OAUG has invited me to present as part of their upcoming Best of COLLABORATE ’12 Educational Series. I’ll be delivering the R12 Federal Financials Subledger Accounting Teardown presentation via Webinar on Friday, August 10th, starting at 9AM EDT. This presentation is a deep-dive into most of the key SLA concepts that support the R12 Federal Financials SLA accounting engine. My goal is to share what I’ve learned through 1 1/2 years of supporting one of the most complex Federal R12 upgrades to-date, now live for 5+ months.
Here’s the presentation agenda:
The slides of the presentation are available under the Federal Presentations/WhitePapers tab of the blog. I’d recommend trying to take some time to review the slides before-hand, especially if you are not already familiar with SLA. I have a lot of content packed into the presentation (hey I try to make the most of your time! LoL), so if you are already somewhat familiar with the content beforehand, it will probably help you absorb more during the webinar and be able to follow specific areas of interest.
I hope you’ll be able to attend.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I didn’t attend, but there was an Oracle Federal Financial Briefing on 17-Apr in Reston where information was shared about some of the upcoming GTAS enhancements and target patch release dates. Personally, besides focusing on our Fed R12.1.3 stabilization efforts on my current gig, I’m working to get smart on some of the basics associated with GTAS, the upcoming 6-digit USSGL standard and new Federal Accounting/System process changes associated.
As soon as we can get our hands on these new GTAS patches, we need to jump on them to start understanding some of the impacts to our EBS environments in further detail. As the Federal E-Business Suite community, we don’t really have much time to be able digest, test and prepare for these changes. First required reporting cycle for GTAS is after Nov FY13 month-end (Calendar Nov 2012) and the fact that GTAS will only accept Bulk File feeds (i.e. no pencil whipping any numbers like with FACTS today), means we’ve got to be ready with this stuff working. If anyone is looking for more info from Treasury on GTAS, you can find it here.
For R12 Fed Financials Installs who jumped on the CGAC & FV 90000001 patches early (me and my local Denver Federal Financials Shared Service provider!), at least we have that piece behind us. But certainly there is more coming, especially for all the agencies still on 11i.
Here’s the link to the deck I scored:
If you’ve been following the twitter feed, you know I’m heading to Collaborate ’12 to present two Federal Financials R12 sessions and catch-up on as much news/info as I can there. The FED Sig meeting is on Monday, maybe that will help. Keep watch on the twitter feed for anything I pick up relevant to the Federal EBS community.
If anyone has any comments or knowledge to share that you feel would help spread key info, please don’t hesitate to comment.
–LarryRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
If you haven’t visited the actual blog lately and are just keeping up via a blog reader or some other type of subscription, you might have missed that I incorporated a Twitter feed a couple months back. I admit, my tweets aren’t going to be as entertaining as @CharlieSheen and I don’t expect to have 8 million+ followers like @BarackObama, but I’m trying to share a few experiences from the R12.1.3 Federal upgrade I’m working through. Hoping the short info may benefit others going through the same. Tweets are a great quick, simple way to share thoughts, but feel free to Mention/Direct Message (DM) or email me with any questions that need further detail.
#WinningRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
One of the most fundamental components of the R12 Subledger Accounting Architecture (SLA) is the concept of SLA Sources. There is a good bit of documentation on many SLA components, including my prior OAUG Presentations on SLA, but good explanations of SLA sources are a bit harder to find. So I thought I’d take a shot at helping spread better understanding with this post.
SLA Source values play critical roles in XLA event processing and R12 GL journal creation such as:
- fundamental data elements that drive how Journal Line Type (JLT) and Account Derivation Rules (ADR) are selected through the use of Sources in JLT and ADR conditions
- fundamental data elements which are assigned as XLA Accounting Attributes (e.g. the value of the accounted_amount) to the JLTs
- often used in XLA Journal Line descriptions defined
To really understand why the XLA engine selects applicable JLTs/ADRs and how the accounting attributes are derived, a solid comprehension of what’s behind SLA sources is key. At the most basic level, Sources are (more…)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Any entity upgrading to R12 should sufficiently understand the data model changes between 11i and R12. Based on an entities’ dependence on the existing 11i data models that change, there can be a significant level of rework required to ensure that existing custom RDF/BI Pubisher Reports, Discoverer Reports, outbound interfaces, custom views, custom SQL & PL/SQL, etc. will function properly in the R12 environment. Analysis of custom objects relative to the data model changes can’t just be limited to whether objects will compile or run in R12, but should also include analysis of whether the proper data is returned from both upgraded 11i transactions and new transactions generated in R12. To properly plan and allocate resources to an R12 upgrade project, the impact of these changes to an entity should be thoroughly analyzed.
