There is no doubt that
Will non-GP users need access to this report?
If your answer is “Yes”, then SmartLists are automatically out of the question, as these can only be accessed from within GP.
Will users need to run this report for various scenarios?
If your answer is “Yes”, go with either SSRS or Management Reporter – these are the only 2 reporting methods that allow “parameters” that the user can play with before running the report. These parameters make it easy for the user of the report to run it for a specific scenario that suits their needs.
Is it a financial report that requires a lot of comparisons?
If your answer is “Yes”, you may find it easiest to go with Management Reporter. In MR, it’s much easier to create financial reports that allow you to compare Actuals vs. Budget, Actuals vs. Prior Year, etc. or run statements at a certain fiscal period.
Does the report require totals and sub-totals?
If your answer is “Yes”, then SmartLists should be avoided. While SmartLists are a great and very dynamic tool for GP users, its biggest downfall is the fact that you can’t show totals for columns without exporting to Excel and adding them manually.
Are the users of the report tech-savvy?
If your answer is “No”, you may want to veer towards a Linked Excel report. In most cases, even the less technical users have some sort of experience with Excel, in which case you are better off giving them a report that they can access in a familiar environment.
Does the report require a lot of flexibility in the way it is presented?
If your answer is “Yes”, you definitely want to go with SSRS. While Linked Excel reports can be customized to some degree, it requires a lot of extra work. SSRS, on the other hand, gives you the flexibility of having multiple tables positioned however you need, graphs, gauges, conditional formatting, and more right out of the box.
Do users want to access this from anywhere over the web?
If your answer is “Yes”, you’ll want to go with SSRS for sure, as this is the only reporting tool of the bunch that can be integrated into a web browser for viewing over the web. While viewing SSRS reports over the web is not a standard feature, it is possible – for example,
Rahim Jiwani is an Application Specialist at WebSan Solutions Inc,