Reporting in Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations

Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (D365 F&O) is the cloud evolution of Dynamics AX, and how you access and report data from on-premise, versus accessing data from the cloud, has changed. The SQL database used to be on a server where the administrator could directly access the data to build a report. In a cloud-hosted environment, there is no direct access to the database, and there are new tools to build the reports you need.

This article will give you an overview of the main ways to do reporting in D365 F&O.

Table of Contents

Note: Even though most customers, commentators, and consultants still call it Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations or D365FO, Microsoft now technically licenses it as Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.

SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) Reports

SSRS reporting has been around for many years, and is still a big part of D365 F&O. The SQL Management Studio in conjunction with SSRS report builder, and/or Visual Studio have been the tools for creating and modifying reports. SSRS provided a platform for designing and reporting data directly from the SQL database.

Many of the reports generated from D365 F&O are now generated using the SSRS engine. Since cloud-hosted data cannot be directly accessed, how we do a new report or modify an existing SSRS report has changed. Report development now occurs on a cloud-hosted virtual machine available through LCS (Lifecycle Services). Completed reports are also delivered into production environments using LCS.

Watch this brief video to learn more about SQL Server Reporting Services in D365 F&O:

Electronic Reporting

Electronic Reporting is a D365 F&O reporting tool that encompasses more than just reports. It also provides tools for the exchange of data such as the import of bank statements or the export and upload of files. Microsoft provides a repository of commonly used formats. For modified formats, an organization named repository is created.

There are often parameters set in the user interface that will trigger an electronic report off of a menu. The electronic report will usually have a designated export or viewer format like Excel or PDF.

See this quick example of exporting a report to Excel:

Excel with Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Integration

Over the last several years, Microsoft 365 (Office 365) has become more closely integrated with all ERP solutions, not only Microsoft Dynamics ERPs. In D365 F&O, the ability to export to Excel is available on most views or grids. When security is in place, you may have the option to open data in Excel. This allows Excel to become a data entry vehicle or a tool for creating templates to import data.

Watch this video to see how you can download or open a report in Excel for editing:

Financial Reports in D365 F&O

You may have known Financial Reports as Management Reporter, and possibly as FRX before that. Reports are generated from the D365 F&O interface. The report parameters entered in the interface are passed through to the Report Designer, which generates the report.

The generated report is viewed in the same browser where you generated it from. You can open previously generated reports from the list that’s available.

If you need to edit the report, choose the report format that you want and click edit. This will open the Report Designer and allow you to edit the report definition and the building blocks. Once the edits are complete, the report is saved in D365 F&O for generation.

See how this process works below:

Get more detailed information on D365 F&O Financial Reports.

Power BI – Embedded and Desktop

Power BI embedded is available on most workspaces in Dynamics 365 F&O.

Power BI reports uses the Entity store, where the data is refreshed on a schedule. If the Power BI reports were to go directly to the database, you would find that there would be performance issues. So, the Entity store enables more effective use of the data.

Embedded Power BI reports do not require additional licenses for viewing the data. Anyone who is a D365 F&O user has access to the reports. The embedded reports can be downloaded from LCS and opened in Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Desktop will require additional licensing for viewing and editing the report. Power BI Desktop can leverage the Entity store as a starting point for many reports. A Power BI Desktop user can design their own report and then connect additional sources of data to the report.

Watch this video to see Power BI embedded in D365 F&O:

The Right Tool for the Right Job

When it comes to reporting, using the right tool for the right job is important.

  • SSRS is really good for reporting transactional data and is still available and familiar.
  • Electronic Reporting is good for dynamically populating forms, and can be used for importing and exporting document information.
  • Excel, with the Microsoft 365 (Office 365) integration, can be used for exporting user-filtered data, or data collection.
  • Financial Reports is available for your financial statements.
  • Power BI Desktop or embedded is great for reporting analytics for workspaces and external viewing.

Please reach out to us to guide you through selecting the correct tool for your reporting needs.

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