Modern Financial Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

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Financial reporting is figuratively the popular kid in the school of Business Intelligence (BI) – and as the big man on campus, it continues to develop its A-list status by evolving for modern business demands.   Microsoft Dynamics NAV, as do most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, offers a native financial report writer, called Report Designer.  Undeniably, some companies can adequately rely on Report Designer for their data management and analysis processes to make sound decisions for the future of their business, but more generally, the functionality is restricted for organizations of any notable size wanting strong analytics.  This article will explore and consider some of the many options Dynamics NAV users have for dynamic, ultra-modern, and business user friendly financial reporting tools that put an emphasis on flexibility in access, integration, future planning, and much more.


It might be best to zoom out and look at the big picture.  If you are beginning the search for software that is manufactured by a third party, where you will be investing time and money into the process that you don’t believe Report Designer can sufficiently handle, shouldn’t ease of use be an obvious priority?  Maybe you would think this goes without saying, especially as much as we rely on technology today, but every Independent Software Vendor (ISV) is going to market their software as easy to use these days.  And this is because the business world has generally made it clear that they would like to be able to manage more processes without relying on the IT team.  Business user friendliness entails some familiarity and flexibility, but there are plenty of products that simply cannot provide that because of their proprietary interface.  More specifically, some ISV reporting tools are Excel add-ins, which allows most finance teams to hit the ground running with familiar formatting and coding within the ubiquitous spreadsheet program by Microsoft, while more easily accelerating and modernizing their reporting processes.  There tends to be a more tedious learning curve with proprietary software.



There has been more than one conversation online or in person where I have discussed the question of why a company should go beyond the Microsoft BI stack when Microsoft (of Microsoft Dynamics NAV) has a whole toolbox of BI solutions to handle a range of analytics.  Similar to the topic of Excel add-ins versus proprietary platforms, despite Microsoft manufacturing Excel, they do not rely on it as a foundation for their related financial report writing products.  Therefore, despite Excel being so helpful to data management and analysis, if you depend on proprietary interfaces like Microsoft’s own FRx, Management Reporter, or SQL Reporting Services, you and your team will have to learn a whole new skill set related to formatting and coding that aren’t Excel, which also means they’re less flexible in nature.  Speaking of, in addition to ease of use, flexibility is another major aspect to consider when spending time, energy, and money to shop for and implement a solution to take your financial reporting workflow into the 21st century for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

To continue learning more about your options for modern financial reporting with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver

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