Many of our multi-national clients have the same challenge – local reporting on one accounting standard (normally local GAAP); group reporting (normally a flavour of IFRS) on another; as well as specific reporting requirements for regulators in certain verticals.
The difference between accounting standards can be summarised as follows:
- Differences in report definitions (for example, the balance sheet may be presented in an different order, granularity or definitions); and
- Differences in accounting policy (say development cost may be expensed under one standard and capitalised under another).
From my experience as an auditor, report definitions should be treated as an integral part of a company’s financial reference data, as they are one of the major reasons for material disclosure errors. Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) is a dedicated financial metadata management tool that we have implemented successfully at our clients to govern metadata and report definitions.
Historically differences in accounting policies are normally tackled by using adjustment ledgers or separate ledgers. This often introduces a governance problem, in that different subsets of a chart needs to be shared across multiple ledgers, and kept aligned.
Oracle Hyperion DRM is adept at defining these types of business rules and controlling the complete ERP metadata. It is application independent and can therefore integrate with ERP’s from any vendor. We have found it to be a very useful and flexible tool to manage multiple accounting and reporting standards, as well as many other historically challenging scenarios.
Firstly apologies that 3 weeks have passed since we last updated our weekly blog. Like many others Seismi’s team have been taking some well earned leave, as well as meeting other development deadlines.
We wanted to bring to your attention a case study that Oracle has published on their website that highlights an example of a project that we have recently delivered. Our client was Anglo Copper a USD4 billion division of Anglo American plc and the environment was relatively complex with many applications and over 200,000 account codes.
The case study is a good example of the type of project that Seismi team have delivered for their clients. It also provides a good example of the flexibility of Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) tool and how it can be adapted to meet key business issues.
Not only were Seismi able to allow Anglo Copper to resolve some significant issues within their finance applications architecture but it has also provided their finance team with a robust and flexible platform that will be able to adapt to Anglo Copper’s business as its strategy evolves, including the ability to integrate acquisitions effectively.
In addition we were able to implement the solution over a rapid a 6-month timetable. Seismi are continuing to provide second line support to Anglo Copper’s user base.
You can read the brief case study here and please get in touch if you would like to hear more of the detail.
Also if there any specific topics you would like us to cover then do reach out.
In the UK the FSA’s Code of Corporate Governance and in the US the SOX Act, require companies to ensure that their financial statements are an accurate representation of their underlying transactional and forecasting systems.
In most companies, the flow of data from the diverse ledgers and forecasting systems, through group consolidation and into the financial statements is a highly manual process. It is not possible to certify from a governance or internal-control perspective, so most companies require that the financial controller of each division sign off on their respective data once they have manipulated it into a single repository on a single standard. However, this passing of the corporate buck has no legal effect on the company’s, CEO’s or CFO’s responsibility! In our experience , it is also a very unreliable and inefficient method of identifying errors…
The alternative is to integrate a company’s diverse ledgers, forecasting, consolidation and reporting systems. One option to achieve this is to convert all of your systems to the same chart and platform. However, Seismi’s preferred route in the right instance, such as when the principle aim is to standardise business reporting, is to: understand and define the business rules to align the reference data across these multiple standards; centralise and govern this masterdata; and finally distribute the refined masterdata to the relevant systems and applications thereby creating the necessary standard reporting. The benefits of this method of standardisation extend way beyond avoiding the legislative stick.
Imagine your organisation where someone from head office can drill through the group financial statements to the divisional data balance, and then to a specific transaction, to understand who and why an accrual was raised, without the normal month-end ‘please explain..’. Converting bean counters into bean farmers, well almost…
A quick one this week we just thought we should share a small Oracle Hyperion DRM (Data Relationship Manager) feature that can be helpful and most importantly save time and raise your productivity.
Whenever you are working within a tab, you can right-click on the tab bar and see the different sections of the Home menu. This allows you to navigate directly from one module of Oracle Hyperion DRM to another, rather than having to click on Home then the name of the module you want. In the long run, this sav
es not just time but also frustration…
With the team having returned from a well-earned break, we thought it was time to share another success case with you. The client is ICAP, a leading markets operator and provider of post trade risk and information services. With a local footprint in 32 countries, more than 70 locations worldwide and an average daily transaction volume of US$1.3 trillion, ICAP can truly be considered a global company.
ICAP recognised that they needed a strategic approach to masterdata to underpin a comprehensive Financial Transformation Programme. They looked to us to “improve ICAP’s approach to masterdata governance, help improve the end-to-end visibility of data and help improve our ability to automate interfaces.”
We are glad to announce that ICAP have realised the benefits of a strategic approach to masterdata and this is evidenced by the following case study – ICAP Case Study.pdf.
If you would like to find out more about what we did and how we did it, then please do not hesitate to get in contact.
We just stumbled upon an interesting change in the latest version (220.127.116.11) of Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM). For performance reasons,
Oracle has decided to limit the number of tables Oracle Hyperion DRM can detect when you define an external connection to 2000.
This is usually not a problem. However, if you follow the DRM Oracle General Ledger Integration Guide you’ll see that you ‘must’ use the APPS schema to integrate DRM to E-Business Suite (EBS). This schema usually has more than 2000 tables associated. This means there is a risk that the two target tables used by DRM (GL_DRM_SEGVALUES_INTERFACE and GL_DRM_HIERARCHY_INTERFACE) will be missing from the list of tables for the external connection.
