Replace Management Reporter with Excel (Video)

See why Encore is recommending ActivReporter as a Management Reporter replacement. You can produce all your financial statements in Excel using ActivReporter functions. Excel is everyone’s favorite reporting tool. In the 1990s financial reports for Dynamics GP were painstakingly constructed in Management Reporter (or FRx) and then exported to Excel for analysis and presentation. When financials were exported to Excel, you lost all drilldown functionality.

But this is 2020…

You can now build financial reports directly in Excel with the ability to drilldown into your GP data. You can bypass the outdated solutions like Management Reporter. The Excel solution is simpler to maintain, much faster to produce, and has built-in graphics capabilities.

Don’t continue to live in the 90s with your Dynamics GP reporting. Watch this recorded webinar and learn how you can bring your organization into the current century with ActivReporter.

Webinar Transcript:

Hi, everyone. Good afternoon and welcome. Thanks for joining us today. So my name is Melissa. I’m a marketing specialist here at Encore. And today we have Marvin Crossnoe here from nQativ to talk about replacing Management Reporter with ActivReporter hi there, Marvin.

Marvin: Hello, Melissa. And thank you, Melissa. And thank you, Encore, for inviting us to make a presentation here about ActivReporter. So as said, I’m Marvin Crossnoe. I’ll be your presenter today. So just a few housekeeping items, we recommend dial in phone, if you have that capability. We’ll entertain questions at the end of the webinar. So if you have questions, be sure and type them into your area of the webinar presentation. And then all of this will be recorded so that we’ll send you a link to the recording at the end.

Just a little bit about our company, nQativ, it rhymes with intuitive. We’ve been in the accounting-related marketplace for over 40 years. And when Microsoft announced a couple of years ago that they were going to not the further develop Management Reporter, we said we can use our development efforts for the last 15 years to interface Excel to an ERP system and be able to really add value and replace Management Reporter with Excel as the report writer.

We introduced this at GPUG 2017, nearly three years ago, but you’ll see as we make the presentation the product itself is quite mature. It has been in development for quite a number of years. The only thing that is new about the product is the interface to Dynamics GP.

So just a little bit about the feature set before we get into the demonstration, there are three main features that I want to point out today. The first one is we’re going to use Excel and pure Excel as a report writer directly to your Dynamics GP database. And then we also have a mechanism where we can convert your Management Reporter reports to ActivReporter reports and do about 85% to 90% of the work. So all that work that you’ve invested in management report can be harvested and put in ActivReporter.

We’re also gonna show you today that we have a lot of visibility into your Dynamics GP data. You typically use SmartList or Excel Refreshable reports for this. We have, in ActivReporter, what we call SmartList on steroids, and we’ll be demonstrating that to you today.

And then another feature, the third feature that we’ll talk about, is our Activ Trial Balance. Every day working in your Dynamics GP you’ll wanna do account research. Well, all that account research can be done so efficiently in the Activ Trial Balance product, and we will show that to you in our presentation. And the feature that’s most interesting in our product is that it is very very fast. And you will see that.

So when I demonstrate the product, what I like to do is I like to bring up a finished product, an Excel spreadsheet, and show you how it works. And then we’re gonna step back and show you how easy it is to build these Excel financial workbooks yourself. So that is the major part of the PowerPoint presentation. Let’s put the PowerPoint up, and let’s get right into the ActivReporter product.

So as advertised, what we’re gonna do first is we’re going to show you a finished financial design. This is just Excel. This is just pure Excel. And so this is a balance sheet built with ActivReporter, but the unique thing about it is, for any number on here, we can drill down to the underlying transactions so that number that we have in the background there for $160,000 is made up of 1,775 entries. You’ll see that in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. You can see all 1,775 entries here.

And if you have further questions about one of these entries, with a single keystroke, you can drill back to Dynamics GP and see that entry in Dynamics GP. And once you get to GP, you can further trace that back to the source document. So the essence of the ActivReporter Excel product is that we can build spreadsheets like we see on the screen, and then for any number, we can drill down to the underlying detail, and drill back to Dynamics GP.

Well, I wanna talk a little bit about this underlying detail. When we drill down to something, we drill down to something called the Drilldown Explorer. That’s the name of this screen. And we can look at all the transactions that make up that $160,000. But you can do so much more. You can sort it by the reference. You can sort it by the posting date. You can sort it by the description, by debits, by credit, or you can take any subset of information that you want here, and you can look down in the status bar, and it says that we have selected 23 of the 1,775 entries. The total debits of what we have selected is 185,945. The total credits are 0 with a net Activity.

