By Brian Willson
May 2nd, 2018
The Movement dimension drives the behavior of your data in FCCS. Not understanding this concept in FCCS will lead to a lot of frustration when loading and reconciling historical data in FCCS. It is important to understand how movement members translate and where opening balances are populated.
For example, it is very important to spend time mapping your balance sheet accounts to the correct movement member for cash flow. If you have already loaded a full year of historical data and realize your cash flow movements are not correct, you will have to reload data to the correct movement or adjust your opening balances and move forward.
In addition to the Movement and Data Source dimensions, understanding the attributes of all dimensions will help in achieving the highest performance from FCCS. Incorrect dimension attributes can severely impact FCCS performance. With the new simplified dimension editor, it will notify a user when an invalid attribute is assigned to a member. But of course, this cannot validate 100% of the possible combinations.
It is also important to understand how the Data Source dimension is leveraged in certain activities within FCCS. Clearing data and Intercompany Eliminations within FCCS both leverage specific Data Source members. Having a greater appreciation for this concept will save you some frustration during development.
Opening Balances and Periodic vs. YTD
Understanding Opening Balances and Periodic vs YTD data loading is another key to success. FCCS automatically calculates the Opening Balance for all Balance Sheet and P&L accounts within the current year by getting the closing balance of the same account from previous year / last period. The Opening Balance is recorded within the Movement dimension. You then need to upload the periodic movement activity each month within the current year so that the current period closing balance equals the Opening Balance plus monthly activity. Though FCCS provides the ability to load YTD data from Data Management, it should be noted that FCCS stored data on a periodic basis. Given that FCCS automatically calculates the Opening Balances for any account, the data load file should only include the Periodic movement activity (i.e. the periodic difference between the current period vs prior period).
Built on Essbase
Finally, it is important to remember that FCCS is built on Essbase, which means the amount of data in the application impacts performance. The more data there is, the longer it takes to refresh the database after changes have been made to the application. In HFM, it is not uncommon to make changes in the application during the close process. Those activities will need to be considered and planned in FCCS as an extended database refresh could cause delays in the month-end close process. For example, security changes are stored at the Essbase layer, so changes require database refreshes. Other performance considerations include managing the number of snapshots maintained on the cloud as well as “cleaning up” Audit artifacts. These items can be easy archived on internal servers freeing up space on the cloud.
One More Thing…
FCCS is a great tool and you can take advantage of all the out of the box features and enhancements available when you understand that the optimal way of loading data is the foundation of making the application work for you.