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Solver Excel Add-In + Business Central Webinar

18 April @ 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Free

Thank you to everyone who attended this webinar. For those who missed this event, here is the video recording.

Webinar video recording:

Webinar Transcript:

John Mellows
Welcome.
Everyone’s uh.
Thanks for joining us.
We’re gonna be running through business central and, well, how you can use solver and business central to create some financial reports.
I’ve got Scott Bennett from Solver to actually walk you through some of those products.
So thanks Scott for being a making us self available and.

Scott Bennett  
Thank you, John.
Hello everybody.

John Mellows  
So I thought what we’ll do is we we we do have a a Q&A section section.
So please, if you’ve got any questions while we’re going through anything, please feel free to ask a question and I’ll be monitoring it while Scott does the presentation and shows the product.
And we’ll stop when the time is right.
Just faster answer those, so we’ll kind of thing as we go, but we’ll definitely run the end of the within.
If there’s anything we have an answer, I’ll run through those.
Just try and give you.
Uhm yeah, some some answers to your questions.
I’m just gonna go through.
I know most of the people are joining here are Walker Scott customers, but some aren’t.
So I’m just going to do a very very quick overview in terms of who Walker Scott is.
So uh.
Then I’ll hand it over to Scott and he will talk you through solver what they’re about the product.
So got a bit of an idea.
Umm, but Walker Scott, we’ve been going for about 15 years now.
We’ve got around 80 stuff.
We’ve got officers and Auckland Wellington, also in Sydney.
Uh, Melbourne and Brisbane now.
Uh, and we primarily ark, concentrate on dynamics business applications.
So in particular with the in the ERP space, we deal with business central and finance and operations.
And on the dynamic CE side, we deploy customer service field services.
Uh, pretty much any kind of dynamics app that sits on the platform with we we implement it will started by uh, the founders, which is Johnny Walker, Black Scott and Paul Knox.
Uh play runs the is the managing director here in New Zealand, based down at Wellington.
I’m I’m based on in Auckland and uh it.
Blair runs the the the Walker Scott side of the business here in New Zealand.
Uh, if you don’t know, so I walk across actually part of the cloud collective.
So the translator is a strategic alliance of four leading Microsoft Gold Partners and really to address the growing needs of the mid market.
We’ve got complementary skills and capabilities, so we provide.
We provide both in depth expertise across the latest Microsoft technologies and to basically to a complete end to end wrap of those cloud services across Microsoft, Umm with all the companies that are part of the cloud collector.
There’s four of us and this probably well over 250 staff and we’ve also got a dedicated have Microsoft person who who who looks after us.
This company is the so they they called Antares, acclaim quorum and officially Walker Scott.
And this is what they really do.
So in Tara’s really works, uh.
Concentrates on modern work apps, so if you need anything around teams, SharePoint UM, aspects of uh copilot at the moment.
So, uh, antaris are really concentrating on that are coming, are doing a lot of voice and if you need any, uh, got a meeting rooms that need a lot of hardware which is sort of Microsoft based and that’s an outcome do quorum concentrate on security and with Walker Scott we all about the dynamics business apps.
So what discovery are a Chatham planter of solver?
So what that really means is, is that we we’ve got, we’ve trained up.
Uh UM our staff to to use solver.
We’ve also done a number of implementations and we’ve can self serve ourselves.
So if there any demos or we need to deploy solver Walker Scott do this internally and if they’ve with obviously the support of solve themselves.
But we quite self sufficient and this is the reason why we’ve got our Platinum partnership or something cool.
With that said, I’m I’m going to just hand this over to Scott and you’ll just talk here a little bit through who’s solver is and the product.
Thanks, Scott.

Scott Bennett  
Thank you, John.
I’m always a pleasure to be beyond these webinars with yourself.
As John pointed out, Walker Scott are a platinum partner.
So one of our key partners across a NZZ with some serious capabilities in House.
So it’s always nice to be on here to demonstrate Twelver to their customers.
So before we get into the product, I’m just gonna take.
Let’s wait a few minutes just to talk to you through a little bit about what’s all there is and how it all fits together.
So solver is A and look we love acronyms in the in the software space, right?
It’s all silver is a CPN tool.
What is that?
As a corporate performance management tool.
So what does that mean in real terms?
It means all of your financial and operational reporting, all of your budgeting and forecasting, and a place to house all of your enterprise wide data.
OK, so solver is a full cloud solution.
It’s hosted on Microsoft Azure.
Umm.
And it is Microsoft certified.
So if you go to App Source, you’ll see that Solver is a Microsoft certified solution and also has preferred solution status for D365 business central.
That’s a really important thing to mention also that so the way this works is we have a connector which allows us to connect Solver to business central out of the box.
So very quickly we can establish that connection and bring in all of your relevant information from D365 into the Salvador warehouse environment and once we set that up, you determine how often you want that to update.
So it could be you want it to update every 15 minutes 30 minutes overnight.
It’s entirely up to you.
What that means is you haven’t got a worry about exporting data, dumping data, manipulating data, all of that.
Sort of stuff that that maybe you’re doing some of within your organization.
So once that’s set up, all of that data comes in.
We can also bring in any other data sources as well.
So typically what we find is if someone is using D365, maybe they have a third party payroll system that they want to bring into reporting and planning purposes.
Maybe they’re using a CRM solution and they wanna bring that information into solver as well, so we can kind of bring anything anything in here as as part of the solution I just sort of question pop up.
I’m gonna quickly take it on because I think I know the answer.
I believe the the minimum we can do was 15 minutes in terms of the the the update process, but ultimately it depends on how much data.
We’re only doing incremental updates, which is great because we’re only bringing in any changes to your data, but it does depend how much you have.
So if you’re seriously high volume of transactions, maybe you wanna set that to 30 minutes or something.
But, but you could actually go could 50 minutes if you want to.
Uh, I think I just did.
I sense that one John, I just have a little pop up.
I missed it.
You muted mate? Sorry.

