Posts

Posts

  • Kathleen Day
    Learn what's new for July 2019 (19.07)5.0
    Topic posted July 8, 2019 by Kathleen DayBlue Ribbon: 750+ Points, tagged Allocations, Calculation, Costing, Customer Profitability, PCM, Profitability Analysis in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    Learn what's new for July 2019 (19.07)
    Summary:
    Read about new features for July 2019, 19.06
    Content:

    I’m sure you have already read the latest What’s New post but here are my thoughts on the new items in 19.07:

    1. Our User Assistance (UA) team (fancy new name for the Documentation folks )  continues to pump out new videos.  There is an new overview tour of EPM Cloud

    Given the interest in last month’s post about our new EPM Standard Cloud and EPM Enterprise Cloud products, I highly encourage you to watch this video.

    1. Our UA folks are pumping out cool stuff left and right.  There is a new EPM Cloud Features Tool that lets you quickly find and filter features released each month for your EPM Cloud Business Process.  You can search all Business Processes or filter on individual ones.  The data goes back to the beginning of EPM Cloud in 2014!  The filtering capability is awesome and you can download it to a .csv or .html file for further searching locally.  This feature should be added to your bookmarks ASAP!
    2. Better Support for Rule Development and Testing
    3. Changes to Provisioning Terminology
    4. Removal of Support for Transport Layer Security Protocol 1.0 and 1.1

    And check out Upcoming Changes.....

  • Alecsandra Mlynarzek
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB): 4.Traceability
    Topic posted June 3, 2019 by Alecsandra MlynarzekBronze Trophy: 5,000+ Points, tagged Activity Based Costing, Allocations, Calculation, Costing, Customer Profitability, IT Costing, PCM, Profitability Analysis, Tip in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB): 4.Traceability
    Summary:
    Traceability and transparency within PCMCS - Out of the box features
    Content:

    Traceability is the buzz word in any regulated industry. Being able to prove the numbers is crucial to all businesses, but it can be very time consuming and complex for companies that operate across multiple and diverse lines of business with a large pool of Channels, Services, Customers or Products. 

    Where is this cost coming from?

    Why have I been charged so much more this month for the same service compared to last month ?

    These questions should be easy to answer. Unfortunately, not all profitability analysis technologies are able to support a quick turnaround for providing the required level of detail.

    PCMCS has more than one option to easily provide much-needed answers.

    The Rule Balancing report is one of numerous out-of-the-box (OOTB) features included with an Oracle Cloud Service subscription able to support data traceability and transparency. For more details about the type of information the report provides and to learn the ease with which it can be set up for your application, review this comprehensive blog post.

    Besides Rule Balancing reports, PCMCS OOTB features support transparency within allocations and/or profitability models with Traceability maps.

    The focus of the current post is how to access, build, and use Traceability maps.

    The order in which I am covering the PCMCS OOTB features is directly related to the Intelligence menu options available in PCMCS.  As a recap, the 6 menu options are listed below:

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 1  1.  Analysis Views (How to create them, customize them and use them here)

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 2  2.  Scatter Analysis (Setup and configuration covered here)

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 3  3.  Profit Curves (Usage and features covered here)

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 4  4.  Traceability

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 5  5.  Queries

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 6  6.  Key Performance Indicators

    The contents of this blog are based on the standard Bikes (BkML30) demo application, so you can follow the step-by-step details without having to go through an app setup from scratch. You can load and deploy this application directly from your PCMCS Instance through a couple of clicks via the Application menu using the + / Create button.

    Traceability – Intro

    The traceability maps, whether for PCMCS or in on-premise HPCM, allow users to graphically visualize the allocation flow. A chosen business segment can be traced through the allocation steps, either backwards or forwards, starting from a predefined point. Images  make up the map of a data point either flowing into the selection of members chosen by an end user to troubleshoot or flowing out of that selection into subsequent allocation steps.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 1

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 2

    Traceability is a great tool for troubleshooting specific intersections of detailed data such as base level accounts against a specific department. However, when there is a need to identify patterns or troubleshoot allocation results at a higher level, the Standard Profitability (the first on-premise version of the Profitability module) Traceability maps are not geared to handle such requests. In order to perform a high-level analysis in Standard Profitability models, users would have to revert to Smart View or Financial Reports.

    Being able to trace data at a summarized level of detail is the key difference between traceability in Management Ledger applications and traceability in Standard Profitability. Management Ledger allows end users to select the level within the hierarchy where they desire to launch or generate traceability, whether base level or otherwise.

    Traceability – Setup

    The starting point of any traceability map in Management Ledger is Model Views.  If you are interested in learning how to build and use Model Views, spend a few minutes reviewing this prior post.

    List of steps necessary to launch a traceability report in Management Ledger applications:

    1. Select a valid Point Of View (POV). The POV must contain data in order to display any traceability results.
    2. Choose a prebuilt Model View – example: IT Support Activities.
    3. Select a tracing dimension which will represent the detail that is the focus of your analysis (Accounts, Departments, Entities, Business Units, Segments, etc). The selected tracing dimension determines the focus or scope of your analysis and will be the one dimension that is displayed at base level detail or any other generation within the hierarchy.
    4. Trace Forward and Use Generation Selection boxes are selected by default.  Not selecting “Trace Forward” allows users to perform a “Trace Backward” action; in other words, figure out how the model arrived at a data value for a selected intersection, rather than how a data value was allocated out from that intersection to other recipienAlex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 3

    A report with the “Use Generation Selection” filter disabled will display the data at the base level for the Trace Dimension (in this example, Entity).