And for any subset of information that you selected, you can also copy it to Excel. Now this is frequently not necessary because we show you all of those subtotals, but if you want, you can copy it directly to Excel.

So the Drilldown Explorer has a lot of power and will allow you to investigate all of this information behind any number here on this spreadsheet. So we can drill down to the underlying detail and we can drill back to Dynamics GP with a single keystroke.

Now let’s look just a little bit about the kinds of financials we can present. This is a balance sheet. It’s a multi-column balance sheet with the assets in one column, liabilities and equity in the other column. We can also do an income statement compared to budget. So this is an income statement, actual budget and variance with built-in Excel graphs that you can design. We can do cash flow statements. We can do income statement that compares years. We can also do income statements.

This is a little different, because in this case, we’re putting the account aggregation across the horizontal axis, and we’re putting time down the vertical axis. So this is a little different than you can do in your Management Reporter product.

We can also do multiple companies. So in this case, these are multiple companies, Fabrikam, Gabrikam, and University are all separate Dynamics GP datasets, but we can also work when you’re running the multiple companies in a product-like mem where you’re using a segment of your chart of accounts to delineate the company. You can do either or both in the same financial design.

And we can produce very graphics-enriched Excel spreadsheet. Here we’ve embedded a picture, and we’ve embedded some in graphics, and then we can still, for any number there, we can drill down to the underlying detail, and we can drill back to Dynamics GP.

So these are the kinds of statements that we produce in ActivReporter. Now to do this in ActivReporter, we have introduced over 50 functions that you can use to pull in all of this data into Excel. So if you look at this number that I have highlighted here and look up in the Formula bar, you’ll see that we’re using a function called Balance. Well, this is just one of those functions that we’ve added.

If we look at this income statement for years and look at one of its numbers, this is a Year-to-Date function. That is another function that we’ve added. And if you look at the balance sheet, and look at the balance sheet, you’ll see that these are Balance functions. Well, these are just some of the functions that we’ll show you in a few minutes and show you how to use them to build your own financials, but they’re also listed here in the ribbon.

So ActivReporter puts a special ribbon onto Excel, and in that ribbon, we have all of the financial functions. So these are the functions that return numbers, numeric values. These are the functions that return some descriptive things. These are some fun that return information about various accounts. And these are functions that return information about the periods. And these are functions that return information about the individual companies. And then there’s some more specialized functions and some other things here in the ribbon that we’ll talk about here in a few minutes.

So now let’s put away this pre-built financial and let’s go into the ActivReporter product itself. So here is the ActivReporter product. And unlike Management Reporter, we have a more complete user interface. Over in the left-hand column, we have the various companies that we have in our demo database. We have Fabrikam, Gabrikam, Habrikam, Mabrikam, and University. All of the “abrikam” companies are just modifications of Fabrikam, but the university is a large data set that we’ll use to show you how really fast and complete the product is.

So underneath Fabrikam, before we go in and build a financial, underneath Fabrikam, we have some expanded menu systems. And in that menu system, we have a chart of account. So this is just like the chart of accounts you can pull up over here in Dynamics GP like in a SmartList. But this particulars chart of accounts is really really fast. So we can sort by descriptions, we can sort by the account number, and we can add new information to this chart of accounts. So we can add information like the GP income statement Rollup, whether or not the account is obsolete, and things like that, apply this, and then we have that information in, and I don’t believe we have any obs yet. There’s some obsolete account that you’ve marked obsolete in Dynamics GP.

So we can see your data directly in ActivReporter, a little bit different than what you see in Management Reporter. And if you look down in the bottom left-hand corner, there’s 1,032 accounts in this chart of account.

We can also see all your journal entries. So in this case there’s 3,361 balance journal entries. And if we looked at the single-legged journal entries, we’ll notice that there are 59,411. Almost instantaneously we see all 59,000 postings into your general ledger. So you can see your data, and you can see it really really fast, and you can sort it by any one of the columns that you want to almost instantaneously for those 59,000 items.

But what we promise to show you is how to build financial design. Now just a few minutes ago, when I was showing you a financial design, this particular financial design was stored here on my desktop. This is the showcase Fabrikam financial design. So you can store your spreadsheets directly in your Windows file system, in this case, on the desktop. But what we really like for you to do is to store your financial designs inside the database. Because when they are stored inside the database, then we can control access to those XLSX file.

