If you are on an older version of Dynamics GP (think 2010 and back… by the way you need to upgrade!) you are probably still using FRx for financial reporting. A little background here… FRx was an independent financial reporting tool used by several different ERP packages. Microsoft purchased the solution and then a few years later they sunsetted it. They released Management Reporter in its place.
Management Reporter was similar to FRx for reporting. It uses reporting trees and a data mart to do it. Converting from FRx to Management Reporter is a bit of a learning curve, but all in all, not a huge shake up for end users. Well, in 2016 Microsoft announced they would no longer be developing Management Reporter. Once again, the Dynamics community was left with questions surrounding what they would need as their reporting package. Enter- Jet Express.
Microsoft announced they had partnered with Jet Global Data to bring all Dynamics Users a free, excel-based financial reporting tool. Dynamics users were excited but apprehensive. That is three different reporting tools in just a few years. When would the madness end?! Well, I am happy to say that is has and Jet Express for Microsoft Dynamics is here to say. However, there is still some confusion around, let’s see if we can clear this up.
Who is Jet Global Data?
Jet Global Data is a third party (aka ISV) that specifically creates solutions for the Microsoft Dynamics product line. They are a Microsoft certified ISV and very widely used in the Dynamics industry. They have been around since the early 2000s and have several different product offerings.
Microsoft partnered with Jet because of their solid reputation in the Dynamics community, ease of use of their products, and their tight integration with Dynamics ERP systems.
What is Jet Express?
Jet Express is an excel-based, financial reporting tool that has a direct connection to Microsoft Dynamics. This product goes even further than Management Reporter, as it can report on sub-ledger data. People love Jet Express because it is built in excel, so it can use all the regular excel functionality. Accountants live in Excel all day long, so this is the perfect fit for a reporting package.
Most users ended up taking FRx or Management Reporter reports and dumping them to excel to manipulate and format. Using Jet Express puts you right in Excel, skipping the added work!
What other products does Jet offer?
Jet Reports has several different products (all have a cost associated to them except Jet Express). Here’s a quick description of them.
- Jet Express- Excel based reporting, directly connected to your Dynamics ERP system.
- Jet Professional- This is a step up from Express and includes drill down and drill through capabilities.
- Jet Analytics- Includes everything from professional with trend analysis and dashboard capabilities.
- Jet Budgets- This is an automated budgeting tool. You can complete budgets right in Excel and use workflows through a web portal for approvals and reminders.
How do I convert my reports?
This is the most common question we get. You’ve spent a lot of time building reports in your financial reporting tool. These reports are probably used by multiple people in the organization, so it is important that you have them. Unfortunately, there is not a direct migration path from FRx or Management Reporter to Jet Express.
Management Reporter is going to be supported until 2026 by Microsoft. This means you do not have to panic and switch reporting tools tomorrow. KTL suggests, to clients, that you install and configure Jet Express and start building reports at your leisure. This is also a great way to analyze what reports you need, don’t need, or which ones need to be tweaked. Also, you will have access to sub ledger data with Jet Express, so chances are you are going to want to revamp your reports!
Moving forward, you should develop a timeline for when you will move to the new reporting tool and how you will get all users training. Like Management Reports, Jet Express has unlimited viewer licenses. This is perfect for rolling out reporting to your entire organization. If you need help figuring out this migration path, reach out to KTL Solutions or to Jet themselves. Jet also has tons of resources on their site to look at. Watch a few webinars or read a few case studies to familiarize yourself with what they have to offer. Happy migrating!