Tips for Designing FSG Reports
You can define any of the financial reports we just discussed, regardless of your chart of accounts. The tips and techniques listed below will make it easier for you to plan and define your financial reports. The tips will also help you maximize FSG's flexibility and minimize your report maintenance activities.
Draft reports on paper first. Before you define a report in FSG, draft it on paper. This will help you plan the report's format and content, saving you time later.
Define a logical chart of accounts. You can significantly reduce report maintenance activities if you use account ranges and/or parent segment values in your row sets, column sets, and content sets.
Define generic row sets. You can minimize report maintenance by using generic row sets with the least number of options defined. For example, suppose you need to produce detail expense reports for all of your departments, but they all use different expense accounts. You can use one row set to generate all of these reports. When you define the row set:
For example, say one of your rows is total salary expense and you assigned it an account range of 5500 to 5599. If you add a new salary account segment within that range, the new account is automatically included in your reports.
- Include all, or most, of your expense accounts in the account assignments.
Use existing column sets. Before you define a new column set, review FSG's standard column sets and any custom column sets you've already defined to see if there is one that meets your reporting needs. You can use any existing column set as is, or make a copy then revise it.
- Leave the Display Zero option unchecked for each account assignment. This ensures that accounts with zero balances won't appear on the report.
We recommend two generic column sets that are particularly useful in managing any organization. One consists of multiple columns, defined to use actual amount types, for consecutive reporting periods (months, quarters, or years). Reports using this type of column set are very useful for determining and analyzing trends.
Use content sets. Content sets are a powerful and useful FSG feature, which you can use to generate hundreds of similar reports in a single report run. For example, you can use a content set to generate 50 departmental reports from one master report definition. Content sets work their magic by overriding the row set definition of an existing report, by altering the account assignments and/or display options.
Another useful column set includes multiple columns defined with actual, budget, and variance amount types. Reports using this type of column set are useful for planning purposes, as well as controlling your business. The standard column sets we provide with FSG include several versions of these two column set types.
Simplify row set and content set definitions. Rather than defining extremely long row sets, take advantage of the Expand and Both display types:
- EXPAND -- creates multiple lines from a single row definition. When defining a row, enter a range for an account segment and assign it a display type of Expand. FSG creates a row for each segment value in the range. If you enter a parent segment value for your range, FSG displays all child values for that parent.
Use AutoCopy. to copy any existing row set, column set, content set, row order, report, or report set. For example, you can:
- BOTH -- creates both detail lines and a total from a single row definition.
- Copy a standard column set, then modify the copy rather than modifying the original. If you modify a standard column set directly, you can unknowingly change other reports that rely on the standard column set definitions.
- Copy an existing row set that is similar to what you need, then modify the copy, rather than build a new row set from scratch.
Suggestions for Specific Financial Reports
Overview of Financial Statement Generator
Using Financial Statement Generator
Frequently Asked Questions About FSG
Defining Row Sets
Defining Column Sets
Defining Content Sets
Defining Row Orders
Defining Display Sets
Copying Report Objects
Defining Financial Reports
Setting General Ledger Profile Options.