And there’s something else that we can do. So I’m going to call up that same showcase financial here inside the database. I’m gonna go ahead and close this one down. I’m not gonna need to use that one anymore. So I can open up this same financial. I need to give it a date so that the numbers in the background will have a date to reference. And as soon as I do, it goes out to the database and fully populates this spreadsheet just like the one that I had on my desktop. And again, of course, I can drill down to the underlying detail and drill back to Dynamics GP.

But when we store the financial designs inside the database, as I said a few minutes ago, we get security, but we also have all of our prior versions. So this particular spreadsheet started last October. It’s version number one. It’s gone through 25 revisions. And I can look at any one of those previous revisions. And if I make a mistake and mess up my spreadsheet, and we need to return from the one from last week, I don’t have to call IT and get them to restore from backup. I’m in control of my own destiny here. I can restore any one of those versions to the current version or just go open it and look at it and see what it looked like at the end of last month or last year. So those are two of the reasons that we asked you to store your financial designs inside the ActivReporter database.

But now what we really wanna do is show you how easy it is to produce your own financials. I’ve got a lot here that we’ve produced over the years, and we’ll show you some of those. But what we wanna do first is we’re going to open up a new financial design. And I’m gonna call this Encore Financials. And I will open the workbook directly here. It will open a blank workbook. I do need to give it a date so that in the background I will have the ability to produce numbers as every specific date. So I give it a date, and now I basically have just a blank Excel spreadsheet. But I do have the Activity ribbon along with all the other native ribbons within the Excel product.

So if I were going to build a financial design, let’s say a balance sheet, up here maybe in E1, I wanna put the name of the company. Well, I could just put the name of the company. I could type it in. Fabrikam. But if I do that, that’s a literal. That’s hard-coded within that Excel spreadsheet. So I really don’t wanna do that. I wanna go and let the database provide that name for me. So I can go to the Company Financial function, bring in the Company Name function, and therefore it pulls in the name Fabrikam from the database rather than me typing it in as a literal.

Now since it’s Excel, I can go to the Home key, I can color that red, I can make it big, I can make it bold, I can do anything I want to because this is just Excel. It’s just Excel with all of the added functions that are available here in the Activity ribbon.

So now below the name of the company, I’ll probably wanna put in the date. If you remember a couple of minutes ago, I gave it the date April of 2017. So when I put in the Date function here, I’m gonna use the Periods function and look at As of the Period ending, April 30th, 2017. So it knows the contextual date and puts it in for me.

If I change that date, I go back into my options and change that day to May instead of April, you’ll notice it immediately changes the date to May. So I’ve got the heading in my balance sheet.

Now over here in maybe B6, I wanna put the name of an account or a group of accounts all right category or a Management Reporter Rollup. I wanna put something over there, but I’m gonna start very simply, and I’m gonna put the name of an account. So I’m gonna go up here to my Accounts ribbon, and I’m gonna put the account description of the account 000-1100-00-a.

Now this “a” is something special. A is something that ActivReporter adds to the account code only in the ActivReporter [inaudible 00:16:51]. You do not add these As, and that has nothing to do with your Dynamics GP database, but these are actual numbers from your accounting system in deference to budgets and in deference to the IFRS reporting ledgers and the statistical Ledgers. So when I use this account, it goes out to the database and pulls in the cash operating your account.

Now over here in maybe H6, I need to put the balance of that cash operating account. So I can go back to my Financials function and pull in the Balance function. But just to show you that we’re fully embedded in Excel, I’m gonna go to the Excel function Arguments Wizard. I’m gonna go down to the Activity Financials function, and I’m gonna bring in the Balance function from there. This is exactly the same as recalling it from our ribbon, but this just shows you that you can bring it in from the Insert Function wizard in Excel itself.

Now I need to put some sort of context or I need to put some sort of limits, and that’s what these five parameters are here. They are limit to the number, this balance number, that I’m gonna recall. But at first I’m not gonna put any limits on it. I’m just gonna say okay. And it brings in the number 132 something, and I’ll format it here, $132 million.

Now I know there are some accountants in the audience. And they say, “If you’re in a balanced set of books, and you add up all your debits and all your credits as of May 31st, 2017, you should get 0. Well, I don’t. I get $132 million. What is wrong?

