The following questions were submitted during the MSX Group’s FRx Users Forum 2013 and have been answered here, if not during the forum. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions or need any clarification. The consultants, software support staff and instructors at the MSX Group are available to assist you with your installation of Management Reporter, Forecaster and/or FRx. Email Info@MSXGroup.com for information.
Q: Is there a way to find out how many CAT ID reports are using a specific Row/Column format? More specifically, is there a way to find out if no reports are using a row/column format?
A: Yes, on the FRx toolbar, click on the yellow Open Folder icon which allows you to open any report, row, column and tree. On the Catalogs tab of this window you may sort all reports by any feild (like click the Row Format heading to sort reports by the Row being used). You can also go to the Row/Column/Tree tabs to see which are Associated (used in a report with check mark next to them or those that are NOT used for a report with no check mark in the Associated field).
Q: Is the licensing for view only in Report Launcher different than the number of GP licenses?
A: Exact licensing can be confirmed with Microsoft and your partner. We can gladly help with further questions or offer suggestions too.
Q: Do you have reporting tips/best practices on balancing intercompany settlements? We have at least six companies that are often out of balance on a monthly basis.
A: Showing companies Side-by-Side in columns or even rows is a good reconciliation technique. These two methods were shared in FRx Session 5 and we can gladly answer questions by email in the future too. info@MSXgroup.com
Q: Once a Catalog ID is created with a detailed description, is there a way to rename the Cat ID & detailed description?
A: Yes, you can rename the report/catalog ID by typing over the existing name and/or description. You may also want to change the file output name on the output tab.
Q: We do not close our 12/31 year end retained earnings until after the annual audit around 6/1 the following year. Is there a trick to running balance sheet data where the prior year is carried forward? Not sure why management does not use GP soft close for year end.
A: A separate balance sheet report will need to built using a column layout that brings forward the retained earnings into the balance sheet.
Q: If we use Forecaster to carry budget data, is there a capability for FRx to read that budget data or do we need to export the budget into GP for FRx to pick up the budget numbers?
A: FRx can report on Forecaster budget data, known as the FRx Direct Link. With Management Reporter, you will export budget data out of Forecaster and import to GP and there is also the Forecaster Data Transfer wizard.
Q: Our IT Dept controls all “administrator” passwords/security levels. Is there a manual I can forward to the IT Director to set up the view only access for our state branch managers using FRx report launcher?
A: Yes, the FRx installation files contain details on security setup. These files are installed with FRx in a HELP folder.
Q: if the TOT include the row code for Gross Margin, will the GP % be included in the calc?
A: All TOT rows that fall within the range are automatically excluded. This allows you to create a grand total by specifying the entire range of rows regardless of any intermediate subtotals. The exception to this is if the TOT is in the first row of the range.
Q: In the current example, if Aug has numbers but is not printed because of the conditional print, will the aug amount be included in the YTD column?
A: In a Column CALC that sums a range of columns (like formula B TO M), the range CALC will only add up Printing columns and excludes those that do NOT print.
Q: how does one get the latest service pack?
A: Microsoft published all of their latest service packs on CustomerSource. If you do not have a login for CustomerSource, email us at email@example.com.
Q: When I copy a header with a SPREAD, the spread is NOT pasted. Is there a way to make the spread to paste like in the original copy?
A: When copying column headers, the spreads do not paste so you will have to update the spread.
Q: I do get ‘subscript out of range’ at times, especially when I export to Excel. Is there a way to avoid this to occur?
A: We can handle this via email as there may be few factors involved, we will address troubleshooting reports throughout day. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: There are times I do not use DES for row headers. It seems to be fine. Is there a danger in not using the DES format code?
A: No danger. Noah will demonstrate when using the DES format code is nice especially when using a tree. You can relate a DES or underscore row to a total row – that way they only appear when the total exists. For example, when using a tree for the income statement you may NOT want the Revenue Descriptions and Underscores to appear on a pure expense department (like Accounting, IT).
Q: why is it that I cannot use the CUR code in col layout to know the movement from say Jan to Mar [which I do in Inc Stmt] but that I must use CALC in col layout to get that activity?
