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Watch Allyne Ramiro's (Head of Finance and Business Technology) testimony about MPL Fast Closing implementation and its positive impacts at HarperCollins Brasil.
A complex and costly routine
The monthly/annual close is a critical and burdensome process for all companies, demanding many hours from resources that could otherwise be focused on core activities.
Issues tend to accumulate throughout the month and are often left to be dealt with during the few days of the closing.
Fixing the issues can be challenging due to the lack of clarity in the reported errors, some of them are displayed in the user work center others are only listed in the generated reports. There isn’t a central repository for errors which means users need to search in different places to find possible errors for the executed processes.
Users responsible for the monthly and annual close work under tight schedules. Important checks such as validating system integrity reports may be bypassed in favour of expediency to meet fixed deadlines which can cause rework and financial restatements further down the line.
In addition to the known challenges there isn’t an easy way to track the closing process that give managers clear oversight of what processes are done, outstanding errors and remaining tasks to complete.
In the case of the annual close, as this is a less frequent process, there is a higher probability that users forget additional steps that also need to be performed such as the annual close report that calculates beginning balances for the new fiscal year.
To fill the demand reported by many clients MPL is introducing MPL Fast Closing, a new automation and management tool designed to expedite and streamline the monthly close process.
• Ongoing review and resolution of issues throughout the month avoiding the accumulation of errors to be fixed during the short month end period.Ongoing review and resolution of issues throughout the month avoiding the accumulation of errors to be fixed during the short month end period.
• Close processes are executed in a logic way following a predefined sequence without user intervention that includes validation of daily operations, posting transactions and integrity reports until all errors are cleared.
• Users are notified on an exception basis given that common issues are dealt with automatically.
• Improved management and visibility of the closing process through a dashboard where users can track progress, view flagged errors and act on the chosen resolution from the ones suggested by the tool.
• In essence the aim of the closing process automation is to reduce the amount of time and resources utilised during month close so that they can be freed up to work on activities that add real value to the company’s core business.
For all this to work clients take advantage of the following functionalities:
• Configuration of the close routine where each step of the process is defined along with any other required information. The tool to executes the routine automatically guiding the user for additional inputs where needed.
• Throughout the month validation reports are executed and potential issues notified to users so action can be taken pro-actively.
• Notifications are escalated in case issues are not dealt with in a pre-defined timescale.
• Graphic visualisation of the closing process with an optimised User Interface that manages notifications and reported issues through watchlists, dashboards and graphs.
• Faster error resolution through automation and process streamlining.
• At the end of the routine existing management reports are produced using the enhanced features of BI Publisher for layout and formatting. MPL Fast Closing takes advantage of Oracle´s latest technological offerings: Orchestration, Notifications, Composite Pages and EnterpriseOne Pages:
Technically, MPL Fast Closing uses the most current features provided by Oracle – Orchestrations, Notifications, Composite Pages and EnterpriseOne Pages:
Errors are displayed by type and corrective actions suggested accordingly:
Users are notified when an error occurs so they can take action pro-actively
Errors are grouped by type to drive the corrective action required (1)
Suggested actions are displayed to
guide the user through the error resolution (2)
Implementing Fast Closing
Deployment is a quick process as it only requires the installation of the pre-configured tool in your environment and user training.