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EFaru Crystal Sales Commission Report Design Overview

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Andrew Karasev

Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1505

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: EFaru Crystal Sales Commission Report Design Overview Reply with quote

Major accounting applications such as SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics have Sales commission accruing functionality and reporting. However it is often the case when your commission formulae are complex and you have to do calculations outside of the commission login in your Corporate ERP. For example if you are selling advertising minutes your cost might be negotiated for each calendar month with media portal. It might be not practical updating the cost for each item in the inventory control module. You would rather prefer monthly cost custom table. Gross profit and commissions should then be based on that custom table. Also there might be required quarterly or monthly sales volume quota or even tiered percentage or you may name your formula. Crystal Reports is perfect tool and such reports are one popular list. Letís come through design best practices and recommendations:

1. Design and test SQL query prior to beginning work with layout. As selection formula is sophisticated it is recommended to test results first in SQL Querying tool. In the case of Microsoft SQL Server it is Management Studio. Try to implement formula in SQL Select statement first and if you think it did work go ahead and envelop your Select statement with SQL View. There are certain situations where you have to appeal to SQL Cursor or depend on temporary table in your tables join. Here you can do it in SQL Stored Procedure where parameters and final result set are available in your report designer. Avoid such tools as design wizard as they are good for self-study but do not have the power of Structured Query Language. If you deploy wizard there are chances that linking is not efficient and you have to rebuild final layout from scratch apologizing for your learning curve time spent

2. Combining several database platforms. This is possible strategy where you have your ERP application in MS SQL Server and your commission formula sensitive data for the month in another database, Microsoft Access or MySQL for example. Such instruments as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server allow you to create cross-platform (sometimes referred as heterogeneous) Select Query where you are linking alien database via ODBC connection mechanism. It is OK to base your report on cross-platform SQL view or Stored Procedure. Ecommerce B2B and B2C companies often host ecommerce portal and shopping cart in Linux on PHP and MySQL platforms. MySQL is ODBC compliant and open for cross-platform Select statement

3. Changing commission formula. Letís assume that you had reliable report for several years and now you want to change accrual formula. It is a way easier to do it in SQL Stored Procedure or View without even the need to open report designer. If you have tables linked directly in report designer it might be a nightmare to read body or group level restriction scripts and try to adjust the logic there. Letís take a look at several Accounting and Corporate MRP and ERP platforms

4. SAP Business One. As you may know SAP recently bought Business Object and with version 8.8X CR is recommended report design tool. SAP B1 is very flexible in the sense that you can create user defined table directly in its settings and table access interface is created by application logic automatically. You can also extend existing tables in SB1 such as Order Header and Line to include user defined fields. If you do it that way amazingly table structure is changed and new fields are added to the table in SQL database. So you may consider a strategy where you are moving your commission formula into user defined fields and tables directly available via SAP BO user interface

5. Microsoft Dynamics GP formerly referred as Great Plains Dynamics. Beginning with version 8.0 Microsoft Business Solutions offers Great Plains on MS SQL Server platform exclusively. Earlier versions such as 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 were also available on Ctree/Faircom and Btrieve later one rebranded as Pervasive Software SQL 2000. Commission sensitive tables are SOP30200 (SOP Header), SOP30300 (SOP Lines). If you are on old version and have to connect to Pervasive SQL database via ODBC you need to produce so called Data Definition Files abbreviated as DDF

6. Report distribution list. If you have your sales people on Payroll as employees there is no need for perfect graphic in printed or distributed as PDF file layout. However if you are franchisor and mailing reports to your franchisees advanced graphics might be required. Crystal Reports are friendly to most of the graphical file formats, such as BMP, JPG, GIF as well as Adobe Flash files (SWF). We recommend Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, Adobe Illustrator for Logo design and Adobe Flash CS for producing SWF banners

7. How to find report design firm. In our opinion there are no restrictions on consulting company location as modern internet allows such tools as web session, phone and Skype conferences. If you have hard time to locate local talents, feel free to appeal to USA and Canada nationwide Crystal Design consulting and programming market

8. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904 (for international customers, where our representatives pick up the phone in Naperville and St. Joseph, MI call center) We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed)

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space. Local service is available in Chicago metro from Naperville and Villa Park locations. By the nature of our service we are available USA and Canada nationwide via web sessions and phone and Skype conferences
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