Business enterprises are presently living in the age of digital Darwinism. An enterprise will either have to adapt to modern trends or it fails to survive in the competitive market. Traditional enterprise systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) alone cannot suffice the need of tech savvy millennial workers who expect quick, intuitive and remotely accessible solutions. A key requirement for all business enterprises is to adapt to the modern trends and strive for digital transformation.
This paper explains the digital transformation of Oracle EBS payable module and how business workflow is streamlined by automating the manual accrual process. It addresses the business benefits, key features and typical architecture of accrual automation solution. The information in this paper is based on a solution implemented by RapidValue for one of the world’s largest professional social media company. The paper addresses how RapidValue digitally transformed the manual vendor accrual process to an automated web-based dashboard and integrated it with Oracle E-Business Suite and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.
Digital transformation in the form of extending the on-premise ERP systems to web/mobile platforms, will not only reduce the infrastructure cost by promoting the BYOD culture (Bring Your Own Device) but also, increase the productivity of the employees as they get empowered to do business transactions on-the-go.
Vendor Accruals Automation is implemented to automate the payable accrual process for vendors in Oracle E-Business Suite. It comprises a user interface to enter and submit the accruals. The entire manual process of accruals is automated, so that each user role can login to the application and complete the accrual process as per the requirement. It enables seamless interactions between different departments in the organization and reduces the process closure time by two days. Automation also, saves the cost of labor on a large scale, by optimizing the workflow.
Digitization does not only mean IT implementation with disruptive technology alone but also, an implementation of a proper strategy that integrates multiple enterprise modules and considers user needs/customizations to create maximum value.
The Vendor Accruals Automation is a role-based application, where a particular user (role-based) is able to see data, based on the actions taken by their subordinate.
The system admin role is specifically, there to add other system administrators or auditors. System admin (user) is able to control the access given to other role users.
Auditor role users are able to see all the data and able to audit the accrued and pending amount and lines in the application.
The client, a leading social networking site, wanted to eliminate the manual process and automate their vendor accrual process with secure and seamless integration with their backend systems.Determining correct open PO accruals for each month-end close is a manual process. It is time consuming, labor intensive and not scalable. In preparation of each month end close, a representative in FP&A or regional GL team runs the ‘Open PO report’ in Discoverer as each Oracle AP sub-ledger is closed. The reports are exported to Microsoft Excel, and pivot tables are created so that each open PO can be matched to the prior month’s accrual and appropriate FP&A business partner. The FP&A business partner provides the listing to his/her assigned budget managers for input on amounts to accrue at the end of the month. FP&A sends the open PO accruals and supporting documentation to the GL team to prepare the accrual entry. The GL team uploads and posts the accrual entries to the GL by the designated deadline during the month end close.
To strategize in order to maximize return on investment by integrating multiple oracle modules and corporate emails. Thus, digitizing the manual vendor accrual process.
Vendor accrual automation application automates business workflow between various module interfaces like active directory, corporate emails, Oracle projects, Oracle iProcurement, Oracle general ledger and Oracle purchasing. The application will notify different roles like FP&A, GL, GL manager, Budget owner, Requestor, Project manager etc. about the action required from each role during the process of accruals through emails. All the role-based users can log in to the application, perform the required action in realtime, which thereby, reduces redundancy errors and improves coordination between different departments. Thus, creating a real value-add.
Some of the features of the vendor accrual application are:
The open projects dashboard will have all the open project lines for that month.
All other functionalities will remain same as compared to open PO/PR.
Open PO/PR status dashboard gives information about all the pending lines with the user subordinate, with respect to each entity.
Aged Open PO dashboard is a repository of PO lines that is open for more than 90 days. This dashboard will be read-only and the user will not be able to take any action on these lines. The lines present here will also, be available in open PO and the user will be able to take action in open PO dashboard.
Closed PO dashboard gives details about all the PO lines that are closed between the GL periods. This dashboard will give information about all the closed POs irrespective of whether a PO has gone through the process of certification in the dashboard. This dashboard also, is read-only and the user will not be able to take any action on the lines.
Accrual report provides information about all the PO/PR lines that have completed the certification process. This accrual report includes the manual accrual lines, timestamp of each role certification, the journal batch and created date information. The report can be seen for the last twelve GL periods.
On hold report gives information about all the PO/PR lines that are certified by FPA with zero accrual amounts. This report will be a repository to show all the PO/PR lines for which there is no JE creation, as the journal entries should not get created for the lines that are certified with zero accrual amounts.
Project Accrual report is similar to Accrual report. However, this will list down all the project lines that have completed the certification process. This report will have similar columns as compared to the Accrual report and other project related details.
Project On hold report gives information about all the project lines that are certified by FPA with zero accrual amounts. This report will be a repository to show all the project lines for which there is no JE creation, as the journal entries should not get created for the lines that are certified with zero accrual amounts.
Accrual at a Glance view is for audit purpose. This page gives information about the pending number of lines and pending accrual amount with each role. This page has information about the lines that are posted to Oracle, on hold lines and error out lines.
This dashboard is designed for FPA users and FPA managers, where they will have a metrics view with graphical representation of the month-end accrual process. FPAs will be able to see details with respect to their own and reporting FPA’s certified, pending line details. The dashboard shows information with respect to all PO/PR, projects and manual accruals.
This dashboard is designed for GL users and GL managers to view metrics view with respect to overall status of month-end accruals. The dashboard shows details with respect to pending and certified lines from each role an
System admin dashboard, as the name suggests, is used only by the system administrators, where the admin can control the access given to each user. The system admin can add other users as system admins; they can add other users as auditors.
The architecture of the application is layered into three tiers:
1. Client Tier
2. Middleware Tier
Integration services exposed as REST based services using Oracle Service Bus (OSB). The integration layer facilitates the connectivity to different systems in the application for example: email servers, file shares, Microsoft Active directory
Authentication is implemented using client’s username and password token that will be validated against Microsoft Active Directory
configured on the Oracle Service Bus (OSB). Every request from web application will have a username and basic authcode that is created with
the password entered by the user in HTTP header. The OSB extracts the security credentials from the header and validates them against AD before an application specific logic is executed.
3. Data Tier
Data store comprising Oracle EBS (master store of accrual information) and Oracle DB (to persist intermediate information). Any requirement for configuration information will be set up on the Oracle database and access to these configuration data will be enabled through services exposed on the service bus.
With the implementation of automated vendor accrual solution, we were able to achieve the following results: