Friday Jun 28, 2013

Create a Smoother Period Close

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Do You Use Oracle E-Business Suite Products Involved in Accounting Period Closes?

GPIcon We understand that closing the periods in your system at the end of an accounting period enables your company to make the right business decisions. We also know this requires prior preparation, good procedures, and quality data.

To help you meet that need, Oracle E-Business Suite’s proactive support team developed the Period Close Advisor to help your organization conduct a smooth period close for its Oracle E-Business Suite 12 products. The Period Close Advisor is composed of logical steps you can follow, aligned by the business requirement flow. It will help with an orderly close of the product sub-ledgers before posting to the General Ledger. It combines recommendations and industry best practices with tips from subject matter experts for troubleshooting. You will find patches needed and references to assist you during each phase.

Get to know the E-Business Suite Period Close Advisor

The Period Close Advisor does more than help the users of Oracle E-Business Suite products close their period. You can use it before and throughout the period to stay on track. Proactively it assists you as you set up your company’s period close process. During the period, it helps evaluate your system’s readiness for initiating the period close procedures and prepare the system for a smooth period close experience. The Period Close Advisor gets you to answers when you have questions and gives you the latest news from us on Oracle E-Business Suite’s period close. The Period Close Advisor is the right place to start.

How to Use the E-Business Suite Period Close

The Period Close Advisor graphically guides you through your period close. The tabs show you the products (also called applications or sub-ledgers) covered, and the product order required for the processing to handle any dependencies between the products. Users of all the products it covers can benefit from the information it contains.

Structure of the Period Close Advisor

Clicking on a tab gives you the details for that particular step in the process. This includes an overview, showing how the products fit into the overall period close process, and step-by-step information on each phase needed to complete the period close for the tab. You will also find multimedia training and related resources you can access if you need more information.
PCA Tabs

Once you click on any of the phases, you see guidance for that phase. This can include:

OM & Shipping Tab

  • Tips from the subject-matter experts—here are examples from a Cash Management specialist:
    • “For organizations with high transaction volumes bank statements should be loaded and reconciled on a daily basis.”
    • “The automatic reconciliation process can be set up to create miscellaneous transactions automatically.”
  • References to useful Knowledge Base documents:
    • Information Centers for the products and features
    • FAQs on functionality
    • Known Issues and patches with both the errors and their solutions
    • How-to documents that explain in detail how to use a feature or complete a process
    • White papers that give overview of a feature, list setup required to use the feature, etc.
  • Links to diagnosticsthat help debug issues you may find in a process
  • Additional information and alerts about a process or reports that can help you prevent issues from surfacing

This excerpt from the “Process Transaction” phase for the Receivables product lists documents you’ll find helpful.

Recievables Excerpt

How to Get Started with the Period Close Advisor

The Period Close Advisor is a great resource that can be used both as a proactive tool (while setting up your period end procedures) and as the first document to refer to when you encounter an issue during the period close procedures!

As mentioned earlier, the order of the product tabs in the Period Close Advisor gives you the recommended order of closing. The first thing to do is to ensure that you are following the prescribed order for closing the period, if you are using more than one sub-ledger.

Next, review the information shared in the Evaluate and Prepare and Process Transactions phases. Make sure that you are following the recommended best practices; you have applied the recommended patches, etc.

The Reconcile phase gives you the recommended steps to follow for reconciling a sub-ledger with the General Ledger. Ensure that your reconciliation procedure aligns with those steps.

At any stage during the period close processing, if you encounter an issue, you can revisit the Period Close Advisor. Choose the product you have an issue with and then select the phase you are in. You will be able to review information that can help you find a solution to the issue you are facing.

Stay Informed

Oracle updates the Period Close Advisor as we learn of new issues and information. Bookmark the Oracle E-Business Suite Period Close Advisor [ID 335.1] and keep coming back to it for the latest information on period close

Tuesday Jun 11, 2013

Improve Your Hardware Support Experience—Part 2

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Hardware Support Best Practices

GPIcon

Part 1, discussed how to install the Service Tools Bundle, set up Oracle Explorer, and enable Automatic Service Request.

