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Lots of ERP system managers are managing multiple organizations’ or subsidiaries’ financial data as part of a parent company.  Reconciling information coming from different units, departments, and at times with more than one currency, can be very difficult without the assistance of a good financial consolidation and reporting tool. However, the benefits of having such a tool are numerous. Decision makers are able to navigate increasingly larger amounts of company data by using Business Intelligence (BI) software that comes equipped with an easy-to-use consolidation tool.

For those of you, who are facing this challenge, we know that finding options that bring together ease of use and dynamic power in a single reporting tool, are rare.

In the world of finance, consolidations can be defined as the collection and combination of transactional information from different places into aggregated financial statements.  These statements combine subsidiary information into an accessible, direct analysis with eliminations to reconcile any inter-company exchanges, and conversions for differences in currency, as well as additional adjustments that, without a powerful consolidation module, require tedious, homegrown reporting to take the pulse of a parent company and its subsidiaries.

There are plenty of reasons, besides wanting to get away from manual spreadsheet consolidations, that finance teams are seeking a solution that will ensure that more than one company’s financial data come together in one statement. Depending on an organisation's specific challenges and goals, accounting professionals are looking for a powerful, ultra-modern, automated consolidation tool for a wide range of reasons.   Some are hoping to move away from the older tools that are too intense for the business user, like Cognos TM1 or Hyperion, which require IT management.  Other finance staff are wanting to steer away from tools that are older, and too simple for their financial consolidation needs, like Enterprise Reporting or FRx.

One CFO we talked to was managing the financial data of subsidiaries in more than one country, which involves tedious, varied national stipulations and currency exchanges (a prime example would be inputting IFRS to GAAP adjustments, or International Financial Reporting Standards to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, for compliance in international accounting).

There are also software options that go deeper with data than traditional consolidation software, moving beyond the general ledger – and are part of a larger, comprehensive suite of BI tools, including ad-hoc reporting,  budgeting, forecasting, modeling, dashboards, and data warehousing.

To find out more about what you need to know when upgrading your BI analyses, and what to look for in a financial consolidations module for Microsoft Dynamics and other ERPs, read more in this article "Financial Consolidations for Microsoft Dyanmics and other ERPs" on the BI360 (Solver) website.

If you are interested to find out more about how BI360 can help you with your financial consolidation needs then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Russell Weaver is a business consultant focused on helping customers succeed through the use of technology. Russell specialises in the areas of workforce productivity and business intelligence. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn or contact him at russellw@olympic.co.nz.