Getting the Most Out of EPM: A deep dive into Account Reconciliation Manager


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Since its introduction in version Oracle Hyperion Account Reconciliation Manager has become one of the fastest growing products in the EPM suite. Join us to hear about how clients are realizing the benefits of real-time visibility into the account reconciliation process while ensuring consistency across all reconciliations. We will discuss the standard ARM functionality, some of the customizable features that can greatly enhance your account reconciliation process, and the features that are being planned for future releases.

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  • Monitoring occurs throughout the process by administrators and managers using dashboards and list views. Risk conditions are proactively identified.
  • GL person could make an entry after Accounting thinks the GL is closedIf there is an error it means restatement of financials
  • ARM uses a seven step process that starts with loading balances using Oracle Hyperion’s Financial Data Quality Management module. Adaptors are provided to load general ledger balances from Oracle EBS, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and SAP. A flat file adaptor is provided for loading balances from other general ledger platforms, subledgers, or other data repositories.
  • The next step is auto reconciliation. ARM will attempt to auto-reconcile accounts that should have a zero balance and actually do have a zero balance. This is great for clearing accounts, suspense accounts, and groups of intercompany accounts where the balances should net to zero. ARM will also auto reconcile accounts where the general ledger balances matches the balance from another system within a defined tolerance. This method is designed for AP, AR, Fixed Assets, Inventory, and consolidation system reconciliations.
  • After auto reconciliation has completed, email notifications are sent to inform users that reconciliations are ready to be worked on.
  • Users prepare the reconciliations, using formats assigned by the administrator to each account. Supporting documentation is attached within ARM to create a central repository containing all documentation related to reconciliations.
  • Here are the balances; you can click to enter explained balances….
  • Explained Balances Screen –
  • Once the preparer has finished, they submit each reconciliation for review. We support unlimited levels of review. If a reviewer is happy with a reconciliation, then they approve it. If they are not, then they reject it. Rejected reconciliations cycle back to the Preparer for correction and include reviewer notes and comments.
  • you approve or reject from here
  • At any point in the process a user is late in completion of their assigned responsibility, late notices are sent through email reminding them of the missed deadlines. Emails will continue to be sent, once each day, until the user has finished the work.
  • One ready for Review, 652 not ready for review
  • Monitoring occurs throughout the process by administrators and managers using dashboards and list views. Risk conditions are proactively identified.
  • Being able to monitor ALL the recs in one place is a major selling point; the dashboards are pre-built just like FCM
  • If you have Oracle EBS worldwide but do recs at Cost Center Level that makes for more recs, obviouslyProfiles are sort of like Templates in FCM and the Recs or sort of like tasks (you can mix and match tasks to profiles and the same is true with recs to profiles).Also, similar to FDM in that you can see the mappings of GL data to Profiles
  • Companies are always on the look-out for opportunities to help automate accounting reconciliations. Both balance comparison and account analysis methods provide opportunities.Balance comparison reconciliations can benefit from automated comparison of source system and subsystem balances. If no difference exists, then no manual intervention should be required. In the event a difference does exist, then companies look for tools and utilities to help identify the source of the differences. Such tools could include automated identification of known exceptions (such as posting errors or top-side entries), or transaction matching features to identify the transactions causing the discrepancy.Account analysis reconciliations can benefit from automated reconciliation of authorized zero balance accounts. This includes accounts, that by their nature, SHOULD have a zero balance. Clearing accounts, suspense accounts, and pairs of intercompany accounts are prime examples. So long as the balance is zero, then auto reconciliation is appropriate. Other efficiency features include the ability to manually net transactions off against each other, in order to help figure out what transactions really exist in an account balance; the ability to copy balance explanations forward from a prior reconciliation; and the ability to automaticallycalculate the current period transaction value if it’s an amortizing or accreting transaction.
