Monday Sep 22, 2014

The New Revenue Recognition Standard: Performance Matters

Last week I was talking to Seamus Moran, our resident accountant and we chatted about the new Revenue recognition Standard, Topic 606 and IFRS 15.

He’d just been speaking at a couple of conferences, and noted that the fundamentals of the standard are beginning to click with people.

A few months ago, he said, it wasn’t obvious to people that the core principle, “you should recognize revenue as you transfer goods and services to customers” was a mandate to recognize revenue as you performed.  That is, as you delivered, executed and serviced.  But now, that mandate was being more widely understood: you must recognize revenue as you perform.

One example is a software company that ships a game with some missions or episodes missing.  Under today’s GAAP, they would have to defer all the revenue until the missing episodes were published. Under the new standard, they would have to – not just “could” – recognize the revenue that related to the delivery they had performed, and postpone recognizing the rest of the revenue until they delivered the delayed missions.  A key question is how to identify and value a performance obligation of this nature, especially since this company doesn’t sell missions separately.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

Oracle Delivers New Generation Revenue Recognition Solution

 

Revenue is a fundamental yardstick of a company's performance, and one of the most important metrics for investors in the capital markets. So it’s no surprise that the accounting standard boards have devoted significant resources to this topic, with a key goal of ensuring that companies use a consistent method of recognizing revenue.

Due to the myriad of revenue-generating transactions, and the divergent ways organizations recognize revenue today, the IFRS and FASB have been working for 12 years on a common set of accounting standards that apply to all industries in virtually all countries. Through their joint efforts on May 28, 2014 the FASB and IFRS released the IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers) converged accounting standard.

This standard applies to revenue in all public companies, but heavily impacts organizations in any industry that might have complex sales contracts with multiple distinct deliverables (obligations). For example, an auto dealer who bundles free service with the sale of a car can only recognize the service revenue once the owner of the car brings it in for work. Similarly, high-tech companies that bundle software licenses, consulting, and support services on a sales contract will recognize bundled service revenue once the services are delivered. Now all companies need to review their revenue for hidden bundling and implicit obligations.

Numerous time-consuming and judgmental activities must be performed to properly recognize revenue for complex sales contracts. To illustrate, after the contract is identified, organizations must identify and examine the distinct deliverables, determine the estimated selling price (ESP) for each deliverable, then allocate the total contract price to each deliverable based on the ESPs.

In terms of accounting, organizations must determine whether the goods or services have been delivered or performed to the customer’s satisfaction, then either book revenue in the current period or record a liability for the obligation if revenue will be recognized in a future accounting period.

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud was architected and developed so organizations can simplify and streamline revenue recognition. Among other capabilities, the solution uses business rules to efficiently identify and examine contracts, intelligently calculate and allocate deliverable prices based on prescribed inputs, and accurately recognize revenue for each deliverable based on customer satisfaction.

"Oracle works very closely with our customers, the Big 4 accounting firms, and the accounting standard boards to deliver an adaptive, comprehensive, new generation revenue recognition solution,” said Rondy Ng, Senior Vice President, Applications Development. “With the recently announced IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9, Oracle is ready to support customer adoption of the new standard with our Revenue Management Cloud,” said Rondy.

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud, an integral part of Oracle Financials Cloud, helps organizations comply with accounting standards, provides them with confidence that reported revenue is materially accurate, and simplifies the accounting process for revenue recognition.

Stay tuned to this blog for regular updates on Oracle Revenue Management Cloud. We also invite you to review our new oracle.com ERP pages @ oracle.com/erp. We will be updating these pages very soon with more information about Oracle Revenue Management Cloud.

Saturday Mar 01, 2014

Are You Ready for Oracle Financials Cloud Release 8?

If you are an existing Oracle Financials Cloud customer, learn what's new in the upcoming Oracle Financials Cloud release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more. And for those of you considering whether the time is right for your organization to to move to the Cloud, get a first-hand look at all that Oracle has to offer.

With over 20 new features such as downloading credit card transactions to your mobile device and manager approvals of expense reports via your iPhone, users can get more work done that works for their schedule.  

Click here for more information.

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Cloud Financials, Enterprise Social Networks More Attractive to CFOs

Finance departments are ready to exploit today's potentially disruptive cloud, mobile, big data and social technologies to transform how they do business, in part by using social networks to collaborate more effectively. That was the message of "Empowering Modern Finance," a panel at the Oracle OpenWorld conference held last week in San Francisco.  If you missed the OpenWorld panel discussion, check out the summary published on TechTarget.  Read full article.