John Mellows  
Uh, just a further comments, but only updates on the hour, doesn’t it?
That’s so that.

Scott Bennett  
No, no, you you can, you can set it to update however often you wanted 153045 an hour.
It’s up to you, but ultimately it depends on what sort of volume of data that you you have that that it needs to bring in.
But as I mentioned in an incremental update, so therefore it only brings across any changes to your data.
I’m OK.
I just wanted quickly answer that one, but maybe I’ll save them to the end or else I’m gonna gonna get to you.

John Mellows  
Yep, Yep.
Absolutely. Yep.

Scott Bennett  
OK, so any data coming into the coming into the environment once it’s in there, you can do any type of reporting off the back of it.
We use Excel as the design layer.
OK.
So we can leverage any existing Excel skills within the Finance Department, but everyone consumes their reports via the web environment.
Does that kind of best of both worlds OK?
So any type of reporting and also any type of planning, budgeting, forecasting, you can set up workflows with review and approval processes, assumptions, all of that kind of stuff that you’re probably doing today in Excel, which comes with a number of challenges.
So I’ll give you a way of streamlining that and keeping it all under the one roof as part of the application.
Finally, if you also want to build out advanced dashboard solutions.
Visualizations you might want to leverage something like power BI, at which point Solver has a certified connector which allows you to connect in to Power BI to save you having to do all of that stuff around data integration, etcetera.
With Power BI you can pretty much 10:00 o’clock connector and get going with Dashboarding templates.
Create your own however you want to do it, so kind.
In a nutshell, that’s how it all comes together.
I’m gonna show you as well very shortly.
Some of the reports available within our marketplace, this is a huge advantage for D365 business central customers.
We have a template marketplace with right now a couple of 100 reports, planning forms which are available for you out of the box.
I’m gonna show you some of them today as well and John.
I’m the other.
Uh.
The other key advantage here, as well as part of a Solver is, as you would expect, it is a subscription based solution.
But the key difference with our application is you get everything OK and you might if you can just click that a head.
For me, John, you get absolutely everything.
You may not want to use everything, but you get everything as part of the licensing.
OK, so all of our reporting, all of our planning, all of our data warehouse, it’s all inclusive.
It is a simplified user based licensing model which keeps it very transparent and very easy to work with.
OK.
And then finally, as you would expect, products been around for a long time, we’ve got over 3000 customers globally using solver solutions, and you won’t be surprised to see if we pick up a number of industry awards.
This is just an outline of some of our awards on the G2 platform and you can see we’ve we’ve won in some of those key areas that you can see on the screen.
OK.
Thank you, John.
I’m.

John Mellows  
No.

Scott Bennett  
I’m not that.
Note I’m gonna jump into the product and cover off a few things for everybody.
So just share my screen, please confirm John.
As you can see that.

John Mellows  
Uh, yes.