  • Normal Balance = Debit or Credit, you can report of this so you see what balances are not what is expectedThresholdsManually enter balances – not using data integration piece
  • Custom Attributes of GL and Geography – great for sorting
  • Invalid Mappings – maybe there is a new account in the GL that was not mapped in ARM
  • Getting the Most Out of EPM: A deep dive into Account Reconciliation Manager

    1. 1. Getting the Most out of EPM: A ‘Deep Dive’ into Account Reconciliation Manager February 28, 2014 Jay Hampton
    2. 2. Finit Overview  About Finit  In business over 11 years: Company founded in July 2002.  60+ employees in 20+ states (mostly East Coast, South, and Midwest)  80+ HFM Clients  Recognized as the Market Leader in ARM/FCM  Recognized as the World Leader in FDM Project Work and FDM Customizations  50+ Planning / Essbase Clients  Finit has managed many of the largest EPM projects in the U.S.  Our employees are generally CPA’s, MBA’s, and have extensive Product and Financial Reporting Backgrounds             Implementation Services Full cycle implementations Infrastructure and Data Services Project / Program Management Product Upgrades Redesign / Enhancements Dedicated Support – Finit Answers Access to Hyperion SME’s (Dedicated support team and guaranteed response times) Customer Service Focus Flexible Time and Material support packages with a ‘Pay as you Go’ option Technical and Admin / Functional Support Contact Greg Barrett ( for info -2-
    3. 3. Finit Solutions Introduction Finit as a company: Who we are….Why? How?
    4. 4. WHY is Finit Here? We believe in making and delivering personalized financial reporting solutions and experiences for others. Making Solutions with Personalized Experiences We value craftsmanship, authenticity and solution making We believe in listening, questioning and analyzing the issues and wishes of those we work with. We look to build relationships, not as company to company but person to person. We are honestly aligned to the cause of those we work with. We are Makers and Doers who roll up their sleeves and dig in. -4-
    5. 5. HOW do we achieve our beliefs? Running Finit like a Family Finit has no debt or external owners. This lets us keep focused on the customer in all cases as Finit’s goal is not to maximize profit but maximize the value we add to clients. All owners are involved in the business. We do not use contractors, employees only. Finit’s compensation model is based upon client satisfaction with consultant’s work, not utilization / chargeability. -5-
    6. 6. Finit Values Below are Finit’s core values These are the same values we ask you to provide consultant feedback on -6-
    7. 7. Finit’s Client Service Our values, culture and approach to becoming a trusted advisor to clients has led to 100% customer success for every Finit client (200+ and counting) and for every Oracle Hyperion project (over 350+ and counting). -7-
    8. 8. Some Finit Clients  -8-
    9. 9. About the Presenter Jay Hampton Partner with Finit Solutions 10 Years experience with Hyperion EPM Software Financial Close Primarily (HE, HFM, FDM/ERPi, FCM) Cincinnati, OH Annabelle’s Webinar Debut! -9-
    10. 10. Question and Answer - 10 -
    11. 11. Agenda Financial Close Manager (FCM) Overview Account Reconciliation Manager (ARM) Overview Standard Process Flow Set Up and Configuration New Features currently available in “Potential” New Features soon to be available in Lessons Learned from implementations - 11 -
    12. 12. Financial Close and ARM Overview
    13. 13. Financial Close Overview     Released with EPM Part of the EPM Suite Integrated with Shared Services and Workspace Currently 2 Products are Part of Financial Close  Close Manager  Task Management Solution – “…anything that needs to be done during the close process…”  Reconciliation Manager  Road map calls for More “modules”  Supplemental Data Manager  Journal Entry Manager - 13 -
    14. 14. ARM Overview  Account Reconciliation Manager designed to Manage and Monitor your Global Account Reconciliation Process  General Ledger Reconciliations (aka “Balance Sheet Reconciliations”)  Consolidation System Reconciliations  Tax Reconciliations  Any other reconciliation that performs a periodic validation of an account balance  Competes against:  Excel Based Reconciliations  Other Account Rec Tools  Trintech Assurenet  Blackline  Requires ERPi (FDMEE) for Data Integration Component  Cannot load General Ledger data via FDM Classic - 14 -