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

OpenWorld Attendees: Attend Finance General Session - Empowering Modern Finance

Attending OpenWorld 2013?  Don’t forget to add the Finance General Session to your schedule! Oracle teams up with Deloitte, IDC, and Curse, Inc. to share how disruptive technologies are empowering the modern finance organization. Empowering Modern Finance. (Session ID: GEN8986)

Add it to your schedule today!

Tuesday May 14, 2013

Integrating the New Financials Apps in the Cloud with Your Existing Apps

A guest post by Joe Gum, Senior Director, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle Applications

A quick YouTube search will bring up hundreds of videos of thought leaders and happy customers talking about adopting the cloud. We’re seeing anecdotal evidence at every CloudWorld event that business owners and users are steadily moving in that direction. And we’re seeing the same progression in our cloud conversations (and signed deals) with our customers.

The cloud delivers business agility, increased storage, and cost savings -- all good reasons to embrace this new service. But at some point the question arises: will the new solutions integrate with my existing enterprise applications? And more specifically, will the new Oracle Financials Cloud Service integrate with my older enterprise applications?

I’m here to answer that question for you. Read on to learn how Oracle Financials Cloud Service can meet your integration requirements using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF Services), ADF Desktop Integration, File-Based Data Import, and reporting tools.

ADF Services (commonly referred to as Web Services), provide a standardized way of integrating two Web-based applications through XML data exchange. A real-life example might be a banking Web service that has functions for checking an account, printing a statement, and depositing and withdrawing funds. These functions are described in a Web service description (WSDL) file that any consumer can invoke to access the banking Web service. The Web service consumer (using a desktop application) invokes the Web service by submitting a request in the form of an XML document to the Web service provider.

Oracle Financials Cloud Service uses Oracle’s ADF Business Components (ADF Service) to create its Web services, and all the available Web services are documented in detail in the Oracle Enterprise Repository.

Let’s move on to ADF Desktop Integration (ADFdi). It also is part of the ADF framework and offers Excel spreadsheet templates to provide validated entry of large volumes of data into Oracle Financials Cloud Service. The integration provided with ADFdi includes pick lists to search for valid values, validation during data entry, error messages, and immediate submission of transactions directly from Excel.

Next up is the File Based Data Import (FBDI) process. It is another option for getting information into Oracle Financials applications. External data can be extracted and formatted into a .csv source file and uploaded to the server for transfer into interface tables and import into Oracle Financials applications. All of the data is validated during import to insure its integrity.

Finally, reporting tools can be used to extract data and import into external systems via XML, Excel, or other file types. Oracle Financials Cloud Service has four reporting tools which can be used to extract data from Oracle Financials and import into your external systems.

  • BI Publisher delivers high-volume transactional reports, such as Invoice Registers or Trial Balance reports, that can be configured to extract the data in Rich Text Format or XML
  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence for Financials provides the ability to build custom queries on transactional data, and the output can be downloaded to Excel
  • Financial Reporting Center enables real-time reporting based on multi-dimensional general ledger balances. Reports can be produced in multiple output formats, such as HTML, PDF, Excel, and other MS Office products
  • Smart View is an Microsoft Office plug-in for financial users to perform ad hoc, real-time, multi-dimensional analysis on general ledger balances in Excel

Don’t let integration issues cause gridlock in your decision-making process to adopt the cloud for your financial operations. Any concerns you have about integrating to other systems can be met using the tools available in Oracle Financials Cloud Service. Please take advantage of this Oracle white paper on the same topic that offers a bit more detail and helpful diagrams. 

Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

Everyone Does Not Speak English - Fusion Financials Addresses Global Markets

A word from Joe Gum, Senior Director, Fusion Financials Product Strategy 

Imagine trying to purchase a new phone, pay your bills, or book a cruise online if the software isn’t in a language you speak? As sophisticated users of the internet, we see a distinct increase in the number of multilingual users, as well as in the amount of Web content. E-commerce is growing in importance for the international market that lies at our fingertips.

Business owners can decide to ignore these issues and keep their businesses small and regional. Global companies don’t have that luxury, nor would they want to. These companies need enterprise grade software that can be used around the world. The software needs to have the flexibility to adapt to various languages and local business practices while complying with local regulations.

We designed Fusion Applications from the ground up with the global customer in mind. The suite includes essential internationalization functionality, translation and multilingual support, and localization features. For example, Fusion Applications supports multiple date formats, number formats, names, addresses, phone numbers, and currency symbols. It also supports unlimited accounting representations and statutory reporting needs—all on a single global instance using standard preferences and setup. This allows global customers to adapt their software for a specific region or language without requiring multiple installations of the product and without engineering changes or customizations.

No one should have to settle for less. Why select a Cloud service vendor who is halfway there when you can select one who can meet all your global and multinational needs? And, with the ongoing addition of new language support with every release, Fusion applications soon will support the world’s 22 most popular languages.