Scott Bennett  
OK, great stuff.
So what you can what you can see here is and.
And I’m not gonna show we don’t have the time today to show you everything.
Nor do we want to show you everything you do with the product because, as you would expect, there is heaps.
But we wanna just focus on a few key areas to wet the appetite, if you like, around both reporting and planning.
So you can see that right now I’m logged in via.
The the web you can access all of your any browser or any device entirely up to you and what you can see as part of this is that a whole host of options available to me down the left hand side of the screen gotta reporting section planning section of course and administrative functions as well.
Because I’m playing a power user in this environment.
But what you’ll notice, first of all is a click over into my daughter warehouse.
You’ll see this is all of my daughter.
So if you look at this in the perspective of your own organizations, this would be your GL information coming in from business Central, your general Ledger transactional information that you might wanna bring in.
Maybe you wanna bring your AP and AR information in here as well.
Not a problem, you’ll see.
I’ve got third party peril coming in and I believe I’ve also got some CRM information coming in as well.
So as I mentioned earlier, once these connectors are set up, the information comes in on a scheduled basis.
You’ll notice it will bring across all of dimensions that you have within set up within business central, and you can also add as many as you want additional ones within Solver as well, so you can create as many additional dimensions.
Hierarchical tree structures.
However, you wanna do it for reporting planning purposes.
OK.
So just thought I’d show that to kick things off.
Not gonna get into too much detail on this, of course, John and the Walkerscott team can get into a deeper dive here if it interests, but I just wanted to show you that this is all prebuilt.
That’s all ready to go, and it allows you to bring all of that information in very, very quickly using the Quick Start connector to 3365.
So if I click over here you’ll see I have within my environment a number of reports for available to me.
As I mentioned from the outset, you can do any type of financial and operational reporting.
And because we use Excel as the design layer, you can have these reports look however you want.
OK, so down the left, I’ve got my categories and folders, so if I go into Scott reports, if you have some of my favorite reports, I’ll typically work with.
For instance, I can open up this operating expense analysis if I want to, OK, which coincidentally is from our marketplace, which I’ll show you shortly.
And you can see I’ve got a nice clean report there.
I can work with which is taking advantage of some charting and put a static dashboard capabilities within within Solver, and I’ve also got a nice clean looking profit and loss variance report over here which is worth spending a couple of minutes on.
So you can see this is pretty clean.
Again, you can have this report, Luke.
However you want, it’s entirely up to you and expand this out if I want to.
So if I wanna for instance take a look at my actuals month to month and then my sort of year, this is my year today budget, I can do that.
I can take advantage of advanced grouping functionality so I can easily build this kind of thing into my report.
But what you’ll notice as well is going through here.
I can also drill down on any of these numbers if I want to look at this services revenue number, I can drill all the way down into the transactional detail that sits behind that that services revenue number, OK, what I can also do as well, again everyone on the call I believe is using business central.
So the advantage there you can even have a column here which has a link which will link to the posted invoice as an example.
So you can actually look through this and go Gray.
Click through, it will open up business central and show you that printed invoice.
It just isn’t example.
OK, so all from within your report and what you’ll notice at the top is I have these parameters you can create as many as you want here.
I’ve just got entity, so for instance I could run this report for one entity or multiple right?
I can choose what financial period I wanna use for this report, and interestingly, little bit of a kind of trailer for what’s coming up later is I can choose a scenario.
So if I’m doing my budgeting and forecasting in here, hope it gives you the ability to store unlimited number of budget and forecast versions that you could actually set these up a scenarios.
Or you could run this piano against budget.
Worst case, best case?
Realistic forecast ABC, however you wanna do it.
All right, so it gives you the ability to do that sort of scenario planning on the fly, but you could just as easily have here depending on your type of business, you could have department failed region if you’re not for profit, could be programmed location.
You know you can come up with as many fields as parameters as you like and have these as part of this report.
You can also collect comments as an interesting one.
We hear a lot from from customers.
If it is that you’re you’re soliciting feedback from department managers, program managers on a monthly basis.
Umm, this is a good way to do it, because you can actually have it so that your department, managers, etcetera can enter comments directly into the report and those comments are stored into the data warehouse.
So that’s in a secure environment and you can come back to it later.
And you can see who said what and when they said it.
You can do it a couple of this is one way of having line item kind of commentary, but what you could do is you could create a whole template if you wanted to as part of this you can create whatever type of comment you want and actually have that so it gives them a little bit more real estate and kind of illustrates where each person should should put their commentary.
So there’s a few different ways of doing it, but the idea is that streamlines that whole reporting and feedback process.
OK, now I mentioned I mentioned earlier that the design element of this happens in Excel.
You’re too, which makes it a lot easier, certainly for the finance team.
But what you also have is this marketplace.
So if you’re interested following today’s session, if you go to solveaglobal.com and then select template marketplace, you will see we’ve got a couple of 100 reports available for D365 business central customers to use out of the box.
OK.
And you can see think of a report.
Chances are we’ve got it.
We’ll the Walkerscott team will typically build include some time in A roll out to create some custom reports for you because chances are that we some specific things you need part of your business.
But for instance, you could go through here and you could look at a report and you could say, yeah, that looks like a good report.
And then zoom in on that, take it closer.
Luke, you might look at the report and say that’s great.
It gives me kind of 80% of what I need.
There’s nothing stopping you tweaking this report, putting your own branding on it, adding some additional information if it’s not giving you everything you need, nothing stopping you doing that.
There’s a description of what the report can do, and you can add it into your environment.
OK.
But just something that you can do a take away there if you’re interested.
After today’s session and the way that that edit and design element happens, as I mentioned is in Excel, so I could come in here and and only typically power users are gonna do this right?
