April 28, 2010

Oracle EPM 11.1.2 - New Financial Close Applications

Part of the awesomeness that is EPM 11.1.2 includes the release of some new stand-alone applications particularly Hyperion Financial Close Management (HFCM) and Hyperion Disclosure Management (HDM). These products are designed to improve financial close and reporting capabilities. Note that unlike Hyperion Public Sector Budgeting (which is really just a new module for Hyperion Planning), these new applications are exactly that: new applications. They don't require any existing applications to run them.

That last sentence may surprise some people who thought that these two new applications would end up being modules inside of HFM (Hyperion Financial Management). On the contrary, Disclosure and Financial Close Management do not need HFM at all (though they do integrate with HFM). This means you'll see, say, Oracle PeopleSoft clients with Disclosure Management that don't even own any other Hyperion products.

Frankly, I'm thrilled to see the Hyperion name in these two brand-new products. It shows that not only is Oracle not killing the Hyperion name, they're realizing its brand recognition in the financial community.

Quite simply, Hyperion Disclose Management makes it far simpler to generate XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) files which are basically XML files with some business-specific information in them. As standards and organizations like IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and our very own American SEC start requiring more and more information in XBRL format, we're going to need help generating all those XBRL-tagged files.

Enter, Hyperion Disclosure Management. Using Microsoft Word (interesting idea, by the way), it helps apply XBRL tags/taxonomies to financial reports. Further, the tagging can be done at the report-level (which is to be expected) but it can also be done at the application level. For instance, let's say you tagged an account with a certain type. Then any report accessing that account automatically picks up that taxonomy. The product also does a nice job of validating your XBRL taxonomy before you finalize it.

While there's an Oracle webpage on Disclosure Management, there's a lot more detail in an Oracle whitepaper if you're looking for greater information. For instance, this whitepaper mentions the direct integration of HDM with Hyperion Financial Reporting and Smart View (which I didn't see mentioned elsewhere).

The point of Hyperion Financial Close Management is to convert all those lists of tasks that have to be done every month to close the books into dashboards where we can monitor the close process throughout the close cycle. It lets you track (and manage) activities such as:
  • entity-level close of ledgers and subledgers
  • data transformation
  • data collection and loading
  • consolidating the books
  • reconcilations
  • creating and publishing reports
  • just about any other financial close-related activity you can imagine
And while the dashboards & calendars are nice for letting you see what's going on, the nicest part of HFCM is that you can automate and track many activities that used to be manual. If you want more information, go to Oracle.com for a nice HFCM whitepaper.

No comments: