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Take control of your numbers – gain financial insight to fuel sound decision-making

8/31/2015

Smart businesses create a virtuous circle of financial discipline and ongoing success. Says Chris Purcell, product marketing manager for Epicor: “There’s a cycle of financial discipline: you report on the past, budget appropriately and then adjust for realism as your business progresses. But these are all inter-dependent. You can’t plan for next year unless you have been realistic about this year. And you can’t navigate this financial year without quality reporting from the last.”

This viewpoint is at the heart of two products from Epicor that help financial teams to take better control of their numbers.

First is the Epicor Financial Planner (EFP), which beefs up the fiscal analysis capabilities in Epicor ERP 10. Launched around a year ago, EFP gives you full financial workflow and rich data in a familiar 100%-Excel interface. Purcell says, “Excel is great for data entry, but it’s not great at handling the complexity of accounting workflow.”

EFP functions include:

  • Capabilities for account and detail-level budgeting
  • Complete role-based workflow support and access controls (predefined e.g. budget holders, approvers, administrators; or design your own)
  • Custom spreading rules for realistic forecasting across periods (e.g. seasonalities)
  • Lots of templates
  • Native general ledger data extraction from Epicor
  • Statistical data analytics
  • Handle multiple budgets, books and scenarios
  • Develop short and long term cash flow forecasts easily

All of these functions appear simply as new ribbon items in Microsoft® Excel®, for example “Budget Tasks” for budgeting and “Status Report” for understanding the stage of the budget process. “Any modelling you create can then be sent back into your Epicor ERP system,” says Purcell, “which means we can now complete that circle: we can forecast and report based on the new plan, and those forecasts can feed back into real-world resource planning. And everyone still gets to use Excel!”

Reporting, meanwhile is bolstered by Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR). AFR is best described as a three-dimensional reporting, with traditional rows and columns augmented by a z-axis: a tree structure which allows users to report in hierarchies. These hierarchies are completely user-defined, using all the data sources you would expect from your ERP system (and even external sources) but with all the configurability you need to compare like with like in your organisation: stores, processes, exceptions, production lines and brands can all be seen side-by-side (or rather layer by layer) as you wish.

There are wizards and templates to help you design report queries:

  • Drill down to transactions in any dimension
  • Functions for consolidation and reports-on-demand
  • Pick pre-defined ‘columns’ (credits, debits, running totals) or generate columns using formulae

...and create professional reports:

  • Graphs and charts
  • Custom corporate look
  • User based financial data security

And AFR also includes total device independence for viewing reports (any device, any browser – even mobile or within the Epicor ERP interface), all backed up with role-based report security: so the right data is presented to the right people, at the right time.

To find out more about how Epicor ERP can give you better financial insight – and make sounder financial decisions – download our recent eBook or talk to us.


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