    Note: If a message is received indicating the Flash Player version is not up-to-date, check that pop-ups are enabled on the page to allow the download of the required update.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 4

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 5

    If the traceability report does not generate any results, check that the allocation rules were successfully completed for the referenced POV. Alternatively, if the POV calculated is successful, but data is not displaying on the Trace Screen, check that the application variables are correctly setup for Current Year, Period, and Scenario. Also ensure the Account dimension maps are specified in the Dimension Settings screen.

    Traceability – Display Options and Filters

    Traceability screens have 5 display options:

    1. Vertical (Top Down)
    2. Horizontal (Left to Right)
    3. Tree
    4. Radial
    5. Circle

    Within the traceability analysis, users can focus on a single rule. The tracing dimension in the previous example is Entity. The tracing dimension is the focus of the traceability reports – following how data was allocated into or out of a base level Entity.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 6

    To isolate a specific rule and separate it in a standalone diagram, click Shift+Enter or select the graphical option on the top of the Rule ID box.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 7

    End users have the choice of displaying the aliases/descriptions of the Entities rather than the code member names. If aliases have not been uploaded in the metadata of the application, then the report will still reference the member name codes, regardless of this choice.

    The following traceability report will display how operating expenses are reallocated /redistributed from each support entity (like IT, Facilities, IT, etc.) to the production entities using predefined driver configurations referenced in the Rule box.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 8

    Select the “Trace Forward” filter and keep constant all other prior selections in the initial traceability screen to display IT Support Activity charge out.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 9

    The “forward tracing” of IT allocations represents how data is allocated out to consuming departments such as Finance, Marketing, Outside Sales, Assembly, etc.  Remember the focus of the trace screen depends on the “Tracing dimension” selected. In this example, Entity was the tracing dimension.

    The top box, R0009, shows us the Rule Name relevant for IT allocations, the ruleset reference, the Driver used to allocate data to Targets – in this case : Desktop Laptop Users, regardless of Activity performed (NoActivity reference) as well as the amount / dollar value of the allocation : Allocation Out 1.338.000.

    Users have the flexibility to allocate data partially (to allocate only a % of the total value instead of 100%). That is what the Contribution % reference in the R0009 box represents. In this rule, the administrator/rule designer decided to fully allocate the IT cost to the consuming department instead of allocating it partially. Therefore, the 100% reference is displayed.

    In the case of the Bikes ML (Management Ledger) application, the Entity dimension has 4 generations. When talking about generations, the larger number, in this case number 4, represents the lowest level of detail. Generation 0 represents the Dimension name; Generation 1 represents the first set of children; Generation 2 represents the Children of Children, etc.

    Below is a radial display of the contribution charge out at base Entity level when no generation selection was made prior to launching the traceability report:

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 10

    We can see in this diagram how much each Target Department was charged for their IT bill.  The contribution from the IT department to each target is displayed as a %.

    Change the generation reference from 4 to 3. The higher the number of the generation, the more summarized the detail. The change of Generation reference will result in a summarization of the members of the Entity dimension to one level higher than seen previously.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Traceability - 5-21-19 - Image 11

    Notice how there is no longer an Entity breakdown at base level as we had in the previous screen when Generation 4 was selected, and the contribution percentages have been summarized to display the contribution % at a node level.

    In situations where a dimension has many levels within the hierarchies or an increased volume of base level members, the generation selection proves useful as it allows users to group data sets and display them in the same diagram without compromising the level of detail.

    Traceability – Customization

    As mentioned at the beginning of this post, PCMCS comes with several features to support traceability and troubleshooting, one of these features being the Rule Balancing report. In situations where the traceability maps are insufficient to support a meaningful conversation regarding bill out values, and a deeper dive into an individual rule is necessary, the Rule Balancing report covers such a request.

    While the traceability report has evolved in comparison to the Standard Profitability model, its usage is limited to situations where there is a need to troubleshoot specific data points while also having a visual representation as support.

    The most common alternative to graphical traceability reports are ad hoc reports in Smart View, either built from scratch or launched via the Rule Balancing report (described in detail in a previous post).

  • Ayeshan Peiris
    Supportive MDX Functions for PCMCS
    Topic posted March 8, 2019 by Ayeshan PeirisSilver Medal: 2,000+ Points, tagged Allocations in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    Supportive MDX Functions for PCMCS
    Content:

    Hi Experts,

    As per my knowledge there are only few MDX functions available to write member formulas or custom calc in PCMCS.I want to know about which MDX functions are currently available for PCMCS use? Will all the MDX functions be available in recent future? or please give us the roadmap.

    Regards,

    Ayeshan

  • Alecsandra Mlynarzek
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) Features: 2....5.0
    Topic posted February 28, 2019 by Alecsandra MlynarzekBronze Trophy: 5,000+ Points, tagged Activity Based Costing, Allocations, Calculation, Costing, Customer Profitability, IT Costing, PCM, Profitability Analysis, Tip in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) Features: 2. Intelligence and Dashboarding – Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis
    Summary:
    Out of the box features with PCMCS - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis
    Content:

    A few days ago, I shared a post regarding Rule Balancing reports usage and customization. This post builds on that basis and covers intelligence capabilities, some of which are only available in the Cloud version of the PCM software.

    There are 6 menu options when accessing the Intelligence menu within PCMCS.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 1  1.  Analysis Views

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 2  2.  Scatter Analysis

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 3  3.  Profit Curves

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 4  4.  Traceability

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 5  5.  Queries

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 6  6.  Key Performance Indicators

    This post covers the first two menu options to explain how to set up Analysis Views and how to use Scatter Analysis.

