Customer Case Study

APEX Companies

“One of the biggest benefits of Cosmos is its direct connection to Business Central, which made our leadership very comfortable. Unlike Power BI, which often led to data inaccuracies due to its less structured nature, Cosmos provides a single source of truth. This consistency has significantly improved the accuracy and reliability of our financial data.”

Suzanna Norman, Controller
APEX Companies

Results

Streamlined Multi-Entity Financial Reporting

Streamlined Multi-Entity Financial Reporting

Publishing a comprehensive financial reporting package for APEX and its 7 business entities used to take Suzanna 3 to 4 hours in Business Central due to the lack of formatting and manual data exporting. In Cosmos, it now takes less than 15 minutes – no formatting required.
Extensive Time Savings in First Week

Extensive Time Savings in First Week

APEX has only been using Cosmos for 2 weeks and they’ve already hit the ground running. As a highly technical user, Suzanna quickly completed the training videos and started building new reports in Cosmos immediately.
Increased Data Accuracy and Visibility

Increased Data Accuracy and Visibility

Previously building reports in Jet Reports, Business Central, and Power BI, Suzanna has now seen a significant improvement in data quality and accuracy. Cosmos’ seamless integration with Business Central provides one data source from the same model.

Reporting Challenges

APEX Companies (APEX), based in Oak Brook, IL, provides comprehensive transportation, logistics, and supply chain solutions, managing projects in distribution centers for major clients like Home Depot. The company operates seven different business entities, each with unique operational and financial reporting requirements.

Suzanna Norman, APEX’s Controller with over 10 years of technical report writing experience, initially used Jet Reports for Dynamics NAV. Despite her extensive coding knowledge, she found Jet Reports time-consuming and frustrating, lacking essential features like conditional formatting and dynamic reporting.

When APEX upgraded to Business Central, Jet Reports was no longer viable. Suzanna attempted to make Power BI fit their reporting needs, but it was challenging and tough to keep up with. While effective for analytics, Power BI is not practical for traditional financial reporting. It was a heavily manual, error-prone process where she could never trust the underlying data.

To fill this financial reporting gap, Suzanna and her team explored the built-in reporting capabilities of Business Central. According to Suzanna, “Financial reporting in Business Central is not very dynamic and the formatting is minimal at best. I had to export every report into Excel and reformat it, which took a lot of time every month.”

After months of struggling with reporting in Business Central and Power BI, Suzanna heard about Cosmos from a Cosmos partner. She met Anthony Bonaduce over Teams and after a short demo of the user interface and built-in reports, she instantly saw the value of the new cloud reporting solution for Business Central and started preparing a business case for the APEX ownership group.

Existing Problems:

  • Limited visibility into multiple entities
  • Lack of financial reporting capabilities
  • Risk of data inaccuracies and errors
  • Time-consuming manual data consolidation
  • Formatting issues with Business Central and Power BI reporting

Looking For:

  • Faster, more efficient report generation
  • Enhanced visibility across multiple entities
  • Accurate, reliable data and direct integration with Business Central SaaS
  • Seamless, dynamic reporting capabilities

“Unlike Power BI, all our reports in Cosmos retain their Excel functionality, including formulas. Cosmos allows us to maintain and reuse report templates confidently without having to rebuild them every month.”

Suzanna Norman, Controller
APEX Companies

Cosmos Impact

After just two weeks, APEX has transitioned almost all its financial reporting over to Cosmos. Thanks to Suzanna’s reporting writing and coding experience, she could complete the training videos quickly and start creating reports immediately. “The training videos that are in the Cosmos Portal were more than sufficient to start building reports in my opinion,” says Suzanna. “Whenever I’ve come across a complication with a more complex report, the Cosmos support team has been incredibly responsive and helpful.”

Suzanna has noticed some significant improvements to her typical report-building processes in a short time: “Unlike Power BI, all our reports in Cosmos retain their Excel functionality, including formulas. Cosmos allows us to maintain and reuse report templates confidently without having to rebuild them every month.”

She also highlighted its seamless Business Central integration and data normalization: “What has made our leadership team comfortable is the direct connection between Cosmos and Business Central. The risk of data inaccuracies was high in Power BI due to its unstructured nature, whereas Cosmos provides a single source of truth from the same data model. This has notably enhanced the accuracy and reliability of our financial data.”

So far, Cosmos’s speed and time savings have been substantial for APEX. The lightning-fast cloud reporting platform has simplified the report-building process and drastically reduced the time required to compile complete financial packages from hours to minutes. Suzanna published her first monthly financial reporting cycle of 15 reports for 7 separate entities in just 15 minutes. They were delivered in the format that her ownership team preferred, without any reformatting necessary. This has led to a huge weight off Suzanna’s shoulders, where she can concentrate on strategic operational and financial reports instead of troubleshooting data errors. As she puts it, “I don’t want to have to run a report and do anything with it – I want to run it and be done. Cosmos has given me that freedom.”

“The ease of use with Cosmos, even for complex reports, has been a game-changer. The direct connection to Business Central and the pre-built data models means less time spent on data preparation and more time on analysis – ensuring our financials are accurate and reliable.”

Suzanna Norman, Controller
APEX Companies

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