Project Partners Blog


Posts Tagged ‘Oracle Applications’

Through this three (3) part educational web-series, Project Partners will arm you with critical steps and insight into a Project Financials cost-effective solution. This unique solution offering will assist administratively burdened organizations like yours to effectively manage Project Financials around Capital spend through all phases of the Capital Lifecycle (Concept Definition, Funding Approvals, Execution, Reporting, and Managing Project Costs).

WHY CAPITAL PROJECTS? – WEBINAR REGISTRATION INFORMATION

CLICK TO REGISTER HERE for our FINAL PART (3) of the three (3) part series as we explore how Project Partners has addressed the pain associated with AFE’s and the manual efforts.  We will showcase how we’ve developed an easy to use Authorization for Expenditure solution that extends the functionality of Oracle EBS Projects applications and walk you through the solution focused around project costing to your specific business requirements, robust functionality, and use of authorizations for expenditures to further efficiency gains and extensive return on investments.

MISSED PART 2?  Don’t Worry…CLICK HERE to get a downloadable recording so you will be up-to-speed!   

Have Questions?
Simply reach out to us and our experts will immediately assist, provide additional information, and ensure you have associated playbacks. We look forward to your attendance, and will set up a call to fully understand your needs, and offer next steps around a Project Financials cost-effective solution that best fits your organization.

P: #1.650.712.6203 Email: cfryc@projectp.com

Through this three (3) part educational web-series, Project Partners will arm you with critical steps and insight into a Project Financials cost-effective solution. This unique solution offering will assist administratively burdened organizations like yours to effectively manage Project Financials around Capital spend through all phases of the Capital Lifecycle (Concept Definition, Funding Approvals, Execution, Reporting, and Managing Project Costs).

WHY CAPITAL PROJECTS? – WEBINAR REGISTRATION

CLICK TO REGISTER HERE for PART 2 of the three (3) part series as we explore the WHY and HOW to leverage EBS Project Financials for Capital Projects. We’ll walk you through the solution focused around project costing to your specific business requirements, robust functionality, and use of authorizations for expenditures to further efficiency gains and extensive return on investments.

MISSED PART 1?  Don’t Worry…CLICK HERE to get a downloadable recording so you will be up-to-speed!   

Have Questions?
Simply reach out to us and our experts will immediately assist, provide additional information, and ensure you have associated playbacks. We look forward to your attendance, and will set up a call to fully understand your needs, and offer next steps around a Project Financials cost-effective solution that best fits your organization.

P: #1.650.712.6203 Email: cfryc@projectp.com

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Our prebuilt, configurable Microsoft® Excel workbook to submit, control and monitor all
scheduled processes and reports for Oracle ERP Cloud.

Helping hundreds of customers just like “Franny” to efficiently manage scheduled processes and reports in Oracle Cloud. The Cloud Process Scheduler is a unique process and report scheduler workbook available to the enterprise from Operations and Finance to HR and Sales, empowering these teams and enabling any user to:

  • Define scheduled processes and reports that need to be run periodically
  • Setup fixed and variable parameters for each process and update variable parameter dates quickly.
  • No need to remember parameters or the order in which processes need to run thereafter, it does it automatically
  • Setup process dependencies to enable efficient workflows.
  • Do not need to wait for system response time navigating the Oracle Cloud screens / fields.
  • Easier data entry when processing multiple Operating Units.
  • Start the entire set of processes with 1-click. Reducing the number of keystroke by 100%.
  • Organize work into a group of activities and then process it as a unit.
  • Monitor the status of each process in the set as it completes, while you are easily completing other work.

To learn more about the FEATURES & BENEFITS and get a glimpse into how the Cloud Process Scheduler really works, take a few minutes and view a brief Cloud Project Financials DEMO HERE. We believe that this product will significantly change how you manage your processes and reports in the Cloud and enable you to increase your user productivity.

HOW DOES MY ORGANIZATION GET STARTED?

CLICK HERE NOW FOR OUR SPECIAL THIRTY (30) DAY FREE TRIAL.