Everyone’s gonna be happy viewing and consuming these reports via the web, but power users are gonna be able to make changes.
So you could come in here and just click edit and report designer.
And what Solver’s gonna do is it’s going to it’s gonna launch excel.
It’s gonna kick in the design tool and you’ll see that this report.
You’ll see it’s in its design form, and you’ll notice this is excel, right?
Yes, I have some Solver reporting added menus and things as you would expect, but this is excel that we’re working with.
OK.
So you can leverage those existing skill sets that you’ll typically have in the finance department.
Key difference here?
All that daughter I quickly showed you earlier is available here for your reporting.
So for instance, when this report was created, it was a case of general Ledger.
Yep, I want my account dimension.
I’m gonna drag that into C13.
Now I want my account description attribute gonna drag that into D13, right this here.
This is a simple variance formula.
OK.
So again, we’re leveraging the, the, the knowledge that you’ll typically have in in Excel.
But if I wanted to bring in an additional source, I could go to my payroll.
I wanna bring in parallel to mention.
Maybe I want some Google Analytics information I’ve got coming in here, right?
I can start to build up my report, plus I have a whole host of other features from within Solver that make life easier like predefined periods and all sorts of stuff, different layouts et cetera to make life easier.
So somebody wanted to change something if if wanting your department managers came to you and said, hey, this report does not giving me what I want, I don’t like the way it looks.
But in the interest of time, I’m gonna make a quick change.
It’s gonna be a really simple one just to illustrate how this would typically works, so I could say yeah, fair enough, it’s not in line with our branding and gonna make that change as a power user.
Now I can go into the run tab and you’ll notice that this remember the parameters that I last selected when I ran this in the web.
So I can run it, it’s going to get out to the door to warehouse.
If, if there’s been one of them updates great, then that will be reflected in my in my report, as I mentioned, incremental updates on a scheduled basis.
So here is my report.
I’m happy with it.
I’ve made my color change in line with Brandy.
All I need to do at this point is hit my design tab.
I hit save tells me it’s been uploaded.
I close excel and you’ll notice instantly in the web environment it’s picked up the changes.
I can refresh it, I can rerun my report and any changes that I made to that report will now be available to me within the web environment.
OK.
And those changes, as I’ve said, very simple.
I just changed the color so at this point I can go publish what a comment on here if I want to.
I’m not going to in this case, but I’m gonna publish it and then at this point I can share it with my team by role or user.
And here’s where it’s the IT it gets even cooler.
Because what will happen now is they’ll get a notification, but the chances are these people, these recipients, are not gonna be living in solver.
So they can also get an email and it’ll say Scott just shared this profit and loss report with you click this link, they don’t click the link, they can use their Microsoft credentials to log in to Solver:.
Again, it’s about all making it easier and about how it’s all intertwined with the Microsoft.
Solution umm put in their credentials and it will take them into the PNR report.
But the interesting thing is they will only see the information they’re supposed to see.
So you could share this with 3040 people and each recipient is only gonna see the information they’re supposed to see because she can get very granular with the security profiles when Solver.
But they may be only able to run it for one specific department or entity.
Maybe one region, maybe you only allow them to run it for the actual scenario.
You don’t want them to be doing all of that scenario modeling, right?
So again, do the report once share it your jobs done?
People can do their own analysis then moving forward and run it or whatever.
Period.
Drill down, filter, etcetera.
OK, makes it really really easy now.
Umm we we talked earlier and got a couple of good questions around the the updating.
I should also point out as well as yes, you schedule those updates accordingly, but if you’re in finance and you’re doing month end, you wanna make sure you’re using the most up-to-date information, at which point those power users doing that will have the right to push an update as well.
If you’re doing financial close, you can actually push an update.
So it’ll bring across any of those incremental changes just so that you know that you’re working with the latest version of that information, OK.
So the other thing as part of this is actually what expect.
There is a way to publish these reports on an automated basis.
If you want to so, for instance, this could be your monthly board pack, right?
And this could be your reports for execs.
You know you can put your own descriptions in there.
You determine what reports you want to include on this.
On this pack, you determine who’s gonna receive it.
How it’s gonna be delivered now?
I’m gonna show you how you can have it delivered into a a an execs archive in solver, which is a really cool way of doing it.
I’ll show you why, but you can also have it output it as a PDF or a static Excel spreadsheet.
OK, you can do that.
You could put a message in here as as optional that you can and then you can say I want this to go out every month.
Last day at this time and that will send the email out to the to whoever’s receiving it.
Management board members say, hey, you’ve got a new report pack briefing pack available.
Click here and there you go.
And if I go into my archive, I’ll give you an example of what that can look like.
This is a very simple one, John, will Talia.
We have some customers doing some really cool things with board packs.
So you can have all your logo, branding, table of contents.
We really, really nice.
This is a simple one just to illustrate today, but you can see I’ve got a summary page here.
This is giving me an what we call an auto narrative.
Really, really cool.
So if you’re spending time month to month actually taking daughter and actually putting that a meaningful narrative around it, this is gonna do it for you.
So you notice you build drivers into your report and you notice it’s automatically telling me the profitability this month was great.
This was the income compared to last year.
This was our best customer desk performing program.
This was our largest payment etcetera.
And then of course, as part of this, you can include all of the supporting material, right?
All is part of these packs and again these can be outputted via PDF if you want them to make them look however you want.
OK, you can even use this archive and This is why it’s worth having it published to the archive as you can even use this to store executed versions of Ruby port as well.
So for instance, you could come in here and at any point in time you can open up a couple of different versions of reports, right?
You can have a look at them side by side if you want to right and do that you can drill down still, even though they’re executing report I you can’t change anything, can’t change parameters.
You can still drill down and that’s just a taste of some of the things you can do with that.
There’s lots of other stuff you can do as well, but in the interest of time, I’m just gonna pull it back over here into report templates.