So I can drill down now and look at all the postings behind that $132 million. There’s 35,000 of them. And I can start looking down through here. And I notice a lot of them are for accounts that end in a B. Those are the budget entries and I know that in Dynamics GP, budgets do not have to be in balance, therefore I need to eliminate the budget entries and only get these entries that have an A at the end. I only wanna look at the actual ledger, not the budget ledger.

So I’m gonna go back and look at my Function Arguments wizard here, and I’m gonna say, “I only want the ledger equal to A.” And so this will go out and pull all the actual numbers in, and indeed I get zero. All the debits and all the credits for the actual ledger add up to zero.

But if I look at, it is for a lot of accounts. It’s not just for that 000-1100 account that I’m looking for, therefore I need to further filter my data. So I’m going back into my Function Arguments wizard, I’m gonna say, “I only wanna look at that account which is equal to 000-1100-00-a. And when I do so, I get $389,000. And I can check my work because I can just drill down to it. I can sort it in ascending and descending order by account. And I see every account there is indeed the 1100 account. I can drill down through them here and look at any of them, but they’re all for that same account. So indeed this is the balance as of May 31st for the cash operating account.

Well, I could continue and build more information about this to be sort of like a trial balance since I’m doing each individual account in the chart of accounts. But this is really the hard way to build a financial designs. I wanna show you a much easier way. But I need to give you some context for the easier way so I started showing you the details behind it.

So now what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go to sheet number two. And in sheet number two, again, a blank sheet, I’m going to go back to my Activity ribbon, and I’m gonna go to something we call the Layout wizard. So this Layout wizard, it does a lot of the work for you. It does 90% of the work for you.

So in the Layout wizard, I wanna build a balance sheet of the current year versus the prior year. So the current year…Let me start that over again. The current year and prior year that sort of indicates I have a column for current and a column for prior year. So that gets my column definitions. But what about my Row Definitions? Well, I could use every account in the chart of accounts just like I started on Sheet1. I started building a trial balance using every account, or I could use these segments of my chart of account.

But really what I wanna do is I wanna use some sort of an aggregation mechanism. Well, the natural aggregation mechanism and Dynamics GP are the categories…or the GP categories. I can also use Management Reporter rows. And I can also use my own design that have nothing to do with anything in Management Reporter or Dynamics GP.

But to start with here, I’m gonna use the categories restricted to the balance sheet account. And that’s how I’m gonna get my Row Definitions. And when I do this, I get, built for me with all the necessary formulas, a template balance sheet. Now this template balance sheet is not quite finished. I need to come up here and put in some literals for assets. I need to split apart my rows here a little bit, maybe insert some rows I need to subtotal some numbers here. But this is just Excel.

So everything that’s left to do at the Excel from the templates standpoint, I can put an overstrike on it, I can pull this over here, everything else I need to do to make this an official, well-designed, we’ll-decorated balance sheet is just Excel. So from the template to final design is just Excel. And once you have this, then you can repeat this next month, next year, and so forth. You only have to do this one time.

Now you’ll notice that I have some areas in green here. These areas in green are the first three columns and the first three rows. We do not have the requirement to have any reserved rows or columns like many of our competitors. But everything that we build in a formula here, if we look at this formula, all the variables in that formula are put up here in the first three rows and the first three columns. That is just Excel. It’s not a requirement of ActivReporter. It’s just using Excel to its full benefit so that we don’t have to have a lot of details down here in the body.

If you think about it, this formula is exactly the same as this formula is exactly the same as this formula. Every formula in this balance sheet is identical to every other formula. All the variables are up here in the first three rows and the first three columns. And again, that’s just a feature of Excel, not of ActivReporter.

But if I use the template design that I have here, then I can extend my power of the financial really really fast. Suppose right here in column G I have 2017, in column H I have 2016. What if I wanna put 2015 and column J? All I need to do is copy this column H, insert these cells over here in column J, and change my current minus one year to current minus two years, and now I have 2015 in column J. And I can prove that because I can drill down on any one of these numbers, and I see that these are numbers with the most recent posting date of May 2015, whereas these numbers have the most recent posting date of May of 2016, and these numbers have the most recent date of May of 2017. So you can see that you have the right numbers in the design.

I can also, what if I wanna put the budgets here in column H? I can change this. Let me just take and copy this row, insert it here into column H, and I change this actual ledger to the budget ledger, and now all of these numbers are the budget numbers. And look how fast that was. And look how quickly I built a design just from my GP category Rollups and my layout of my templates. So you can build designs very very rapidly in ActivReporter.

