Out-of-the-Box Features: Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Services (PCMCS) - System Reports Program Documentation

Published March 25 2020 by Alecs Mlynarzek
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Hello again, and welcome to my latest Profitability and Cost Management blog post. The focus of this blog is around one reporting capability that I consider crucial for any Oracle Profitability and Cost Management implementation. The out of the box report called “Program Documentation” comes included with your Enterprise Cloud Subscription, as part of Profitability and Cost Management, and it is by far one of the most used features of the tool during development as well as Business As Usual (BAU) activities.

Many demos of Oracle PCM focus on how to set up rules and the easy steps to spin off What if Scenarios – which are, without a doubt, flexibility enablers that should support decision-making regarding choice of Profitability and Cost Management software.

However, not as much time is spent during demos on one of the most loved features, available in both On-Premises and Cloud – the System Reports. This is one capability that never stops to amaze Business Analysts, Finance, and IT teams alike, as it is rich in information, dynamic, and used almost every time a Profit and Costing model runs.

Besides their usefulness for application owners, System Reports are also part of the documents and logs requested by Oracle Support when submitting Oracle SRs. For a more detailed analysis regarding the steps you need to take to get a faster and more meaningful response to your Profitability and Cost Management Service Request, check out my prior blog post on the topic here.

System Reports can also be requested and leveraged for auditing purposes.

Disclaimer: the PCM menus and display can evolve over time. As such, screenshots contained in this blog may not be 100% aligned with your current version of Profitability and Cost Management. All images were taken from the 19.12 version of the Cloud software.

What are System Reports?

Profitability and Cost Management System Reports are Out of The Box reports that provide supporting information during analysis, troubleshooting, maintenance as well as during new development efforts.

They contain critical information to the well-defined application, supplying critical information that can also be used during analysis and troubleshooting alongside the Oracle Support staff.

All PCM System Reports are accessed through the Navigator menu.

Although there are many system reports included with your Profitability and Cost Management license, this blog will perform a deep dive on only one of them – the Program Documentation report.

Program Documentation Report

The Program Documentation Report represents a complete up-to-date, dynamic list of Rulesets and Rules for a chosen Point Of View (POV).  Unlike most other SaaS applications where a calculation script or a business rule is stored within the application, regardless of Scenarios, Years, Periods, and Versions combinations, the Profitability Management Ledger applications can have a different set of rules for each combination if members within these dimensions. This capability enables end-users to quickly react to business changes by setting up allocation logic routines or to define new What-If analysis situations and anticipate the impact of either data, calculation methodology, or organizational structure changes.

The Program Documentation report can also be used as a tracking mechanism to compare changes made to the calculation methodology over time. Prior Point of View rulesets and rules will be frozen in time and can be displayed as they were when a data set ran through the model.

In other words, if your calculation methodology changed between Jan and March 2020, you can list out a report for each of these months and compare the allocation methodology available at that point in time, guiding you to the answer of what may have impacted the model results.

As soon as a ruleset or rule is updated in the system, this report will display the updated information, containing:

  • ruleset and rules names
  • ruleset and rules descriptions
  • rule types (allocations or custom calculations)
  • associated rule ID number (unique identifier for each rule by each POV)
  • calculation sequencing / order of operation
  • iteration (one or many)
  • execution mode (sequence or parallel processing)
  • whether the rule is enabled or not for a given POV

The Program Documentation report currently has a set of available formats in which it can be downloaded and stored: PDF, XLS, WORD, XML, HTML.

The existence of this report eliminates the need of maintenance for related documentation, as changes to allocation logic are automatically reflected, ensuring a live update of all required calculation evidence.

Note: although the Program Documentation Report enables end-users to compare different POVs and identify changes made over time, it is good practice is to always track changes made to a rule in a short comment within the Rule description. Recording the date, time, and owner of a methodology change is also advisable, especially in situations where you have multiple model owners.

Alternatively, if a rule descriptions was never added and yet the rules have been updated, the Program Documentation report keeps track of the last date time stamp when a rule was modified and by which user, so that the owner of the change can be consulted for further clarifications.

All hyperlinks available in the document will guide the user to the relevant rule definition section, embedded within the same report.

For example, when the Custom Calculation rule “Utilities Expense Adjustment” hyperlink is selected, it will direct the end-user to a grid with the selections for that specific rule.

For Custom calculations, the following details, which correspond to the tabs available within the Graphical User Interface, will be tracked in the Program Documentation as well:

In the case of a standard allocation rule, all the contents of the rule (each tab represented during allocation rules build) will also have a corresponding section:

At the bottom of each page, the report indicates the unique POD and instance identifier, to enable users to quickly understand where the report was generated from, as well as the date time stamp.

Launching System Reports is an activity that can be performed by all Profitability and Cost Management Users; however, the Job Library will not track these actions, as they are generating information based on existing configurations, nor will it indicate who launched the last System Report for an application.

Conclusion

Program Documentation Reports are crucial to the transparency and tracking capability within Oracle Profitability Management Ledger applications. These Out of the Box reports will dynamically track allocation definitions, enabling easy troubleshooting and comparison over time, supporting auditing requests as well as knowledge transfer activities.

Alongside the out of the box data analysis capabilities around analysis views and queries, which were covered in previous blog posts, the model analysis supports live recording of application configuration. There is no more need to maintain offline documentation, which has the tendency of becoming disconnected with the latest version of the allocation rules and can cause confusion over time.

A good grasp of what the Oracle PCM System Reports have to offer is mandatory for any implementation partner as well as Profitability and Cost Management administrator. Not only will such reports support a constant monitoring window into the model but should also be leveraged for performance optimization and in support of model improvement opportunities. Don’t miss my next blog post on Profitability and Cost Management, which will cover the Execution Statics report and its value add during optimization efforts.

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at infosolutions@alithya.com.  Visit our blog regularly for new posts about Cloud updates and other Oracle Cloud Services such as Planning and Budgeting, Financial Consolidation, Account Reconciliation, and Enterprise Data Management.  Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.

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