I just show you another quick way that you might wanna take advantage of and that is within solver you have the ability to set up these tree structures and don’t what we call dynamically expanding reports.
So for instance, I’ve got a P&L report here from my Australian entity, but if I want to, you’ll notice I’ve got these hierarchical tree structures you can set up as many as you want.
They can be as big as you want.
Can be as the same manufacturing region, sales territories and but I could run this is an entity tree, so I could say I wanna consolidated view of my organization at which point it will go out and now it will bring me back.
Consolidated report for each individual entity in an aggregate total.
OK, if you’ve got any complex consolidation processes within your organization, including intercompany eliminations, minority ownership calculations, etcetera, we can also handle that that stuff as well within the the Solver solution.
OK, I’m just looking at the clock.
So still still got a bit to cover.
So I’m doing it at 1.5 speed, so forgive me.
I think that’s what Netflix called it, so I’m gonna go to my ad hoc reporting tool and I’m gonna show you something that that’s really useful because everyone within your environment, whether they’re a full Solver user or what we call a viewer or get access to this, it doesn’t mean you have to give them access.
But from a licensing perspective, they will get it and it’s really useful because what it does is it allows every woman in the organization to run their own queries, subject to their security profile.
So, for instance, if you’re sharing all these formatted reports and it’s not answering their questions, no problem, they can come in here and say, right, I want a query my revenues module, I wanna see my account.
I want to see my account description.
Maybe I wanna see my extended price refresh.
Right now I want to move that around.
OK, great.
That gives me that that information now.
Maybe what I wanna do is I wanna do a pivot and I maybe wanna add in here.
I’ll add in entity refresh and now got it by entity.
Might wanna move these around depending on how one it laid out.
That’s great and I’ve got that information.
Now I can say that’s awesome, but what I want now is I wanna automatically have a chart that for me don’t like that though, so I’m gonna look at something different.
Maybe look at that one, maybe that one right and I can keep building up this query so I can go in here and can filters, add filters and all these different things to it.
Just keep building it and adding daughter to it.
Etcetera.
And what I can do is I can save that.
So for instance, if I wanna run that query again in the future, I can do.
But what you you can do is if you find that a lot of people are running the same query, that may be a time to say you know what?
We may as well create a a proper formal organizational report that will share with everyone because it’s clearly useful, at which point you would be able to use this as the basis for that report.
So you kind of halfway there.
All right, so you have that ability as well.
This is really cool and and subject to your security.
You can give everyone access to this.
The best thing is, though, again based on their profiles, they’ll only be able to clicked in information that is that they’re supposed to.
OK, no.
I’ll say again, there’s lots more we can do with the reporting side, but in the interest of time, I’m gonna jump into the planning side because I think this is it’s all connected and this is obviously a key area for a lot of organizations that have typically reliant on Excel on to take care of this.
So I’m going to move down to my planning section.
You’ll notice if I select input templates, it looks very similar to the report templates up here.
The key difference?
These are all input forms.
These are all budget and forecast input forms and as I mentioned, you can do any type of planning within Solver anytime.
So I’ve got capax personnel, cash flow, project budgets.
I’ve got everything in here for example purposes, but what?
The first thing you probably want to do and and I should add, yes, we have a templates and things and typically the WALKERSCOTT team will work with these two tailor on to your specific needs.
But we also find planning can be quite an involved process and will be specific things that you want to capture.
So typically they’ll create a lot of these templates for your organization based on your specific needs.
That illustrates the flexibility of the the product, but the idea behind this whole solution is once it’s set up for you yourself sufficient, you shouldn’t have to call Walkerscott or ourselves every time you want a little change.
Doing you should be able to handle this in house and that’s one of the key advantages here.
So if I go here for instance, the first thing you probably wanna do, and I’m guessing people on the call are already doing a form of this in Excel, is budget drivers or assumptions evantage here is you can set up as many assumptions as you want.
These are global assumptions and these are going this particular assumptions form is going into feed five or six different budget and forecast templates.
The full global control over this.
So for instance, you could come down here.
You know you got CPI or payroll travel working days etcetera and you could look at the CPI increase and you could say that 1.8 very low right now I’m going to bump that up to five or 6%.
But yeah, you haven’t got to worry about people using different versions of forms and things.
You can just say. Great.
I wanna bump it to 6%.
I only want it to apply to this version of the budget or forecast, and I only want it to apply from this specific period and then you can go ahead and and what that means is you haven’t got to worry about making sure that Sheets.
Are updated.
People are using the right ones, it’s it gives you global control and if you really wanted to, you could workflow this.
So if you need to get buy in from stakeholders, you can actually workflow it and get it approved, reviewed and approved.
So that’s the first thing you probably do.
And then depending on how many involved in the process, you probably want to set up a workflow so you come in here and this could be your.
Let’s do something easy.
This could be our annual expenses budget.
We’re a bit light 2024, alright?
You did.
You can have as many of these as you want, and you determine the assignment window.
So you say I want this process to start from.
I’m going to start it from July.
You know the 8th.
I want every this time and I want it to be finished by August 11th, right?
So that’s the window where everyone’s gotta contribute, and you don’t have to do this, but you might want to.
I wanna ask you to review everything to when everything goes back, are you review it then if he’s happy, I’m gonna have it.
Go on to bud for approval.
And then you would have all of your templates.
These are all mine and and the environment that I have just gonna choose my expenses one and then it’ll say.
Do you want to fix it so they can only enter for these specific parameters?
Or you may have someone that enters budgets for more than one department entity region, at which point you can say let the user decide.
But remember, they can only decide based on their security profile.
This is the advantage of everything under one roof.
So if I can enter the department, A&BI can view reports for the department A&B, right?
So it all flows through.
I’m just gonna fix it for today’s example, and I’m gonna do it by role or user.