Now I want to put this away. I’m going to save this, and then I’m going to save the design. And you’ll notice that in my versions, I have my very first version at 26 minutes after the hour. So we’ll come back to that here in a few minutes. But what I wanna do next is I wanna show you how we can convert Management Reporter designs to ActivReporter.

So I have a Management Reporter Row Definition. Now this Row Definition can be used in any design, but the most tedious thing is these links to financial dimensions in the Row Definitions. So here are the various Row Definitions for a balance sheet in Management Reporter. I wanna take that information and pull it over into ActivReporter so I can use it to build a financial design.

In ActivReporter we call those Row Definitions Rollups. The term Rollup in ActivReporter is analogous to Row Definitions in Management Reporter. I can transfer those over from Management Reporter to ActivReporter using a program New Rollup from MR Rows. So I will do that. I need to give it authentication so I can read the Management Reporter database. I do that. And now I have a list of all the Row Definitions from Management Reporter.

So you see the very first one is this FAB Balance Sheet, then FAB Cash Flow and so forth. So here are all of my Row Definitions and Management Reporter. I’m gonna take this very first one, and I’m gonna move it over to ActivReporter. So I can take that one, I’ll call it the same thing, and now I have it appearing over here in ActivReporter. And I need to do one more thing, and that is Activated. So I’m gonna Activate this particular Rollup. And now I’m gonna look at it.

So here is that Rollup. Here it is in ActivReporter. If I look at this row code 130, look at the row code 130, you’ll notice it is including all the accounts that begin with 1100 through 1130, which is exactly what I have over here in Management Reporter. And if I proceed to the next one, is row code 160, which is the single account 1140, the next one is everything that begins with a 12, which is over here in Management Reporter. So I have harvested the Management Reporter Row Definitions into ActivReporter.

So now I’m gonna go back into the financial design Encore Financials that I just exited. I’m gonna open the workbook again. And now I’m gonna go…I need to specify a date, but now I’m gonna go to a new sheet, and I’m gonna the Layout wizard, Balance Sheet Current vs…I’ll use the same one, the layout Balance Sheet Current vs Prior Year, and now I’m gonna use that Row Definition that I just extracted from Management Reporter, and now I have a template financial that has exactly the same information in it from a row standpoint that the one did over here and Management Reporter.

All that I have left to do is put our decoration on it. So I need to come in and put in the assets. I need to come in and put in some rows here, make some subtotals. But that did about 85% to 90% of the work. All the work that is a left is just Excel work, just decoration. We call that the lipstick onto the template.

So once we do that, then we’ll have a identical presentation in ActivReporter that we had in Management Reporter. So I’ll save this one, and I will save my container, and now you’ll notice in my versions, I have two versions, one created at 26 after the hour, one created at 30 minutes after the hour, so in about 5 to 7 minutes I can extract my Row Definitions from Management Reporter and have a template financial and ActivReporter, and then I just need to put some lipstick on it to make it look just like the one in Management Reporter. Because we do not bring across the literals, and we do not bring across the sub totaling. You’re gonna have to add that once you get it over into the ActivReporter Excel spreadsheet.

Okay, so next I wanna talk just a little bit about a finished financial. I’ve shown you how you can build your own financial. So I’m gonna put this one away. I’m gonna put my Row Definition away. And I’m gonna go to some more examples down here.

So I know that we’re in Canada, you have a lot of requirement for multi-currency. So we do fully support the multi-currency. I’m gonna show you a multi-currency trial balance. So this is a financial that we’ve designed in Excel. I need to give it a date, and I need to talk about the multi-currency capabilities of ActivReporter. And they’re basically exactly the same as what you have in Management Reporter. Because we use…We’ll be able to look at the translation methods. Here are all the translation methods just exactly a mirror of what you have in Management Reporter and Dynamics GP.

So basically, in this case, all of our balance sheet accounts are based upon the current translation method except those like your fixed assets, which are based upon the historical method. And then all of your P&L accounts are based typically on the average method. These are just a mirror of what you have in the Dynamics GP database.

But when those translation methods are actually used in your currency conversion, you’ll see that my cash operating account have an exchange rate of about one point 1.365. But if I look down to some of the…Let’s see, these are all. I don’t see that I have any of my…Maybe I need to choose a different date. Let me choose, yeah, inventory. I just don’t see any fixed asset accounts here. If I did see fixed asset accounts, they would be at a different rate than my current rate.

