Microsoft Dynamics GP is a comprehensive accounting/ERP solution designed to help you streamline and unify all the different parts of your business. Dynamics GP provides you with enhanced visibility into your company’s financial data making it easy to make decisions quickly and accurately.
Many companies running Dynamics GP, however, are just scraping the surface when it comes to utilizing the software’s reporting capabilities. At times, this means they often struggle to pull out critical data and reports when needed.
This blog will provide an overview of the most common reporting options in Dynamics GP as well as the situations in which they are most useful.
1. “Out-of-the-box” Reports
There are a number of pre-built reports that can be run in order to view common Financial and Systematic Reports. The data presented in the reports can be filtered, but the organization of the data is difficult to modify, limiting the visual appeal of the reports.
Out-of-the-box reports are great for quickly accessing your information, but they can be inadequate for presentation purposes. To access out-of-the-box reports, you can simply select one from the “Reports” menu of any Dynamics GP module.
Ideal for: Obtaining general report information or viewing financials statements quickly for intradepartmental use, but report customization can be cumbersome through the GP Report Writer tool.
2. Inquiry Windows
Though Inquiry Windows cannot be used to create actual reports, they are still worth mentioning as one of the most common ways of retrieving information from Dynamics GP.
Every module has a series of Inquiry Windows which can be used to instantly view data in the system. Inquiry Windows are unique in that they display pertinent information to the user, but are not customizable or interactive.
Inquiry windows exist in every Dynamics GP module and can be saved as shortcuts for individual users for easy access. Access to Inquiry windows does not require any extra installation.
Ideal for: Looking up specific information quickly and providing information without allowing it to be manipulated.
3. All-in-one Views
One new feature in GP 2016 is the addition of All-in-one Views for the Purchasing, Sales, and Inventory modules.
The all-in-one views allow users to view all related documents for a single transaction in one window. This window can be accessed from the customer or vendor maintenance window, numerous inquiry windows, navigation lists, and the home page.
Ideal for: Quickly finding all documents related to a specific transaction for inquiry purposes.
SmartList is a standard reporting tool with customizable rows and columns. For every module, there are a number of columns of data that can be added or subtracted from the table with nearly instantaneous updating.
The columns can be customized to show information configurable by a user. Rows may be filtered and reordered based on the different types of data that appear in the fields of the column.
After the user is satisfied with how the SmartList looks, the report can easily be exported to Excel for further data manipulation and later use.
Ideal for: Creating tables quickly and checking updated information in previously created tables.
5. Navigation Lists
Similar to SmartLists, Navigation Lists present data in the form of a table or list that can be fully customized, filtered, and reordered based on user needs. However, Navigation lists add the ability to take action on items in the list.
Some actions, including emailing and printing a report, are available when you select multiple records—and they don’t even have to be in a range or in sequence as they would with standard GP reports.
Additionally, Navigation Go To’s allow you to drill to another window, such as inquiry or transaction (depending on the posting status), or send results to Excel. Navigation additionally allows to Go To a report and even customize by adding your own additional Go To’s options.
Ideal for: Searching for data, entering new data, taking action on data, printing reports, and taking other actions all within the same window.
6. Refreshable Excel (now with OData service)
Using Open Data Protocol or OData, users can now access information contained within a data source, query it, and structure it through create, read, update, and delete operations.
Dynamics GP 2016 now provides an OData feed that users can connect to from within Excel to create analytic reports using Power Query, Power View, PowerPivot, and Power Map.
With refreshable Excel reports when you run reports, the data goes directly to Excel, and a refreshable data connection is created so that as new data is added or changed in Dynamics GP, the Excel reports using this connection will reflect the change. The reports can be accessed from Microsoft Dynamics GP, a secure network location, SharePoint Server, or even Outlook.
Ideal for: Replacing any reports that need to be run frequently then exported to excel.
7. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
SQL Server Reporting Services is an object-oriented reporting option. Because SSRS queries the data directly from the database, in order to have a complete understanding of its capabilities you need to have at least a basic understanding of SQL and SQL database structure.
SSRS provides a WYSWYG Report Builder tool that can be used with the Dynamics GP Report Models to quickly create simple reports. All of the objects within the reports can easily snap to a grid or each other so it’s easy to make sure they are presentable.
Once the reports are built, they can be saved along with other SSRS report and accessed from Dynamics GP.
Ideal for: Highly customized reports with specific aesthetic requirements that need to be accessible through a browser.
8. Management Reporter
Formerly known as FRx, Management Reporter is the financial report writer that comes packaged with Dynamics GP software. Management Reporter is the recommended tool for generating formatted financial reports out of Dynamics GP and is able to handle medium complexity consolidated or multicurrency reports.
When viewing a report, Management Reporter allows you to drill down to the specific transaction detail within Dynamics GP. Management Reporter also has premium sharing capabilities. Reports can be viewed and shared easily through Office 365, email, networks, through a web browser, etc.
Ideal for: Formatted financial reports for management and other stakeholders.
9. Power BI with OData service
In GP 2016, if you have Power BI you can now add Power BI visuals to the Dynamics GP home page. These reports display similarly to how SSRS charts and KPIs can be displayed on the home page.
Ideal for: Executive level users that need to see GP data at the highest level, but do not necessarily have access to GP.
10. Third Party Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Tools
In addition to the reporting options directly associated with Dynamics GP, there are a number of third-party reporting products designed to enhance not only reporting but also budgeting with Dynamics GP.
- BI360 – An excel based reporting and budgeting tool that allows users to leverage their existing skills in excel to build reports using data from Dynamics GP.
- Prophix – An alternative to Management Reporter that is capable of handling far more complex business unit consolidations and multi-currency translations.
See Dynamics GP in Action at nVerge
Dynamics GP is one of the most robust ERP platforms when it comes to reporting, and it is becoming even more flexible in GP 2016 with the addition of OData service and Power BI.
If you’d like to see more, please join us for nVerge In the Cloud, where you can see all of the reporting options available to Dynamics GP first hand.
Come discover a world of inquiry, reporting, and analysis living in your Dynamics GP system that you may have never known about.