgeting, forecasting, and modelling will be at the center of the discussion, specifically third party planning tools to improve your Microsoft Dynamics SL experience.

I’m sure you can agree that financial planning is such a necessary aspect of performance management in today’s business world.  The quality of your budgeting and forecasting tasks can sometimes be the difference between life and death for businesses, especially when you think about the 2008 recession.  Organization-wide planning responsibilities are typically regular and almost always entail a number of pieces bringing together actual transactional numbers and projected figures for the planning period.  However, sometimes a company or a project manager has to budget and/or forecast for a project or specific task.  If you are a consultant tracking and billing your hours to a client, a project manager managing multiple projects, or a freelance professional putting together a bid for a gig, project budgeting is undoubtedly a term you’re quite familiar with in your position.
Read more

How you access your data can determine the speed and efficacy you can achieve in your financial reporting processes.  This article will discuss data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

Data is driving decision-making at all levels because data continues to grow in size and significance.  Logging, storing, and evaluating data has become a big part of the business culture today.  In order to produce rich, helpful financial reports for an analysis of a company’s opportunities and challenges, you will have to routinely store, access, and manage your data.  Because of this reality, you might feel overwhelmed your technology options for storing your data.  You have a few options, but they vary in functionality, and one might be better for your company than another, depending on what analysis goals you are trying to achieve.  This article will explore data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.
Read more

This article will tackle budgeting, forecasting, and modelling for projects, using Microsoft Dynamics NAV with third party budgeting solutions.

You can go ahead and nod your head in agreement when I say that financial planning is such an essential element of corporate performance management (CPM).  Sometimes, the caliber of your planning processes can mean life or death for enterprises, particularly in the context of the all too recent recession.  Company-wide planning processes are generally routine and almost always require multiple moving pieces to bring together actual transactional figures and projections for the upcoming planning period.  Alternatively, there are times when an organization or a consultant has to budget for a particular task or project.  Whether you are a project manager overseeing multiple projects, a consultant tracking your billable hours, or a freelance professional crafting a bid for a job, project budgeting then is an important Business Intelligence (BI) term in your role.
Read more

In looking for a budgeting solution to enhance what Dynamics NAV has to offer, there are several features to consider.  This article will lay out leading functionalities to consider, including easy and secure collaboration, with built-in business and accounting logic.

Budgeting within an Excel spreadsheet is perhaps sufficient when planning for a household or small business budget, especially because of the small amount of data, but growing organizations that are using Microsoft Dynamics NAV are starting to notice that a budgeting solution is a relevant option, especially as today’s software is able to invite collaboration into a much more streamlined process, moving way beyond built-in capabilities.  Company-wide budgeting and forecasting is an undeniable and unavoidable responsibility because management of money within the means of a corporation empowers growth and expansion.

When it comes to budgeting for any company, there are multiple entities, departments and/or groups with data to report to analyze and plan for the future.  Excel is the arguable standard bearer of spreadsheet software, but when it comes to simple and secure collaboration for multiple players, it can be a logistical nightmare.  However, most Dynamics NAV users already own Excel licenses, so the return on the investment for a budgeting solution might not be clear.  This blog will go about discussing the benefits of budgeting software options for Dynamics NAV – and tips to picking the right product for company needs.
Read more

Ad hoc reporting allows business and financial professionals to leverage self-service BI by easily building their own reports without extensive training. In less than an hour of training, users can learn how to use ad-hoc reporting to quickly answer their business questions.

With BI360’s Composer, part of BI360’s Reporting module, end users can access their information quickly and easily, and drill through report data for powerful information analysis. The layout of BI360 Composer is similar to MS Office, so it’s very intuitive for users.

The BI360 Composer ad-hoc query tool empowers anyone in your organization to access data in a structured and organized fashion, directly from your ERP, CRM or the BI360 Data Warehouse, to quickly answer those key questions when they need it!

In the following video, we cover real-world scenarios that demonstrate how BI360 Composer can help users increase their productivity, while decreasing their reliability on your IT department.

Watch the video here:

Another huge opportunity that CFOs and CTOs alike are realizing is cloud-based financial reporting. Solver’s BI360 integrates seamlessly with cloud data sources like Intacct. There are several reasons why cloud-based is becoming increasingly popular with financial professionals.
Cloud-based reporting offers fast, secure, and flexible performance, with anytime, anywhere access to your reports. These solutions require no software to be installed on end-users’ computers or handheld devices, providing access to reports through any web interface. This can be a lifesaver when you need to review data on the run, or share information from remote locations.
I’d say the biggest barrier to deploying a cloud-based reporting solution is simply deciding to do it. Early on, there was concern around the performance, compatibility and security of the cloud, much of which has been dispelled as cloud services have evolved. Today, the cost-savings and massive scalability—combined with intense focus on security—certainly make cloud-based reporting a valuable part of the complete self-service BI picture.

Self-service business intelligence is a must for financial professionals who need to make data-driven decisions quickly and accurately. Business intelligence tools like reporting, planning, budgeting, dashboards, and collaboration give trained users the insight to make better decisions in timely fashion. The key word here is trained. Self-service BI is a great vehicle, but it’s only as effective as the user’s ability to drive the car.
Once you’ve decided on a system, make sure your BI provider offers in-depth training, service and support programs. Set your expectations up front. Obviously they should understand your company’s business requirements, but they need to get granular with their training programs. Your team probably consists of technical and non-technical users. How does your provider address the needs of everyone? Whether it’s online training courses, in-person training courses, tutorials, webinars or whatever, make sure your provider understands your definition of success. Remember that even the most user-friendly solutions require proper training if you wish to truly become autonomous.
And training shouldn’t be a one-and-done experience. Pick a self-service BI provider that offers ongoing training and support, as well as a proactive partner that understands real-world scenarios and can anticipate potential speed bumps that apply to your specific business intelligence environment. Read more about self-service business intelligence training programs.