But you do see down here in my P&L accounts, all the P&L accounts are at 1.34 translation of rate versus the 1.36 for my balance sheet account. So you see that we do support the multi-currency, and we support any kind of currency, and we can recall a different currency just by looking at a different exchange, like we’ll change this to Mexican pesos, and so as soon as I do that, it will recalculate the system, whereas now these are Mexican pesos instead of Canadian dollars.

And of course you can convert from Canadian dollars back. If Canadian is your functional currency, you would wanna convert to US dollars or Mexican pesos. It works in either direction. So that just shows you some of the capabilities that we have, which are typically exactly the same capabilities that you have in Management Reporter.

Okay, now we wanna bring up another financial design here. So I’m gonna go back to my financial designs, and I want to bring in something that we have here, a P&L statement. So I’m gonna open a P&L statement here. I need to give it a date. And as soon as I give it a date, then I have a P&L statement for the entire Fabrikam company with a period ending April 30th of 2017 and 2016.

Now think about trees. Trees in Management Reporter are very powerful. Trees in ActivReporter are very powerful also. We invoke them in just a little bit of a different way. So here in my workbook options, this is where I’ve been choosing my date. I can also choose my tree. So I’m gonna look at the division equal to 000. So this will reconstitute this financial in the background not for the entire company but just for the division 000. So this is one of the tree. And you can see that because you can drill down on the number, and you see that this is all four divisions 000.

Well, if I want to constitute this for a different division, say division equal to 300, then I can put 300 in here, and when I drill down on this number, I see that this is for division 300. So as you build your financials, you can, with the options dialog, change this to a certain division. And you can even go further down than that. You can say I want this for division 300 and department equal to 00 or something like that. So you can produce all your trees here.

But you can also produce your trees all together and create financials that you can publish and send to those division managers. So that’s what we’re gonna do next is we’re going to produce these financials for our division managers. So for this financial, I can go, and I can publish the financial here. And when I say publish the financial, I give it the dates that I wanna publish, and I also say I wanna iterate over my division.

So I wanna produce a financial for each division. In this case, there are eight divisions. I’m gonna produce eight different financials, one for each division manager. So I’ll use division as my iteration mechanism, and I could print these out to the printer so I can physically hand them to my division manager, or I could produce them to a file so I could produce them to a PDF file and then I could email them to my division managers.

But what would be really interesting is that if I produce a workbook for each of my division managers and let them have a workbook instead of that static PDF or a static piece of paper. So out here on my desktop, I’m going to actually produce these. I’m gonna put them out to my desktop. I’m gonna produce iterating over division, the eight different workbooks, one for each division manager.

So I’m gonna say Next here, and you’ll notice that they are coming up here in the background. So you’ll notice in the desktop and the background, I’m producing each of these eight different financials. And so as soon as that finishes here, and I will show you that it just produced all of these financials. So here’s the financial for division zero, and indeed this is for division zero.

Now this is just a spreadsheet. And you’ll notice that it labelled it for the corporate division. So it adds the name of the division here. And if I drill down on one of these numbers…before I can drill down, though, I need to really connect it to the database. So I connect it to the database. And now I can drill down on this, and I see it is for division zero as expected.

With ActivReporter, you can produce not only pdfs and printed documents to send to your division managers, but you can produce Excel-based financials that you can send to your division managers, and they can do their own investigation. They can drill down into the underlying detail. And if they have a Dynamics GP license, and you permit them to do so, you can let them, with a single keystroke, drill back to Dynamics GP and see that information back in Dynamics GP. Now that’s optional. That’s totally up to you whether you allow that level of drill down. But you can at least look at the details, and you don’t need a GP license to do so.

And we’ve replaced all of the formulas by the numbers and lock the spreadsheet so they cannot mess the spreadsheet up, they can’t edit the spreadsheet. It’s a static spreadsheet in the fact that no more formulas, but they still can drill down and drill back to the underlying detail.

Okay, so we have a lot of more examples that we could go through here, but what I really wanna do is show you the other two features of ActivReporter. We spent a lot of time in Excel spreadsheet. Now you’ve already seen some of this because every time you drill down, you get a nice SmartList on steroids. You can look at all the data really really fast.

But I wanna show you something we call a financial view. So every day, when you’re working in Dynamics GP, you need to do account investigation. So I’m gonna pull up the Financial View Trial Balance. I’m gonna pull that up for February of 2017. So this is the Financial View Trial Balance. I’m gonna limit this just to the actual ledger, not my budget ledger, and you’ll notice that I have a lot of information here. But for any piece of information, for any number on here, I can drill down to the underlying detail, and I can drill back to Dynamics GP.

