Microsoft FRx

Microsoft FRx – Introduction

Microsoft FRx is a software used for financial reporting and analysis. It is integrated with general ledger systems of accounting / ERP packages for production of financial reports.

FRx User Guide is a technical guide that you may freely download to get an understanding behind the use of this software. It is also to be noted that Microsoft has declared that it will discontinue support for this product where it will be replaced / migrated to Management Reporter, a new product. Although there will be differences in the two products, they still do share some common building blocks. If you have used FRx, you will find learning MR (Management Reporter) to be easier.

From a practical perspective, the software adopts 3 key building blocks of financial reporting:

  1. ROWS – What are the key lines on your financial statements? Items like Sales Turnover, Cost of Goods Sold, Operating Expenses are examples of rows.
  2. COLUMNS – How do you want to view your financial data? Month-to-month, rolling quarter and year-on-year are some examples of columns.
  3. TREES – How do you consolidate your views on financial data spanning across multiple databases, departments? A consolidation of a trading entity and its service trust are examples of trees.

Breaking up the way you see your financial data often opens up new perspective on viewing. This will in turn churn out useful analysis that you may not have seen or thought of before. These powerful analysis will help to reveal certain trends in your business data which leads to better decision making.


Case Studies

Recently I had encountered issues with Microsoft FRx at a client site whereby there were “phantoms” instances of the software not closing properly. The below set of procedures should help to fix this and also serve as a good maintenance facility from time to time.

Re-create the temporary GL index files FRx uses and remove any temporary files that may have been left by an instance of FRx not closing properly. You can do this using these steps:

  1. Click Start , point to All Programs , point to FRx 6.7 , and then click Report Designer.
  2. When the Database Login window appears, click Cancel.
  3. When the Select a Company to Work With window appears, click Cancel.
  4. Click Admin , click Organization , and then click SysData.
  5. Select the path in the Current location field, right-click the path, and then click Copy . If you cannot copy the path, note the exact path that appears.
  6. Click Start , click Run , paste or type the path of the SysData folder, and then click OK
  7. Close all the instances of Microsoft FRx that are running on your computer and for all other users, and then delete or rename all the files in the SysData folder that have the following extensions:
    • .g32
    • .ldb
    • .lck
  8. Open FRx and login to your company.
  9. Go to Company | Select Default.
  10. Select the first company in the list and login.
  11. Repeat above steps for every company created in FRx.

EXCEL TIP – DATEDIF FUNCTION

Excel tips:

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The syntax for DATEDIF:
=DATEDIF(DATE1,DATE2,INTERVAL)

This Excel function will calculate the intervals between DATE1 & DATE2. The Intervals can be defined in Excel which faciliates types of interval that you want to calculate. The definition of various intervals that can be used in Excel is as follows:

“d” – Days
“m” – Months
“y” – Years
“ym” – Months Excluding Years
“yd” – Days Excluding Years
“md” – Days excluding Years and Months

As an example, let us take two different dates and apply the above intervals to them as follows:

Date1 – 01 January 2010
Date2 – 31 August 2011

Based on above parameters, the results are displayed as follows:

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”d”) will return 607 days.

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”m”) will return 19 months.

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”y”) will return 1 year.

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”ym”) will return 7 months.

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”yd”) will return 242 days.

=DATEDIF(DATE(2010,1,1),DATE(2011,8,31),”md”) will return 30 days.

With these tools, you can apply some of these principles to your business data in Microsoft Excel. This will gather useful data analytics on your records for evaluation and decision making.