Budgeting, Forecasting & Financial Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics: Top features and requirements for 2021

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In the market for a budgeting, forecasting, or financial reporting solution to close out 2020 or going into 2021? Selecting the right product can seem like a lot of work, but the stakes are high. Missed requirements and features are the highest contributing factor (~71%) to software implementation failures.

The good news is that vendors have been steadily improving their solutions with more sophisticated and comprehensive capabilities around common requirements like integration, deployment model, and security.

This article will review some of the core competencies you should expect to see when evaluating budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting solutions in the Microsoft Dynamics market.

Budgeting and Forecasting: Core features


Standardization is key when completing budgeting, especially on a large-scale w/ multiple groups, location, departments, and users involved. Solutions will provide the ability to create budget “templates” which can be shared with multiple groups to accommodate both bottom-up or top-down budgeting processes.

Transaction-Level Detail

Budgeting at the general ledger-level while leaving all detail in another system is not enough. For strong reporting and future re-budgeting capabilities look for the ability to maintain your transactional-level detail.

Budget Calculations

Calculating your current fiscal year budget based on last year’s budget, last year’s actual, etc. assists in creating budgets however frequently your organization desires.

Maintain Multiple Budgets

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a 1x per year event. With a smoother budgeting process may come more willingness to budget more frequently. For those who do budget multiple times / year, swapping back and forth between budget 1, budget 2, etc. can be easily done.

Financial Reporting: Core features

Robust Report Building Tool

Look for ease of use. All solutions will claim you can build any report imaginable, but it is recommended to always do your due diligence during a trial period. Also, start by attempting to build your most complex report. As you evaluate options, think of long-term maintenance, potential training issues, and other considerations for the future.


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