    Analysis Views

    Analysis Views are the first set of reports available to end users within the PCMCS user interface.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 7

    These views represent a way to predefine and save intersections of members for future review.  The selections within Analysis Views are open to all dimensions within the PCMCS application at various levels within the hierarchies. This is the first step you need to take towards building or defining a dashboard for your PCMCS application.

    If you cannot create or edit an analysis view, then you need to reach out to your PCMCS administrator in order to review and adjust your security settings.

    The example Analysis Views for this post are based on the “Demo Bikes” application that can be deployed with a few clicks in your PCMCS instance BksML30.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 8

    A data slice is a combination of rows and columns along with the page selection, which, in this case, is the Period dimension.

    Any dimension that is not specified in any of the 3 areas (row, column, page) will be read at top level and will be displayed in the settings menu.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 9

    The Add Filter section allows you to filter the columns based on specific numerical values. In this case, the columns are represented by the Product dimension selections.

    To create an analysis view, click on the plus (+) sign on the main menu. The three tabs displayed will allow you to define a name and description as well as the setup for row and column dimensions. You cannot select more than a dimension for either rows or columns.

    Within the Row dimension selection, you can leverage different formulas applicable to the hierarchies within PCM such as Children of member, Member and children, Level 0 descendants, etc.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 10

    Columns do not have options for member formulas beyond the usage of User preferences.

    The row dimension will allow you to display further information such as generation or level details. For example, for the Product dimension, we can display the generation 3 and 4 information alongside the level 0 members, allowing us to expand our analysis to different product categories, or types.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 11

    Selecting new members within the Analysis Views will not impact the original data definition. If you choose to display data for any month other than the one that was setup and saved in the Analysis view, you can do so because the Page parameter is open to end user modifications. If; however, you want to update and store a selection change within the analysis view, you must perform such update via the Edit menu instead of simply selecting a new parameter on the screen in view mode.

    You may need to utilize the concept of period ranges when using Analysis Views in order to dynamically reference specific members of your Period dimension.

    Defining a current period for the application is mandatory in order to be able to create formulas dependent on time. This action is available via the Application menu by selecting the Edit application option and navigating to the tab called Dimension settings. Here is where you can define the current Period and the Current Year for your PCMCS application.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 13

    These settings will be applied when using the “Single…” or “Current” selection options within Analysis Views. Single (-1) Level 0 selection represents, in this case, the month of May, since the current Period selection for the PCMCS application is June. The Single (-1) Level 1 selections return Q1, since June is in Q2.

    Scatter Analysis

    Scatter Analysis graphs will compare one member’s values against another member’s values. The two members selected must be within the same dimension. Your PCMCS Demo application may not have any sample Scatter Analysis graphs. However, you can create one by leveraging the Analysis Views at your disposal.

    You can launch Analysis Views from within Scatter graphs.

    Note that saved Scatter Analysis cannot be reused or referenced in dashboards. You should use this section to create graphs for ad-hoc use outside of the dashboarding capability.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 14

    If you need to include Scatter Analysis within your dashboards, you will have a corresponding menu item that allows you to create dashboards within the list of available items.

    You can select an existing Analysis view, but you must reselect your X-axis and Y-axis dimension references.

    Alex Mlynarzek - Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis - 2-28-19 - Image 15

    Conclusion:  PCMCS Intelligence – Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis

    While there are many alternative reporting solutions to use in conjunction with PCMCS applications, assuming that both time and money are of essence in any project implementation, it is safe to conclude that using the PCMCS OOTB reporting features would be cost effective as well as efficient. The Intelligence screens shared in this post are included in the PCMCS subscription cost, and any end user of a PCMCS application with the right level of access can take charge and build the desired reports, saving end users in a location accessible to their peers while spending no time in iterations of reporting requirements and data validations.

    The PCMCS OOTB reporting features support not only troubleshooting, but also detailed analysis and reporting within one screen.  Such capabilities should not be ignored as they will surely add meaningful insight into finance teams’ day-to-day use of PCMCS.

  • Alecsandra Mlynarzek
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) Features: 1. Rule...5.0
    Topic posted February 14, 2019 by Alecsandra MlynarzekBronze Trophy: 5,000+ Points, tagged Activity Based Costing, Allocations, Calculation, Costing, Customer Profitability, IT Costing, PCM, Profitability Analysis, Tip in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) Features: 1. Rule Balancing Reports
    Summary:
    Out of the box features with PCMCS - Rule Balancing reports- how to launch them, create extensions of such reports to enhance the data analysis capabilities in PCMCS and support traceability.
    Content:

    The other day, I was thinking about the times I used to study Finance, and specifically about a course regarding Interest and how it represents the value of Time. What is the cost, or value, of one’s time? – is it high, resulting in a higher interest rate per period, or is it low, resulting in a low interest rate per period? How much time am I willing to spend working in order to get that new car? How much time do I have before that competitor will outrun me and snatch that market share from me?

    This was how I started thinking about various out-of-the-box features (OOTB). Such features are often key in deciding whether to acquire a software/service/product because the one resource that we constantly complain about not having enough of is “time.”

    You are now reading the first blog post on OOTB features in PCMCS covering one of the most used Reports for data analysis as well as troubleshooting profitability calculation results. At the end of this blog post, you should know what Balancing reports are, where to find them, how to use them, and also how to further expand them with minimal time and effort invested.

    What are Rule Balancing Reports?

    Rule Balancing reports provide quick insight into the validity of the application results. These reports are powerful OOTB artifacts that can be further configured to cater to any custom application requirements in order to support validation of calculation results as well as contribution analysis and traceability.