A: There are a couple of different methods for showing the yearly change in cash. One method (option 1) shown today uses a YTD/BB (begin) and YTD (end) column with the difference. The other method (Option 2) is to use a single CUR column with the period range 1 TO BASE for yearly activity. Option 1 allows for easier YTD beg and end cash which are used for the rows (beg cash and YTD end cash used as check row).
Q: How does FRx picks up the CLOSE period from GP? Is it when you close the fiscal period in GP? Or is it something else?
A: Yes, when you close Periods in the GL (like closing periods/years in MSFT Dyn GP/AX/NAV/SL or any other GL), FRx (or Management Reporter) will recognize those closed periods in the GL.
Q: So, the amount from the CAL format code would be included in the TOT grand total?
A: Yes CAL rows are inluded in the TOT range so be sure to exclude those if you do not want to include them .
Q: How popular is the use of Report Manager?
A: Report Manager was an additional module very few FRx customers knew about or purchased, Management Reporter has similar functionality as the Report Manager with no added cost (like scheduling reports, grouping and securing reports into Folders and
inserting external files like Word, Excel, Power Point, XPS, PDF, etc). The Management Reporter sessions tomorrow will highlight these features.
Q: In one instance when I use ‘add rows from chart of accounts’, no account description were pulled from the GL into the row format. I also noted that the segment I am pulling from is not composed of ALL numerical digits. For example if the segment width is 5 and you have an example like 456__ with the last 2 digits being blank, that is when the account description is not pulled through. I usually do not have this problem when the segment is with ALL the numeric digits, e.g. 45612. Why is that? and is there a way to get around this problem?
A: I believe you noted you are GP. This reply is broad for others to benefit. The descriptions that FRx or Management Reporter (MR) retrieve are defined in GP (or your host GL depending on what GL system you may be on). Please confirm the Account (or Dept or Loc) setup for descriptions in the GL. As a general rule, having consistent account lengths will make their use more standard. I would also encourage all to be on latest Service Pack of FRx or MR. If a bug, there usually is a workaround (like typing in description) and a Microsoft Support case should be opened so they are aware and can correct.
Q: is it safe to save your spec set in a file other the recommended frlspl32.mdb? i.e. use a different name?
A: FRx can handle 90% of your FASB requirements. Inter monthly activity for some accounts may need to be brought in manually or reported outside of FRx.
Q: In a scenario where there is a need to use a number of different row formats [say 20], how would you decrease row format maintenance when a new account is added?
A: Using ranges and wildcards along with Account Sets in the Row Format.
Q: For % calc, how would you exclude the calculation when the budget is zero?
A: FRx will not error out like Excel if dividing by zero so should be OK to include where budget is zero. Otherwise, there also is the option of If/Then formulas in both the row CAL and column CALC.
Q: I just cannot figure out when to use effective dates with trees [I have no problem with using effective dates with column layout and row format]
A: Reorganizing the company in the middle of a year may be a good example.
Q: Yes, where required, I have used account ranges, wild cards and Account sets in the row formats. However, there are situations where the account added is not part of account ranges, wild card or account sets. In this case, we had to go back to the row format and edit one by one? So, I am just wondering whether there is a way to avoid that much row format maintenance?
A: Using Account sets so you only have to update in one spot, the Account Set, that many rows might refer to. In the Row format, go to Edit | Account Sets
Q: It is a pity that in the row format, the NP rows are included in subtotal if that NP row falls within the range of rows included in the subtotal formula!!
A: Yes that is the default TOT range behavior that most situations you will want. You may move No Print row or exclude it in TOT formula (100 TO 580)-400 where row 400 is No Print row as added option.
Q: how to get account number on the trial balance?
A: In the Column you may insert a ACCT column type to show account numbers.
Q: best place for help. books, websites, books for dummies. stuff for beginners not gurus.
A: The online FRx help is very good (In FRx under Help | Contents). An FRx User Guide will be added to our website you may download at end of week. There are also general web searches too that are useful.
Q: Are TOT and a formula in Column D always go together?
A: Yes, in the row format whenever you have a TOT (or CAL) row then you will enter a forumla into Column D of the Row. The TOT is used for adding and subtracting rows. The CAL format code is used for multiplication, division and If/Then formulas. When using the CAL, the rule is to use an @ symbol before the row code referenced.
Q: what is the latest service pack for FRX?
