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Crestwood Associates

Management Reporter vs. FRx: Battle of the ERP Financial Statement Report Writers


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    I am a 12 year user of FRx, so it was hard for me to accept that it was going away after Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. But then I remembered that I had the same problem with Lotus 123 and I am now an avid Microsoft Excel supporter. 

    Last week, I held a webinar on Management Reports vs. FRx which you are free to download and watch.  The purpose of the webinar was to introduce our customers to the Management Reporter features and give them the details on when the change was coming and what to expect.

    All customers who purchase Dynamics GP 2010 will receive Management Reporter as their financial report writing tool. You can create Income Statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flows, and many other reports that contain Actual or Budget General Ledger data in Dynamics GP. Customers on Dynamics GP 9 or 10 will be able to stay on FRx when they upgrade to Dynamics GP 2010 through its lifecycle (summer of 2015). A few customers have opted to make the migration to Management Reporter from FRx sooner. Here is a list of the benefits in migrating to Management Reporter from FRx:

    • Undo button!
    • Column page breaks.
    • Ability to add images to your reports (e.g. logos, graphs, etc.)
    • Reports Viewer - Comes with a Report Server that allows you to publish your reports to a web server and all users can view, print and Export to Excel the reports they are used to getting in paper format.
    • There is enhanced stability because the underlying database is SQL Server instead of Access.
    • Reports Library – ability to organize your published reports by type and set security for each report.
    • A migration tool is available to move FRx reports to Management Reporter reports.  This can be tricky.
    • Use the various dimensions in Dynamics GP 2010 (e.g. GAAP, IFRS, etc.)
    • Reports can be grouped for generation of multiple reports at once.

    There are some caveats as well that may cause you to postpone your migration:

    • Evaluate the multicurrency translation tables that you are utilizing in FRx.
    • The speed in generating a report to a queue rather than on your desktop is lacking. The benefits of a web publishing environment will outweigh the wait.
    • If you are linking directly to Forecaster, you will need to wait until the Forecaster replacement is announced.  No date on that yet.
    • If you are exporting to cubes or Excel Pivot Tables, those features are not there in MR.

    Hope this gives you some insight into Management Reporter. Let us know if you have any questions.

    By Mary Lenehan, Client Education Manager at Crestwood Associates, the Chicago, IL Microsoft Dynamics Partner holding Gold Accreditation in Dynamics GP and 2011 President’s Club member.

    3 Responses to “Management Reporter vs. FRx: Battle of the ERP Financial Statement Report Writers”

    1. Char Gust says:

      Hi,
      Thanks for posting about your experiences with Management Reporter.

      Just a note that Microsoft offers a tool called “Forecaster Data Transfer” that will move data from Forecaster back into Dynamics, allowing you to then report off that data in Management Reporter.

      Check out the Management Reporter blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicscpm/ for info on this tool, as well as other Management Reporter news.
      Char

    2. Aric Whisnant says:

      Hi Mary,
      We just upgraded to GP 2013 and MR. The problem we’re having is getting the reports to our roaming users. With FRx, we’d create the FRD file. The user would open the file with Drilldown Viewer and had the convenience of drilling into the data. With MR, the only drilldown files reference our SQL server locally. We don’t want to make that available publically and we don’t want to invest in a VPN setup. While the Excel export is an option, it isn’t as convenient to our users’ operations. Is there anyway to export or link to a file publically that they can access to drill down into the data? I’ve read sharepoint is an option. We have that through Office 365, but I can’t figure how to publish to that directory as I can’t get the authentication to work?

      Thanks,

      • Crestwood Associates says:

        Hi Aric,
        Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot that you can do to solve this. I would recommend visiting the Microsoft Connect portal to provide feedback and product improvement suggestions. You can also vote on other suggestions that are out there for MR. Microsoft monitors these and takes the most requested features and works them into the updates.
        https://connect.microsoft.com/dynamicssuggestions/Feedback

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