    The PCMCS OOTB Rule balancing report is initially based on a Default Model View with a standard selection of upper level members for each dimension. Starting from this Default Model View, the administrators or users of the PCMCS applications can perform a deep dive analysis on more granular intersections and configure detailed reports for a ruleset or a group of rulesets they choose to investigate.

    The Default Rule Balancing report is available as soon as the application has been deployed, and it can be accessed via the Main Navigator menu found under the Manage section.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 1

    I will be using the default BikesML30 application to demonstrate the capabilities of the Rule Balancing reports. If you have loaded your sample application and cannot see any results in the Rule Balancing reports, check that you ran your end-to-end calculations for any given POV from the Manage Calculation Menu. The POV I have chosen for this demonstration is FY16, January, Actual Scenario.

    As you open the Rule Balancing menu, the Default Model View is the only view available when you initially set up your application and your allocation rules. Any other Rule Validation reports that you see within the Demo application besides the Default Model View have been built and configured outside of the out-of-the-box list of features.

    What are PCMCS Model Views?

    A Model View represents a predefined data slice within the PCMCS application; consider the model views as a set of selections of members for each dimension that displays only the relevant data points for a required intersection.

    Rule Balancing Report Example

    After running the entire set of allocation rules within the Demo BksML30 application, the Rule Balancing report should look like this:

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 2

    The description of each rule selected will be displayed along with the rule number. The rules will be displayed in the order that they were launched following the user-defined sequencing, regardless of the actual Rule Number/Rule ID that has been assigned.

    • The “Input” column enables users to confirm that what was loaded into the application matches the expected values received from the source system.

    • The Allocation In and Allocation Out columns validate the allocations performed by the application from both a balance perspective (Allocation In should be equal and opposite to Allocation Out) and a numeric one.  The balance aspect is particularly of interest when allocations are executed with custom calculation rules.  In these cases, two separate rules are typically required, one for the “credit out” and one for the “debit in.”  As such, there is a greater risk that the formulas for the outbound and inbound values will not produce amounts equal and opposite in total, thereby causing an undesired imbalance.  In these situations, the Allocation In and Allocation Out values are shown on two separate rows, and they quickly illustrate to the user the success of their calculations.

    Rule Balancing and Smart View Ad Hoc Reports

    Any highlighted data point/data value in the Balancing screen will allow you to further investigate the allocation step through a Smart View ad hoc report. These hyperlinks represent pre-built/pre-defined queries that point directly to the Essbase database, allowing you to further expand the analysis of a selected data point.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 3

    When you click on the highlighted number, a Smart View link will be downloaded to your workstation.

    As an example, you can see how the detail for Net Change looks like for the Custom calculation rule R0001 – Utilities Expense Adjustment in a Linked report in Smart View.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 4

    The column headers for the Rule Balancing report will list the relevant Balance dimension members. If there are members that are not populated, these will be automatically filtered out of the view. You can choose to display them by selecting View -> Columns and tagging the members you would like to display on your report – whether they have data or not.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 5

    For further information on what each of these Balance dimension members represent, check out my blog post on Demystifying the Balance dimension in PCMCS.

    You can view and edit the model view definition in the collapsed area between the POV and the Balancing report.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 6

    The Input data on this customized Model View is pertinent only to Operating Expenses rather than the entire pool of data. This is the reason that the total USD value may be different from data displayed on the Default Model View report.

    You can perform ad hoc edits to the Model View as you are using it, but none of the newly made selections will be stored. If you want to apply permanent changes to a specific Model View selection, you will have to edit the Model View in the corresponding menu.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 7

    Your Model Views can be defined in the same order of operations as your allocations, or you can choose to create Model Views that are more detailed and dive deeper into a custom grouping of rules, regardless of the ruleset to which they might belong. The only dimensions displayed in your Model View selection are the Business dimensions. POV, Balance, Rule, and Attribute dimensions are not represented and therefore are not open for selection. The data points you define in the Model view will apply to all relevant rules IDs that generated the new cells.

    Enhancing and Customizing Your Rule Balancing Reports

    In the Demo BikesML30 application, there are several standard Rule Balancing reports that are split by Ruleset while others are named “Trace.” The Trace Model views are built in order to support point troubleshooting of allocation areas that are either complex or open to high variation during each run.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 8

    If you want to use the Rule Balancing report values outside of the ad hoc capacity, you can export the report into XLS, but remember that such an export will not represent a Smart View report – it will simply be a listing of the information presented on the Rule Balancing screen, as some members displayed here do not have a direct equivalent in the application (Running Remainder, Running Balance). This export option can be found in the Actions menu, export to Excel, or by selecting the button in the below screen capture.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 10

    A new workbook is downloaded called RuleBalance, and the entire set of data displayed on your screen will be available in XLS.

    Alex Mlynarzek - PCM Rule Balancing - 2-7-19 - Image 9

    PCMCS Rule Balancing Drawbacks

    Rule Balancing does not allow filtering based on Attributes, UDAs, or Names.

    Rule Balancing hyperlinks open SmartView tabs called Linked View, and any new selections of links within the Rule Balancing report will overwrite the contents of the existing tab. If you start developing a report by using Rule Balancing, remember to always rename the tab in case you want to kick off another report for a secondary data point within the same workbook.

    Common Issues When Using Rule Balancing Reports

    “Rule Balancing Report Links Don’t Work”

    Your workstation must have Smart View installed before using the hyperlink feature within PCMCS. The latest Smart View version is available for download through the Navigator main menu under the Installations section.  For more guidance on generic EPM product patching, read the blog post Patch Today! Don’t Delay!