    15. 15. Accounts Reconciliation Manager (ARM) ARM solves a compliance documentation problem Manages the reconciliation processes and stores evidence that reconciliations occurred Key characteristics of accounting reconciliations They are process-specific Focused on period-end balances Generally managed by corporate accounting or shared services Performed by divisional accountants world-wide May use reconciliation compliance software - 15 -
    16. 16. Risks with Excel Account Reconciliations Risk of missing accounts No visibility into the status of completion Incomplete explanations What happens if the balances change? Are reconciliations updated? Inability to report across reconciliations Risk of lost reconciliations - 16 -
    17. 17. Process Flow
    18. 18. ARM Overview – Workflow  GL System Balances  Sub Ledger Balances  ERPi (FDMEE) Data load adaptors provided for: Load Balances Auto Reconciliation  Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, 12  Oracle Fusion Financials  PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9.0, 9.1  JD Edwards Enterprise version 9.0  SAP ERP Financial 4.7c, ECC 6.0 enhancement pack 4.0+ Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices  Flat Files Monitoring - 18 -
    19. 19. ARM Overview – Workflow  Auto Reconciliation Load Balances  Zero Balance Accounts  Accounts under a certain threshold  Accounts with No Activity Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 19 -
    20. 20. Auto Reconciliation - 20 -
    21. 21. ARM Overview – Workflow  Email Notifications Load Balances  Sent at designated times  Reminders that reconciliations should begin Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 21 -
    22. 22. ARM Overview – Workflow  Preparation Load Balances  Configurable Formats  Adaptable to each account type  Instructions  Attach supporting docs  Loadable transactions Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 22 -
    23. 23. Preparation – Source Balances - 23 -
    24. 24. Preparation – Adjustments to Source - 24 -
    25. 25. ARM Overview – Workflow  Review Load Balances  Comments  Tickmark features  Approval and rejection workflow Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 25 -
    26. 26. Review - 26 -
    27. 27. ARM Overview – Workflow  Late Notices Load Balances  Sent at designated times  Sent only to users who have missed a deadline  Notifications continue until work is complete Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 27 -
    28. 28. Email Reminders / Late Notice - 28 -
    29. 29. ARM Overview – Workflow  Monitoring Load Balances  Status of reconciliations  Aging analysis  Warnings  Debit / credit violations  Aging violations Auto Reconciliation Email Notifications Preparation Review Late Notices Monitoring - 29 -
    30. 30. Monitoring - 30 -
    31. 31. Set Up and Configuration
    32. 32. ARM Set Up Simplified 1) Identify Accounts and Data Sources to Reconcile Note: Level of Account Reconciliation is Very Important! GL Account Level? GL Account + Cost Center Level? GL Account + Legal Entity Level? Etc. 2) Create Account Reconciliation “Profiles” and assign attributes and Reconciliation Preparers and Reviewers 3) Configure ERPi (FDMEE) to Map and Load General Ledger Data to Profiles 4) Create Monthly Reconciliations from Profiles 5) Load General Ledger Data into ARM 6) Open Reconciliations to Users - 32 -
    33. 33. Two Types of Reconciliations (Formats)  Balance Compare  Automated comparison of source system and subsystem balances      Account Analysis  Justification of the source system balance     Accounts payable Accounts receivable Inventory Fixed Assets  Can “source” from Sub-Ledger - 33 - Prepaids Accruals Intangibles Any other account where the balance is not derived from a subsystem
    34. 34. Profile Set Up Properties Characteristics of the account reconciliation Instructions Visible to end users Workflow Controls the ‘who’ and ‘how often’ of the reconciliation process Currency Access Who can modify and maintain the account reconciliation Attributes Customizable properties History To see property changes - 34 -
    35. 35. Profile Set Up - Properties Account ID Account – Company / Account – Cost Center / etc. Name/Description Risk Rating - High, Medium, Low Format Balance Compare Account Analysis Normal Balance – Debit/Credit Auto Reconciliation – Yes/No Manually Enter Balances – Yes/No - 35 -
    36. 36. Profile Set Up - Properties - 36 -
