In the second tip of the Financial Statement Generator (FSG) report series, we continue to explain how FSG reports can be created that are reusable and easy to maintain. The FSG’s are powerful tools that can be used to produce a variety of traditional reports such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, income statements, expense analyses and gross margin reports.
Develop master report components that can be combined and reused for generating different reports. Use meaningful names that describe the contents of the component by the row set name. These do not print on the report.
- All names must be unique. For example, do not have a row set named “Balance Sheet” and a report named “Balance Sheet”.
- Do not use names such as “Test Row Set” or Test 1.
- Row Set Names identify which rows are included in the row set. For instance, a row set name might include “Summary of Revenue and Expense Accounts”. The Row Set Name should be followed by an “R” to distinguish it from the report name.
- Column Set Names indicate the type of report such as “Company Consolidation”, ”Rolling Monthly”, or “Budget/Variance Comparison”.
- Content Set Names should identify the sort criteria, such as “Cost Centers 100-500″ or “Company 01″.
- Row Order Names should state which row order display characteristics will be used, such as “Cost Center and Account Values” or “Account Descriptions”.
- Report Names should be similar to the row set name (“Balance Sheet,” or “Expense Analysis”). Report Set Names should reflect when the group of reports are usually run, such as “Month-end Closing”, “Yearly Audit”, etc.
- Row and Column Names do not print on the report. They are used primarily for identifying the row or column when doing calculations. Therefore, the row name should be descriptive of the type of row (assets header, cash title, A/R detail, shares outstanding hidden, equity calculation, expenses total) or the type of column (Q1, Company 02, YTD, total, etc.)