We also provide localizations in Fusion Applications. These are country specific extensions to meet local business requirements. China, for example, is a country with many different local and legal requirements. The Fusion payroll solution has extensions for China, as well as for Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States. For Financials, localizations also exist for China, plus United States, Singapore, France, and the European Union.

Even without country specific features, Fusion can be configured to support many local requirements, such as payroll and transaction taxes. You can depend on Fusion Applications to be easy and straightforward to operate in multiple countries. We designed it to help global companies be successful in expanding to new markets and locales. These localization efforts support general business functionality across all areas of the business process, such as financial management, supply chain management, human resources, etc. with country-specific tax and statutory updates. Fusion Financials Cloud Service information.

Friday Apr 19, 2013

See How ERP Cloud Service Can Transform Your Organization

Did you know up to 64% of IT budgets are spent running day-to-day operations? Imagine what you could achieve if these resources were focused on encouraging business growth and driving innovation.

A recent Tech Strategy article by Financial Executives International shows how you can transform back office operations, replace expensive, fixed capital investments with scalable, cost-effective solutions, and redirect resources to enhance operational efficiency and improve business performance.

To find out more – read the full article and explore a wealth of instantly-available resources showing how your organization can:

  • Reduce costs with fewer ERP systems and an Opex expenditure model
  • Improve operational efficiency and productivity with simplified business processes
  • Deploy enterprise-grade software quickly and simply
  • Extend functionality as needed to CRM, Human Capital Management and Supply Chain Management
Discover how you could refocus your IT spend on driving innovation.  Access article.

Monday Jan 14, 2013

Moving Your Finance Operations to the Cloud – Join us at CloudWorld to Discover Why and How

Under pressure to change your financial business processes and not sure where to start? Is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) delivering on its promise to streamline core business processes or are you saddled with lengthy upgrades, legacy customizations, and complex integrations? You might be wondering whether cloud technology is a viable option – is it able to handle your security requirements for your financial data, your business complexities, and your specific needs for cost reduction. Is it really ready?

Yes, it is… Oracle cloud offers a broad portfolio of software as a service applications, platform as a service, and social capabilities, all on a subscription basis. It delivers instant value and productivity for finance professionals through functionally rich, integrated, enterprise cloud services.

With Oracle Cloud, you get enterprise-grade application services based on best-in-class business applications. Did you know that more than 25 million users rely on Oracle Cloud every day!!

Learn about the world’s most complete cloud for the enterprise at Oracle CloudWorld and in ONE DAY find out how Oracle can transform your organization! Don’t miss out, register for this FREE event today! 

Friday Dec 21, 2012

Registration is now open for Oracle CloudWorld! Come see the Cloud in action in Los Angeles, CA - January 29th

Is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) delivering on its promise to streamline core business processes or are you saddled with lengthy upgrades, legacy customizations, and complex integrations?

Learn about the world’s most complete cloud for the enterprise at Oracle CloudWorld and in ONE DAY find out how Oracle can transform your organization! Don’t miss out, register for this FREE event today! 

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Join the Cloud - Just Like Lending Club

See why Lending Club, the leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans, selected Oracle Fusion Financials to help improve decision-making and workflow, implement robust reporting, and take advantage of the scalability and cost savings provided by the cloud.

Watch the Lending Club video.

Additional Resources:

Monday Dec 10, 2012

Red Robin is Serving Up an Unbridled Experience of Burgers & Fries using Oracle Cloud Solutions

Looking to make investments in the core systems that speak to the heart and soul of their business, Red Robin chose Oracle Cloud Solutions.  Now their team can focus on business transformation, manage food costs more efficiently, and reduce the amount of hours spent on inventory and production planning. Listen to their story here.

Friday Oct 12, 2012

Lending Club Selects Oracle ERP Cloud Service

Another Oracle ERP Cloud Service customer turning to Oracle to help increase efficiencies and lower costs!! Lending Club, the leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans, has selected Oracle Fusion Financials to help improve decision-making and workflow, implement robust reporting, and take advantage of the scalability and cost savings provided by the cloud. After an extensive search, Lending Club selected Oracle due to the breadth and depth of capabilities and ongoing innovation of Oracle ERP Cloud Service.

Since their online lending platform is internally developed, they chose Oracle Fusion Financials in the cloud to easily integrate with current systems, keep IT resources focused on the organization’s own platform, and reap the benefits of lowered costs in the cloud. The automation, communication and collaboration features in Oracle ERP Cloud Service will help Lending Club achieve their efficiency goals through better workflow, as well as provide greater control over financial data. Lending Club is also implementing robust analytics and reporting to improve decision-making through embedded business intelligence.