    When selecting a hyperlink in the Rule Balancing report, you should be able to see that a download has started. As you click on the downloaded content, a new Excel tab will open, and you will be prompted to enter your Cloud credentials in order to have access to the requested data point intersections. If you do not have Excel open at the time you are accessing the downloaded content, the prompt to enter your Cloud credentials may not appear on the screen.

    “I Can’t See Any Data in the PCMCS Rule Balancing Report.”

    If data is not displayed on the screen, you are looking at one of the following situations:

    1. There is no data loaded and/or calculated for the POV at the intersections you have defined in the Rule Balancing report. Check your job console to see if such tasks have been triggered and completed successfully.

    2. Your security setup is restricting you from seeing any data values. Reach out to your administrator to adjust data grants or application access.

    3. (This used to happen occasionally during on-premise implementations) If your Business dimensions are tagged as Label Only, check that the first child contains values. You may be able to see data at base level intersections within your application, yet the Rule Balancing report shows no vales due to the Dimension Type, Member Storage, or Aggregation operators you have defined in the metadata.

    “I Can’t Create a PCMCS Model View.”

    This restriction is based on provisioning. Reach out to your PCMCS Administrator for assistance with your profile or settings.

    Rule Balancing Wrap Up

    Rule Balancing reports are easy to set up and use.  They retrieve data quickly, are accessible to all application users through the same menu, and they should be the first stop during a model run to quickly identify if there were any issues with data allocations.

    Because Rule Balancing is a fast reporting tool with a predefined template OOTB, it is one of the commonly used troubleshooting reports for PCMCS, which can be leveraged for quick balance checks. It is also a mechanism for quick report building at detailed Rule level, a faster alternative to reading the Rule definition and manually replicating the intersections in a Smart View report.   Because these reports are system generated and their hyperlinks are based on application and rules set-up, there is no room for manual errors when building validations.

    Save precious time by leveraging the PCMCS OOTB functionality. In subsequent posts I will cover Intelligence screens (Analysis Views, Scatter Analysis, Profit curves, Traceability, and the setup of KPIs). If you have further questions on the usage of Balancing Reports within PCMCS, please reach out to our team of PCMCS experts at infosolutions@alithya.com.

  • Bryce Wied
    Internal Billing/Recharge Functionality
    Topic posted August 22, 2018 by Bryce WiedRed Ribbon: 250+ Points, tagged Allocations, Configuration, Financials, General Ledger, Help Center, Intercompany, Payables, Public Sector, Receivables, Tip in Core Financials > General Ledger & Intercompany public
    Title:
    Internal Billing/Recharge Functionality
    Summary:
    How do large institutions process internal payments between organizations/departments
    Content:

    Background:

    In the University setting, it is common to have various service units, such as IT Services, Catering, and Printing Services that provide goods or services to other areas of the organization, and that service must be billed for these internal service units to properly record expenses and internal revenue. The business process is quite similar to external customers procuring services from the Organization, but it does not produce AR nor real external revenue - it is just money changing hands within the organization. Additionally, how can the system transact the procurement of these goods and services, and appropriately charge the ordering/providing departments. We've identified a few ways to process these transactions, but still have a few issues with each:

    System Options:

    1. Use GL journal entries to re-allocate funds
      1. Example:
        1. Debit: $100 Ordering Unit Expense Account
        2. Credit: $100 Service Provider Unit Revenue Account
      2. Issues:
        1. This requires giving many people across the organization access to create journal entries
        2. To charge or fund a Project in PPM requires the use of a PPM Miscellaneous batch upload. This means uploading these charges is a bifurcated process based on whether the Service Unit or Provider Unit is related to a PPM Project.
        3. There is no way to procure the services that integrate well with a GL journal entry
    2. Use the Intercompany Module without AR/AP involvement
      1. Example:
        1. Debit: $100 Ordering Unit Expense Account
        2. Credit: $100 Service Provider Unit Revenue Account
      2. Issues:
        1. To charge or fund a Project in PPM requires the use of a PPM Miscellaneous batch upload. This means uploading these charges is a bifurcated process based on whether the Service Unit or Provider Unit is related to a PPM Project.
        2. There is no way to procure the services that integrate well with a GL journal entry
    3. Use the Procurement module requisitioning tool to order goods and services, then a zero-dollar AP invoice to charge the appropriate provider/receiver of goods and services
      1. Example Requisition:
        1. + $100 Ordering Unit Expense Account
        2. - $100 Service Provider Unit Revenue Account
      2. Example AP Invoice. The total is $0 with 1 positive and 1 negative invoice line.
        1. + $100 Ordering Unit Expense Account
        2. - $100 Service Provider Unit Revenue Account
      3. Issues:
        1. Oracle does not allow a negative requisition line
          1. This requires the AP invoice to be manually populated with the negative transaction amount after the req has turned into a PO and the service has been performed.

     

    Code Snippet:
  • Jack Desai
    ERP - Introduction to Financial Seeded Data Extracts:...
    Topic posted August 25, 2017 by Jack DesaiRed Ribbon: 250+ Points, tagged Accounting Hub Cloud Service, Allocations, Assets, Budgetary control, Cash Management, Collections, Compliance, Configuration, Expenses, Financials, General Ledger, Intercompany, Invoice Imaging, Payables, Period Close / Reconciliation, Public Sector, Receivables, Reports, Revenue Management, Sample Reports, Security, Setup / Administration, Subledger Accounting, Tip, Update, User Interface in Core Financials > Financials – General public
    Title:
    ERP - Introduction to Financial Seeded Data Extracts: September 7, 2017, 9 a.m. PT - Submit Questions
    Content:

    Submit your questions for the ERP - Introduction to Financial Seeded Data Extracts session to have them answered during the live event. Post your questions by posting a new comment to this topic.