    37. 37. Profile Set Up - Instructions - 37 -
    38. 38. Profile Set Up - Workflow Preparer Frequency Start Day Offset Duration  Newer versions support Groups Reviewers Can add as many as you want Frequency  e.g. 1 Reviewer for Monthly, 2 for Quarterly Duration - 38 -
    39. 39. Profile Set Up - Workflow - 39 -
    40. 40. Profile Set Up - Currency Single – All reconciliations done in one common currency Multiple – if reconciliations are done in more than one currency Entered: Balances and transactions in the currencies in which they occurred Functional: Balances and transactions in the currency associated with the entity that owns the account Reporting: Balances and transactions in the currency used for system-wide reporting Can enable/disable per Profile - 40 -
    41. 41. Profile Set Up - Currency - 41 -
    42. 42. Profile Set Up – Access Commentators Can view and add comments to Reconciliations Supports Users or Groups Viewers Can view but not comment on Reconciliations Supports Users or Groups - 42 -
    43. 43. Profile Set Up - Access - 43 -
    44. 44. Profile Set Up – Attributes Custom Attributes Allow for different ways to Group or “Tag” Reconciliations for analysis and tracking purposes Examples we’ve seen:  GL System  Legal Entity  Geographical Location  Shared Service Center  HFM Account  Action Plan  Review Method  Review Date  Type  Journal Entry Number  Reconciliation Frequency  Business Unit  Segment  Reconciliation Group  Responsibility Group - 44 -
    45. 45. Profile Set Up - Attributes - 45 -
    46. 46. Profile Set Up – History - 46 -
    47. 47. New Features: (Currently Available) (Next Release)
    48. 48. FCM / ARM Changes in  Net Activity Attribute from Prior Reconciliation Calculates the activity on any reconciliation profile / account from the last reconciliation. Displays as an amount along with the Beginning Balance, Ending Balance, Explained Balance, etc. - 48 -
    49. 49. FCM / ARM Changes in Can Hide Options from Reconciliations Formats Can choose to Hide an item such as Adjustments to Source Systems, Net Activity, etc. - 49 -
    50. 50. FCM / ARM Changes in Can have Summary Reconciliations that pull from child reconciliations. - 50 -
    51. 51. FCM / ARM Changes in  Improved User Assignments of Reconciliations  A user can assign a backup  Can assign a group to a reconciliation (with members existing in the group). The group exists as a Native group in Shared services.  A user can request a workflow be reassigned to another user. - 51 -
    52. 52. FCM / ARM Changes in  Improvements to Auto Reconciliations (5 new methods added)      Balance is zero & no activity exists Balance is within a range (based on prior reconciliation amount) Balance is within range and no activity (based on prior reconciliation amount) No Activity (based on prior reconciliation amount) Balance match (# tolerance) – less or equal to a tolerance amount. - 52 -
    53. 53. Potential* New Features in  *Until they’re actually released, all Future Release Enhancements are subject to change  Guidance provided by Heather Lynds FCM/ARM Product Manager (best PM at Oracle!)  The following items are “likely” but not guaranteed to be included Improvements to reconciliation layout Enhanced attribute configuration options New custom attribute type Action Plans for reconciliation transactions Questions for all roles Default dashboards and list views - 53 -
    54. 54. Improvements to Reconciliation Layout Long Account Description - 54 -
    55. 55. Improvements to Reconciliation Layout Displaying Individual Segments The configuration option is at the Format level, enabling customers more granular control over display options (rather than forcing a single configuration) - 55 -
    56. 56. Improvements to Reconciliation Layout Displaying Individual Segments If configured to display individual segments, each segment is displayed separately, preceded by the segment label - 56 -
    57. 57. Improvements to Reconciliation Layout New Other Attributes Section Attributes assigned to the Attributes tab on the Format or Profile dialogs will now appear in the Other Attributes section - 57 -
    58. 58. Enhanced Attribute Configuration Options Renaming standard transaction attributes Attributes have been exposed in Manage Attributes and limited edits to changing the name - 58 -
    59. 59. Enhanced Attribute Configuration Options Removing / Re-ordering Standard Transaction Attributes - 59 -
