Frequenty Asked Questions
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Absolutely. You can have as many budgets in a year as you want, just like in Dynamics GP. You can list the budgets separately (or together) in the Excel financial presentations.
No, ActivReporter is a financial reporting solution like Management Reporter. You could facilitate budget preparation by using ActivReporter to generate financial statements for actual numbers and use these to generate projections or disseminate to budget preparers.
Yes, ActivReporter supports all the reporting ledgers of Dynamics GP (Book, IFRS, local).
Yes. The reporting tree facilitators in ActivReporter are the “Iteration processes” to iterate over segments in the Chart of Accounts.
For any transaction you see when pressing the drilldown arrow on the workbook, you can further “drillback” through a link to the original Dynamics GP posting, and then from this posting you may go even further back with native drilldown capabilities in Dynamics GP.
Rollups in ActivReporter are somewhat analogous to row definitions in Management Reporter. They define aggregations of chart of accounts. Rollups use segments, segment ranges and segment wildcarding just as in Management Reporter. Management Reporter best practices suggest using row definitions that are restricted to the natural account segment. This is not a restriction in ActivReporter.
Yes. There is a “universal” switch (by workbook) that is used to include or exclude unposted entries in any financial design.
ActivReporter supports the historical and current methods of translation for multicurrency. The average method is not currently supported. The average method is an option to facilitate mass amounts of postings that are impractical in most systems. ActivReporter is so fast that you can use the historical method for all postings. This renders the average method unnecessary.
If you know Excel, it is very easy. Native and third-party layout wizards are available to help you get started with the financial design functions.
The login authentication for ActivReporter is the Active Directory. Extensive techniques within ActivReporter security limit access to companies and processes within each company.
Yes. Rollups can be added to the Chart of Accounts HD pane and then sorted to view missing accounts. This is VERY fast. Duplicate accounts are prohibited by database restraints in any rollup definition.
When installing ActivReporter for the first time, there is a “parallel” database created for each Dynamics GP database. The seeding process populates this parallel database. This is similar to the Management Reporter DataMart.
The ActivReporter Automation System (AAS) is a scriptable engine that allows the automation of repetitive processes related to ActivReporter. This is available to any customer. However, a knowledge of programming is required, similar to PowerShell expertise. By using AAS, you can automate repetitive processes such as creating financial reports and emailing them to a mailing list.
After the initial seeding, the SQL Server Service Broker messaging is used to keep the parallel database in sync with Dynamics GP. This is done on a transaction by transaction basis. Management Reporter uses Change Log Tracking which is not a transaction by transaction synchronization.
Yes. Excel financial designs can be stored in a windows folder just like any other Excel workbook. However, it is recommended to store the designs within the ActivReporter database. This provides security and versioning.
Yes. The ActivReporter “automation engine” (AAS) can be programmed to send any report to any person at any time. This does require scripting of the system and is not a native “out of the box” feature. AccountingWare or your Dynamics GP partner can assist in setting this up.
Yes. There is a problem in Management Reporter that will not synchronize account category changes. This is NOT an issue with ActivReporter.
No. ActivReporter development has been ongoing for over 20 years. The only thing new is the interfacing to the Dynamics GP environment. The product is mature and feature rich!
Yes. You can extract debit and credit “activity” independently with Excel functions. This is for both current period and year to date.
ActivReporter supports an OData feed for all the general ledger data. This will allow you to produce Power BI graphical presentations of your financial data.
Every drilldown to the underlying detail is complete. This means that the postings you see are comprehensive, not just the current year amounts. You can filter this data to current year if you want, but for comprehensive audit reasons, the default data presented is everything.
In most situations (depending on hardware and resources) the screen rendering of items will be between 50,000 and 100,000 per second. This is in comparison to about 100 to 200 items/second in SmartLists.
There is a data mart-like database. We call it a “parallel database” instead of a data mart. The ActivReporter parallel database is immediately synchronized with all Dynamics GP postings (no one-minute-polling interval as in Management Reporter).
One of the hazards of using Excel is corruption or making a change and saving before you realize a fundamental flaw. Excel workbooks stored in the Windows file system do not have versioning, so a corruption error requires a “restore from backup” procedure.
If you choose to store your Excel workbooks within the ActivReporter database (highly recommended), then the save procedure creates a running history of all previous versions. Then, if corruption occurs (or you make a design mistake) you can quickly recover a prior version without resorting to “restore from backup.”
Competing products (i.e. Excel-based financial reporting products) have built an application on top of Excel. These products typically have a separate design phase and then use a procedure to build the financial report in Excel. ActivReporter is MUCH DIFFERENT. ActivReporter adds additional functions to Excel to pull financial numbers from the Dynamics GP database.
This means that Excel has a more “native” feel. You are not limited to the strictures imposed by other solutions. You can add an ActivReporter function and the resulting calculation to any workbook!
Analytical Accounting dimensions are not supported in financial presentations produced by ActivReporter. If you use AA, but do not need to report on the AA dimensions in a financial report, then ActivReporter can produce financial reports. AA and MDA are not currently planned for ActivReporter.
Dynamics GP has a single financial calendar. Management Reporter can use this calendar and lets you specify dates for a financial number, meaning MR supports multiple calendars in a round-about fashion.
ActivReporter formalizes the calendar experience. You can define any calendar you want in ActivReporter and then use it in any financial design or financial view. Daily, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual and “forever” calendars are created at installation time by ActivReporter. You can create any additional calendar you desire (e.g. project duration calendars, semester calendar).
No. The Layout Wizard creates financial designs with the first three columns and the first three rows reserved for metadata. This is a recommended best practice because it makes the creation of financial designs efficient. However, there are no requirements to do so.