    Please submit your questions by Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

  • Anurag Priyadarshi
    Data Model Comparison
    Topic posted October 23, 2017 by Anurag PriyadarshiRed Ribbon: 250+ Points, tagged Accounting Hub Cloud Service, Allocations, Assets, Budgetary control, Cash Management, Collections, Compliance, Configuration, Core HR, Expenses, Financials, General Ledger, Intercompany, Invoice Imaging, Payables, Period Close / Reconciliation, Public Sector, Receivables, Reports, Revenue Management, Sample Reports, Security, Setup / Administration, Subledger Accounting, Tip, Update, User Interface in Integrations and Extensions public
    Title:
    Data Model Comparison
    Summary:
    Data Model Comparison
    Content:

    Please let me know if someone has already done  : how to proceed with workshop on Fusion FINANCE, SCM data model and EBS OP version comparison for client understanding.

  • Alecsandra Mlynarzek
    Demystify the Balance Dimension in Profitability and Cost...5.0
    Topic posted January 14, 2019 by Alecsandra MlynarzekBronze Trophy: 5,000+ Points, tagged Activity Based Costing, Allocations, Calculation, Costing, Customer Profitability, IT Costing, PCM, Profitability Analysis, Tip, Transfer Pricing in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    Demystify the Balance Dimension in Profitability and Cost Management
    Summary:
    Understand how the Balance Dimension works in Management Ledger (PCMCS or HPCM) by defining each member within the dimension, its purpose, and the way the allocations flow is using these members.
    Content:

    Management Ledger models, whether Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM) or Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS), have been around for a few years, but I still receive emails asking for help with figuring out where the results are coming from. This request is often related to a lack of understanding of the Balance dimension. Here are some key pieces of information regarding this system dimension, how it works, how it should be used when defining allocations and integration jobs, and how to leverage it to troubleshoot your allocations.

    Before we have a look at each member within this dimension, let’s go over some basic rules that govern the creation of an HPCM or PCMCS Management Ledger (ML) application:

    1. All HPCM or PCMCS ML applications must contain just one dimension named Balance
    2. Members and their properties cannot be edited or removed.
    3. You don’t need to import a file in order to load/setup the Balance dimension; members are created automatically when deploying an application for the first time.
    4. You can choose to rename the Balance dimension (translate it into another language, for example) when you first set up the application in PCMCS.

    For the most part, the Balance dimension members are quite easy to follow and understand, but familiarity with usage guidelines helps to avoid issues during development and supports troubleshooting.

    Demystifying the Balance Dimension in PCM - Image 1

    • Input — Used to store data input/pre-allocated data sets, whether these are pool or driver data sets. Data is generally loaded against this member in combination with the NoRule member. Input can be populated through custom calculations, but it is generally advised to keep it dedicated to valid data loads/input rather than for storing calculated or allocated results.
    • Adjustment In —Adjustment In can be used for manual adjustments to the Input data prior to running allocations. In this case, the Adjustment In data will be loaded against the NoRule member. Any manually submitted data on the Adjustment member against a Rule ID member may be eliminated during the subsequent data loads and calculations. Adjustment In can also be used during custom calculations to store intermediary values or calculated driver data.
    • Adjustment Out —Same usage as for Adjustment In, but with a negative data value.
    • Allocation In — This member will be populated against the Destination or Target intersection for the allocation rule.
    • Allocation Out —This member will be populated against the Source intersection of the allocation rule and the corresponding Rule ID member, or against a predefined “Offset” intersection that is custom defined for a given rule.
    • Allocation Offset Amount — Displays an amount that further reduces an Allocation In member, if one was used in addition to the Allocation Out. I have provided an example of how this member is populated and used in a lower section of this post.
    • Net Change — represents the total change for a given intersection, regardless of alternate offset actions.
    • Net Balance – sum of Input (initial data loaded) and any Net Changes made to the same intersection.
    • Remainder — Displays the difference between Allocation In and Allocation Out plus Allocation Offset Amount, if any.
    • Balance — The amount resulting when adjustments, allocations, and offsets are considered.

    Rules assign funds to destinations based on the way you have defined the allocation logic (member selections, sequencing, concurrency, etc.). “Allocations in” and “allocations out” are being generated upon executing the calculations of the Profitability model. Each pair of adjustments and allocations (the “in” and the “out”) should result in a zero sum in order to balance the transaction. The Input member is affected by each adjustment and allocation. The difference between what was taken from Input and what remains at the end of an allocation will be accounted for in the Remainder.

    The Remainder member is the source of your allocations, not the Net Balance member, as most would think.  Remainder takes into consideration alternate offsets and ensures we do not perform a double booking or a double allocation of the same data source, regardless of where the offset was applied.

    To further explain the Balance dimension usage, I have used an example from the Bikes default application BksML30, which can be deployed into PCMCS through a few clicks.

    The original application had only one adjustment Rule populating the Adjustment In member. I have copied that rule and reused it to demonstrate the same usage for the Adjustment Out member. Remember the adjustment out aggregation operator is still +, so if you want to offset data sets, you must use the appropriate signage for your data; in other words, negate the result either via a multiplication with -1 or by simply adding a – to the formula.

    The new ruleset contents will look like this:

    Demystifying the Balance Dimension in PCM - Image 2

    Our initial data set is loaded on the Input/No Rule combination for the two accounts – Rent and Utilities – on the intersection with Corporate Entity.

