Replicate FRx Row Linking Reports in MS Management Reporter
The FRx row linking feature allowed users to create reports with assorted row layouts at different levels of a reporting tree. Microsoft FRx users took advantage of this functionality to create powerful reports within Excel. These Excel workbooks combined report data in various ways across multiple tabs.
The great news? There are options.
The downside of the FRx functionality is that it created a “plate of spaghetti” that was difficult to manage. Something as simple as adding an account could require updating multiple row layouts. It required thorough testing, as well, because the impact of changing a single lower level layout rippled throughout the entire reporting tree. It was very easy to make a mistake – or spend hours testing changes.
As FRx phases out, you should consider the following options:
Rethink your reports.
I know. You like your reports as they are and it’s too much work to change them. But –
- Give lower-level managers the detail that they need while providing upper level executives a more summarized view (while making details readily available to them)
- Reduce the effort required in the Finance Department to produce a consolidated report package
MS Management Reporter addresses the first category with report security and greater control over detail drill-down. It addresses the second category with the Report Viewer and with Report Groups. You may find that you can consolidate the reports and still give users as much (or as little) detail as they need.
Recreate the reports...
The Report Groups provide a way to consolidate multiple report layouts into one group. These reports can be easily accessed using the Web Client or the Report Viewer. The entire group can also be downloaded into one Excel workbook. Report Groups provide a way to produce the same end result using a different methodology.
Each layout is a separate report that pulls data from the General Ledger, so it may be updated independently. You can download the full group into Excel for your executives – multiple tabs with multiple layouts exactly as they are accustomed to receiving.
…with some extra functionality
Security controls which reports each manager can access. If you're using a reporting tree, the security is integrated into the tree so that you can produce one report and still control the data that individuals can access. Instead of cutting and pasting specific pages for lower-level managers, you can grant them access to the reports directly and still control what data they can see – departmental managers see their departments; divisional managers see multiple departments.
I've assisted several clients with reworking FRx row linking reports – going both routes. So far, they've found that the reduction in report maintenance and distribution time has been well worth the one-time investment to recreate the reports. I encourage you to think about which option is best for your organization. For more information, you may contact us at [email protected] or by calling (704) 846-6750. InterDyn Artis is a
By Lisa Suggs, Senior Implementation Consultant at InterDyn Artis