This unit introduces the capabilities of the various reporting tools in finance and operations apps and when to use them.

The five reporting experiences are:

  • Operational views - Show specific data that is needed for the organization. This includes creating reports that can be customized to show analytical data and transactional views.

  • Business documents - Reports that are used to capture and exchange processed business data. This includes regulatory documents and documents that capture business transactions, such as sales invoices.

  • Analytical tools and visualizations - Present the data in a way that allows users to manipulate and explore their data. Creating a view of customer sales for each quarter could be an example of an analytical report.

  • Electronic reporting - Can be used to configure formats for electronic documents. This tool is used often with tax reporting, electronic invoicing, or any report that would need to be sent electronically.

  • Financial reporting - Provides in-depth accounting management tools based on financial activity across a company. Financial reporting includes documents such as balance sheets and cash flow.

Because the reporting tools address different reporting needs, you must determine when each reporting tool should be used.

Use an operational view if you need a report that is intended for the organization to monitor data and transactions. If the report does not need to be shared or printed, and if data should be near real time.

You should use a business document when you need a report for the back office to show real-time transactional data. The data needs to be distributed as a file through email or printers. If you need to let users create their own views to explore near real-time data quickly by using dashboards, tiles, and visualizations, you should consider using analytical tools and visualizations such as Power BI.

Electronic reporting should be used if the user needs to be able to create real-time reports on transactional data that allow electronic transfer and use Microsoft Excel export capabilities. The financial reporting tool should be considered when accounting reports need to be created for financial officers, and the reports need printing and Excel export capabilities.