    The data adjustments are stored against Adjustment In and Adjustment Out.

    Demystifying the Balance Dimension in PCM - Image 3

    In order to further illustrate how to correctly follow the allocation process, I split the original Reassignment rule into 2 rules, each dedicated to its own account. I also updated the metadata by adding two new Account siblings to Rent and Utilities as offsets for each account.

    Alternate offsets are simply intersections of members where you would like to store the offset data point, if it should differ from the source of the allocation.

    The Remainder member demonstration is connected to the usage of alternate offsets, and before we go into the details of the numerical example, I would like to list out a few rules for setting up alternate offsets:

    • Alternate offsets are available for selection only in standard allocation rules. For Custom calculations, your Offset custom calc would have to be pointed to the appropriate “alternate” target.
    • All dimensions, including the ones predefined in the rule context, are repeated in the Offset screen as soon as you select “Alternate Offset Location.” You must select a single base level member for at least one dimension.
    • There is no “Same As Source” (SAS) option for offsets. The dimensions that must be offset on the Source intersections can be left blank in the Offset screen selections.
    • If each source member selection has its own offset, you will have to split the rule up into as many granular rules as needed in order to cover the individual offset selection. For example, if you have 6 accounts, each with its own offset account equivalent, you will have to create 6 standard allocation rules to create the individual offset selection for each account.

    Going back to the numerical example and the usage of the Offset tab, in the update rule I have selected the below member intersections:

    Demystifying the Balance Dimension in PCM - Image 4

    The Source account was Rent, target is “Same as Source” (SAS), and the alternate offset account is FACOffset_Rent.

    After the rules are executed, we will see the results below; focus on the Allocation Offset Amount member and the Allocation Out Member.

    Even though the offset was applied to an alternate account for both Rent and Utilities, the allocation engine correctly identifies the Remainder of these two accounts as being 0.

    1. The first step behind the scenes is for the allocation to correctly distribute the data to the target intersections.
    2. The second step is to perform the offset on the intersection specified by the user, if different from the source intersection.
    3. The third step is to copy the Allocation Out value onto the Source Intersection members, on allocation Offset Amount member. This final step is performed via a custom calculation embedded in the PCMCS generated scripts which ensures there will be no double counting of pool data.

    So even though we “moved” data from the Rent account, Corporate Entity, to other Entities, on the same target Account, the offset was performed on an alternate member. This allows us to create a report with Rent (Input), Rent (Allocation In) and FACOffset_Rent (Allocation out).

    This is not a typical example of how alternate offsets are used from a functional standpoint, but it helps explain the mechanics behind the scenes. This alternate offset option is mostly used in cases where a Bill Out account and a Chargeback account will differ and allows users to trace which portion of a chargeback account is coming from different source accounts.

    The final goal of an allocation is to generate a Remainder member with a value of 0. This ensures the total allocation of a pool data set, whether this was loaded or received from prior allocation steps. If the Remainder member has a positive value, then it is indicating that you have not fully utilized your pool data. If the Remainder member has a negative value, then you have overutilized your pool data which may be, in some cases, intentional.

    Demystifying the Balance Dimension in PCM - Image 5

    In situations where you will not give access to the PCMCS ML application to users who need to understand the various components of a data point flowing through the allocation steps, due to licensing costs or other considerations, the usage of alternate offsets throughout your allocation flow might be helpful.

    When talking about reporting out of PCMCS ML, our clients always emphasize simplicity, and we often get requests to remove the Rule and Balance dimensions from final reporting solutions, to cancel the noise and give finance users solely the core information. In such situations, the usage of alternate offsets has proved beneficial as these finance users can still follow the flow and components of a cost without having to deal with the rule by rule detail. If further investigation is necessary, this can be pursued within the PCMCS ML model itself rather than in the external reporting solution.

    If you need further help with figuring out the purpose and usage of the Balance dimension within PCMCS, email us at infosolutions@alithya.com. Our PCM Center of Excellence team is ready to share leading practices and industry-specific solutions that accelerate your ROI and expand the capabilities of your chosen profitability software.

  • Alecsandra Mlynarzek
    Oracle Profitability and Cost Management Solution:...5.0
    Topic posted July 27, 2018 by Alecsandra MlynarzekBronze Trophy: 5,000+ Points, tagged Allocations, Calculation, PCM in Enterprise Performance Mgmt > Profitability and Cost Management public
    Title:
    Oracle Profitability and Cost Management Solution: Introduction and Differentiators
    Summary:
    In this blog post I am explaining what is PCMCS, referencing the product history as well as its main strengths
    Content:

    What is Oracle Profitability and Cost Management?

     

    Organizations with world class finance operations generally can close in a minimal number of days (2-3 in an ideal organization) and have frequent and efficient budget and forecast cycles while also visiting different ‘what if’ scenario analysis along the way. These organizations often deliver in-depth profitability and cost management analysis reports at fund, project, product, and/or customer level, completing the picture of an accurate close cycle.

    Oracle offers packaged options in support of all these finance processes, but the focus of this post will be Profitability and Cost Management (PCM).

    One of the most painful and time-consuming processes for any business entity is PCM analysis. The reasons why cost allocations processes are time consuming are too many to count – from model complexity to data granularity, driver metric availability, rigidity of allocation rules, delays with implementing allocation changes, and almost impossible-to-justify results. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect, let’s focus on what can be done to alleviate such pain and energize the cost accounting department by giving it access to meaningful and accurate data and empowering users through flexibility to perform virtually unlimited “what if” analysis.

