If you work in a finance team within a construction business, it’s likely your main goals are to reduce risk, improve profitability, and maintain exceptional levels of compliance. To achieve success, you need direct access to accurate data from your ERP and the ability to quickly create drillable Excel reports for GL and other finance requirements.
Many finance teams in the construction industry use Viewpoint as their ERP. Although it suits basic needs, Viewpoint’s native reporting is limited when it comes to the tailored reporting that your business needs to thrive. To customize an existing report or to create a new one, you need technical expertise. If you don’t have these skills readily available in-house, this can become an expensive and drawn-out process.
That’s why many finance teams resort to dumping data into Excel to meet their reporting needs. But manually creating reports in this way is time consuming and labor intensive. Instead, the right tools can help you deliver the reports your team spends hours or days reporting in a matter of minutes.
Spreadsheets Taking Over?
While working from Excel helps finance teams to gain some control over their reporting, this approach is not without its downsides. For one, it’s time consuming to pull the data as you’ll likely have to reformat it for analysis and cross check for errors. And by that time your static data is outdated and no longer accurate.
Although Crystal Reports comes free with Viewpoint, it isn’t the most suitable reporting platform for finance. Despite having over a thousand standard reports, none of them are tailored to your organization, so it’s almost certain that you’ll have to adapt the available reports in some way by involving IT or outside consultants.
Of organizations surveyed in a recent study on Operational Reporting by insightsoftware and Hanover Research, 81% use native reporting tools. Furthermore, 62% have encountered challenges with native ERP reporting and 37% list the need for technical knowledge to be an additional challenge.
You want a platform that automatically refreshes your reports with the latest Viewpoint data at the push of a button. This means you always have access to the latest information as soon as you need it. Not only can this help with more accurate tracking of historical job costs (therefore aiding future estimations), but also helps your finance team oversee financial health, profitability, and other operational expenses more efficiently.
Read: How Rendine saved time by automating Viewpoint reporting.
With better access to data and deeper insights, you put yourself in a strong position to provide information and feedback to your executives, and to play a more active role in your company’s decision making.
According to a recent Finance Teams Trends Report by insightsoftware and Hanover research, 80% of decision makers admit that their finance department is over-reliant on IT. If you rely on IT or external consultants to make custom reporting changes – adding columns, adding data sources, and more – this causes delays that eat into the time you have available for analysis.
Let your Finance Team Take Control
If you feel that your existing Viewpoint reporting platform doesn’t fit your business’ needs, there’s a simple fix. Spreadsheet Server allows you to create fully customizable reports and analyze key details, while starting and staying within the familiar Excel user experience.
Spreadsheet Server provides fast access to the data you need in Viewpoint and substantially reduces the number of clicks and the effort you would need to go through to do the same thing in Crystal Reports. With Spreadsheet Server, you can combine and retrieve data from any Viewpoint module into Excel. Once you have created a report, you can refresh and update it automatically, so you no longer need to recreate reports from scratch every time. This keeps the data you’re working with fresh and removes the chance for errors that are so prevalent with manual processes.
With Spreadsheet Server, you can quickly create cash flow and profitability reports. You can compare payroll, business expenses, and material costs against previous years to analyze changes. Review costs over periods of time to measure performance. You can create ad hoc reports on project costs and income, and drill down on the information that you need to make good business decisions. Spreadsheet Server is equipped with integrated drill down capabilities to granular ERP data that speed up variance analysis and offers fast answers to ad hoc questions. All Spreadsheet Server reports are drillable, allowing you to quickly navigate from summary data into detailed transactions, to investigate variances or answer your follow-up questions.
Viewpoint previously used a reporting tool called Finance Manager, which they have since stopped supporting. We have been working with Viewpoint to help move its legacy Finance Manager customers over to Spreadsheet Server. Following this, we now have an increasing list of over 1,000 Viewpoint customers who have moved over to Spreadsheet Server, either on upgraded or free silver licenses.
Analyzing your ERP data and producing reports with accurate data that everyone trusts ensures your company executives have the information they need to keep your projects and your company’s performance on track. Freeing up your time so you can focus more on value-added analysis helps you to have a voice in that process, too.
Rapid Install, Loaded with Pre-Built Content
Unlike lengthy BI tool installs and upgrades, Spreadsheet Server installs in hours. Its intuitive user interface, easy data integration, and self-help systems enable business users to get up to speed fast and answer their own questions, without waiting on IT.
Spreadsheet Server also comes with a range of pre-built reports that are better suited to the needs of finance teams than the statement-like reports available in Crystal Reports.
- The GL Report Workbook includes 12 General Ledger reports to cover common financial reporting needs. This is available to all Viewpoint Vista users who have Spreadsheet Server.
- Prebuilt Operational Reports are another option. The tool comes stocked with operational reports to address your wider reporting needs and to complement the GL Report Workbook, all of which we make available to you with Spreadsheet Server. On top of that, there are hundreds of queries available out of the box.
- Query Exchange is a library where Viewpoint Vista users’ queries are shared inside Spreadsheet Server. Within this library, you can access over 200 Vista queries built by peers in your industry, so you can leverage these prebuilt queries and change their parameters to suit your needs.
- Spreadsheet Server allows you to quickly adapt your peers’ queries to fit your needs, enabling you to run reports in an instant that would previously have taken you hours to build from scratch. This means you have more time to analyze the data and generate insights, rather than wasting time on the creation of the report.
To see how Spreadsheet Server help construction businesses save time and frustration when they create and analyze reports, request a demo today.