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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

How to choose the right consolidation tool for your business

Guest Author

By Nancy Ackerman, Consolidation Practice Lead, Inspirage

In part one of our series, we covered the high-level differences between close and consolidation tools in Hyperion Enterprise, Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), and Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM. Let’s take a closer look at the differences in functionality.

Dive into functionality

Hyperion Enterprise has just five dimensions: account, entity, category (scenario and year combined), period (month and year combined) and view. Because of this, the depth of analysis you can achieve is limited. You’ve probably heard of peers getting creative with the software to realize some analysis functionality, but it is important to know that the product was not designed for this. The rules are written in a proprietary language with limitations on how you can customize them.

With HFM, you have unlimited custom dimensions, allowing for increased analysis and the ability to easily meet SEC segment reporting demands. The rules were changed and written in visual basic script, which allows for increased flexibility and agility in writing custom rules.

So now you ask, what’s changed with Oracle Cloud EPM? To start, Cloud EPM Financial Consolidation and Close has the same functionality and more—it just looks and feels different from HFM. Currency translation, intercompany eliminations, journal entries, custom calculations, partial ownership, multiple consolidation methods and even process management still exist in Cloud EPM.

You’ll notice that typical uses for custom dimensions in HFM are now pre-built dimensions that come standard with Cloud EPM. For example, many HFM applications have an “audit trail” or “data source” dimension. Cloud EPM has this dimension already built in. Most HFM applications have a dimension to calculate and/or store cash flow/movement information. Cloud EPM also has this dimension pre-built.

Did you have a custom dimension to handle multiple different GAAP reporting requirements? Cloud EPM has a pre-built multi-GAAP dimension that you can switch on if you need it.

A welcome change with Cloud EPM is that it has standard HFM rules pre-built into the system. You don’t have to write rules for balance carry-forward, USD override, net income to the retained earnings, CTA or cash flow. Oracle Cloud EPM already has these rules built in.

Since the dimensions and rules come standard and “out-of-the-box” in Cloud EPM, many dimensions come with “pre-seeded” members. The chart of accounts has the main SEC reporting line items already built; you just add what you need. It’s the same for the movement dimension. Most of the line items needed for cash flow are also included; just add those that are unique to your business.

Cloud EPM includes data management, the cloud version of Hyperion’s financial data management, which helps you easily load your GL data from multiple source ledgers into EPM. There’s also close manager, the cloud version of financial close manager, which helps you manage and track your close process. With HFM, both of these features were sold separately. With Cloud EPM, they’re included as part of your subscription.

Which one is your best fit?

For most, the answer is Oracle Cloud EPM. The cloud-based application is designed using best practices and is continually evolving based on technology advancement and user requirements. Oracle rolls out new enhancements on a regular cadence, resulting in superior longevity of the product. This model of continuous updates is much less painful than the on-premises model of upgrading your software every few years.

Cloud EPM has inherent features beneficial to users and administrators—including the ease of installation, use, and built-in functionality to fit your consolidation and close needs. Together, these features make the application quick and virtually seamless to deploy. Cloud EPM also comes bundled with other capabilities, including planning and reporting, account reconciliation, narrative reporting and many others.

Deciding which application is best for your organization can be an overwhelming task. Inspirage has deep experience in implementing Oracle EPM solutions for organizations across all industries, of all sizes. Contact us to learn how Oracle Cloud EPM can streamline and optimize your finance organization. You can hear from one of our customers, LSI Industries, about their own EPM experience by watching our webinar on-demand.

Learn more about using Oracle Cloud EPM for financial consolidation and close.

Nancy Ackerman is the consolidation practice lead for Inspirage. She has over 17 years of experience with the Hyperion suite of products with specific emphasis on the financial consolidation products (Cloud EPM, HFM & Enterprise). As an Oracle Certified Implementation Specialist for both Hyperion Financial Management and Oracle Cloud EPM, Nancy has led, designed, and implemented countless successful projects from requirements gathering to delivery to training the end users.

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