Again, I’m gonna do it by user, OK?
And I can publish that.
So on the 7th of August, they’re gonna get an email saying, hey, you’ve got a new budget or forecast assignment.
You need to start the process, umm, click the link and then if I change from a budget manager to a contributor perspective they will click that link and it will take them into their assignments and I’ve got lots of the segments because I’m playing multiple roles.
But you can see I’ve got some.
I haven’t started something progress.
Some are waiting approval, right?
If it was just one or two they had, they just see that not started.
OK, I’m gonna open up this expenses one and you can see this is a simple one to the sake.
But of today’s session, but again, John’s and his team can get into a lot more detail here around specific budget and forecast requirements, but you’ll see that anything that’s yellow means I can, umm, enter information.
Anything that’s not means I can’t.
OK.
Anything that’s not yellow, I can’t change it.
But you also notice of automatically got actuals coming in up to the relevant point, and I’ve got my remaining forecast showing as well.
So as I go through here, I can simply, you know, I can start entering in budget number pretty pretty easy can start the process or continue the process, but it can also do a number of other things that I think everyone on the call will probably find an interest.
For instance, if I go into this travel line, you’ll notice I have this spreading and line item detail bar at the bottom.
Interestingly, and I probably should have mentioned this at the outset, when we were talking about data sources, but one of the other big things that we see a lot of as people wanting to bring their historical information into server, you might have 7 plus years of data you wanna bring in into the Solver environment to reporting and planning purposes.
This is where that can come into play, because for this travel account you can see I’m showing two previous years worth of data.
I could show multiple years if I wanted to.
But what that’s giving me is my actual signatures and I can see the trend across each period.
So right now I can also create as much line item detail as I want under this travel line.
So this could be events you’re running, so it’s you you going over to Australia, some events that you could put you know Sydney flights right, maybe you’ve put tending the team 8000 a year, maybe you’re sending more people over here, maybe you’re doing something and maybe you’re doing something in, in NZD and and Wellington or something like monthly events.
At which point you might wanna do, you might say.
Yeah, we’re doing these monthly.
So we’re gonna do.
We’re gonna budget probably about.
We’ll say 85,000 for the year, but I want you to take last year’s actuals, in this case 21.
But I want you to take that previous years actuals and I want you to spread the 85,000 based on the trend distribution that we saw in the previous year.
We can do that.
Maybe you wanna do that, but you wanna offset.
Maybe you’re not doing those events.
Jan Mar through March, at which point you can offset Jan, Feb and March.
You might simply say take last year plus a percentage, whether that’s percentage value or number of units.
You can even create your own distribution methods as well.
You may be a seasonal business or retail agriculture.
You can you can create your own distribution methods or you could simply say you know what, take it, spread it evenly across the 12 month period and you’ll notice now that it spreads it across and it’s rolled up in January and it’s rolled up in August.
I also have the ability to do line item commentaries that, but it’s a big number of agreed it with marketing already.
But when people review this form, the red indicator is illustrating that there is underlying detail for review and a red indicator in the line item detail is telling you there is commentary to review as well, but you could also go as far as including department level commentary and you also have a full activity log as well.
This is again one of the book bags we hear a lot of the whole process that back and forth here.
You can keep it all under the one roof, whereby you can search, you can say show me keywords based on this stage of the budget when it was in its review stage.
You can see who said what when they said it, what time they said it and it’s all there as part of the process.
So I could do two things now I can save this, which means I’m gonna come back to finish it later.
Or I can complete the assignment if I complete the assignment and notification’s gonna go after the reviewer or the approver depending on how you’ve set it up.
They Scott completed as assignment.
They can then review it.
They might reject it if they reject it.
They’ll wanna put in here.
Why it was rejected?
I’ll get a notification back.
I can go in, I can read the comments.
Why make changes resubmit with my own comments?
So the whole thing is workload.
So everyone has kept up to speed each step of the way.
That means if you go back to a budget manager role that at any point in time you can come in here and you could say I want to get a real time view of where everyone is at with the process.
And this comes in really handy, especially if you have multiple assignments and multiple people contributing.
This is where you have that challenge of spreadsheets flying around an organization.
Here I can easily see and I can filter, I can go show me how people are doing with CapEx.
Show everyone being with us now.
How’s buddy doing?
Who hasn’t started and everyone started great.
What’s in progress?
Right, you can set these filters up so that at any step of the way you know exactly where everyone’s at.
Alright so.
The whole process doesn’t say centralized, kept within the environment.
All daughter is stored securely into that data warehouse.
You can go back to it at any point in the future if you want to set this step.
Take this and even step further.
You can go as far as to use how process manager where you can actually define all of your organizational processes around reporting and budgeting right?
So budget process I can set up each step of the budget process, maybe we see this a lot.
We’re not for profits organizations.
You might have some organizational documentation that people need to read.
You can put a link into that documentation so they can read it.
You can assign it and you can put a due date and then they can give it the tick to say that they’ve read it, but you’ll see that you can keep building up these processes.
We have a number of templates, right, but you can create your own essentially up to you.
Again, it’s taking back control of that process alright, even down to the month end reporting process right in defined that whole month end reporting process as well.
If you want, if you gonna assign it to, etcetera, etcetera.
All right, all within this environment.
So that’s kind of a lot, a lot that we covered in the short space of time E takeaways were ease around the the Quick Start integration to get you up and running quickly.
The template marketplace with all of those reports available out of the box for business central customers, the ability to create whatever reports you want, ad hoc queries, board packs all are available and all designed to be self service.
And then of course, your whole planning processes, that was an easy one, but there are many other different obviously types of planning that we can do within the product.
So on that note, I’m gonna stop sharing my screen.
I’m gonna see if there’s any questions that you’ve seen come up, John.

