ERP Reporting Showdown: Why Excel with Velixo is preferred over BI and Native Reporting Tools
This is our sixth and final blog post in our series of “Why ERP is better when integrated with Excel.” In this post, we will explore why users prefer Excel and Velixo over BI solutions and native ERP reporting tools for their reporting needs.
Let’s face it, most of us do not enjoy spending time learning new software programs. This is especially true if you are already managing your day-to-day tasks with multiple systems, or are currently in or recently completed an ERP implementation process. Even if you master the reporting functionality of your ERP, we know that a lot of users will inevitably just export their data into Excel for analysis and manipulation.
One benefit of Velixo is that if you already know Excel, you pretty much already know how to use Velixo. Once Velixo is downloaded (a process that only takes about 30 seconds), anybody familiar with Excel can immediately start building professional reports with live Acumatica data by using the tools and additional functions that Velixo provides. Spare yourself the learning curve of a new BI system or reporting tool!
2: Date-Based Reporting
With the Acumatica Analytical Report Manager (ARM), you are limited to reporting based on financial period. Yet some Acumatica users, such as those in the retail industry, might wish to look at their financials by week. Velixo fills this need and provides the ability to perform date-based reporting. Below is an example of a reporting package that is built using the retail calendar, which enables accurate comparisons between years! Additionally, you can click here to watch a short video on Velixo’s date-based reporting capabilities.
3: Easy Connection between Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
Remember, Excel is just one part of the Office 365 suite. Would you like to add your charts and tables to Word or PowerPoint and have the data automatically refresh when you refresh your data or make changes to your parameters in Excel? Microsoft makes this easy with the ability to paste as a link. See below for a short tutorial video.
4: Collaboration, Version and Change Tracking
Chances are, there is more than one person who will be creating and viewing your financial and project reporting packages. If you are using Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive, you have a variety of options for creating a central repository for your documents, including your Velixo reports. With Office 365 you can track changes, leave comments for members of your team, add protection layers to your workbooks and worksheets, and revert to previous versions if needed!
See below for our video on tips for collaborating with others on your Excel Workbooks, and click here for our video on SharePoint and OneDrive.
5: Provisional Reporting
Accuracy is crucial for any financial report to have value, but what about having accuracy AND flexibility? With Velixo, you can decide if you wish to include, or exclude, unposted/unreleased transactions. This provides the opportunity to view provisional end of month or end of year reporting weeks prior! Build your formulas to include unposted transactions or use a combination of a checkbox and an IF statement to toggle back and forth!
6: Mix Data from Multiple Sources in a Single Report
In Acumatica, the ARM is limited to a single data source. With Excel and Velixo, you can include functions that retrieve data from all the supported Acumatica modules and mash-up the numbers with external data embedded in your spreadsheet through external data connections (OData, SQL, etc.). For instance, one of our customers is retrieving HR data from an external system and using headcount data in their calculations.
Our users also enjoy the ability to create several tabs with different types of data, all inside the same financial reporting package!
Additionally, Velixo provides the ability to create multiple connections inside your workbook, so you can create a consolidated spreadsheet with data from several different tenants. In fact, one of our clients uses a file with data from over 40 tenants! See below for a short video on how this works.
7: Advanced Formulas and Calculations
Some of the calculations that are impossible (or highly cumbersome) inside an ERP are simple in Excel. For instance, you might use Velixo to bring sales revenue figures and credit card fee expenses into your spreadsheet and then use Excel calculations to figure out the proper allocation of expenses to each of your branches or locations. Or, as you are crafting your budget in your workbook, you might want to use the Excel Goal Seek functionality, and then use Velixo to import your budget into Acumatica.
Another example that we created for a customer is a royalty calculation spreadsheet that uses an external rate table for the calculation.
8: Advanced Visuals and Formatting
Excel provides a ton of flexibility in how you can display your data. Use a variety of charts and graphs, add images, build tables and pivot tables…the sky’s the limit! You can even create a map chart to show a visual representation of your data based on geographic locations or regions.
We also recommend making use of conditional formatting, sparklines, and Excel’s grouping feature to make your spreadsheets easy to view and enable your data to stand out. Interested in how to do this? See our video below.
9: Writeback Capabilities
With Velixo you can easily build spreadsheets by querying up-to-date data from your ERP. However, you can also send data from your spreadsheets to your ERP with our four writeback functions. Want to craft your budget in Excel and then import it to Acumatica? Not a problem! Would you like to build complex allocations and other journal transactions and then release them to your GL with one click? Simple! By leveraging Acumatica’s import scenarios, Velixo makes it easy to send all kinds of financial and project data straight into your ERP.
Some BI solutions are costly and constrain you with per-user pricing. Despite this higher cost, BI products rely on external data warehouses that need to be synchronized, so changes you make in your ERP can take hours to be reflected in your BI dashboards. With Velixo, your team can all benefit from enhanced reporting capabilities fueled by real-time data, without making the budgetary choice of who has access and who does not.
If you are ready to join over 600 customers who are using Velixo alongside their ERP for their financial and project needs, click here to schedule a demo.
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