Excel Reporting Comes Full Circle

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Microsoft Dynamics, Accountnet has been at the forefront of the revolution in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for almost 20 years. The whole movement towards ERP systems was built around the desire to reduce dependency on Excel as a working tool. Microsoft Dynamics GP has matured to the point where this has been mostly accomplished, which makes it a bit ironic that after all the technology refinements the first question end-users always ask is, “how can I get these results into Excel?”

Excel and ERPWhile ERP has been a boon to companies seeking to consolidate and share business data, many of the people charged with doing more in-depth analyses (accounting, sales, shipping departments, etc.) need and want more than dashboard views and basic reports; for them Excel is a tool of choice. User adoption of your company’s ERP system is likely to be better when the tool being used for reporting is already familiar to the users and they can leverage their existing skills to use standard Excel functionality for generating charts, graphs and pivot tables.

If the data that is needed for the report can be generated using the existing interface (for example, Microsoft Dynamics GP) and exported in the format required for presentation of the report then there’s no issue – reports produced directly from your ERP system are probably the best choice for high level reporting. But if data needs to be sliced and diced before final presentation, then Excel becomes not only a familiar reporting tool, but an essential one.

A simple case study: Our client needed a way to reconcile customer deposits and wanted to be able to report on their liability by customer. The data was there and easy to retrieve from the ERP system, but in order to combine data from several different database tables, a special view needed to be set up and then connected to Excel. Now, this Excel front-end allows our client to pivot or arrange data as needed to report on fulfillment information, collections, and to satisfy any auditors.

Contact Accountnet if you would like to learn more about Excel reporting options for Microsoft Dynamics.