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Financial Reporting Using Oracle EBS : Core Challenges and Managing Data Lineage

11 Apr, 2019

Accuracy in financial reporting is absolutely critical for organizations in this digital age. As organizations move towards operational agility, financial reporting has become increasingly dynamic, but complex and stressful as well. Irregularities in financial reporting can lead to regulatory, legal, and ultimately, operational liabilities for an organization in the long run. Organizations often struggle when dealing with aspects like new regulations, change in management and having access to accurate real-time information.

Globally, companies have adopted the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) to streamline processes and information across their enterprise. Though highly powerful, Oracle EBS can come across as complex and inflexible to business users, especially when it comes to financial reporting. There have been instances where processes in Oracle EBS show a successful completion, despite data reconciliation issues. To address such scenarios, organizations often have to allocate dedicated personnel to check the success of application processes for business-level issues. And as the organization scales up, the possibility and rate of errors could potentially escalate.

In a recent survey by software provider Adra Match, just 28% of all respondents said they trust the numbers reported in the month-end close.

If the numbers in the general ledger (GL) don’t reconcile, teams can end up wasting days going over mismatched journal entries balancing debits and credits. With the looming pressure to close books and comply with regulatory filing requirements, this can be a difficult task.

Addressing the Needs of Business Users

Most of the available financial statement generators (FSGs) are not that user-friendly. Rather, they are not business user-friendly, making period-end close operations even more complicated. Business users often have to rely on other departments to accurately run the monthly numbers.

Built for customization, Oracle EBS financial reporting tools’ complexity often compels business users to rely on IT for creation, modification, and customization of operational reports. This complexity creates a never ending loop of IT backlog, excruciating wait times for business users, and frustration for the stakeholders involved.

Navigating Complex Financial Statements

The Oracle CloseFAST reporting application is flexible and has some powerful features for building really complex financial statements. However there are some shortcomings in terms of navigating these complex financial statements. From a UI perspective, Oracle EBS’ CloseFAST reporting tool can seem unidimensional and non-intuitive. Building ad hoc reports, or creating customized reports that allow drilling down deeper into the journals and sub ledgers can be a challenge.

Financial statements need to be simple in terms of navigation, allowing users to establish context and map the linking for the presented data. Data lineage trackability helps simplify risk analysis of financial data. The details of the data point and its historical behavior, attributes, trends and quality can be assessed easily if data lineage is easily manageable.

Managing Data Lineage

Managing data lineage is important because financial data for most organizations keep changing on a periodic basis. Financial statements often have multiple layers of cross-linked data, which need to be analyzed. It’s important to identify how the elements within – from GL to sub-ledgers, transactions, and relevant attachments – are linked and mapped out.

Searchability is another important aspect when it comes to financial reporting. Financial statements have to be accurate of course, but they also need to be easily navigable for cross-checking and analysis. The need for multi-level drill-down capabilities is apparent in such scenarios. Oracle EBS falls short in addressing this key aspect when it comes to financial reporting.

Simplifying CloseFAST Reporting

Period-end close activities can be hectic. Managing the financial close process across multiple operating units drastically increases the complexity of this process. Today’s global markets are pushing organizations to optimize financial operations continually with constant adjustment, requiring financial reporting to be highly dynamic with real-time visibility.

CloudIO’s financial reporting solution seamlessly integrates with Oracle EBS to simplify these challenges with highly user-interactive CloseFAST reporting. Stakeholders can easily view entire Oracle E-Business Suite data – from GL balances to AP, AR, FA and cash management – in real-time. With CloudIO’s CloseFAST, finance teams can ensure accurate and smooth period-end close activities, while reducing associated operational risks.

Facing similar financial reporting challenges in your organization?

Get in touch with us to learn how CloudIO can simplify financial reporting for your organization.

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