Consolidate data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or seek an external tool? (Level 2 or 3)?
In practice, it turns out that customers relatively rarely use the consolidation functionality within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. The other two scenarios are much more common. In the first scenario, financial statements consolidation is carried out manually. In the other one, before the global Business Central solution is deployed, a company can implement a specialized consolidation tool to meet legal requirements for financial statements consolidation. Therefore, appropriate software needs to be purchased as a tool to manage the consolidation process. When initiating a global roll-out of standardized the system, it often turns out that our customers have tools which support financial statements consolidation, for better or worse.
It should be also assumed that the consolidation functionality can be sufficient for a company with an averagely developed international structure. If the organization has a very complex structure and financial processes, consolidation in Business Central is not be sufficient. In such a situation, the system should be used as a typical transactional tool which provides data input. Obviously, with standardized posting setup, the quality of such data and data consolidation process will improve substantially.
This resembles the differentiation within typical reporting (i.e. reporting for non-consolidation purposes). ERP systems are transactional systems. They prove very useful for data registration tasks. However, in terms of reporting, their usability has to be evaluated based on the customer’s needs. If the customer’s needs come down to generating uniform periodic reports, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central tools are sufficient for this purpose. However, if the customer’s requirements for analytics are more advanced, they can be met by implementing an add-on tool that offers more sophisticated capabilities. Likewise, advanced consolidation requires dedicated tools. If consolidation-related processes are simple, the standard functionality can be used. However, if requirements are high in this scope, an external consolidation tool designed for this purpose should be used.