John Mellows  
Awesome.
No questions as here, so I’ll just open it up for the next minutes or so.
Does anyone have any specific questions or chat just why you guys are doing that?
Thanks Scott for your time.
I hope that’s given some people an overview in terms of the look and feel of Solver and how can potentially be used, especially around users can actually self serve and do their own reporting.

Scott Bennett  
That works.

John Mellows  
So what we find now is is a lot of people come with a list of reports to say, hey, we need to replicate these reports and they might come from different data sources.
And typically what we do now is when we and we implement solver, because they’re reporting tool allows users to create their own reports.
A lot of those reports, which are requirements for particular projects, those kind of just go back on to the business once they have the training and they just start creating their own reports.
And I think what we’re finding, which is of great value is people are actually able to ask their own questions now.
So it’s not only are they subjected to just the reports that they could given, or maybe the reports that they are using that they can actually dive a little bit deeper into the data.
So that’s what we we finding a lot of value which has been driven.
So yeah.
So thanks, Scott.
Appreciate it.

Scott Bennett  
No, no problem.

John Mellows  
Just uh, just for everyone to know, we will.
I will.
We gonna upload this webinar to our YouTube channel as soon as I have that uploaded, I’ll send out another email to everyone.
So you guys can get the link and if you if you wanted to rewatch it, you want to share it or give it to other people in your organization, then you’ll be set that link there.
I think we have one question.

Scott Bennett  
In which just had a question pop up around pricing.

John Mellows  
Uh, what sort of cluster we’re looking at for a smallish entity?
OK, good question.
Umm, I’d I’d say probably at at minimum is around sort of a a $20,000 implementation.
So what happens is we provisioned Solver provisions and environment once that goes through, we then do the base installation and then really we work with you to a large part of us around training.
So training you how to actually develop reports, we we do this, we normally take our report that you guys would like to do.
Umm.
And we train you on that.
So we try and replicate their report with and solver and then the rest of the training is really just getting you guys familiar with the products so you can actually generate your own reports, because just like Scott was saying a little bit earlier, we want you guys to be self sufficient.

Scott Bennett  
Umm.

John Mellows  
And so yeah, it’s all already about just giving you the tools to enable you to create your own reports.

Scott Bennett  
Yeah.
And and just spot on there and that I think that’s the the best approach that’s we we like the the way that you guys do that in terms of getting your customers up to speed and self sufficient as quick as possible because that’s obviously super important.
I did also say as well on the licensing side, again very transparent, all inclusive licensing typically for a solver user, it’s 130 bucks per user per month for Solver user and 15 bucks per user.
Uh, sorry for a viewer.
So 1:30 for a solver viewer 15 for a solver viewer per month, and we do a minimum annual annual subscription in advance.
So very easy for everyone on the call to calculate that out and work out the Boston.

John Mellows  
Yes.
Yeah, actually.
So thanks for saying that because that that 20,000 that I said was that that’s including your licensing for one year.
So the rest of the that money is really training you and getting you onto the product.

Scott Bennett  
The gotcha? Cool.

John Mellows  
Yeah, just just a couple of questions.
So one is just from Joanne, so she’s saying, yeah, like current Excel report template name formats and formula to solve it and manage them from the so.

Scott Bennett  
Sorry.
You you dropped out the first part of the question, mate, can you repeat that?

John Mellows  
Sorry, sorry.
So you’re saying if we have a current Excel report template would would it be easy to import the same format and formula to Solver: and manage them from there?

Scott Bennett  
Yeah.
So this and if you like the the look and feel and and everything in the report was nothing stopping your replicating that report in Solver it, it wouldn’t be so much as an import you would have.
We’d have to design it and create it within Solver, but that that wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal, but you wouldn’t necessarily import it in, you would just create that same report within the Solver environment.
But again, it’s not.
It’s not a a big challenge.
It isn’t.

John Mellows  
Yep.

Scott Bennett 
So the short answer I guess is yes, it’s just a different way in in which we get there.

John Mellows  
Cool.
Uh, just one from Caroline.
So, so we we need both power behind Solver or can Solver fully replaced power BI?
OK, I’ll take this one and then you can.

Scott Bennett  
Now I’m adding you go.

John Mellows  
This is just my personal opinion and and maybe Scott will disagree, but to me I see Solver’s a great financial tool so and power BI are very good operational tool for dashboarding.
So the great thing about Solver is that when you take, it comes with the data warehouse.
You don’t have to do any of that legwork behind the scenes to sort of get your child of accounts in there, along with all your dimensions and so forth.
It’s just you get that with the product with tab.
Yeah, you have to build all that stuff in the in the background in order to actually achieve just the the the base install that you get with Solver:.
So to me I find if you if it’s, if it’s financial reporting that you after.
I think Solver is a great tool for that, especially when it comes to budgeting forecasting.
But if you power BI fits really operationally that you want to view your data, I think Power BI is the better tool.
Scott, I don’t know if you’ve got anything different.

