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Add Time Contexts

Explains how to add time context to OfficeConnect reports and introduces the concept of OfficeConnect time contexts.

In OfficeConnect, a context is a beginning balance or time period to date that you apply to a report's data. Period to date shows the running totals up to the time element selected and beginning balances shows the total of the prior period. Add contexts to any report that has both account and time elements.

Basic Steps to Add Contexts

To add contexts to a report:

  1. Start OfficeConnect and open a new or existing report.
  2. In the Reporting pane's Elements tab, click Time to expand it.
  3. Click Context to see the options available to you.  

The contexts available to your report depend on how your administrator set up your instance's calendar. A common calendar might have the following context options: 

Common context elements available

  1. Drag and drop a context element in one of the following ways:
    • In the same column, row, or cell as the time element. 
    • In any column, row, or cell when time is a workbook or worksheet filter.
    • In any row when time is a column or in any cell of that column.
    • In any column when time is a row or in any cell of that row.

Best Practice: Add context and time elements to the same column, row, or cell.  

  1. Refresh the report.

How Contexts Work

Beginning Balance

Beginning balance is the balance at beginning of the time period, instead of the end. For example, the beginning balance of May 2017 is the balance at the end of April 2017. 

In OfficeConnect, the beginning balance is based on the default planning period of your instance's GL accounts. If your GL accounts are planned monthly, the Quarter Beginning Balance is the last month of the prior quarter. For example, May 2016 with the Quarter Beginning Balance­ context shows the data for March 2016.

In the example, see how the data in online sheet at the top is displayed in the OfficeConnect report below it. The report at the bottom has May 2016 as a time element in all the columns and contexts, as labeled, in columns C-E:

Shows the planning data that populates the beginning balances in the report

Period to Date

Period to date calculates running totals as of a specific date. YTD as of May 2017 calculates the total of January through May of 2017. Period to date works best with periodic accounts, rather than cumulative (monthly delta) accounts because the values in a cumulative account are already showing period to date data. 

In OfficeConnect, period to date calculates from the beginning of the context period (week, month, and so on) to the end of the last time element. In the example, January, February and March have a Quarter to Date context, so the report displays the sum of months from the beginning of Q1 through each month: 

Running totals with period to date

Best Practice: For period to date contexts, use time elements that are smaller than the period to date context period. For example, use Quarter to Date or Year to Date for month time elements. If you use Month to Date for a quarter time element, OfficeConnect corrects it for you: see Contexts for Equal or Larger Duration. 

Context with Multiple Time Elements

When you add a context to a location with multiple time elements, the report shows data based on the latest time element.

In the example, February 2016 and May 2017 are in column C with a YTD context. The report applies the context to the latest time, May 2017, and shows the running total of January through May of 2017.

February 2016 and May 2017 are in Column D with a Quarter Beginning Balance context. The report finds the beginning balance based on the latest time, May 2017. The beginning balance of May's quarter, Q2, is the last month of Q1, March 2017.

Shows the data source in planning for the different report contexts

Context with Time of Equal or Larger Duration

When you add context to a time element of an equal or larger duration, OfficeConnect converts the time element to logically work in the report.

Period to Date Example

Scenario: A report with FY2016 time element and a Quarter to Date context element,

Report Logic:

  1. Splits 2016 by Quarter according to the context.
  2. Selects the latest period of the context within the time element: Q4.
  3. Totals the next smallest period: months within Q4.

Report Shows:  the total of October, November and December as the QTD of 2016.

Beginning Balance Example

Scenario: An instance with Months as the GL default and a report with FY2016 time element and a Quarter Beginning Balance context element.

Report Logic:

  1. Splits 2016 by Quarter according to the context.
  2. Selects the latest period of the context within the time element: Q4.
  3. Finds the previous quarter's beginning balance: 2016 Q3. 

Report Shows: the ending balance of September 2016. 

Available Period to Date Contexts

  • Period to date options include all time periods on your calendar, except the smallest. 
  • Beginning balance options include the time period set up for your instance's GL accounts and anything larger. 


Calendar  GL Accounts Beginning Balance Options Time Period to Date Options
months > quarters > years month months, quarters, years quarters, year
days > weeks > months > semi-year > year semi-year semi-year, year weeks, months, semi-year, year

Remove a Context

  1. Select the row, column, or cell that contains the context element you want to delete.
  2. Go to the Reporting pane and click the Review tab.
  3. Right-click on the context element and click Delete
  4. Refresh the report.
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