At RECONNECT 19, Jian Wen, Oracle Product Strategy Director for PeopleSoft Financial Management Solutions, spoke about how to integrate the latest innovations for PeopleSoft Finance and Accounting. She provided an update on Oracle’s PeopleSoft Financial Control and Reporting solution and the efficiency gained with Fluid expansions such as maintenance of the financial structure, journal entry through configuration, and real-time insights with business intelligence as the period close progresses. There are several PeopleSoft Financials capabilities that you can selectively adopt as well as many planned features on the roadmap that help to drive efficiency, productivity, and a shorter close cycle, as well as new reporting opportunities.
PeopleSoft Financial Management is focused on providing solutions by refining processes and providing visual insights for reporting and decision making. Wen highlighted some of her favorite best-kept-secret features, demonstrated a few, and gave a quick overview of features on the PeopleSoft roadmap that users can look forward to seeing.
Innovations in PeopleSoft Finance and Accounting
Throughout the presentation, Wen demonstrated with an established Fluid homepage but noted that it is not required to be used. PeopleSoft Financial Management aggregates related information and displays tiles that can provide both snapshots of actionable information as well as navigation to Fluid applications. Tiles can be compared to pagelets used in Classic homepages.
Adding and Copying Business Units
PeopleSoft has a long history of accommodating new business entity acquisition. Users can easily add business units for these new acquisitions. In response to customer demand, PeopleSoft also recently made it possible to deactivate a business unit after the sale or disposition of a business entity as well. The General Ledger Business Unit Management feature allows users to set up business units using the PeopleTools Activity Guide. It combines the most common components used to create business units into a single location. Now, users can quickly define a General Ledger business unit using one central component.
Users can copy an existing structure in Business Unit Management and would need to do so if their company acquires a new business. From the General Ledger homepage, she selects the tile that manages the General Ledger business unit. Wen pointed out her “My Favorites” set under her list type. She noted that a General Ledger business unit does not create new business units for users. Instead, it allows users to update existing business unit settings. Users begin by selecting the business unit to copy. To access the options to copy or remove, Wen selected the green button in the row for that business unit in the Actions column. She then selects “Copy.”
When adding a new General Ledger business unit, the system prompts users through a series of questions. These questions are associated with one or more steps in the activity guide. How users answer these questions determines whether the system displays or hides associate steps in the activity guide.
If users inactivate all steps associated with a question in the activity guide template, that question is no longer displayed. To inactivate steps, users select PeopleTools > Portal > Activity Guide > Manage Template. Users then select the General Ledger Business Unit template. In the configure Action Items, the General Information tab is selected, and the Active checkbox is deselected.
Fluid Simple Journal
Wen also walked through the Fluid Simple Journal. She noted that PeopleSoft has received feedback from users who prefer not to have the power users role. The reason for the roles, she explained, is to accommodate the many customers with a customized online journal entry, which allows for configuring instead of customization. Users can assign roles to a group of people as part of this effort. This supports users with a distributed accounting model. The ability to configure offers several advantages including the ability to improve operational efficiency, reduce complexity for users, and reduce customizations.
Users can begin creating a Fluid Simple Journal by copying a template or journal. Wen encouraged users to upload PeopleSoft’s new spreadsheet journal to increase user productivity and access web service technology. The spreadsheet journal upload expansion includes a pre-validation option and a staging area. Any errors from this journal will pass back to the spreadsheet.
Wen demonstrated how to use an accounting tag to simplify data entry. The accounting tag helps reduce manual entry. It also standardizes the ChartField Display and displays the transactions relevant to accounting information. The accounting tag makes it possible to consolidate the classic SpeedChart and SpeedType. It can be leveraged by any of the products. To leverage this with the accounting tag, users need to indicate on the form that the tag should be available for General Ledger, AP, and Purchasing. Now, the user does not need to create multiples to do the same thing. It also standardizes the accounting entry definition for Fluid.
The Spreadsheet Journal Import process can be used to streamline the journal import and simplify journal data entry using Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheet Journal Import uses a front-end interface that provides users with an easy-to-follow menu for entering data, specifying defaults, and importing journals. With Spreadsheet Journal Import, users can enter foreign, base, and statistical journals, as well as adjusting journal entries.
To improve user experience, PeopleSoft offers the option to adjust the online journal edit and post option to a background process. Users can schedule a process automatically to avoid having to watch the little wheel turn as the screen is still and the process is completing. Instead, users can work on another journal entry and later return to the journal.
Users can also now access the recently expanded General Ledger WorkCenters. Users can access mass journal delete and submit journals for approval enmass. The page is also organized now to make finding specific journals easy.
Improvements for inter-unit journal approval make it possible to automatically approve more than one at a time. Users can simply select “Automatically Approve Non-Anchor Business Unit journals“ on the page for Journal Entry Options.
PeopleSoft also now offers a clearinghouse for external sources/third parties where PeopleSoft does the editing for customers. PeopleSoft does the general ledger tasks including inter/intra unit accounting, ChartField mass change, and manual changes. The ability for users to do a mass change in one step is a significant advantage. The original data remains intact, but the information brought into PeopleSoft is edited. This provides an audit trail for users.
Wen also walked through the next generation of ChartField request, which is accessible through the activity guide. This form has several key benefits including the ability to increase productivity through simplicity and being accessible anytime and anywhere. Fundamentally, it empowers business users. It improves accessibility via self-service and makes possible leveraging questionnaires and configurable templates, managing chart field trees, performing impact analysis, and collaborating with approvers. Any PeopleSoft user can make a request. The program allows collaboration with reviewers and approvals from the business perspective and the system perspective. The request fulfillment is finalized by the system reviewer only after approvals have been made.
Roadmap for PeopleSoft Finance and Accounting
The roadmap for PeopleSoft Finance and Accounting includes plans to increase transparency in financial controls. Feedback from users indicated the need to understand why a journal was denied. PeopleSoft intends to add a field for Approver Comments to accommodate this.
Another opportunity on the PeopleSoft roadmap to improve efficiency through journal processes includes the ability to select “Mark Journal for Post” by user. Now users can search, select, and post by user.
The roadmap also includes plans for HCM Global Payroll to expand the ChartFields from 8 to 21 so it is up to the standards of General Ledger.
To learn more about the latest innovations for PeopleSoft Finance and Accounting, check out the RECONNECT 19 presentation attached below.
COLLABORATE 20 will take place April 19-23, 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada! Don’t miss this chance to share inspiration, insights, and solutions with your peers, vendors, and the Oracle team! Register before March 6, 2020, to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.
If you’re looking for more PeopleSoft content, join us next year at RECONNECT 20, the premier deep-dive PeopleSoft focused event of the year! The event will take place July 21-23, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Keep an eye out for more information on this event!