Microsoft’s Financial Reporting Tool – FRx is Gone, What Now?
Posted August 28, 2014
Microsoft’s FRx module is done – and it has been for a while now. We at AKA have some ideas on how to replace the financial reporting tool from Microsoft – and we can break down the costs that come with the task. Whether you are replacing FRx with Microsoft’s Management Reporter (MR) or already looking to replace MR, we have heard from many customers who would like to convert the financial reports built in FRx to the chosen new report writer. Naturally, some independent software vendors (ISVs) expected this demand and made sure to include a conversion option in an effort to ensure a more automated transition. That is great for those who have already tackled the replacement of FRx, but some companies are holding on to FRx, perhaps out of procrastination – or maybe out of frustrating confusion about how to make the transition. Let’s explore the options for FRx report conversion for those who haven’t yet taken on this task or have not figured out how to replace the report writer while still keeping your FRx-produced reports.
MR seems like a good place to start since a lot of FRx customers moved to the Microsoft replacement, perhaps by default. If you have already implemented MR, you are probably aware that it comes with automatic conversion of FRx reports. As the follow up to FRx, MR is strikingly similar, with some minor feature improvements, an absence of particular features, and the most notable upgrade being the main user menu. Therefore, this conversion is not mind-blowing or intensive. Relatedly, there has been some momentum-building buzz that MR is underwhelming, perhaps because of the lack of a true upgrade when it comes to functionality. Because MR is also a proprietary platform, the preferred familiarity of Excel formatting is not an option. FRx conversions boost this follow-up, but it appears to not be much of an upgrade to a population of customers that want more than General Ledger (GL) reports. If the GL is all you would like to report on, MR would suffice – and you could know for sure that your FRx reports are coming with you.
Legitimate FRx upgrades are Excel add-in financial report writers, such as BizNet, F9, Jet Reports, and BI360. Besides F9, these financial reporting tools are already in a higher class of solutions due to the opportunity to produce sub-ledger reporting. Some allow the user to report on a couple sub-ledgers, and others offer extensive integrations across most or all accounting system sub-ledgers. On top of that, because these ISV tools are all Excel add-ins, they all just require you to export FRx reports to Excel for conversion. After that, you will just insert your own formatting, with any formula fixes, so FRx antiquities don’t get in the way of accessing or editing any FRx reports in Excel. After the initial exportation, you can run the reports right within Excel, with functionality control from the add-in ribbon at the top for the Business Intelligence (BI) evaluation. However, not all of these options feel like a true, modern upgrade.
To continue learning more about what you need to know about FRx report conversion, read the rest of this article here.