Microsoft unveiled its Dynamics 365 cloud-based set of services, which includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), just a little over a month ago.

If you are part of the large majority of businesses still using an on-premises ERP system, you’re probably curious about how to handle your reporting and budgeting processes in the context of the on-going major shift towards cloud-based ERP systems.

If you opt to move to a cloud-based financial system, your company can rely on the native budgeting features and reporting options that come embedded in the ERP system, or you can implement a modern web-based corporate performance management (CPM) solution that integrates well with your selection.

We offer two pieces of advice:

    1. Be aware that, in most cases, sticking with the “out of the box” capabilities means you will end up exporting data to Excel to design your favorite budget model or to professionally format financial reports.
    2. If you opt for an integrated CPM solution, make sure your budgeting and reporting tool is flexible, accessible, and offers a cloud solution or, at the minimum, a web-based interface.

Let’s focus on CPMs solutions.

There are various reporting solutions with features and functionalities that are flexible and accessible. For example, a modern web-based CPM portal usually offers an intuitive, collaborative interface that includes workflow, alerts and commentary. Users can also execute reports on-demand, explain variances, and share specific reports with their team members.

Some modern solutions offer Excel add-ins, as well as a web portal that is filled with reports and dashboards relevant to the user. This allows the user to quickly get to subscribed reports, commentary, discussions, and groups.

As reporting and budgeting solutions continue to get smarter, a number of modern cloud-based solutions are starting to appear in the BI marketplace and many will offer easy-to-use, pre-built integrations to ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365. As you research and look into more CPM tools, you will notice that some of them are on-premises, some are cloud-based, and others are hybrid tools.

If you are initially skeptical about moving everything to the cloud, dip your toes in the cloud-based water by keeping certain business applications on-premises if you’d like, but also plan for the future. Keep in mind that cloud helps solve problems such as lowering costs, increasing productivity, gaining flexibility; all while providing the right information to the appropriate people at the most opportune time.

As you know, the cloud is constantly changing. As it evolves, cloud reporting and budgeting solutions will continue to get smarter. If your current software is limiting your organization from making smart business choices, that is all the more reason to invest in a new reporting and budgeting solution.

BI360’s web-powered, easy-to-use Excel and mobile reporting capabilities with both real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis, budgeting and dashboards is a powerful way to accelerate company performance management for Microsoft Dynamics 365 as well as your other business applications.

Contact us to discuss Dynamics 365.