So if you need to know what’s posted to this account, why this account has a certain balance, why there’s a certain posting into this account, for this period, maybe it’s in the wrong period, you can use this, enter in this trial balance, in order to do all of your account investigation.

And this trial balance is Active. As soon as I make a posting over here in Dynamics GP, that trial balance will maintain its integrity, and it will show that new trial balance immediately when you make the posting in Dynamics GP. So I wanna do that for you. I’m gonna go into the financial. I’m gonna go in and make a posting to Dynamics GP. I’m gonna do this in the MRC batch. And I’m going to add this as a special batch, save that, and I’m going to go down here.

Now you don’t wanna watch me type. So I have memorized some certain some transaction. I’m gonna play a set of five transactions that we’ve memorized. And so here they are in the file system. These are five postings. And as soon as I do so, you’ll notice that those postings will appear in this general area, because all of them are into the cash and cash-related account. So as soon as I start playing those postings, you’ll see them come up here. See them come up 100, 200, 300, 400, 500. So as we made those postings in Dynamics GP, without any kind of refresh key or anything, they will immediately be shown in your Activ Trial Balance.

What this means is that you can actually watch your people work. You can watch your postings being made. You can watch your cash accounts grow as you collect receipt. You can watch it deplete as you pay payables. You can watch your sales account as people post into the sales account. So you can, with the Activ Trial Balance, you can watch it, but you can also, for any number on here, even the beginning balance, you can drill down on any of those numbers and drill back to Dynamics GP.

So for your day-to-day work, the trial balance, this Activ Trial Balance, is worth its weight in gold. And of course, since those are temporary postings, they’re in a batch, they haven’t been posted yet, we can choose to include them or not include them. And since they’re in a batch, I could, if I wanted to, go over here to that batch, recall that batch, so I’ll recall that MRC batch, and now I can delete that batch as soon. As I delete them, then those numbers are gonna disappear here. So there I’ve deleted the batch, and all the numbers disappear. So that shows you that you can use your ActivReporter product and use the Activ Trial Balance to see your posting and to investigate any posting into any account for any period.

Now I told you I was gonna show you performance. So I’m gonna go away from the Fabrikam data set and go to the University data set and look at a financial view and the trial balance in the University data set. Now in this data set, I have 9,000 accounts down in the bottom-left-hand corner. We have no pre-stored totals. All of these numbers were calculated from the detail as soon as I selected that selection.

So if I wanna change from period 1 of 2017, if I wanna change the date and I wanna go to period December of 2017, it just did those tens and twenty thousands of calculations, thousands of calculations, but for any number there, I can drill down to the underlying detail, and I can drill back to Dynamics GP. So it is extremely fast. Even if the data sets, I think in this case there are about 2 million transactions in this data set, I can go to any year, any period, so I go back into a closed period 2015, I’ll go back into February of 2015, and so it just did all of those calculations for those 10,162 extremely fast. And again, we can drill down to the underlying detail on any posting there and drill back to Dynamics GP.

Okay, so I’ve shown you a lot about the product. Now I wanna go back and look a little bit at the PowerPoint presentation because we’ve got the demonstration out of the way. We’ll answer questions here in a minute if you want, but I wanna talk about the pricing, because you’ll be astounded at how economical this product is.

The ActivReporter is sold in license units. And one license unit allows you to have up to 10 Dynamics GP company databases. Now if you’re running 50 companies, and they’re done with a segment of the chart of account, that’s still just one database. But you can run up to 10 company databases, no limits to the number of users. We will help you get it installed, and we’ll give you four hours of training and implementation, all for a one-time licensing fee of $1,000 plus a monthly fee of $70.

So let’s translate that. The pricing example number one, here the customer has seven GP databases. The entire price is $1,000 plus $70 a month. So for the first year is 70 times 12, 840, plus 1,000, so $1,840 for the first year, $840 for each subsequent year. And with that, you get four hours of training and implementation.

Now if you have 22 company databases, since it’s sold in units of three, you’ll have to buy three licenses. That’s a $3,000 initial fee, and $210 a month, and you get 7 hours of training and implement.

