By TopDown Team
April 18th, 2012
Now we turn our attention to leading practices for reporting. In my opinion, the most important consideration is to determine if you are using the different reporting tools appropriately. Using the correct tool will, more often than not, lead you down the road to correctly applying leading practices for reporting.
In version 11.1.2.x, the reporting tools that come with the standard Hyperion consolidation implementation for the majority of customers are:
- FDM – comes with a highly useful set of standard, pre-built reports
- HFM Intercompany matching – the system reports to generate intercompany data by entity and partner
- HFM Data Grids – the default window into the HFM database
- Financial Reporting – the standard reporting developer tool for all EPM products that is used to create formatted reports
- Smart View – the powerful MS Office add-in reporting tool to query data, build formatted Excel reports, and run reports
These are the correct application of each of the reporting tools above:
- FDM – should be used to report and validate source G/L data before transformation into HFM dimensionality. Typically, new customers to Hyperion EPM do not realize that data in HFM no longer contains the source G/L details. While there is functionality in HFM to do drill-back, the source G/L data information is really only stored in FDM and that’s where reporting against it can be done.
- HFM Intercompany matching – should be used to validate intercompany data balances and to reconcile intercompany data. This built-in functionality of HFM is the most efficient tool for intercompany data reporting. None of the other reporting tools can generate intercompany data matching as effectively and quickly.
- HFM Data Grids – should be used for interactive, ad-hoc querying of HFM data. Data grids can be saved so frequently used query views can be repeated. However, there is no clean export or print capability except for screen print. Data grids should be used to quickly see and analyze data.
- Financial Reporting – should be used to develop standardized reports for all consolidation users. This developer tool has much functionality that helps you develop flexible and dynamic reports. The tool can create both formal reports for upper management (such as quarter end financial statements) and drill-down reports to be analyzed by accountants (such as roll-forward reports). These are the reports that you need to be printable or have in soft-copy to email. Financial Reporting should be the primary tool for reporting data from HFM because it will help organizations achieve uniform and consistent reporting standards.
- Smart View – should be used as the complementary tool to analyze HFM data in MS Office products. Since Smart View has been developed to do so much against the HFM database, it can be overused. An example of overuse is when Smart View is used to pull a full trial balance of all entities from HFM for one period or one year. Unless your HFM application is very small, this can be a very time consuming process*. Instead of trying to make Smart View a volume reporting tool, you should focus on using it for ad-hoc queries and drill-down of data. It can also be effectively used to pull data into formal reports that have been created in Excel or Word, such as disclosure reports that support the financial statements. Typically, these are reports that have a mix of data from HFM and outside of HFM.
Think about how reporting is currently accomplished with your consolidation solution. If your organization is not using all the reporting tools described above and in the ways recommended, take the opportunity to re-assess it and get back on the path to following leading practices.