    The PCM Journey

    The initial Profitability and Cost Management product, like almost all Oracle EPM offerings, was released on-premise in July 2008 and is known as Oracle Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM). 10 years later, HPCM continues to deliver an easier way to design, maintain, and enhance allocation processes with little to no IT involvement as it has since it was initially launched, but with a greater focus on flexibility and transparency. The intent for HPCM was to be a user-driven application where finance teams would be involved beginning with the definition of the methodology all the way to the steps needed to execute day-to-day processing. Any cost or revenue allocation methodology is supported via HPCM while graphical traceability and allocation balancing reports support any query from top-level analysis all the way down to the most granular detail available in the application.

    There are 3 HPCM modules available on-premise today. Each was designed and developed for a different type of allocation methodology or complexity need:

    1. Simple allocations – Detailed Profitability (a.k.a. single-step allocations. Example: From Accounts and Departments, allocate data to same Accounts, new target Departments, and to granular Products/SKU based on driver metric data. This module allows for a very high degree of granularity with dimensions >100k members, but it does not cater to complex driver calculations or to allocations requiring more than 1 stage).
    2. Average to high complexity allocations – Standard Profitability (a.k.a. multi-step allocations of up to 9 iterations/stages, allowing for reciprocal allocations. Example: Allocations from accounts and departments to channels, funds, and other departments. Allocation of results from previous steps are redistributed onto Products, Customers etc. Driver metric complexity is achievable with this module; custom generated drivers are available as well, but there are limitations regarding driver data granularity, granularity of allocated data, and overall hierarchy sizing).
    3. High complexity allocations – Management Ledger (unlimited number of steps, high number of complex drivers, custom driver calculations, custom allocations, more granularity, and increased flexibility in terms of defining and expanding allocation methodology). This is the last module added to the HPCM family and the only one available as SaaS Cloud Offering.

    The Cloud is Your Oyster

    In 2016, Oracle introduced the Cloud version of HPCM: Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS).  PCMCS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, and as with many of Oracle’s Cloud offerings, PCMCS includes key improvements that are not available in the on-premise version, and enhancements are made at a much faster pace.

    There is currently no indication that the two HPCM modules – Detailed and Standard Profitability – will make their way to the Cloud, since increased allocation complexity as well as increased hierarchy sizing supported by the Management Ledger module caters to most, if not all, potential requirements.

    The Management Ledger module included with the PCMCS SaaS subscription has a core strength in the ease of use and flexibility to change, enabling finance users to define and update allocation rules and methodologies via a point-and-click interface. While the initial setup is advisable to be performed with support from an experienced service provider, the maintenance and expansion of PCMCS (Management Ledger) models can be achieved by leveraging solely functional resources, in most cases. “What-if” scenario creation and analysis has never been easier. Users not only can copy data and allocation methodologies between scenarios, but they can also update the data sets and allocation steps independently from a standard scenario, generating as many simulation models as they need, gaining increased insight into decision making.

    Standard Profitability models perform allocations in Block Storage Databases (BSO). While BSO applications are great for complex calculations and reciprocal allocation methodologies, they have the disadvantage of being limited in terms of structure or hierarchy sizing. This hierarchy restriction is not as pressing in Aggregate Storage Option (ASO) type applications, which is the technology used by Management Ledger. The design considerations for a Standard Profitability model are also significantly more rigid when compared with the Management Ledger module, which has no limitations regarding allocation stages, allocation sequencing, or a maximum number of dimensions per each allocation step.

    Detailed Profitability models heavily leverage a database repository while any connected Essbase applications are used solely for reporting purposes. Initial setup and future changes, outside of the realm of simply adding new hierarchy members, will require specialized database management skills, and the usage of a single step allocation model is not as pervasive. Complex allocation methodologies may require the usage of Detailed Profitability models in conjunction with Management Ledger, but these situations represent the exception rather than the rule.

    Why Should You Choose Oracle Profitability and Cost Management?

    One of the key strengths for HPCM, available since it was released, and now included in PCMCS, is transparency – the ability to identify and explain any value resulting from the allocation process, with minimal effort. Each allocation rule or allocation step is uniquely identified, enabling users to easily navigate via the embedded/out-of-the-box balancing report to the desired member intersection opened through a point and click action in Excel (using Smart View) for further analysis and investigation. The out-of-the-box-program documentation reports identify the setup of each rule and can be leveraged for quick search by account, department, segment code, or any other dimension available in the application. The execution statistics reports delivered as part of the PCMCS offering enable users to quickly understand which allocation process is taking longer than expected and identify opportunities for overall process improvement or to simply monitor performance over time. These two out-of-the-box reports – execution statistics and program documentation – are the most heavily used reports during application development, troubleshooting, and particularly when new methodologies are developed. Users can quickly search through these documents, leverage them to keep track of methodology changes, and use them as documentation for training new team members.

    Performing mass updates to existing allocation rules has never been faster. PCMCS contains a menu that allows end users to find and replace specific member name references in their allocations for each individual data slice, allocation step, or an entire scenario. A quick turnaround of such maintenance tasks results in an increased number of iterations through different data sets, giving the cost accounting team more time to perform in-depth analysis rather than waiting for system updates.

    PCMCS-embedded analytics and dashboarding functionality is also a significant differentiator, enabling end users to create and share dashboards with the rest of the application users through the common web interface and without the need for IT support. Reports created in PCMCS are available immediately and without time consuming initial setup or migrations between environments followed by further security setup tasks.

    A comparison of On-Prem vs Cloud will be available in a future post, so please subscribe here to receive notifications for PCMCS-related blog updates.