Now just to summarize what all we seen. We’ve seen that ActivReporter is just Excel. It’s not an application built on top of Excel where you have a design phase and a run phase. We just had Excel with functions. And with that, you can drill down to the underlying details and drill back to Dynamics GP. We support multi company. We support workbook versioning, so you can restore to an older version of your workbook. We also have calendars. I didn’t show you this, but you can have a daily calendar, a quarterly calendar, and the fiscal calendar from Dynamics GP. And you can use all of those simultaneously to build your financial designs or your trial balances.

I also showed you iterations, how you can build your trees. I showed you that we can harvest your management report or rows and get 80% to 90% of the work from Management Reporter to ActivReporter. We also have a missing account analysis just like manage reporter, but it’s much much more complete and a lot faster. I’ve showed you the Activ Trial Balance, how you can publish your financials out to your division heads. I didn’t show you the trial balance comparison, but this is a way you can make some comparisons.

We have extensive security. So you can allow some people to look at one company, other people to look at another company. In your Drilldown, you can allow some people to drill down to executive salaries, other people will be able to drill down only to non-executive salaries. We support multi-currency in the same fashion as Management Reporter. We can have multiple budgets. You can have an original budget. You can have a revised budget. Now we do not do budgeting. We rely on the budget in Dynamics GP, but you can have as many budgets in a year as you want.

We also have complete automation. I told you that you could iterate over your divisions and send out emails to the individual division managers. We can, if you want, automate that for you so that we’ll send out the emails automatically. And very importantly, it is affordable. With the $1,000 initial fee and $70 a month, it is very affordable.

And with that, if you’re interested in the product, what you need to do is talk to Encore, your Encore account manager, talk to Melissa, and they will facilitate the purchase of the product. It’s all done online. Once we get the purchase requisition or the purchase order, we will send you a statement of work and generate you a license key, and then you go into our website and arrange your own installation times and your own training times. So all of that is fairly automated and will allow you to schedule your own best practice.

And with that, I wanna answer any questions. So, Melissa, do you have questions from the audience? And Sarah Brewster…

Melissa: Yeah, we do, actually.

Marvin: Sarah Brewster is on here, and she will help answer questions also. Okay, Melissa?

Melissa: Yes, one of the questions is, is the backend still the Management Reporter database?

Marvin: Sarah, do you wanna answer that? Sarah is muted.

Sarah: I unmuted.

Marvin: Okay.

Sarah: So the backend, no, we don’t use the Management Reporter database, but we do a similar setup of having a parallel database for each of the GP companies as well as a system level database similar to the Dynamics database. So we don’t use Management Reporter’s databases. We create our own. But we do have a different way that we manage getting changes in the GP databases into our databases. So there’s a little bit difference in the philosophy between how Management Reporter manage theirs and how we manage our databases.

Melissa: Okay, thanks.

Marvin: Melissa, do you have other questions?

Melissa: No, we don’t. That was the only question here so I think we might be able to give everyone a little bit of time back.

Marvin: All right. So, Melissa, thank you very much for inviting us to present today. And thank, everyone, for attending. And there will be a recording of this that is available, so I’ll turn it back over to you, Melissa.

Melissa: Oh, and I just saw one other question popped in if you still have a little bit of time.

Marvin: Sure.

Melissa: Okay. So how often do the updates get to the backend?

Marvin: Instantaneous.

Sarah: I wondered if someone was gonna ask.

Marvin: Okay, go, Sarah.

Sarah: Marvin said it. They’re instantaneous. So Management Reporter, well, every so often go out to GP and say, “Hey, GP, what changed?” And that’s why there’s a bit of a delay when you put something in GP and see it in a Management Reporter report. ActivReporter, we’ve actually got triggers on the GP databases, so anytime something changes there in the GL databases, or the GL tables in the database, it immediately sends a message and updates ActivReporter. So that’s gonna be where a lot of that speed comes from that Marvin was talking about earlier.

Melissa: Great. Okay, I don’t see any more sneaking in, so I think we can say we’re actually done. Thanks so much, Marvin, for coming.

Marvin: Thank you, Melissa.

Melissa: And thank you, Sarah, as well. I hope everyone has a good afternoon. Make sure you can contact your account manager if you have interests or you can just contact us at Encore and we’ll help you out with ActivReporter. Thanks.

Encore Vantage Virtual Event — Adapt Faster, Work Smarter, Perform Better

Encore Vantage is an educational event for Dynamics GP, NAV, and AX users. Learn how to modernize your business applications and increase efficiency. Plan the path forward with your Dynamics solution.

January 18
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Encore Vantage: GP, NAV, & AX Virtual Event

Jan. 18
9:00 am – 12:35 pm PST

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