“Oracle Fusion Financials is clearly the industry leader, setting an entirely new level of insight and efficiencies for Lending Club,” said Carrie Dolan, CFO, Lending Club. “We are not only incredibly impressed with the best-of-breed capabilities and business value from our adoption of Oracle Fusion Financials, but also the commitment from Oracle to its partners, customers, and the ongoing promise of innovation to come.”

Resources:

If you haven't heard about Oracle ERP Cloud Service, check it out today!


Tuesday Oct 09, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld Recap - A Walk in the Clouds (and heat in San Francisco)!

Whether you were one of the 50,000 attendees in San Francisco or one of the million+ online attendees – we’d like to thank you for joining us at Oracle OpenWorld last week! With temperatures in the 80s and 90s, attendees traveled the overheated streets to join packed keynotes and general sessions – all to find the information they came in search of – Oracle solutions to address their business requirements and challenges.

The buzz of this year’s OpenWorld was all about ‘The Cloud’. And, the financial management team joined in the cloud buzz with Thomas Kurian’s keynote which highlighted our ERP Cloud Service as the most complete cloud service on the market. Offering the full breadth of business operations, including Financial Management, Risk and Control Management, Project Portfolio Management, Procurement, Sourcing, and Inventory Management, Oracle ERP Cloud Service transforms the back office into a collaborative, efficient, and intuitive hub. And, our product marketing expert on Financial Management, Annette Melatti, provided a glimpse of what the office of finance looks like in the 21st century as well as shared what’s next for Oracle’s financial solutions discussing the future of Financial Management with Fusion Financials, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and the JD Edwards solutions. There were over 120 sessions from customers, partners, and Oracle experts that addressed financial management solutions along with demo pods and Meet the Experts sessions. We hope you found what you were looking for! Missed any of the keynotes or general sessions? Watch them on demand here.

At OpenWorld, we also announced that Lending Club, the leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans, has selected Oracle ERP Cloud Service to help improve decision-making, implement robust reporting, and take advantage of the cost savings provided by the cloud. The CFO of Lending Club, Carrie Dolan had mentioned that they “are an innovative, data-intensive, high-growth company and needed a solution and partner that could match us. We conducted a thorough review of our options, and Oracle ERP Cloud Service was the clear winner in terms of capabilities and business value as well as commitment to us as a customer.” Read the entire release here.

For now, it’s back to business as we gear up for the second half of our fiscal year and start planning for Oracle OpenWorld 2013!

Thursday Aug 16, 2012

Financial Management in the Cloud: Is It Right for Your Business?

A guest post by Terrance Wampler, Vice President, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle

In a previous post, we explored the pros and cons of SaaS as compared to the traditional software delivery model. Now, here are some proof points to help you make the decision about moving to the cloud. Start by asking your IT department what they’ve done with cloud services. What worked, and, more importantly, what didn't work? If there was a problem, was it about service levels? Cost negotiation? Or was the provider not good? What they learned can help the success of future projects.

The second thing to consider is your governance model around acquisitions. Will you have to change your policies and your governance of IT procurement if you move to the cloud? Do you have to bring in other players besides IT, maybe a line of business, or is the governance model actually in the acquisition? Is there already a service provider you can leverage?

Here’s a piece that customers don't always think about: Do you have a company asset that you might be able to monetize with cloud services? Not only are you looking at how you acquire cloud services, but you might see cloud services as an opportunity to monetize some intellectual property that you have. You can work with the cloud services provider to make that available and give yourself a better negotiation edge and partnership.

Who will be measuring and monitoring your service level agreements? Do you need a revised process? Different technology? Will another organization do it? How will the results be communicated? How do you audit the process? A cloud service supplier needs to do more than say his service level is great ─ he needs to prove it to you.

Interestingly, the one question that most people tend to save to the end is: Does the product functionally do what I need it to do? Does it actually have good feature sets? It sounds obvious, but we see people missing that one.

When it comes to Fusion Applications, everyone knows that it can be deployed on premise, on demand, and in the cloud — whatever way you want it. The SaaS solution also can be part of a co-existence scenario. You can keep your on premise software, and then over time, move select components to a SaaS model.

As a cloud service provider, Oracle is very well known in the industry. We've been doing this for many years. We have large data centers running our services. We are very good about meeting our service level agreements and have excellent service renewal contracts for our SaaS business. Plus, the financial component of Fusion is a fully functional solution with all the capabilities you would expect it to have and competes well against the biggest ERPs.

At the end of the day, I believe that your evaluation of total cost of ownership is primarily an internal one. We’ve taken the need for comparing different products out of the mix. So think Fusion Applications when you have a strong business case for moving to the cloud.

Related Article: Five Ideas: Finance - What CFOs need to know about cloud and other technology solutions

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Focusing on solutions for the Office of Finance, this blog will highlight key financial management market trends, events and other news of interest.

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