How to Quickly Deploy the Best Financial Reporting Tools for Acumatica
Acumatica has become a significant player in the cloud-based ERP market segment, quickly gaining popularity worldwide. If you are considering a migration to Acumatica, the first thing to do is make sure the solution fits your needs.
With a significant number of companies planning to migrate their accounting solution from on-premise servers to the cloud, it is necessary to review core ERP functionality to make sure it meets the company’s current and future needs, as well as review the tools to be used for reporting, planning, and analysis. Some of these elements are native to Acumatica while some, like the Solver financial reporting and consolidations application, are approved by Acumatica because it’s a best-of-breed complimentary solution in a particular area.
This blog will focus on financial reporting for Acumatica and some of the things you may want to think about to ensure you optimize your experience when producing:
Profit & Loss Reports
Cash Flow Statements
Why Use Third-Party Reporting Apps Instead of the Native Tools in Acumatica?
Acumatica’s native report writer is called Analytical Report Manager and it enables basic report design. But, similarly to almost any other cloud ERP system’s built-in reporting options, it is typically not the tool finance teams prefer to use when required to produce highly professional reports with custom formulas and an advanced layout or when they need to consolidate financials across companies. This showcase of forms and templates includes several hundred report examples. It will give you an idea of the breadth and depth of capabilities found with many professional reporting tools that will help you improve reporting processes and analyses in your business.
While many Acumatica customers supplement their reporting tasks with manual Excel files and dashboard tools like Power BI and Tableau, this still leaves a gap for best-of-breed financial reporting tools on the market to offer a purpose-built and professional reporting experience that also helps to automate the month-end reporting process.
How to Pick the Right Reporting Solution for Acumatica
Much can be written about evaluation and selection of financial reporting tools. We will not go into details in this blog, but if you want some ideas, this other blog highlights key areas to consider. Additionally, this interactive tool provides a simple way to compare and score vendors and includes an ROI calculator to analyze the cost and benefit of alternative tools versus your current solution.
In short, progressive finance and accounting teams of the 2020s want financial reporting solutions that are flexible, closely integrated with budgeting and forecasting functionality, and that provide quick time to value.
What Is Considered a Quick Start with a New Reporting Solution and How Is It Deployed?
Most Acumatica customers want their connected apps, including reporting tools, to be cloud based. Questions that quickly come up include: how hard is it to integrate a best-of-breed reporting solution with Acumatica and how much cost and effort does it take to get key financials up and running, such as Trial Balances, Profit & Loss Reports, and Balance Sheets?
The most common answer: Weeks or months of effort and tens of thousands of dollars in services. However, some best-of-breed software companies like Solver that work very closely with Acumatica and its partner channel, have developed pre-built GL and sub-ledger integrations as well as out-of-the-box reports. For example, Solver’s QuickStart integration to Acumatica can have a company up and running in a single day with ready-to-go, pre-built financial reports and Power BI dashboards, in addition to optional budget and forecast templates. All of these are selected from a Marketplace that continuously expands with new templates.
A note about tools that offer integrations to Acumatica:
While almost all reporting vendors can claim to offer integrations to an ERP system like Acumatica, there can be big differences in the skill and effort involved to get such integrations ready with your financial data loaded into the reporting tool.
Generally, there are three categories of integrations, each with its own effort level to get going:
Usually gets you there: Generic integration tools that require a lot of skills and time to configure.
Works but often with limitations: Connectors specifically built for Acumatica, but do not include an app that configures dimensions and views in Acumatica nor pre-maps to popular fields to “light them up” for its API.
Quickest and easiest: Connectors specifically built for Acumatica that include an app or script(s) that properly and automatically configure dimensions and views in Acumatica and expose them to its API. You can see an example of this type of pre-built integration here.
What Is a Cloud Reporting Marketplace and Why Is It Important to Your Business?
While most best-of-breed financial reporting tools have followed Acumatica and other popular ERPs to the cloud, and they are offering modern and flexible functionality to get you the reports your managers and executives need, they still have, at least, one problem: Somebody has to write those reports. This can be painful, especially when you consider the time and cost involved, and the effort it took to get all required reports up and running in your old legacy on-premise ERP system.
However, there is a growing trend for cloud business solutions to offer pre-built apps (e.g., reports, connectors, etc.) in their own Marketplaces. Typically, this involves a few clicks to install. It’s not that different from apps you download to your iPhone or Samsung phone. For example, in Solver’s Marketplace (see screenshot below), users can download Profit & Loss Reports and other financial statements, planning input templates, and more than 50 pre-built financial dashboards that plug right into your Power BI web service.
In other words, with true Marketplace templates you should be able to provide your managers with professional reports and dashboards the same day you installed the reporting tool! Now that’s a quick deployment!
For new or existing Acumatica customers, the 2020s hold a lot of promise. Acumatica is continuously improving and updating their ERP system and has a rapidly growing marketplace with third-party apps that further enhance the benefits of Acumatica. Picking the right solutions, for reporting as an example, can significantly improve your processes, save you time, and help drive faster and better decisions by putting the right information in front of your managers and executives when and where they need it.