For example, in my years working in the Federal Financials space, I’ve seen a fairly heavy reliance on the gl_je_lines.referenceX (journal import references) columns for creating custom reports that provide subsidiary information (e.g. PO Number, Vendor, etc.) and gl information together. I’ve seen reports/interfaces often built from gl_je_lines up to best ensure the detail reports balance with trial balance amounts. In R12, the gl_je_lines.referenceX columns are no longer populated or are populated in a different manner. Thus any custom report, interface, etc. that leverages these fields will likely have to be reworked (or overall approach addressed) to continue to meet end-user requirements. The R12 GL -> Subsidiary drilldown path now runs through gl_import_references and a new suite of XLA tables as shown in this diagram.
An additional problem that confronts Federal Financials customers with this change is (more…)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Federal Development released a patch (9307787) for R12 in late December that provides a number of Federal Financials enhancements focused on better accommodating the OMB Common Government Accounting Classification (CGAC) attributes. The most obvious enhancements included are changes to the Treasury Symbols forms and related functionality. There is certainly more to the changes and a comprehensive document on the enhancements provided is available as MOS Note: 1277072.1.
These enhancements have been released for R12 Fed Financials only and the patch is currently in a controlled status for the 12.1 release. I’ve been focused on a Federal 12.1.3 upgrade for the last few months and we made the decision to start trying out the new CGAC patch in January. We ran into a few different issues resulting from the patch, but have been able to resolve them through a variety of additional patches, including the just released FV Consolidated patch 9000001 (also in a controlled status). Some of our issues with the CGAC patch were due to invalid object conditions caused by some FV objects (views, PL/SQL packages, etc.) getting out of sync with each other. The goal of this latest FV Consolidated patch is focused on providing the latest and greatest set of compatible FV objects. We are continuing to test, but our initial experience with the 9000001 patch on top of 9307787 has been positive, with the exception of having to rework a variety of our different Subledger Accounting (SLA) configurations a bit to deal with some changes. If looking at the CGAC patch, any agency will almost certainly need to go to the 9000001 patch as well.
Moving forward to uptake new enhancements is usually always a good thing, but due to the sensitivity and complexity of the R12 Federal SLA functionality, we must be a bit more careful with patching at this point in R12 than we might have been w/11i recently.
We’re used to (more…)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I wanted to share an enhancement that we got Oracle to deliver a ways back for USAF DEAMS & share that the patch is available for download.
We have a requirement to enter Budget Authority increases/decreases, even after Appropriations are expired. This is because we need to move money around to cover various Expired Year adjustments necessary. I’ve seen other Federal organizations that have the same requirement, so wanted to pass this along. Until recently in 11i10, these adjustments could only be done via GL journals, since the FV Budget Execution functionality had a constraint to prevent Budget Execution entries against Expired Treasury Symbols. We had noticed this constraint had been removed from R12 Fed Financials and asked Oracle for the same capability in 11i10. They came through for us with patch 8448145 which removed the constraint and allows us to enter Funding Decreases/Increases through the standard Fed Admin Budget Execution form Functionality. To fully utilize the new capability, we then setup some new Budget Execution Transaction Types/Transaction Codes to use for Expired Funding Adjustments to drive the proper USSGL accounting for Expired Year transactions. The removal of the constraint along with the set of Expired Approp TransTypes/TransCodes provided what the Budget Users needed to allow the standardized use of Fed Admin Budget Execution functionality for both current and expired funds.
This consistent, standardized Increase/Decrease adjustment method provides a one-stop shop for adjustments and eliminates the need of the manual journals for the expired year Budget Authority adjustments. The elimination of the manual journal need is key, because it mitigates the risk of erroneous entries being created. As of now, we’ve focused on utilizing the capability via the forms. As time permits, we also want to explore if the constraint has also been removed from the FV Budget Execution Interface as well.
If your agency deals with this requirement/issue, I believe this functionality could benefit.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Now that I’m back in Denver, here’s a recap from the Collaborate ’09 conference in Orlando that I thought would be helpful to share. I definitely enjoyed seeing friends, meeting new ones and taking in as much information as I could during the conference. Being responsible for three different presentations was a bit more than I would have preferred (especially with a newborn and a 3 year-old at home, along with supporting a pretty demanding project cutting into the prep time), but it seemed that the presentations went well and were favorably accepted. Thanks to everyone who came to them and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any follow-up questions. The presentations are available here.
