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The Secret to Creating Your Mission Critical Financial Reports in Excel

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insightsoftware is a global provider of reporting, analytics, and performance management solutions, empowering organizations to unlock business data and transform the way finance and data teams operate.

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Producing financial reports is one of the core skills that all organizations need to excel at. Reports reveal your organization’s true health, highlighting the positives and negatives that will affect enterprise performance for years to come. There are countless financial reports to choose from, all with valuable insights to offer, but some should be considered mandatory:

  • Income Statements
  • Balance Sheets
  • Cash Flow

Your ERP can produce these reports with the high-level polish necessary to comply with legal requirements or represent the company publicly. But producing a stellar finished product requires a lot of input upfront, as anyone who has to build financial reports with existing ERP reporting tools knows. So much so that some companies limit their reporting to strictly what’s legally required instead of producing the necessary custom reports to inform their strategic decision-making.

The Frustration of Manual Lookups and Data Imports

Most ERP solutions were built to collect data, not to report on it. Accessing data from thousands of tables and consolidating it in a consumable way is not a simple task. Consider the following scenario: A report comparing 12 months of period balances is full of performance insights and instructive metrics. However, building that report using the reporting tools built into your ERP involves looking up each month of data and manually importing it into Excel – 12 times in a row.

Things don’t get any easier once you’ve imported the data to Excel, either. Integrating 12 months of data is a time-consuming, tedious, error-prone process that can leave you with a chaotic spreadsheet that’s hard to work with and provides little clarity. By the time the report is complete, the process has consumed hours of time and work, only to produce a document that could be compromised by duplications, errors, and omissions.

Optimize Your Reporting from Inside Excel with Purpose-Built Solutions

The problem isn’t an Excel or ERP problem. After all, neither of these products is intended to be a comprehensive reporting solution. They can facilitate the process, but they can’t optimize it the way a purpose-built financial reporting solution is designed to do.

Take Spreadsheet Server from insightsoftware, for example. This dedicated financial reporting solution integrates with more than 140 ERPs to provide real-time reporting directly in the familiar environment of Excel. With pre-formatted report templates built in, simple query design, and automated report distribution, Spreadsheet Server makes it easy to produce the three mission-critical financial reports listed above, as well as ad hoc reports, all without needing any assistance from IT.

Excel Evolution: Modernization and Solutions for Reporting Mastery

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Bridge the Gap Between ERP Data and Insightful Reporting

Spreadsheet Server is a fast, flexible, and intuitive solution purpose-built to connect Excel and your ERP while streamlining the reporting process in all its forms. It brings self-service reporting to the forefront with agile reporting that meets reporting needs rarely satisfied by standard ERP and financial system reports. Your users define what they want reports to do, and then automation collects the relevant ERP data in real time and integrates it in Excel.

Intuitive tools give you control over how reports organize and display that data, which adds new depth to the classic income statement or cash flow report. And, because Spreadsheet Server connects to more than 140 ERPs, you can incorporate data from disparate data sources into a single file to make your reporting as exhaustive and authoritative as necessary.

Faster Reporting That’s Rich in Detail and Insights

By not having to rely on ERP-native functionality, your reporting improves in multiple ways. You waste less time on manual processes at the end of each month, quarter, or year. You build better reports that are rich in detail and actionable insights. And perhaps most importantly, real-time data access allows your organization to get instant answers to critical business questions using the best information available.

Before you run your next income statement, take some time to learn more about alternatives to your ERP’s financial reporting tools. Check out this whitepaper on how Spreadsheet Server allows you to save time with streamlined reporting processes in a familiar environment.

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Why Spreadsheets are Filling the Reporting Gap

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