Reporting for Professional Services Dynamics SL users

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This article tackles the topic of financial and operational report writer solutions for Professional Services teams utilizing Microsoft Dynamics SL, so you can make the right investment.    

In today’s business world, maybe particularly for Professional Services teams, a dynamic, easy-to-use reporting solution is vital to remaining competitive in your industry, riding the waves of a sometimes choppy economy through sharper decision-making, so you can continue to grow as an organization and a brand.  This article will lay out some of your solution choices for modern, quality operational and financial report writing, focusing on feature and functionality offerings, so you can invest precisely to grow your Microsoft Dynamics SL analyses as a Professional Services team.

Third party software solutions typically query data from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and/or additional data sources, whether by integrating live from Dynamics SL or from a Business Intelligence (BI) data store.  Similar to most accounting systems, Dynamics SL is equipped with a native reporting function, as well as Management Reporter, Crystal Reports, and SQL Reporting Services as options.  That said, more Professional Services organizations are deploying independent software vendor (ISV) reporting tools due to their business user friendliness and the powerful analytical output that delivers sub-ledger reporting beyond what SL offers.  You can craft reusable reporting templates with select ISV software, which allows business end users to manage and analyze their own data, with analytics you can deliver to decision-makers, so they can figure out the direction they should take the organization.  As both topics of Management Reporter’s seeming disappointments and PowerBI’s ascent continue to buzz in the Dynamics community, there’s also the conversation of whether or not to go with an ISV solution over the “free” Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) stack that’s still popping up for users.  Because the task of financial reporting is such an important process, you should take the time to identify your specific needs and how various tools fit into your roadmap.  Some main considerations include how you prefer to integrate your data, which platform you want to work on (Excel, web, and/or proprietary), and ease of use for your business end users.


Let’s start with data integrations since they are basically the foundation to financial reporting.  Does your organization rely on real-time reporting, therefore needing a live integration from Dynamics SL, or do you prefer to pull data from a BI data store, like a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube – for a high performance?  A direct integration enables you to query data right from Dynamics SL without replicating company information to a warehouse or a cube for up-to-the-minute reporting.  Whether a cube, a warehouse, or a mart, BI data stores can stage various types of data in one space.  But if your team consists of more than one Dynamics SL user that, at times, have to simultaneously query large data sets, it can make the ERP server sluggish.

To continue learning more about reporting for Professional Services organizations using Microsoft Dynamics SL, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc

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