Financial Reporting and Planning for Manufacturing

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In this article, we’ll explore modern, powerful financial reporting and budgeting options for the manufacturing industry. 

In 2015, Business Intelligence (BI) analytics are basically essential to turn your company data into more informed decision-making for a successful future.  With the fast pace and regulation intricacies associated with manufacturing today, I think it would be a fair assumption to say that shopping for commercial BI solutions can be overwhelming and confusing when pairing functionalities to your specific manufacturing company demands.  Solver has had the opportunity to work with several manufacturing accountants over the years, so we are aware of the specific analytics demands for the industry.  In this article, we will discuss the premier features and functionalities you should be aware of in today’s reporting and budgeting solutions, in the context of how to manage and analyze company information as a manufacturing organization.

Let’s start by discussing some of the main elements that, when present, mean that a product is modern, dynamic, and powerful.  First up: data integration types.  With some independent software vendor (ISV) solutions, you can integrate live directly from your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.  Live integrations offer real-time analyses, with up-to-the-minute data from your ERP database.  You can also integrate from a BI data store, like an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse, which offers a single space that can house multiple kinds of data, ensuring high performance BI analyses.


A BI data store offers a more stable route to report and budget, without slowing down the ERP server with a live query.  However, BI data stores are an additional cost and require that your information is replicated to the BI database, so you can get a current analysis.  Depending on your specific data management needs, a BI data store might require more time, money, and/or personnel, but you will have to evaluate your goals and your budget to figure out the best option for your company.

The next major element to think about is the technological platform.  Contemporary financial reporting and planning software varies between Excel-powered, web-based, proprietary, or a combo of these options.  As globally trusted and nearly ubiquitous as Excel has been for decades in finance departments, it might seem that this route would be the easiest to deploy, and they might be, but there’s more to consider.  Today’s Excel add-ins are ribbon additions to the toolbar at the top of the window that upgrade and enhance the spreadsheet software to better evaluate and utilize company information.  On the other hand, the internet as a platform is building some serious momentum as a way to access, manage, and analyze company data.

To continue learning more about reporting and budgeting tools for Manufacturing companies, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc.

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