Part 2, below, addresses how to improve the speed of Hardware Service Request resolution and how to be more proactive by addressing known issues using the output of the Oracle Explorer file (installation steps are covered in Part 1).


Improving the Speed of Hardware Service Request Resolution

Did you know that the system fast tracks your Service Requests when you attach either the Oracle Explorer or the correct diagnostic files?

If the system detects a known issue, within 20 minutes there is an automatic update made to the Service Request advising which component requires replacement.

Enable your Service Request to get faster resolutions by associating the correct content as outlined:

  • SPARC Servers—see Document: 1364841.1 to learn how to log a service request with all the required information
  • Learn More—Take a few minutes to read the Oracle Explorer Information Center. Ensure you set up the explorer so that it regularly sends data to Oracle. As it is the data from these tools that help to improve your support experience.
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise M3000, M4000, M5000, M8000, & M9000 Servers—require an Explorer from the domain in question and a snapshot from the Main XSCF. See Document: 1008229.1 for details on how to run snapshot on these platforms
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise T5xx0 Servers and Sun SPARC T3 & T4 Servers—use ILOM and require snapshot from the SP. See Document: 1020204.1 for details on how to run snapshot on these platforms

Generating and reviewing an Oracle Sun System Analysis (OSSA) Report

Oracle Sun System Analysis reports provide a wealth of information that allows you to maintain your system proactively to reduce unplanned outages. The process of viewing reports is via My Oracle Support -> Proactive Hardware Services. To enable you to view the reports a number of steps need to be completed to confirm your identity, serial number access, and Oracle Explorer needs to be installed and setup correctly.

Before reviewing the OSSA report, complete the authorization steps as outlined below. If you skip this step, you might not be able to see the reports online.

Step 1—The chassis serial number has to be on the contract that is associated with the Support Identifier (SI) on your My Oracle Support Account. View My Accounts to validate you have the SI associated to your account.

Step 2—Ensure Oracle Explorer Data Collector is installed on all the system you are interested in analyzing for known faults.

Step 3—For older system the appropriate explorer field is the serial number field when running the ./ explorer -g command. SNEEP is the recommended method gathering the serial number information. The manually ended data must be identical to serial number listed on your support contract. For example, don’t add extra spaces to the start or finish of the serial number.

This is not issue for newer systems as the serial number identification is automatic.

Step 4—Setup explorer to be set to run via a cron job or manually. See the Oracle Explorer Data Collector Users Guide for more details. Send the output to Oracle Secure File Transport (SFT) or Sun Support Files. Oracle Recommends SFT view Document: 1362484.1 for a walk through of the steps.

Step 5—Oracle recommends that explorer data is sent monthly. Oracle receives the Explorer data and performs two checks.
  • Rule 1: How old is the explorer file? If it is greater than 90days then N/A appears in the explorer data field for the asset. If it is less than 90days, the next rule is run

  • Rule 2: Is there an Existing OSSA report available? If Yes, is the report greater than 28.1 days? If yes, a new report will be created. If No, and it is less than 28.1 days the report will not be created

Step 6—View the reports. Select Proactive Hardware Services.

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The Home page is displayed—it has the list of SI's and serial numbers for active reports.



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View the MC Report

The Mission Critical (MC) Report shows details about your system. Under each region, there is an icon to indicate that there is more data available. Select the arrow icon to view more details about the known issue. Oracle recommends that you focus on those known issues marked with a red circle and white X MiriamBlog4_WhiteX


View the ORI Report


This report shows the system’s risk level. Severity is associated to the risk index number. Oracle recommends that Critical risks are addressed to prevent your system experiencing known issues.

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Notes

  1. The SI will only be visible when there are entitled explorer files associated to it.
  2. The SI must be associated to a contract with Hardware and Operating System coverage. This is viewable in the My Account region by selecting the SI and viewing the coverage.
If you have Questions please post them in the Using My Oracle Support Community.

 

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