When planning our next set of features for our Roadmaps, we rely on the Ideas submitted by our user community in the Idea Space and the number of unique domain votes to determine candidates for each update Image. We receive a report from the Idea Space administrators that provides a count of the number of unique domain (company) votes and the companies who voted for the Idea. With this information we can determine if the feature has enough interest from a wide range of customers and industries to support adding it to the roadmap.
In this 2-part series, we will highlight three new Expenses features. These features originated from Ideas submitted to the Idea Space. Then, in collaboration with interested parties through Focus Groups, we gathered requirements and validated the user experience in order to create a solution suited to address the various use cases.
GPS Mileage Location Auto-Fill on Expense Lines:
The Expenses system leverages Oracle Maps to facilitate the generation of distance-based expense lines. Oracle Maps functionality provides mapping, geocoding and routing capabilities similar to those provided by many popular commercial, online mapping services. For PeopleSoft update Image 48, we leveraged a new capability available in Oracle Maps which auto-fills or suggests location addresses as the user types in the start or end point. As you begin to enter your point-to-point driving information the system suggests addresses and locations with auto-complete for the user to choose the option that matches their travel or trip. This auto-fill/suggestion is familiar to users of online mapping services and greatly increases the usability and ease of identifying trip start/end locations.
When the Expense Type is identified as “Mileage,” the page provides additional fields for entry of Start and End points for calculating the distance of your trip. With the enhanced Oracle Maps capability, once you start to type a Start/End point, the drop-down menu lists options to select. You no longer have to type in a full address, specifically formatted for the system to recognize. You can also enter points of interest such as a building, airport or airport code or any geographic location information.
Once you click the “Calculate GPS Distance” button, the mileage is calculated based on the Start and End Points and the reimbursement amount is displayed based on defined mileage rates. You have the option to view a map with the Starting/Ending Points and the route between the points overlaid. The system also displays written turn-by-turn directions to the left of the map.
Escheatment is the process of handing over unclaimed property to its state. That includes bank account balances, assets, or any other property unclaimed for an extended period.
In PeopleSoft this could mean uncashed Expense Report payments to an employee or contractor that have been “unclaimed” for an extended period of time. Prior to PeopleSoft Update 48, Expenses is unaware when a payment is escheated in Accounts Payable. The Expense Report displays the status of “Paid.” The record of the Expense transaction in Accounts Payable is in a status of “Pending.”
With our PI-48 update, the “Process Expenses” run control page now checks the Accounts Payables system for any escheated Expense Report payments.
If there are any eligible Expense documents, the Expense Processing page will display the relevant counts. A user would check the Escheat Payments option on the run control page to run the Escheatment Process.
When the Escheatment Process is run, the system generates accounting entries to reverse the liability in Expenses and updates the status of the Expense Report Header to “Escheated Payment” to indicate the payment was escheated. We also close the loop in Accounts Payable by updating AP’s payment record to indicate the Expenses system has recognized the escheatment by setting the “Post Cancel Status” to “Posted.”
Check out Part 2 of this blog post, where we highlight a third, highly requested Expense Report feature in PeopleSoft Image Update 48 that originated from an Idea Space Idea.