Scott Bennett  
Yeah, we, we, we we see it as it’s a complementary solution as you you mentioned on we got the the we can connect into power BI from from Solver.
I’ll give you an example where Power BI is and Solver come in really handy.
You got some customers in the logistics distribution logistics space and they have big TBS up in their warehouse with what’s going on on a, you know, fairly real time basis and for that you would typically use power BI of course because you wanted a dashboard that’s going to constantly update.
You wouldn’t use a format report to that, but what those guys are doing is they’re using the the benefits of the Solver DoD warehouse, and now we normally your daughter there with all of the the connections, etcetera, and just exposing that to power BI.
So as John said, there’s there’s things that Solver’s better and things that power BI is better.
Apple either way, you don’t necessarily need to choose either or they, they kind of work.
What together that’s it is complementary.

John Mellows  
On the same, yeah, yeah.
Cool.
I just one from uh role.
So I you mentioned about the additional column for the URL link of the invoice which takes 2 business central.
Do we need to set up users in BC in order for them to view the invoice?

Scott Bennett  
Correct.
Uh, yeah, I I believe so.
I I I’m not gonna get into how you would absolutely do that because I I don’t know the internals.
I’ll be honest, that would be one for John and the consulting team, but.

John Mellows  
Yeah, I can answer.
Yeah, I can answer that once.
So yes, you do.

Scott Bennett  
Uh, you know that one?
Sorry mate, you go for it, yeah.

John Mellows  
Yeah.
So you would need at minimum A-Team member license in order to do that, yeah.
Uh.
And then Jane is a fully integrated with BC quick answer to that is yes, fully integrated.
So just built for BC along with other solutions.
But yes, comes out the box with BC integration.
Uh, next one I can we customize the default drill down?

Scott Bennett  
You can the the short answer to that is you can create any type of, drill down or drill through that you want to within a report and you can determine who gets access to that via the security settings in terms of exactly what you wanna do.
Maybe that’s a question we can take take off line.
Short answer is is yeah you can create any but the there may be more to that question.
I’m interested into the intent interested in the intent of the question because there may be something there that we need to understand.

John Mellows  
Umm.

Scott Bennett  
Short answer is yes, but again probably probably a discussion to be had there.

John Mellows  
OK.
Good.
And there’s all good, good questions.
So thanks everyone.

Scott Bennett  
Yeah, we got some good ones in me is that it’s a slow burn and then they all come, they can pass.

John Mellows  
Yeah.
Up.
You’re gonna.
So Jane said.
Have any New Zealand companies or yes, plenty plenty do?

Scott Bennett 
Ohh for sure.

John Mellows  
Yeah.
And we’ve done a lot of, yeah, we’ve done a lot of deployments here in New Zealand. Walkerscott has.

Scott Bennett  
Absolutely.
Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

John Mellows  
So yeah.
OK, what?

Scott Bennett  
And stuff.

John Mellows  
Uh, if anyone else is interested, got more questions of peace, feel free to get in touch with me of I will.
So it’s it’s just John.
So john.mellows@walkerscott.co, I’ll put it in here in the chat, but I’ll also.
I’ll be sending out an email to everyone and just to with the link to the webinar.
If you got any more questions around Solver, please just shout out and I’ll be happy to answer any questions or give you more information about it.
But yeah, thanks Scott.
Again, thanks for everyone for attending.

Scott Bennett  
Thank you.

John Mellows  
I know everyone’s very busy and I really do appreciate your your time so appreciate it.
Thank you very much.

Scott Bennett  
Thank you, John.
Thank you, everybody.

John Mellows  
Alright.

Scott Bennett  
Yes.

John Mellows  
Thank you guys. Bye.

Scott Bennett  
Bye bye.


Tips & Tools for Advanced Reporting, Forecasting & Budgeting

Solver integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, to enhance your financial reporting capabilities. In this webinar we will guide you through quickly constructing detailed advanced reports, comprehensive Profit & Loss Statements, and Balanced Sheets. As well as creating dynamic financial statements and building robust budgets with Solver’s cutting-edge tools.

Attendees will learn about the Solver excel add-in and how to use it as a powerful extension of Business Central.

Witness firsthand how Solver integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, to enhance your financial reporting capabilities. We will guide you through quickly constructing detailed reports, comprehensive Profit & Loss Statements, and Balanced Sheets.

Learn about performing What-If Analysis using the Solver add-in, including the use of linear programming and other solving methods in Excel.

Dive into effective budgeting as we show how Solver facilitates the creation of accurate, data-driven budgets. Learn to leverage its predictive analytics for forecasting, ensuring your financial strategies are both robust and responsive to change.

Who will benefit from attending?

Accountants, business analysts, financial analysts, CFOs, and finance professionals looking to enhance their reporting efficiency and budgeting using tools that integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Whether you’re new to Solver or looking to deepen your expertise, this webinar is tailored to elevate your knowledge. Engage in real-time with our specialists during the webinar. Get your questions answered, explore Solver’s features in-depth, and discover how to tailor its capabilities to your unique accounting needs. We will exchange tips and strategies to help optimise your financial processes with technology.

Register for our webinar to learn about tips & strategies for budgeting and forecasting using the Solver Excel Add-In.

Reserve your spot now and step into a world where data-driven decision-making in accounting is not just a possibility but a standard practice. Transform your approach to financial reporting and budgeting with Solver and lead the way in strategic financial management. Join us and redefine what’s possible in accounting with Solver’s advanced solutions.

Venue

Online

Organiser

Walkerscott
Phone
1300 490 795
Email
hello@walkerscott.co
View Organiser Website