Introduction to the new Financial Consolidations and Close Cloud Service
Report from Collaborate 16.
Early next month, Oracle will release the latest of it’s EPM cloud offering – this time focusing on close and consolidation. It will be called the Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service or FCCS.
You may notice that Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service has 3 C’s, but the official acronym will have only 2 C’s. I guess it’s up to you to pick which one is silent.
The main purpose of this tool is to:
- Address management and legal entity consolidations needs for a broad spectrum
- Provide significant out of the box functionality with limited need for customization
- Provide out of the box calculations, hierarchies and reports for quick deployments.
- Offer built-in task orchestration for management of overall process
- Allow flexible robust reporting
- Integrate with other EPM cloud offerings
It is important to note that this is not Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) in the cloud. This is confusing to many as this is the current Cloud landscape:
- Oracle Planning and Budgeting on the Cloud (PBCS) is Hyperion Planning on-prem offered as a Software as a Service.
- Account Reconciliations Cloud Service (ARCS) is the Account Reconsolidation Module within the close suite on-prem offered as a Software as a Service.
- Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service (EPRCS) is a NEW TOOL (Not Hyperion Financial Reporting)
- Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service is a NEW TOOL (Not HFM)
As a matter of fact, FCCS is actually built on top of the PBCS cloud framework… with the same architecture based on Essbase as the data storage technology, unlike HFM which stores data relationally.
Why two tools?
HFM is great for doing anything you want. It’s flexible and customizable. If you don’t like how the standard consolidations are done – write you own. It’s great for complex situation and unique environments that need to make a consolidation tool fit the needs of the business.
FCCS takes the opposite approach. The target is for customers with general consolidation needs in fairly normal situations that want a simple out of the box tool that has standard calculations, standard reports, etc.
The idea of FCCS is to simplify the process into the two basic steps: Consolidate and Translate… that’s it. HFM has a bunch of other options in the process.
The first release of FCCS will have these functional activities:
- Predefined dimensions
- pre-built forms and reports
- standard consolidations and eliminations
- current translations and FX adjustments
- built-in KPI ratio analysis
- Custom calculations using member formulas
- Automated cash flow
- Data source detail tracking with drill through
- Multi-GAAP support
- Journal entry and approval workflow
- Intercompany matching
- Data audit
- Close Calendar
- Supplemental schedules
It will have some standard tools consistent with the other cloud offerings:
- Application creation wizard
- Wizard UI asks questions and allows you to select options such as:
- Fiscal year and calendar specification
- Single or multi currency
- Enable what features you want:
- Types of data source
- Support for intercompany
- Enable journals
- Cash flow analyses
- Multi-GAAP Reporting
- KPI ratio Reporting
So, basically, tools that make it easy to stand-up an application using the features you want and hides the features you do not want. Currently you can add features, but cannot subtract so you will want to be careful.
There will be 11 pre-defined dimensions such as scenario, year, period, view, currency, etc. you may define only up to 2 custom dimensions. Included are a couple of interesting dimensions. There is a Consolidations dimension (similar to the HFM Value Dimension), which tracks consolidations, and a Data Source dimension, which tracks the source of data.
For example the Consolidation Dimension Tracks Calculations and locked status:
- Consolidations status:
- no data
- Systems Changes
- Translation needed
- Locked Status
- Not started
- Not locked
There will be built-in compliance rules to ensure one user cannot do everything. For example, journal submitters cannot also be the approver of the submission.
Of course, all the history and auditing will be in place. You will easily be able to see all the historical transactions – who posted, approved, submitted, etc.
Standard reports will be available such as an Intercompany matching report. You will be able to kick out reports in PDF, Excel, etc. You will not be able to create your own reports.
There are some options for data entry:
- Manual input
- Data import
- Supplemental details
- Data Management (a kind of FDMEE-lite built in to FCCS)
- On-prem FDMEE (but you will have to own this on-prem)
There will be limited UI Customizations, like the rest of the cloud products such as defining a landing page, creating customized announcements, and editing some user preferences.
The main screen is familiar. When you log in you see the basic tiles or “cards” where you can launch the different functional pieces. FCCS will come with the following main tiles:
- Data analysis
On the left you will see an area for announcements, as well as a list of your immediate tasks that are hot-linked to the corresponding action.
There are three kinds of Dashboards
- Close overview dashboards
- Compliance dashboards
- Financial Dashboards.
The close overview dashboard keeps track of the overall close items.
- Number complete, incomplete tasks
- Number of Journals complete/incomplete
- Supplemental data complete/incomplete.
- Overall percentage complete for entire close.
The Compliance Dashboard will show alerts for things that are due/late. It shows the percentage approved on time or late, and it does so by user, so you know who to go beat up. In this case, we see Bob Smith is a real s slacker.
There are some standard Financial Dashboards as well.
The Cash Flow Dashboard allows you to show cash flow and filter by entities, by currency, by periods, etc. You can see cash flow by month, by quarter, etc. All sub dashboards can be drilled into. Similarly, an Income Dashboard is available.
These dashboards follow the Standard dashboard format for Oracle Cloud: they have a section on top with summarized key metrics, with sub dashboards below to interact with the data.
When looking at data status, can edit data and, plus launch a bunch of actions, see supporting detail, or quickly jump out and interact with it inside excel like via Smartview.
What’s cool is that data viewing and chart views are all on the same screen. Plus actions can be launched directly such as kicking off a consolidation.
FCCS introduces Journal groups, so you can create grouping and categories of Journals for easier navigation and organization.
Within the Journals, you can launch actions such as submit, reject, approve, post, etc.
There are standard available reports such as:
- Cash flow
- Income statement
- Income statement trends
- Journal reports
- Balance Sheet
- Intercompany reports
You can hard code elements in the report, but there is a lot that can be selectable.
The Console Tab is for administrators. End users will not even see it as an option. Here is where we can define valid intersections. Just a note, you have to do it one by one, and cannot bulk upload valid intersections.
In the Settings Tab you can define Announcements – with different start and stop times so a different message can be displayed depending on the date and time complete with formatted text like color, italics, etc.
As you would expect there is also a comprehensive Academy. It will contain videos and tutorials, 2-3 minutes overviews on specific topics. Oracle will continuously add content via updates and patches.
There will be a way for users and administrators to provide direct feedback to oracle and get support. When you click on support, in the background, the system will compile current screen shots, and logs that will be automatically attached to the trouble ticket for fast resolution.
One last note about FCCS: You will have to manage your own historical data and close snapshots … so if you want historical backups or snapshots to capture the system, say, at the end of each month and store them for historical tracking, you will need to do that extract and send to on prem for safe keeping.
Stay tuned for more updates and Roadmaps from Collaborate 16.