There are so many things that I really like about Management Reporter. Honestly, now when I look at FRx I can’t stand it.
According to Microsoft Management Reporter is “a real time financial reporting application that allows users to easily create, generate, secure and publish financial statements such as profit and loss, balance sheets and cash flow reports.”
Management Reporter 2012 has replaced the popular FRx reporting tool for Dynamics GP. It used to be an expensive purchase but now unlimited Management Reporter users are included in the cost of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. (See the post: Compare the Cost of Dynamics GP 2010 vs Dynamics GP 2013: Unlimited Management Reporter Users)
Here are 11 reasons I love Management Reporter versus FRx. I realize that some of them appear very simple and you may wonder why they make my favorites list. But believe me, I have been training users on financial reporting tools for over 15 years and I know that these are the features that will have the biggest impact on a user’s day to day activity.
11 Reasons I Love Management Reporter versus FRx:
1) Send MR reports to shared folders
As an MR designer, you can create a financial statement and generate it to a shared folder. Every time the report is generated it will go to this folder for financial statement users to view.
2) View MR reports in a web browser
Once the report is generated and stored in a shared location, anyone who has access to that shared folder can open it in a web browser type format. They do not need a Dynamics GP or MR license because now there is a web browser built into MR 2012. (In the past, separate software needed to be installed to share FRx reports like this).
3) Set security to limit who can view MR reports
Even though you will have unlimited MR user licenses, you can set strict security limitations for those users to limit who can view each report. I could create a folder called “Joe’s reports” and when Joe logs in and opens this folder he can only view reports that are specific to his security rights.
4) Use scroll bars to view full MR reports
It used to be that when you generated an FRx report to your screen, you had to use the scroll bars to page through the report. I know it sounds very minor, but if the report is five or six pages long, you’d have to scroll down and down dragging the scroll bar the whole time. Now in MR there are paging arrows that you can click to scroll to the different pages on the report similar to what is used with a PDF viewer.
5) Use a familiar Microsoft interface to create MR reports
MR just looks more like a Microsoft product than FRx. You have the familiar tool bar along the top of the application. It is now easy to change fonts in the same way you would in other Microsoft applications. This makes it familiar to new users and easier to learn.
6) Easily indent information in MR reports
Believe it or not, when you were designing reports in FRx there was no indent feature. So if you wanted to offset information, you had to insert blank spaces, which could wreak havoc on formatting. Now, in MR you can easily indent information in the reports.
7) Add your company logo to MR reports
As long as I’ve been working with financial statement formatting, one of the things users disliked about FRx was that you could not add graphics. With Management Reporter you can easily add the logo of your choice to the top of your financial statement. This presents a more polished, professional looking report.
8) Add and share comments on MR reports
You are able put comments on financial statements and share those with all users. This feature can be used to explain amounts on the financials. An icon will appear next to amounts or lines that have comments alerting the user that they can access additional information regarding the data.
9) Easily find missing accounts in the financial statements
The Missing Account Analysis tool in Management Reporter allows designers to quickly see what building block is missing accounts. You can then open the building block right from the Missing Account Analysis window to correct it. This utility can be run any time prior to generating financial statements to verify all accounts are included in all building blocks.
10) Easy to create MR reports
Once you learn how to create your first one, it is very easy to design financial statements using MR. You may not know every little intricacy, or be able to perform the more advanced options or calculations without some additional training. But it is easy to design polished, professional financials right away.
11) Seamless MR integration to Dynamics GP
Whether an everyday user realizes it or not, Management Reporter is more seamlessly integrated with Dynamics GP than FRx was. It is truly a client server based product and it has its own SQL database. The companies and reports are managed within the SQL database similar to GP.
By Stephanie Olbrych, Implementation and Support Specialist, CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner