Tidy Balances.. I don't really hate it

I have been asked why I tend to avoid running the Tidy Balances Conversion process, and the short answer is that 'I have never found a need to..'.

The Tidy Balances process has been designed to accept an input file of Accounts and balance 'buckets' and will produce adjustments of a specific type to ensure that the account has aged balances of these values. This could be handy in situations where minimal transaction data is being converted into CC&B via the traditional Extract-transform-and-load means (ie. convert all source data into CC&B Adjustments and Financial Transactions and run the required Validation and Keygen processes), it does not fit well with my experience of bringing 2-5 years of history over (which seems to be a common requirement on CC&B projects) and needing to create an opening balance for the Service agreements which is essentially just a placeholder transaction which is no longer subject to any aging or collection processing .

The effort required to create the Tidy Balances input table (i.e. summarise all historic transactions older than x days/months and generate a record on the work file for this account), can easily be serviced via the ConversionCentral data sources and some careful SQL, resulting in less effort required by the extraction team. The selection criteria for extracted data included in the standard mapping into Adjustments is normally in the format:

Select Source_Account, Adjustment_type, Adjustment_Amount,....
From Source System Tables
Where Transaction Date >= Conversion_Cutoff_Date


My approach to ensuring that all transactional data is processed in the run is to include a separate ControlCentral data source which generates a single 'Opening Balance' Adjustment record as:

Select Source_Account, 'Opening Balance Adjustment Code', SUM(Adjustment_Amount),....
From Source System Tables
Where Transaction Date <
Conversion_Cutoff_Date

With a bit of manipulation to ensure that this is attached to the earliest converted bill, we ensure that these transactions are not reprocessed by the first CC&B bill, whilst still ensuring that the Account and SA balances conform to expected values.

Given that these adjustments are older than 120 days, they are normally not subject to traditional aging and as such this solution proves to be easier (and quicker) than running a full Tidy Balances process.
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About

Stuart Ramage

I am a Consulting Technical Manager for Oracle Corporation, and a member of the OU Black Belt Team, based in Hobart Tasmania.
I have worked in the Utility arena since 1999 on the Oracle UGBU product line, in a variety of roles including Conversion, Technical and Functional Architect.

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