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August 24, 2020 10:00AM

Introduction to the Spreadsheet Server Ribbon

It’s no surprise that Excel and other query tools are an important part of day-to-day functionality. But if your financial reports exist independently from your database, you can probably relate to some of these pain points:

  • Wasted labor hours and dollars spent manually extracting needed information, affecting your bottom line and keeping your employees from working on other important tasks
  • Increased potential for errors due to manual extraction, including double entries
  • Outdated and/or inaccurate figures due to the time it takes to extract needed information
  • Requirement for a separate data warehouse

Fortunately, there is a way to pull data from your accounting database, alleviating the above pain points and saving you time and money.

Spreadsheet Server Overview

Spreadsheet Server is an Excel add-in. You’re able to use standard Excel functions like charting, text formatting, and formulas while creating and maintaining your reports. With only a few clicks, users can easily pull live accounting data into Excel. This means users can stop running reports and exporting data into Excel, only to find that the data has to be exported again because it is out-of-date.

Additionally, users can leverage groupings that are set up in the accounting system, preserving a single point for maintenance for these system reporting features and groups:

  • MRI—financial formats, project, portfolios, and property types
  • Yardi—segments and attributes

Spreadsheet Server clients will experience the following benefits:

  • Keep working papers in Excel while pulling in live data from MRI/Yardi
  • Decreased involvement by your IT team since users can now create reports
  • Quickly generate and distribute reports and other documents directly from Excel
  • Construct dashboards and trending analyses from financial, leasing, and other operational data
  • Training for new users takes as little as one day and potentially pays off in saved labor days due to Spreadsheet Server automation

Introduction to the SS Ribbon

We will be reviewing commonly used buttons on the v20.1 Spreadsheet Server ribbon (previous versions may look different). You’ll notice most buttons across the Spreadsheet Server ribbon have a quick button (at the top) as well as a dropdown arrow (below). The quick button allows you to execute the first option in the dropdown list with a single click.



Cache: Similar to an internet browser, Spreadsheet Server has a cache (stored memory) of previous calculations. To clear the cache and recalculate data, simply click the Cache dropdown > select Clear Cache and Recalculate > then select All, Current Sheet, or Selected [cells].

Drill Down: This allows users to “drill” into a General Ledger balance in your working paper. Drill Down allows you to sort, filter, and export data as needed to tie GL balances or find a specific Journal Entry. Some transactions can be drilled down further—for example, you can drill further into Accounts Payable data from the General Ledger data.

Expand GL Row: Enables you to insert General Ledger details into your spreadsheet to help explain the General Ledger amounts shown in your financial reports. There are many ways to analyze the data in your working papers.

Collapse GL Row: Collapses the inserted Expand GL rows.

Hide Rows: Hides rows with zero balances.

Query: Requires a gold or platinum license. This feature allows users with gold licenses to access existing queries and users with platinum licenses to create custom queries from your accounting database using Query Designer.

And, finally, one of my favorite features of Spreadsheet Server...

Distribution Manager: Enables Spreadsheet Server users to automate distributing and/or publishing of reports to various outputs (i.e., PDF, Excel, CSV, Word, HTML, email distribution). Once set up, Distribution Manager allows you to quickly distribute recurring reports with a single click, which can be accessed by both Spreadsheet Server and non-Spreadsheet Server users.

Integrating Spreadsheet Server into your system can be a game-changer for both you and your employees, potentially saving time, money, and stress.

Have more questions about Spreadsheet Server and how it can serve your business? Want a demo or additional training? Contact us—we’re here to help.