Questions?
Simply reach out to us and our experts will immediately assist, provide additional information, demo and next steps.
MORE ON CLOUD PROCESS SCHEDULER

P: #1.650.712.6203 Email: cfryc@projectp.com

 

Providing Our Customers With Better Project Delivery Through Full-Service…
PROJECT APPLICATION & PROCESS ASSESSMENTS

Whether helping you uncover hidden project challenges stemming from your current functional and operational applications/processes to understanding the why and how to migrate to the cloud, our PROJECT APPLICATION/BACKGROUND PROCESSES ASSESSMENT services give you the rigorous framework you need to achieve success quickly.

Will Partner With You to Assess Your Project Applications and Processes Inside and Out.

Projects is the link that can penetrate your entire organization and requires careful analysis to maximize efficient operations. If you are experiencing what appears to be a pain in your organization’s business process and applications, then now is the time to LOOK UNDER THE HOOD.

CLICK HERE

Get started with SIMPLE next steps to obtain Project Partners holistic approach to a full assessment and associated discount offer.

By Neeraj Garg

Continuing from last week’s blog article, new enhancements in Oracle E-Business Suite Projects Applications Release 12.2 allow companies to address various project costing requirements without the use of extensions. There are three key enhancements:

  1. Total Time Costing
  2. Costing Using HR Rates, and
  3. Costing Using Payroll Actuals.

 

Total Time Costing

This enhancement addresses the need to cost labor transactions using effective rates, and especially to encompass exempt employees who do not get paid for overtime work. Like Standard Costing, this enhancement works with standard rates. However, it computes an effective rate for costing labor transactions based on total time charged for a period and the base hours for that period.

There are three new setup elements that are needed to enable Total Time Costing:

  1. Effective period (typically, this will be “weekly”)
  2. Base hours
  3. Enabling Total Time Accounting – new Costing Method for Labor Costing

With these three elements enabled, the effective rate used for costing labor transactions is now computed using the following three-step formula:

                 I.          Base Hours/Charged Hours * Derived Rate = Effective Rate
                II.          Effective Rate * Charged Hours = Raw Cost (Labor)
               III.          Labor Raw Cost * (1 + Burden Multiplier) = Total Burdened Cost (Labor)

In addition, if Total Time Costing is enabled and a new or adjusted transaction is introduced for a person for a previously costed period, the solution does not re-cost all transactions in that previous period. That is, it leaves them at the old rate rather than applying the new rate that was derived using the new total charged hours.

Overall, this enhancement allows users to accurately cost labor for exempt employees. It also allows organizations to meets federal contracting rules for exempt employees, as spelled out in the DCAA Contract Audit Manual, Section 9.

Costing Using HR Rates

This enhancement enables organizations that hold employee rate information in Oracle HR to directly use these rates for project labor costing. This feature is enabled by setting Rate Source in Oracle Projects to “HR” in the costing rule allocation. Rates are then retrieved from the Oracle HR rate matrix using “Rate by Criteria.”

There are many standard criteria available for setting up matrix rates in Oracle HR. Users can also add custom criteria to the rate matrix; these criteria can even call for rates at the project and task levels, if that degree of granularity is needed. Typically, the most commonly used criteria in a matrix are “job,” “location,” and “work type.” A new Project Timecard Template in Oracle Time and Labor has been seeded with these three attributes.

HR rates may also be enabled for use in planning when companies need to compute labor costs in budgets and forecasts.

This enhancement can also play a role in compliance. For example, many companies will benefit from the fact that it enables support for the Davis-Bacon Act in the U.S., which requires companies to pay minimum prevailing wage rates for construction work done at a given location. Also, because the HR rates used in calculations are the actual rates paid to employees, it is very important that labor-cost information security be carefully considered and implemented prior to enabling this enhancement.

In the next blog article we will discuss Costing using Payroll Actuals.

By Neeraj Garg

Introduction

Oracle E-Business Suite Projects applications have provided Standard Costing for labor transactions for some time. However, other important approaches to costing have not been supported out of the box, such as costing using effective rates, HR rates or payroll actuals. To address these approaches, Oracle Projects provided three client extensions that could be used to replace Oracle’s standard capabilities.