Q: how to change the base period? and year?
A: In the FRx report catalog, you have the Report Date which drives the Base Period and Base Year that columns refer to. You may either manually update the Period and Year (like chaning from period 3 to 4 manually) or you may use the Default Base Period field within the Report Date window (like C-1 is last closed GL period or S-1 is computer system date minus one period which are two common Default Base periods which will automatically update the Period and Year).
Q: what is the best way to clean up all the old stuff built up over the years? how can we know what stuff is no longer being used, etc.. stuff that could be deleted or archived?
A: To summarize, you may export/import reports and create a new specification set. See reply above on using the Open Folder icon to see which building blocks are Associated or others that are not used.
Q: I tried to test out chaining but it made me select units for each report but only the last report in the chain went to drill down viewer. How can I get multiple reports to print automatically as a group. Is this better handled through report launcher?
A: Yes, it will only open the last report in the chain. However, you can select “print immediately” in the Output options.
Q: Can you explain difference between formatted and unformatted excel as output option.
A: The main difference is the Formatted Excel (vs Unformatted) when using a Tree will have separate Excel sheets in Excel for each unit in the tree. The Unformatted when using a Tree will put all Tree unit data on ONE Excel sheet. The Formatted Excel output or export (hence its name) will also export all headings, font styles and colors that most will prefer.
Q: Could you go over how you view the Exception Report. I overrode one of my account links to force an exception and saw where exceptions were processed but I could not see where to actually see the Exception report like Noah showed us this morning. Covering this in the last Q&A session will be fine.
A: In the FRx Drill Down Viewer, you may go to: 1) View | Exception report OR 2) File | Print OR 3) File | Export the Exception Report. The exception reporting is turned ON in the report catalog under the Report Options | Advanced tab.
Q: how would you design a report that consolidates two companies with two different coa structures? (different coa lengths)
A: You will use two GL links in the row format and reference those GL links in the tree for the respective companies. We can demo that in last Frx session today.
Q: When using 2 gl links and reference in tree, do you get any errors where one of the GL links does not match the account mask lengths in the second tree unit?
A: FRx will validate the segment structure or mask as defined for the company in the GL. If the accounts or other segment values defined in the row format don’t match the defined mask, it will cause an error.
Q: The CF example you showed, is that the indirect CF method, and can FRx do both Indirect and direct CF? (I don’t really even know the difference)
A: FRx can handle 90% of your FASB requirements. Inter monthly activity for some accounts may need to be brought in manually or reported outside of FRx.
Q: how do you chain the report? Do you use a semicolon to separate the reports in the “chain to” dialog box, or do you pull up the next catalog you want to chain?
A: The latter, open 2nd report in chain and chain report #3 to it and so on.
Q: When I use Financial & Transaction detail level, the report doesn’t quite give the output I want or expect, especially when I have several reporting units. When the report generates, the very last tree unit gets the correct column layout showing vendor name, invoice and reference; whereas, all other tree units don’t get those columns even though there is information to be laid out as such. It does put information in a separate row underneath the accounting segment to which those data apply, but the vendor name is missing on the transactions in certain cases such as “Purchases.” Is there something I’m doing wrong?
A: This was a bug in FRx that was fixed with service pack 12.
Q: I know FRx is not publicly stated to be compatible with GP 2013. I’m thinking a company that is upgrading from GP 2010 (or older versions) would still be able to use GP. Have you tested it?
A: Rumor has it, it works, but it is not supported by Microsoft.
Q: we have a report that pulls current year budget by month on top and current year actuals by month on the bottom. When we run the report after closing the month the actual section starts to pick up data that has posted in the new month we are in. Is there any way to exclude that? For example, if I run the report for March and we are currently in April, I do not want anything to show up in the April actual column, but I still want all 12 months of the budget to show up in the top section.
A: This should be accomplished by defining the BASE period and BASE year accordingly in the Catalog/Report.
Q: The Gross Profit % should be calculated in the total column. How would I do that? I don’t think it should be a sum of the months or operating units.
A: Calculation Priority is where you may have an intersecting CAL row in the row format intersecting with a CALC column in the column layout. The default is to calculate rows 1st then columns 2nd. You may change that around by going to the FRx report catalog under the Report Options | Advanced tab.