By Hoa Pham
January 4th, 2018
Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCS) is an evolution of the consolidation solutions that Oracle/Hyperion have developed, as market-leading solutions from IMRS Micro Control to Hyperion Enterprise to Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), for the past 3 decades. The emphasis with FCCS, however, is that it is a step forward to the cloud platform.
Oracle has always been clear that FCCS and HFM represent two different platforms, and therefore, we should not think of FCCS as a direct replacement of HFM. Similar to recent history, we generally did not think of HFM to be equivalent to Hyperion Enterprise because they had inherent differences. Of course, all the tools are meant to consolidate and report on financial data, but they each have a different fit.
Since FCCS was introduced to the market about 2 years ago, there has been a steady growth of its capabilities. 2018 brings great news in terms of major FCCS enhancements that have arrived or will be arriving soon. We’ll discuss some more below.
Keep in mind the Safe Harbor disclosure that Oracle puts out when it discusses the direction of future development work. This generally means that there is no final commitment and the client should not use this information for procurement purposes.
FCCS Enhancements in 2017
Oracle delivered some major FCCS enhancements that Oracle at the end of 2017 (If you have a current FCCS subscription you have access to these new features):
- Copy Data and Clear Data: These are service administrator tasks. Copy data works by copying data from one set of Scenario/Year/Period/Entity/DataSource intersections into another. Copy data is useful when you need to populate data in a separate Scenario member for testing purposes such as a sandbox. Clear data works by one set of Scenario/Year/Period/Entity/DataSource. Clear data is useful as part of testing when you have old data that is no longer necessary to keep.
- Configurable calculations and translations: These are also service administrator tasks. For clients that have unique calculations that FCCS does not inherently give out-of-the-box, for example, a client that needs to record a second-pass allocation of expenses based on a stored driver. This client can now create this calculation in FCCS using the Calculation Manager interface. Additionally, for clients that have a different treatment to the standard translation methodology in FCCS, they can now configure those exceptions.
- Advanced consolidations: This is sometimes called statutory consolidations and it applies to companies that consolidate legal entity data at less than 100% consolidation. Typically, this functionality is useful to a company that needs to recognize non-controlling interest (formerly called minority interest) and/or eliminate investments in subsidiaries against shareholder’s equity. FCCS will have configurable setup to facilitate statutory consolidations. By the way, this is driven by the entity dimension only in FCCS. Oracle is currently controlling the activation of the Advanced consolidations module in FCCS so it requires a Service Request. We expect it will be less directly controlled in early 2018 and a client will not need to submit a Service Request by then.
What’s Promised in 2018
Now let’s take a look at the anticipated major enhancements coming that Oracle has given us some information about:
- Extended & configurable Custom dimensions: This will be a major event for current customers on HFM who are planning to migrate to FCCS but have an issue with the limited number of Custom dimensions. In HFM, the typical client will have 3-4 Custom dimensions and some clients have 5-6 Custom dimensions. Targeted for roughly the February/March 2018 release, FCCS will accept up to 6 Custom dimensions (if the client is using the Multi-GAAP setting, then it takes one slot and the client will have 5 other Custom dimensions available). There is a heads-up from Oracle that this major FCCS release will require an application rebuild if an existing FCCS client chooses to activate this functionality.
- Enhancing the User role to grant more tasks: The security User role will be given more ability to execute other tasks in FCCS. The two tasks that will make the User role more productive will be: (a) loading data files using Data Management; (b) running the system intercompany matching report.
- Performance improvements: Oracle will be focusing on performance and scalability on the FCCS platform throughout 2018. We are told that it will be incrementally improved with each release in 2018 so it won’t be one big bang but a series of steady jumps. Expect for major tasks like the database refresh time and the consolidation run-time to be addressed by Oracle.
These items above are just some of the bigger enhancements. Oracle has added many other items to FCCS. We expect 2018 to be a major turning point in the evolution of FCCS and how well it fits more and more clients. Watch this space for more details about FCCS in 2018.