    60. 60. Enhanced Attribute Configuration Options Configuring Access Privileges Access privileges can be assigned to both standard and custom attributes assigned to Formats or Profiles. Edit behavior depends on role assigned access, and the type of attribute (action plan attributes have different behavior than other attributes) - 60 -
    61. 61. Enhanced Attribute Configuration Options Displaying Format Attributes on the Profile Enables Administrators to see a comprehensive view of attributes that will appear in the Other Attributes section of reconciliations, including attributes added to the Format Attribute tab and the Profile Attribute tab - 61 -
    62. 62. Enhanced Attribute Configuration Options Copying Reconciliation Attribute Values back to the Profile Applies to all types of custom attributes; enables authorized roles to contribute information & files that should be stored on the profile and carried forward from period-toperiod - 62 -
    63. 63. New Custom Attribute Type Prior versions of ARM support only a single “Text” type custom attribute; this attribute displays only a single line of text Added new attribute type “Multi-Line Text” with optional attachments section - 63 -
    64. 64. New Custom Attribute Type The multi-line text attributes can be assigned anywhere custom attributes can be assigned Format Attributes & Transaction tabs Profile Attributes tab Assignment includes the access privileges feature - 64 -
    65. 65. Action Plans for Reconciliations Typical Use Case Primary use case is to enable workflow users to edit Action Plan attributes after completion of their workflow responsibilities. - 65 -
    66. 66. Questions for All Roles - 66 -
    67. 67. Default Dashboard and List Views Configuring a Set of Default Portlets Administrators now have a second dashboard icon on their toolbar: Public Dashboard. Whatever portlets they configure on this dashboard become the default portlets that new users will see. - 67 -
    68. 68. Default Dashboard and List Views Configuring Portlets Each portlet has a “Save as Default” option available to Administrators. It saves the column configuration and applied filters as the default, causing these settings to apply to each new instance of the portlet. - 68 -
    69. 69. Default Dashboard and List Views Configuring List Views Each List View (Profile, Reconciliation, & Transaction) also has the Save as Default option available to Administrators. It saves the current column configuration as the default configuration to apply to all new users. The Restore to Default option can be used by any user to reset the view to match the default view. - 69 -
    70. 70. Lessons Learned
    71. 71. Tips/Tricks/Lessons Learned Start Simple and Continue to Evolve Use ARM as a chance to Standardize Recon Process Use ARM as a chance to Drive Process Change Plan to Expand ARM Sub ledgers Analytics Leverage Custom Attributes Leverage Complete Data Loads Ability to Export / Import Profiles via Excel - 71 -
    72. 72. Opportunity for Standardization Reconciliations should be consistent Use ARM as an opportunity to standardize the recon process All accounts don’t need to be reconciled the same but all the same accounts should be reconciled consistently e.g. Cash can be reconciled differently than AR, but AR should be reconciled consistently across the organization - 72 -
    73. 73. Opportunity for Process Change Most companies deal with Reconciliations on a ‘Reactive’ basis Proactive approach would be to tie Recons, Mapping, etc. into the account activation Add ARM process to new GL account request Who’s the reviewer, what are the attributes, etc. - 73 -
    74. 74. ARM Beyond a Transactional Recon Tool Consider relationship between GL accounts and your Consolidation Chart of Accounts If supporting multiple ERP’s and source systems ARM can help bridge the gap and limit exposure e.g. What % of your Balance Sheet balances are reconciled? - 74 -
    75. 75. Leverage Custom Attributes Provide additional views of the recons Future reporting enhancements will allow for better analytics based on attributes Simple to create and update - 75 -
    76. 76. Complete Data Loads - 76 -
    77. 77. Import / Export Profiles Via Excel All Profile Properties are in columns, can save as .csv and import - 77 -
    78. 78. Thank you for attending! Presenter Jay Hampton Questions? Email us for a copy of the slides or link to the recording. General Questions Greg Barrett Joe Mizerk - 78 -