Now, in Oracle Projects Release 12.2, Oracle has provided a number of enhancements that go beyond Standard Costing. These enhancements, which provide more options and greater flexibility, give companies new tools to help ensure that their costing approach fits their business, and gives them a clear view of the labor component of project costs.

The Traditional Approach

The Oracle Projects Standard Costing for labor transactions uses job or employee-based rates defined in Oracle Projects tables. However, this does not meet the specific needs of some companies and situations. For example, it does not support the following.

  • Costing using effective rates: This is typically used to address costing of labor transactions for exempt employees. Under the Standard Costing approach, all hours (including overtime hours) are costed at the standard rate. This may result in the overstatement of project costs, because exempt employees do not get paid extra for overtime work.
  • Costing using HR rates: Standard Costing in Oracle Projects requires users to set up rates by job or by employee with Oracle Projects Rate schedules. If a company is already using Oracle HR and holding employee rate information there, that information cannot be reused in Standard Costing. That is, companies cannot use HR rates directly to cost labor charges to a project.
  • Costing using actual payroll information: The distribution of actual payroll costs to project labor transactions is an industry standard in a variety of industries, such as construction, where companies typically work with small margins. Without this ability, variations between Standard Costing calculations and actual costs may be greater than the profits on projects.

Because such costing requirements could not be met with Standard Costing, Oracle Projects has traditionally provided three Client Extensions that companies could use to address a wider range of needs: These extensions are:

  1. Labor Costing Extension, which can be used to override or replace the costing algorithm provided by Oracle. It essentially allows users to implement any business logic they choose to cost labor transactions.
  2. Labor Overtime Extension, which can be used to determine overtime transactions, and then classify and cost them based on the appropriate overtime rules.
  3. Related Item Extension, which allows users to create separate “related” transactions for different labor-cost components in order to gain visibility for reporting or billing purposes.

Understanding the Enhancements

The new enhancements in Oracle Projects Release 12.2 allow companies to address various costing requirements without the use of these extensions. There are three key enhancements:

  1. Total Time Costing
  2. Costing Using HR Rates, and
  3. Costing Using Payroll Actuals.

These elements are discussed in subsequent blog articles.

By Randy Egger
President, Project Partners LLC
Former chief architect of Oracle E-Business Suite Projects applications

Over 20 years ago, Finance and IT organizations (under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer), were in control of systems and desperately wanted to instill some financial controls and measures into the Delivery organizations that ran projects. The battle was always that the Project Managers (PMs) didn’t want to be controlled by departments they felt had no understanding of the world of project management, they wanted complete flexibility to best deliver their projects, and they were not concerned with the CFO’s desire for visibility into projects. Most PMs managed projects using personal systems based on Microsoft® Excel or Microsoft Access. The more sophisticated project managers used Microsoft Project, and the most advanced firms used Primavera, Cascade, Mantix, Artemis, and Cobra. BUT, the project systems used by PMs seldom could reflect accurate cost data which then made it difficult to really know the financial health of the project. Therefore, many PMs simply managed to effort and schedule.

In the “old days” a job code equating to a project was part of the general ledger chart of accounts – and most PMs were not strongly concerned about financials. So, how could you let accountants manage financials and project managers manage projects? You needed a system that allows both worlds to obtain the information that they wanted in the format that they wanted. To meet this need, in the early 1990’s Oracle released its first Project Accounting (PA) system: a true project based sub-ledger.

When the initial implementations of PA started, it was the Finance group that was imposing controls onto the Project Managers. Finance wanted visibility into ongoing projects, hence Finance was making most of the decisions, which generated friction between the organizations. To meet the requirements driven by Finance, PMs needed to change the way they were managing projects and that introduced a large opportunity for Change Management.

Getting structure into a non-structured environment was the primary challenge. When companies have been doing things a certain way for decades, it is VERY hard to change that culture… so compromises are made in an attempt to balance the needs of both organizations. Some folks would create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to map to a Cost Structure simply so that they could track and control costs. Other companies placed intelligence into both the Project number as well as the WBS … because that was the way it was always done in the past. Some would claim that it made controlling charges easier while others would claim that it made reporting easier. But, in both cases, Project/Task naming was mirroring the way a General Ledger chart of accounts is structured, and not the way a project manager manages a project.

