Building financial statements and reports are regular tasks in. However, in a Power BI environment this can be a bit more challenging. Anyone who worked on creating a simple income statement or balance sheet in Power BI surely knows about this inconvenience.
Looking for answers one ends up scrolling through numerous blogs only to realize that the proposed solutions are technically challenging. This is especially true for a finance person who is not a skilled Power BI user.
Many times we asked ourselves the same question. Why is there no user-friendly “out-of-the-box” solution to build financial reports?
Finally, there might be a solution. Recently, Power ON BI, a company that developed the world’s first write-back in Power BI, rolled out a new solution. The Report Writer visual is a solution to build tabular reports directly within the Power BI environment.
The Report Writer works in the following way. You define the set of rows and columns, assign standard or user-defined styles directly to each row and column. Then you will get a pixel-perfect table report with the exact line items, columns and styling you want.
Rows and columns can be custom defined
You can easily combine values of different data types in the same visual, such as $ values, percent and non-financial measures. That way you can make one line in bold, another in italic and the percent format with an underline.
Moreover, the user-defined sets and features, such as row and column definitions, can be reusable. If you defined a standard layout for an income statement for a year-over-year (Y-o-Y) comparison and budget vs actuals analysis, you can use the same row layout for a monthly income statement as well. In this case, you only need to define a new table with the same row layout and a monthly column layout.
The Report Writer visual also allows creating custom calculated columns and rows. For example, if there is a need to add “% EBITDA” line, it can be defined through a formula, EBITDA / Revenue, directly in the visual. In a Y-o-Y comparison column – instead of setting DAX measures with time data, you can make a calculated column directly in the visual the same way you would do it in Excel.
Another useful feature of the product is a dynamic column naming. Imagine this: would you like to have columns that change their headings depending on a slicer selection in a report? The Report Writer makes it possible with the dynamic column naming function, which allows you to define a column name in a manner “Y-o-Y [Year-1]-[Year]” to show “Y-o-Y 16-17”, or “Actuals 2018”, or “Variance to Budget 17-18”.
At the moment, Report Writer is only distributed as a part of Power ON Visual Planning solution.
As a Power ON BI partner, Centida would gladly support you on a journey to Power BI write-back and unprecedented reporting experience with Report Writer.