whatis

What is EFP?


Epicor Financial Planner (EFP) is a complete system for Financial Budgeting. It is based on the advanced Epicor Planner family foundation and is thus expandable to support a multitude of complex business scenarios.

  1. Microsoft Excel is used for both Budgeting and Reporting in the system. This means
    • You leverage all your Excel skills
    • Limited training needs.
    • Empowerment of Finance and Business users.
  2. Automatically integrates to the GL data in your ERP system, which becomes available throughout the Budget process to be used as basis, comparison and for reporting. No more cutting and pasting!
  3. Unified Reporting and Planning
    • Multiple Scenarios (unlimited) supports budgets, forecast, re-forecasts and reporting thereof.
    • Multi-company. EFP will automatically read information from all companies within your ERP system.
    • Multi-currency support is built in from the start.
  4. Financial Intelligence built in from the start.
    • Inter-company Eliminations business rule.
    • Inter-company Matching business rule.
    • Allocation business rule that can be applied to both Budgets and Actuals data.
  5. NO data is stored in Microsoft Excel. The Excel sheets are used as input schedules and report templates, however all data is stored in a
  6. Robust Microsoft SQL Server storage
    • One version of the Business Model and Data
    • Focused and less complex Excel sheets
  7. Advanced role-based Security enables right access to everyone in the organization.

EFP uses the Epicor Planner add-in installed that is installed in Microsoft Excel and provides you with full-fledged Excel based reporting tool (in addition to all it's budget and forecast capabilities). For more information - please refer to section Report Guide in this documentation.

All of your ERP data is automatically stored in a syncronized shadow planning database with room for unlimited number of planning scenarios and budgets. The use of the shadow database featuring advanced BI technology in SQL server means that reporting is extremely fast even if data volumes are high and questions are complex. Also - it will have a minimal performance impact on your ERP system.

A add-in is installed in Microsoft Excel. The add-in gives access to both the data in the server and the excel sheets defined as templates for reports and input schedules. All sheets are stored and maintained centrally together with the data to avoid the all-to-common confusion of versions of Excel sheets.

  • The Epicor Planner foundation allows upgrading EFP to support
    • Integration across multiple and diverse systems, both ERP and other Line-of-business systems.
    • Advanced Driver Based Budgeting scenarios across an entire organization.
  • Pre-Integrated with EPM - Epicor Performance Management allowing for advanced mobile and web reporting and key metrics authored in Microsoft Excel or using web tools based on all EFP data when using Performance Canvas (requires advanced version).
Advanced Examples (click on picture to zoom) Picture
Advanced Planning system (not limited to GL):

(Requires Epicor Planner MAX server)
Example of Advanced Budget Scenario
Tablet use:

(Requires EPM Performance Canvas Advanced)
Phone use:

(Requires EPM Performance Canvas Advanced)

For any question you where you don't find the answer - please refer to the FAQ - Frequently asked questions section. Even if the answer you are looking for is not in there - it will provide you with the opportunity to ask us the question you want answered!


Accounts, Segments, Dimensions and Hierarchies

Your ERP connected ERP system may have an Account string with multiple Segments. Typical examples of segments may be Project, Cost Center, Product, Company and Intercompany counterpart. The EFP integration automatically detects the segments you have set up and will create on Dimension for each segment. Usually the first segment is what is referred to in EFP as Natural Accounts.

Each Dimension may have one or more Hierarchies. Since most ERP systems have limited information of the structure of accounts and segments (usually this is handled on the report level) EFP in most cases cannot automatically detect the Hierarchies (even though it does its best).

One of the things you will need to do during the Administrative setup of the system is to go through the Dimensions (Account Segments) and verify that they are set up in the order you would like them to be to make it easy for your users to use the system for reporting and budgeting. Getting the Hierarchies right will make sure your accounts sum up to aggregates correctly as well as being ordered in the way you want them in reports.

Roles & Security

All users of the system need to be listed by Active Directory login name in the Epicor Planner Modeler. The users are organized into Roles, where each role can be given different levels of permission in the budget process.

Currencies

If you would like the system to be able to do budgeting in currency, this needs to be set up. The currencies you want to be able to support in your budget process needs to be listed in the Currency Dimension using the Epicor Planner Modeler. The currency rates then need to be entered using the Currency Conversion Menu in Microsoft Excel.

Scenarios

EFP supports an unlimited number of scenarios. Each budget process will run based on one scenario, and the default “Actual” scenario that always contains the actuals as automatically retrieved from your ERP system. Other Scenarios will be your budget and potentially a number of forecasts.

Workflow: Drivers and Budget Items

During the Administration setup you will need to decide what segments will drive your workflow. The segments driving the workflow will determine the granularity of the workflow.

Spreading Rules

To make it easier to enter data into the budget sheets there is a certain number of pre-defined Spreading Rules. You can easily modify them and add new ones to suit your needs.

Input Schedules

All budget input is performed in Input Schedules in Microsoft Excel. There are a number of template Input Schedules supplied with the system, but for most businesses these will need to be adopted.

Custom Reports

EFP is based on the Epicor Planner foundation which it share with the Canvas Planner Product. This means you are in a possession of one of the worlds best reporting tools for doing combined reporting based on all budgeting and planning scenarios defined in this system and the actual figures as retrieved from your ERP system.

  • whatis.txt
  • Last modified: 2015/12/04 10:38
  • by pcevli