Here’s an attempt at sharing some of the past week’s events, announcements and information of Federal relevance (with a few other items) that I picked up. The link to the Oracle Collaborate 09 Media Kit, which provides press-releases and additional info on a number of these items is available here.
E-Business Suite 12.1 Released – 12.1 (12.1.1) was made Generally Available on Monday, May 4th. 12.1 brings a variety of new capabilities to the table, but for the Federal community, the biggest news with 12.1 is the important step forward in the long awaited “Projects Federalization“. 12.1 now provides the capability to create the required USSGL Budgetary postings from PA Agreements/Fundings, Revenue and Costs. Projects has never provided USSGL Transaction Codes or any other solution for creating these entries and this gap has been a long-time Federal Top-Ten enhancement request.
Other top 12.1 new features include:Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
As was previously mentioned, Mike Barker and Oracle Federal Development provided a web-conference that gave insight into some changes to Federal Administrator being considered to comply with CGAC on the 1st of April (Sorry for the delay in getting this out, I’m definitely way behind on my blogging due to a new-born, Collaborate 09, a good 60 hrs a week of client work and the rest of things in life). There were also some other topics presented, including the auto-generation of treasury symbols and budget distributions. Oracle is interested in receiving comments in hopes of arriving at the best design possible and has extended the deadline to the 15th of May for submitting comments. Oracle has asked that we not post the slide-deck online (on the FEDSIG web-site & I’ll honor that here also), but if you are a member of the OAUG FedSig (if not currently, you start here to sign-up for free), just email me and I can shoot you the slides.
Proposed tweaks to the Fed Admin design include:
- Define Treasury Account Symbols form enhancements
- A new form for associating Public Law Numbers to Treasury Symbols (instead of to the Budget Transactions)
- Define Fund Attributes form enhancments (formally known as Appropriation Parameters)
- Define Budget Codes Form enhancements (formally known as Budget Account Codes)
- New Define Business Event Type Codes (BETC) Form
- New TAS/BETC Mapping & Customer TAS/BETC Forms
- Setups to support AutoCreation of Treasury Symbols, Budget DistributionsRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
If you were interested in attending the webinar on the new NoetixViews for Federal Financials, but weren’t able to sit in on it this week, Noetix has made it available for download here. The webinar includes live demos. I sat in on the call and I thought it was a good presentation. Noetix has developed and is now offering 35 Federal-specific views (of course, some provide a lot more value than others) in addition to their many other standard Oracle E-Business Suite views. The views are based on both 11i and R12 accounting architectures, so R12 Federal customers can benefit from the increased capabilities that SLA brings to the table, while 11i customers can still get value from the offering. Any real-solid Federal Financials consultant could develop most of what they’ve got so far, but I think they’ve put together a good starting baseline of views that an agency can simply purchase instead of needing to develop in-house and maintain. Potentially, the offering could also be expanded/extended in the future to include even more views. The status of funds views provides real-time capability, which shows that Noetix has done their homework to understand what’s going on underneath the covers of Oracle Fed Financials (e.g. merging funds available balances from gl_balances and gl_bc_packets together to give a real-time picture).
I was impressed by the work that went into putting the help documentation together on these views and fields. While help documentation is often an afterthought, Noetix, seemed to put a decent amount of time into explaining each view and each field within the view. So then users who are working to create reports on the views (whether in Discoverer, OBIEE, or other BI tool) can get a good understanding of what the view and data elements are going to provide them in the report. Noetix’s goal is to make life easier for query users and thus the reason for the focus on providing good documentation, as obviously that is key in helping the users better understand the fields they need to complete their report objectives (versus having like 2 people in the organization who can really build reports, because no-one else understands the data good enough).
I’ve also got a copy of the static PowerPoint presentation here if you’d be interested in looking at that also.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
We’ve been hearing about the canned Federal Financials OBIEE analytics capability for some time, and now it has been released. From an initial look, it looks like this initial Federal-specific batch of canned offerings includes 2 Dashboards, one focused on various Federal Balance Sheet metrics and the other focused on Federal Budget & Spending. Of course there are plenty of dashboards, metrics and reports in the standard Financial Analytics offering that are useful in Federal Financial management as well. At a first glance, it looks like these new Federal pieces are just using an 11i10 adapter and not R12, so we’ll have to look further into that.
A good initial summary of this latest release is available in this Oracle BI Blog Post. A bit more detail can be extracted from the BI Apps 7.9.6 Licensing and Packaging Guide here. Note, a bunch of the documentation links for this new release aren’t working yet, but I’m sure they’ll get that straightened out before too long.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )