If you missed our recent webinar, How Noble Energy Automated Reconciliations with Oracle ARCS, the recorded event is available for immediate viewing with no registration required! Hear directly from Noble Energy how they moved from a spreadsheet and email-driven account reconciliation process to the cloud. Event attendees enjoyed an extended Q&A session and now you can read the questions asked and answered in this three-part blog series. In part one of this blog post series, learn more about time to deploy, integrating ARCS with existing cloud or on-premise ERP systems as well as how upgrades and patches are handled. Let’s pick up where we left off with more Q&A.
What other cloud products did Noble Energy consider?
[Noble Energy] Noble compiled a list of basic requirements. We wanted a tool that met certain things like being able to group accounts, have the ability to pull balances automatically and being able to check for completeness. ARCS was the first and only one that we actually did a full RFP or vendor selection process on. Of course, it was the tool that met all of our requirements, and that’s the one that we went with.
[Oracle] One of the things I see across our customer base, it really is almost like a 50/50 split. I’ll see customers just like Noble, that have a certain pain point with account reconciliations, and that’s their first venture into the cloud. Obviously, as you can see, they have success with that. Other customers, back to one of my previous slides, they really look at the whole financial close as a problem that needs to be solved and realize that Oracle and your total cost of ownership across all those solutions is an option as well. It seems like some customers will sign up for that quick win on ARCS, and that’s what they’ll start with. Others will look for a full cloud transformation. That’s fantastic as well. Those are really the two buckets I see people falling in.
[Perficient] The beauty of these applications are they are a fully integrated suite of products, but you can deploy them on a one-by-one basis. You can start out with ARCS and then move into FCCS to do your task management and your consolidations, and then EPRCS for XBRL tagging and SEC filings. They are fully integrated, and again, you can deploy individually as well.
How does reconciliation work for intercompany, for AP and AR?
[Perficient] The intercompany AP/AR was built in the transaction matching module of the application. We had a file that had all the AP and AR transactions in it, and we created some auto matching rules that would look through the file and look for balances and transaction dates and document numbers to match those transactions using thresholds. When it goes through that process, it gives you either an exact match or suggested match for records that fall within thresholds. All other unmatched transactions will have to go through a manual user intervention process where you are selecting the individual transactions from AP and matching to the corresponding AR transactions.
How good are the reporting capabilities of the tool? For example, is there an amortization schedule built into the tool that we can use to generate reports of pending amortization?
[Perficient] On a reconciliation basis, ARCS provides the ability create amortization schedules directly in the application. It provides reports, queries and lists that allow a user to review what those amortization schedules are. From a report perspective, ARCS provides a point-and-click type creation and generation to review data in ARCS. It provides the capabilities to look at accounts, companies or any attributes that you are tracking in the application. There are some seeded reports that you get with the application to look at things like balances and compliance by org unit, by company, by account, by reconciliation. Then, we can go through and extend those reports to create any additional information that you need to report out of.
[Noble Energy] We actually had requirements to create various custom reports. It’s essentially embedded in a BI Publisher reporting engine. Just like Hanny said, point-click. I think we had our report done in half an hour using the existing data model there. Noble was very impressed with the reporting capabilities.
How many sources did you have pulling the data?
[Noble Energy] That may be more of a technical question. I guess from a functional standpoint, we have one source, which is Oracle E-Business Suite. General ledger and subledger, and then those were specifically split across six locations to facilitate drill backs. It’s flat file-based, so each of those had to be parametrized slightly differently. In the end, we have six discrete sources.
How did the system handle multi currencies?
[Noble Energy] I guess it can handle it two ways. The official multi currency would be loading both the local currency as well as your conversion rates and having ARCS do the conversion calculation. This added some extra overhead that we didn’t want to introduce. We went with the second option, which is just loading the local currency as well as the translated amount from Oracle. It essentially will just create a multicolumn reconciliation that essentially is pretty intuitive. Data Management recognizes that the currency code is different and splits it out into a second column. It’s essentially plug and play from there.
The third blog post in this series will close with reconciliations for intercompany and more, so bookmark the Perficient blog and come back soon!