Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q – What is Vivid Reports compatible with?
A – Please see our Compatibility page.
Q – Does Vivid Reports modify, change, or write data back to the ERP / Accounting system?
A – No. Vivid Reports does not require you to change your ERP for Vivid Reports to work. Vivid Reports is a “read only” system in that ERP data only moves in one direction and that is into Vivid Reports.
Q – How long does it take to install Vivid Reports?
A – It will depend on the ERP you are using, the number of companies you have, the features you need to enable (currency conversion, custom period definitions, etc.). Times can vary from one (1) hour to four (4) or more hours for the database and configuration but never more than a day. We charge a fixed fee for database installs so you always know how much this will cost up front. Clients can be installed in five minutes and if you are using terminal software then you only have to install it once.
Q – How long does it take to learn Vivid Reports?
A – That depends on how much functionality you will need, how complex your reports are, and how comfortable you are with learning new technology. We always start with an initial two (2) hour session to get you started. After this session you will have already created some reports and are able to work on your own. You can schedule follow-up sessions as required to add more skills and knowledge. Most of our customers will have between four and eight hours of training on Vivid Reports. NOTE: We are training the report builders that is to say the experts in your organization. Your “end-users” or report recipients can begin using the software in as little as five (5) minutes of training and this is always provided in house.
Q – How does your licensing work?
A – Vivid Reports uses a Named User license model. This is because of the sensitive nature of the information Vivid Reports provides and each user usually has unique security requirements. Therefore a single or shared log in approach would not work for the majority of our customers. There is no limit on how many devices you can install the client on. Just how many profiles you can define.
Q – Security. How do you keep departmental reports out of the hands of the wrong department manager?
A – Restrictions can be defined for each user or applied to a role. You may restrict your users so they can only access the companies, accounts and segments (or any combination thereof) to control what can be viewed at the Report Level, Account Level, Transaction Level and Budget Input Level. Restriction defined at the Transaction Level can be based on any field within the Vivid Reports Transaction table. For example you can prevent someone from viewing transactions where the description contains the word “legal”.
Q – Does Vivid Reports support Unit or Statistical accounts?
A – Yes. And our built-in currency conversion module can also convert between different Units Of Measure (UOM) i.e. metric to standard.
Q - Can Vivid Reports completely replace FRx?
A - Vivid Reports is a complete replacement or alternative to both Microsoft FRx and Management Reporter (MR) as well as Epicor AFR and other CPM solutions. You can continue to use FRx after Vivid Reports has been installed.
Q - Can FRx reports be converted to Vivid Reports?
A - Yes. Existing Excel reports and templates can also be converted to Vivid Reports. Please see our FRx Replacement page for more information.
Q – Does Vivid Reports report on Dynamics GP’s analytical accounting?
A – Yes. You can treat AA codes as segments and they become an extension of the account number. Please contact us for more information.
Q - Why does Vivid Reports use or What are the benefits of a Data Warehouse?
A – This is a complex answer as a great deal of thought went into designing the Vivid Reports architecture with a standalone data warehouse. There is a whitepaper in our library on the topic entitled “Advantages of a Data Warehouse” that goes into greater detail on the topic. The key advantages are:
- Faster Data Processing Speed
- Ability to modify and enhance data without effecting the core system
- Enhanced Security and Permissions Separate from the ERP
- Ability to combine multiple G/L’s(even from different ERP) for Consolidated Financial Reporting
- Control when updates occur to avoid drain on the core systems during peak hours
- Allows for a capture or a “Snapshot” of the data for comparison of updates and to identify changes
- Reduce ERP license fees
Q- How does the Vivid Reports database get updated and how long does this take?
A – The Vivid Reports database can be updated at anytime directly from the Main Menu in Excel. In addition to a manual update you can also schedule the update to occur at preset times. The update is performed incrementally. This means that Vivid Reports is aware of what has changed since the last update and will therefore have less work to do. Because of this the updates usually complete within one minute.
Q – Can Vivid Reports be deployed with Citrix or Terminal Services?
A – Yes, this is a common and efficient method of deployment. For more information please see our Compatibility page.
Q- Can Vivid Reports accommodate Eliminating entries for inter-company transactions?
A – Yes. The recommended best practice is to define a company or department within the ERP where the eliminations can be entered. The eliminations are then combined with the legal entities to complete the consolidation. Eliminations can also be handled in Vivid Reports through a table in Excel or through a special “budget” that stores the eliminations but can still be combined with Actuals from the ERP.
Q – Do you need a license to view a Vivid Report?
A - No. Vivid Reports are 100% normal Excel files. Anybody with an Excel license can open, view, or modify a report created in Vivid Reports. They really are just an ordinary Excel file without any special links or macros / VBA code of any kind. A license is only required when you need Vivid Reports functionality such as using the control panel or an analysis tool such as the drill down.
Q – How can I be sure that I am not missing accounts on a report when I add new ones?
A – Vivid Reports has a Report Check feature that will check for missing accounts on a report as well as range overlaps (duplicate accounts). There are various ways to identify new accounts and segments along with the date they were added.
Q - Does Vivid Reports have its own currency conversion?
A - Yes. Vivid Reports supports multiple currencies and currency conversion, even to currencies not defined or used by the ERP.
Q - How do you generate, distribute or print departmental statements?
A - We have a very secure and proprietary way of integrating with Excel. We treat Excel like a “browser” into your financial reports and information. Reports and analysis generate very quickly and this allows the users to select “Pull” what they want to view or analyze. We also have an automation tool (available at no extra charge) that allows users to “Push” or distribute reports to other users or recipients, printers (PDF), folders, Sharepoint, or e-mail. Reports can be opened by anyone with or without a Vivid Reports license. Vivid Reports licensed users can also drill-down into those same reports.
Q - Can you generate P&Ls by department on a separate page for each department, or do you have to change the departmental filter to refresh a single page?
A - Yes. You have a few options for this. You can have a single Excel worksheet with a Vivid Reports Control Panel that allows a user to quickly change the department they are viewing, you can also “daisy chain” multiple worksheets together that are driven off each other or a “parameter” worksheet. Automation can be used to build a set of workbooks with a worksheet for each department all from one master report layout.
Q - What does “ERP” stand for?
A - We use the ERP acronym everywhere and therefore we feel we should define what this means! ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. This is really just a fancy name for “Accounting System”. An example of ERP would be Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), Epicor, SAP, Peoplesoft to name a few. Vivid Reports integrates with your ERP to provide enhanced reporting and CPM (Corporate Performance Management), which also includes analysis and budgeting.