The purpose of this article is to provide users with an in-depth guide on how to create a new Financial Statement Spec. from scratch. For users looking to learn the the financial reporting tool (FINS) to maintain existing reports that have already been built, please refer to Maintaining and Editing a Financial Statement, which provides a guide to FINS geared towards general maintenance rather than full report building.
Navigating to FINS Reports
From the Launchpad, Navigate to the General Ledger Homepage. Scroll down to the Financial Summary section where you will find the following options:
- Run a Financial Statement Report (Action): Allows you to run a FINS report based on the financial statement and fiscal year parameters you set.
- Financial Statement Spec. List: Lists the specifications used in financial reporting. Essentially, this is the list of each financial statement reports that exist in your database. By clicking on each one, you can format the Financial Statement Spec. which will be used when running financial statements.
- Financial Statement Report Log: This is a log where you can find all of the reports generated using the “Run a Financial Statement” action.
Adding Columns to a Financial Statement Spec.
From inside a Financial Statement Spec., the Columns tab is used to format the columns that will pull GL Data for the Financial Statement Reports. The columns will print left to right, with the column at the top of the grid printing first.
Fields on a Column Record Accessible from the Grid
|Header Line 1|
|Header Line 2|
|Open Record Button|
Additional Fields within a Column Record
To view a column record in a FINS report, click on either the Description field of the line or the "pop-out" button for the line in the last column of the grid view.
Adding a New Column
- From the Columns tab in a Financial Statement Spec., click the green “Add Record” button.
- Specify the type of data the column should pull in the “FINS Column” dropdown menu. This field is required in order to create the column record. You can also fill in any additional fields you wish to use. When finished, click Update.
- The column will only be created if the “FINS Column” field is populated AND you click update. The remaining fields can either be left blank or will automatically populate.
- Ensure all fields that need to be used are populated if they weren’t populated when the column record was created.
Reassigning Sort Keys
- You can change the order in which lines are listed by changing the sort key.
- Occasionally, you may find that you run out of sort key numbers in a specific area of the Financial Statement Spec. If this happens, follow the steps below to reassign the sort keys.
- Click on the action menu and select “Reassign Sort Keys”.
- Confirm the action by clicking the green “Reassign Sort Keys” button.
- When the process is complete you can close the widow. Then click update. The sort keys will be reassigned in increments of 10.
Searching for Missing GL Accounts
From inside a Financial Statement Spec, the Missing GL Accounts tab is used to display the GL Accounts that are not being used in the report. Once lines containing GL Accounts in this tab are added in the Lines tab, they will be removed from the Missing GL Accts tab. When using Account Types, GL Accounts grouped in them WILL NOT appear here because they are being used in the report through the Account Type Lines.
- You can also use the Open Query button next to the search bar which will bring you to a query with all the missing GL Accounts. From here you design the query to your specific needs.
- For a Balance Sheet, this tab must be empty before the Financial Statement Spec. is complete. This is because all the revenue and expense GL Accounts should be pulled in the net assets section as Net Profit/(Loss).
- For a Statement of Activities, there should only be Asset, Liability, and Fund Balance Accounts.
Checking for Duplicate Lines in FINS
- Why is this important? Unless for a specific purpose, a GL Account or Account Type (1, 2, or 3) should not be in more than one section of a FINS report as it may throw off the data. This query allows you to check to see if a GL Account appears in more than one FINS line, or if an Account Type (1 ,2, or 3) appears in more than one FINS line.
- Navigate to the General Ledger homepage and scroll down to the Financial Summary section and click Financial Statement Spec. List.
- Click on the report title of the financial report spec. you want to check for duplicates. Inside the financial statement report, click on the Lines tab under the Reports header on the left side of the screen.
- From this screen, click on the Open Query button in the top right corner next to the search bar. This will bring you to a query with all the FINS lines.
- Click on the query design button. To "count" how many of each GL account is included in the FINS report, click on the GL Account field and click Summarize under field roles, then run the query. To sort the query by the Record Count, simply click on Record Count at the top of the query. Sorting the record count first in descending order will show the GL accounts that appear the most at the top of the page.
Helpful Tips for Building a Report from Scratch
The following tips can be used to build a new report in the most efficient way possible.
- Use the Open Query button to your advantage.
- This is extremely useful for batch updating lines rather than changing them individually. It’s especially helpful in updating fields like Underline, Bold, Indentation, Total Level, and Cost Center, or resetting fields to a blank value.
- This button is available on both the Lines tab and the Missing GL Accts tab.
- Work from the top of the report down, making adjustments along the way.
- Indent in increments of 2-5 (if needed)
- Make sure to use the correct line “Type”. “Headers” should be used for lines that shouldn’t print data. “Total” lines shouldn’t have a GL Account, Cost Center, or Account Type assigned it.
- When building out reports, stop after each section and run the report to see how it looks. This makes it easier to make corrections and adjustments before moving on to the next section.
- DON’T FORGET TO CLICK UPDATE!! Be sure to frequently click the update button when building a Financial Statement Spec. to prevent having to redo edits.
- Once the Financial Statement Spec. appears correctly formatted, download an excel file version after running the report and check the totaling to make sure it is working correctly.
- Use the search bars to your advantage. They are located on both the Lines and Missing GL Accts tabs. If you are searching for a specific line or account, simply use the search bar and it will show the results right on the grid.
- When running a Financial Statement Report, first check if there has already been a Financial Statement Spec. that has been run with the parameters in the Financial Statement Report Log. This prevents the Financial Statement Report Log from getting clogged up with the same report multiple times.
- Clicking on a Report ID in the Financial Statement Report Log will tell you the Financial Statement Spec. used, as well as the Fiscal Year, Accounting Period, and Dates used in the report.