Despite what the integration guide says, however, you can in fact define a different database user with write access to just these two tables and gain access to them that way.
Note that Oracle has logged an enhancement request to remove this restriction, so future releases may not come with this limitation. We experienced this with DRM 18.104.22.168.303.
We hope this is useful.
If you ever need to clear all values of a defined property within a hierarchy (prior to blending in a completely fresh set of property values, say), it can be done in a few brief steps.
Firstly select the top node of the hierarchy and choose the tab the property is on. If the top node does not normally show this property, you will have to select Show All Properties on the property viewer. Only administrators can do this but then again, only administrators should be doing this.
Next, right-click on the property label and choose Clear All Below, followed by Save. This removes all explicitly defined values from each node below the selected node. (This is a useful little option in itself.)
Finally, right-click on the property label and choose Remove Value, then Save. This removes the property value from the top node.
There are action script equivalents of these two commands, so if you have a whole set of properties to clear an action script is probably the way to go:
Estimating the cost of an Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) implementation can be difficult. This blog will highlight the areas and risks you should consider.
When developing the business case for the costs can broadly be separated into 3 distinct areas:
- Software and licensing costs;
- Hardware costs; and
- Implementation costs.
The first of these can be difficult to understand as you need to have some indication of how many nodes will be required for you solution. This information is not often available until after implementation as the agreed design will affect the number of nodes required.
The second, hardware costs, can be identified relatively easily using the software vendor’s prior experience.
The main issue comes with estimating implementation costs. At the point at which the decision is being taken to purchase the relevant software, it is unlikely that you have expertise already on the site. You therefore have a few options available. In some instances we have seen organisations ask for an estimate from the software vendor. This can be a huge mistake for two reasons. The software provider is unlikely to have a detailed understanding of your requirements and in addition they are conflicted as they are trying to sell you the software. They have a vested interested in trying to minimise the estimate to ensure you buy the software.
Alternatively, you may be tempted to use a formula to try and determine the final implementation costs. This approach is fine as long as the formula used is not arbitrary, and is based on a good understanding of both the requirements and the technology.
In our opinion, the best method of understanding the implementation costs is to approach an independent organisation that has demonstrable experience of implementing the same software in a similar environment. Most consulting organisations should be willing to give you guidance for free to help you understand expected costs. In some instances, this may require more analysis time to understand the requirement, but surely a minimal cost upfront, to avoid a huge under, or over, estimation is a necessary investment?
If you need any help understanding the potential implementation costs of Oracle Hyperion DRM can help your organisation please do not hesitate to contact us.
Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Manager (DRM) has a somewhat unorthodox interface, which can lead the unwary into losing their work. Grizzled Oracle Hyperion DRM veterans will have discovered these traps the hard way, but if you are relatively new to the product this blog post might spare you some pain, we hope.
Items Displayed in Tabs
Oracle Hyperion DRM uses tabs to display the details of queries, compares, imports, blends, exports and all the objects managed by a system administrator. When you have one of these open, as the image below shows the only indication that you have unsaved changes is an asterisk next to the item name (and even this cannot always be relied on).
If you close an item after making changes, you don’t see the Save / Don’t Save / Cancel dialog box that most programs would display – Oracle Hyperion DRM simply closes the item and discards any unsaved work. It is thus important to get into the habit of being conscious of whether you need to click the Save icon towards the top left before closing a Oracle Hyperion DRM tab.
When an Oracle Hyperion DRM version is created it starts in an unsaved state. Unsaved versions are deleted whenever the Oracle Hyperion DRM service is restarted (which happens every night at some sites). New versions are often used for importing data to blend into other versions, so are legitimately temporary. However, if you have created a version you want to keep, it does not matter how often you clicked Save after adding or moving nodes or updating properties. If the Oracle Hyperion DRM service is restarted you will lose everything.
You should save a version you want to keep as soon as you have created it, by right-clicking on its name and selecting Save.
Once a version has been saved, all confirmed node changes and property updates are preserved without you having to save the version again.
Hopefully that should save you some time and stress!
This is the first item in an on-going series of blog posts designed to help our readers get the most out of Oracle Hyperion DRM (Database Relationship Manager).
This post addresses a limitation in the way Oracle Hyperion DRM allows users to define queries. Specifically, Oracle Hyperion DRM allows you to structure queries using parentheses but does not allow you to put a NOT in front of criteria grouped in this way.
What if you were making a complex query and wanted to exclude nodes that meet two conditions? For instance you want to select all nodes that are below the top node, except leaf nodes if they are also linked in from another hierarchy. In Oracle Hyperion DRM terms what you are trying to achieve is:
- Level Greater Than 1 And Not (Leaf Equal True And Linked Equal True)
You cannot code this as it stands in an Oracle Hyperion DRM query. However, the following rule of logic can help:
- not-(A and B) is logically equivalent to (not-A or not-B)
Our example now becomes:
- Level Greater Than 1 And (Leaf Equal False Or Linked Equal False)
Which as the screenshot below shows can be implemented in Oracle Hyperion DRM in the following way:
If you have anything you want to add please do post a comment. Until next time….