Monthly Archives: July 2011

Masterdata Workshops with Oracle | London (October 2011)

Seismi are partnering with Oracle to host a series of masterdata workshops for customers to discuss their key pain points relating to masterdata governance and systems integration. Each workshop will be attended by a single customer to ensure they can discuss their issues in confidence.

These focused workshops will be collaborative working sessions with Seismi and Oracle working through the prospective customers’ challenges and giving them guidance based on Seismi’s “real world” implementation experience.

They are taking place on 10th and 11th October and each organisation will be assigned a 90 minute session.

Who should attend

Organisations with one or more of the following requirements would benefit from attending:

  • Acquisitive – which intend to grow through acquisition, but do not have a solution in place to deploy a standard financial reporting, budgeting and consolidation solution quickly and easily;
  • Standardisation – keen to standardise reporting across multiple business entities;
  • Governance – keen to gain control over account creation in their ERP instance;
  • Integration – running multiple ERP systems which need to report on a single standard;
  • Reporting requirements – need to report against multiple standards;
  • Chart – looking to create a Standard Chart of Accounts; or
  • Process review – about to embark on a financial transformation project.

In addition, we would be delighted to see organisations, which are experiencing one or more of the following problems:

  • Cost reduction – High cost of ownership associated with maintaining and running EPM and ERP solutions;
  • Errors – Error prone integration between EPM and ERP solution;
  • Manual intervention – Manual, multiple step business processes with multiple failure points; or
  • Error trapping – Process driven by reactive error trapping.

Book your place

To reserve your place or discuss the workshop in more detail then please contact us directly, or alternatively give your Oracle EPM Account Manager a call.  See you there!

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iXBRL | Just another format?

Since April 2011 HMRC & Companies House filings must be in iXBRL format. iXBRL involves the application of computer readable tags to a company’s financial statements and tax disclosure forms. So, to the human reviewer, the document remains the same, but the data can be accessed and used by software. The tags are pre-defined by these authorities, with a taxonomy library for UK GAAP, tax specific disclosure, US GAAP, IFRS specific disclosure and industry specific disclosure.

One way to think of this, is that iXBRL is just another format like PDF or HTML. Translate your financial statements by adding the relevant tags, and job done. Next year, update the financial values in your statements and the tags are already in place.

This approach works well if the scope and structure of the taxonomies, your consolidation and reporting structures and your underlying ledger structures remain relatively static. If not, then you need to think of your taxonomy library as a reporting standard that, like any other reporting standard used in your business, needs to form part of your key reference data governance and change management process.

Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) is a financial reference data governance tool that can help govern and synchronise metadata across multiple applications and vendors. Incidentally, it integrates tightly with other Oracle tools such as Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Hyperion Disclosure Management (HDM), that many of our clients use to prepare and translate their financial statements to XBRL format…

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Breaking the Master-Slave relationship

Large organisations typically have multiple masterdata silos, each containing core business hierarchies.  Each silo addresses an individual business need and tends to be controlled by separate individuals within the organisation. For example, there will be separate teams responsible for the general ledger, budgeting systems, reporting systems and consolidation systems. Indeed the challenge is often greater than this, with different divisions of the organisation maintaining completely independent Chart of Accounts (CoA).

The relationship between these applications and teams is often hierarchical, with those higher in the organisation forcing change to those lower down. This can be termed a master-slave relationship and results in significant problems for any organisation. Changes to the master system drives reactive change to slave systems and changes to the slave systems jeopardises the integrity of the numbers reported. The result is a manual and inefficient process with all changes requiring significant testing prior to implementation.

Organisations can solve this problem in a number of ways.  The larger service providers  would advocate a change and conversion program to the underlying ERP and EPM solutions.  This approach is often unwieldy, lengthy and requires significant change management.  More importantly it is incredibly costly.  If the main objective of your organisation is to standardise financial reporting, not to align business processes and technology, then a far more effective and cheaper approach is to implement a governance and change management process that aligns reference data between the various silos.  These governance solutions enforce business rules, run pre-emptive checks against related data and will highlight the impact of a change on all systems.

Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) is a very powerful masterdata management tool that can be used for this purpose and Oracle Hyperion DRM allows organisation to centralise and standardise their masterdata into a single location.

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Hyperion DRM enables robust governance and reporting

This week we thought we would share a brief video that shows a recent implementation where Seismi managed to use Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) to create a Finance Hub for a large corporate client. This enabled the client to achieve the following:

  • govern a general ledger containing disparate charts of accounts;
  • model a standard set of reporting structures covering both financial and non-financial information;
  • control the mapping between the general ledger, a standard view of the business, as well as consistent reports definitions for all business units; and
  • create a set of standard reports that could be delivered to SAP Business Objects and Oracle’s Essbase (or any other reporting tool for that matter!).

The benefits of this approach were wide-ranging and included the following:

  • Control of the core general ledger and reporting structures was placed in the hands of the business users;
  • Business rules were deployed to ensure that these users proactively considered the impact of general ledger changes on core financial reports at the point of entry;
  • Reconciliation between applications has been removed as Hyperion DRM enforces the necessary mappings; and
  • Month-end processing time has been significantly reduced because users have confidence in the figures being reported.

This project delivered a truly robust approach to governance and reporting by integrating the general ledger with the client’s Enterprise Performance Management requirements.

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