As time progressed, operations and project-based delivery organizations matured and developed a better understanding of what is needed to facilitate harmony between Finance and Project based Operations. At the same time, Oracle developed a Project Management system that was closely linked to its Project Accounting application. When Oracle released its Oracle Project Management (PJT) application and companies began to implement it, it became clear that Oracle had taken one step closer to really bridging the Accounting world to the Project Management world. But that still was not enough. PMs wanted and needed an EASY tool to assist them with their Project Management needs. Then, Oracle made the smart decision to purchase Primavera.

For those companies that implemented Oracle Project Costing and Project Billing only, without a futuristic vision of having a truly integrated Project Management system in place, trying to implement any form of integration of Project Accounting to a Project Management system became a horrible mess. When that happens, the only real thing that can be done is to update the implementation of Project Costing and Project Billing with a clear understanding of how it would integrate with either Oracle Project Management or Primavera. If there are other major issues that also need to be addressed, then a complete reimplementation of these modules should be considered.

Any company that is upgrading to E-Business Suite Release 12, or implementing R12 for the first time, will have the opportunity to rethink or redefine how they will move to become a truly project centric organization. Whether you are implementing for the first time, updating your implementation or re-implementing, thinking through the business needs that address both Project Accounting and Project Management will be paramount for your future long term success.

This issue applies to more firms than one might initially expect. I have always stated that “every company is a project company … they just don’t know it yet.” As more and more organizations decide to operate their firm or certain divisions on a project basis to better understand costs and level of effort and to develop repeatable processes using a structured Project Management methodology they will look to Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solutions, which remain the most complete in the market. And they will benefit from the significant evolution of these applications that enable Finance and Project Management to work together in harmony.

Businesses of various shapes and sizes across the globe continue to invest in and expand the footprint of their ERP applications. Much of this increased spend includes mission critical projects such as

1) Upgrades

2) Deploying new applications and

3) Migrating new businesses, acquired companies, countries and/or re-engineered processes into an existing “corporate” ERP.

So how do these companies begin the process? What are the key considerations in play to complete these daunting tasks within an Oracle ERP environment?

Oracle E-Business Suite Applications Releases 11i and R12, and Oracle Fusion Applications – the significant majority of existing Oracle ERP customers use these 3 applications suites.
Read the rest of this entry »

by Robert D. Anderson, CPA

On January 18th, I presented a webinar featuring a case study of a firm that is successfully using Oracle E-Business Suite Projects, Oracle Order Management and Oracle Receivables, and I showed how they manage their revenue.  This customer leverages R12.1.3 revenue management functionality for GAAP revenue recognition and uses EBS Projects with a different revenue recognition basis.  In this webinar I also showed how creative approaches to integrating Orders and Projects are possible with minimal development, that robust solutions support long term business needs while also providing flexibility for growth, and that simple approaches lead to the best long term solutions.

Sound interesting?  You can view the webinar here

Your firm made a large investment in Oracle Applications because management knows that using Oracle E-Business Suite Projects will help increase profitability and ensure that project objectives are met. But your project managers and administrators already have full time jobs, and they frequently remind IT and Line of Business Managers that they don’t have extra time to learn new software or hours every day to use project management programs. End-user adoption or acceptance of new software is often the biggest hurdle to bringing in new programs, no matter how great the functionality is.

But the fact remains: your firm needs to meet its business goals and has bought or is considering buying Oracle EBS Applications because of the improved business performance that results from a successful implementation.

So how can YOU help your firm maximize the return on its software investment?

Here’s a great start: You can have your project managers and administrators trained on Oracle EBS Projects in 82% less time and spending 40% less time on a daily basis, using a familiar Microsoft® Excel front-end, ensuring rapid end-user adoption, and putting your company on the fast track to the many benefits provided by Oracle.

View this webinar and see how our User Interface Applications free up your firm’s employees to make more strategic contributions and achieve business objectives.