On Tuesday the 26th of July Escone Solutions conducted the final webinar of the Financial Management System Focus series. This webinar covered how Financial Reporting with the OpenAccounts and eBIS applications can benefit organisations. Exploring how these reports can be tailored and created to a business’s requirements.
The webinar began with a presentation from Escone Solutions Head of Consulting, Bridget Gray as she discussed the way reports can be best used and implemented in organisations to benefit teams. This was followed by Mark Smith, the Finance Operations Manager at the Abellio Group who shared how Abellio have utilised the reporting functions of OpenAccounts and eBIS and how Escone Solutions has helped with that process.
Will any new Analysis Codes/GL Codes be picked up in the management accounts reports I have built automatically?
It depends on which level of the hierarchy the GL is linked to an analysis code. If you have an analysis code e.g., Balance Sheet Current Assets, as an analysis code and you add a new GL cost centre to that analysis code that is already used on a report that GL cost centre will automatically pull through onto the reporting suite, so you do not have to add the individual cost codes in if you use their analysis codes as level 1. For levels that are higher up in the reporting hierarchy where you are just grouping the data together in a particular way and it is not linked to the GL code then you would have to manually add in those new analysis codes into the hierarchy.Bridget Gray
Are reports restricted to a certain timeframe of data?
It depends on what kind of report it is. If it is a table query and you are pulling out transactional information, it is a good idea to put filtering on the reports so that you are not just getting absolutely every piece of information that is in the database table as that would take forever to run. But you usually just want to be looking at a particular set of data for a particular period so you can use the query/filtering functionality in the report writer tool to restrict the output to the years/periods you are interested in. For management reports, they are for a period at a time. You select the period at run time.Bridget Gray
Can any type of report be published in eBIS?
Any of the reports that are designed in OpenAccounts using the Report Writer tools, whether that is the management accounts, consolidated accounts, Ad hoc reports, or Table Queries can all be published to eBIS users. Some of the Core System reports are already in there, but they are programs so you may find that you don’t have the same full set of Core Reports that you have in OpenAccounts replicated in eBIS as programs in there. But if there are particular things you need, you can create these with the Table Query suite.Bridget Gray
Where can I view all the data map tables for the OpenAccounts database?
Users with access to the maintenance routines within the Open Reporting program suite can run the EM01 Data Map Maintenance program to see which databases are currently mapped for reporting. NB users should NOT make any changes to the data map without full knowledge and training on this functionality.Bridget Gray
Can the OpenAccounts financial reports help with audit queries? For example, is there a means to report on who approved a transaction, or made a change to a supplier’s bank details?
There are reports that can be run that show historical audit data including approvers of transactions, who has changed supplier details, and who has potentially deleted items from the system. I use these reports myself when working through audit requests.Mark Smith
There is a core system report for audit information (which depends on which tables have been configured for auditing as you do have to enable them per company). This report uses information held in a master file log table, which is also available to Open Reporting, so you can write and publish table queries on specific audit data as well. In addition to that, the system has a ‘Forensix’ function that records pre-defined changes such as supplier bank details, or the first time a payment is made to a supplier, which can also be reported directly out of this Forensix module.Bridget Gray
Can OpenAccounts data extracts be linked to a 3rd party BI/reporting tool?
Yes, they can. We use Power BI within Abellio as our reporting tool and we have a dedicated management information team who will pull together information to present to our different stakeholders. My colleague Utam is currently working with us and Escone to link the data in OpenAccounts to that Power BI tool to automate the reporting process. Currently, his team have to go out to each respective department and obtain the information through individual reports so automating this process and linking up the data will make it a lot easier going forward.Mark Smith
Data can be extracted directly from the databases using ODBC drivers if that configuration is possible on your site (speak to your support provider) or you can export information using the core system reports to a spreadsheet, or using management or table queries to a text file or spreadsheet. At Escone Solutions we have a great relationship with Intuitive Business Intelligence who provide dashboards that can showcase your reporting functions ina clear and practical way.Bridget Gray
Someone in the business has overwritten a key business report by mistake. How easy is it to restore the previous version in OpenAccounts?
If it is a key business report, you should ensure you have a backup of the report settings in the application in some way. This would usually be either a specification document detailing the contents of the report and its filters, fields and output settings, or an actual database extract of the report configuration.
You should also keep a copy of the report Template if it is a Smart Report, in case the original is corrupted, deleted or amended in some way.
Some sites may have functionality in their windows environment whereby a previous version of an excel template file can be restored, this may require IT assistance.
If it’s the configuration in OpenAccounts that is lost, and there is no documentation detailing the report build or any other copy of it, then a database restoration is an option from a backup with the recommendation that this is done in a test environment to avoid overwriting the Live system.Bridget Gray
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