In order to understand how General Ledger may be used to provide projects based or project related reporting, we must first explain how Oracle General Ledger stores and tracks account balance information.
Any segment in the chart of accounts could be considered for use as a project segment. You can set up your accounts to record project activity, and you can use the Financial Statement Generator to produce customized project tracking reports. If you set up your accounts for project tracking, General Ledger automatically maintains project-to-date balances in the GL_BALANCES table. The project-to-date balance is based on the project start date you enter when you define a project segment value. For each new code combination identification (CCID) inserted into GL Balances, Oracle starts recording balances, beginning balance (0 for a new CCID), period-to-date debits and credits, quarter-to-date debits and credits, and project-to-date debits and credits. Project-to-date balances for all accounts types, assets, expenses, revenues, etc. are treated as if they were balance sheet accounts – they do not close out to retained earnings at the end of a the fiscal year. Thus even for projects across years, you can still get project-to-date reporting.
Project-to-date reporting is supported in many standard Oracle General Ledger Reports including but not limited to:
- Trial Balance
- Trial Balance - Additional Segment Detail
- Trial Balance – Detail
- Financial Statements
These reports all contain project -to-date balances in their definitions, which as stated above, allow reporting of project balances for any type of account, even if it crosses a fiscal year.
Project access and duration may both be maintained using the standard Oracle Functionality of Start and End Dates on the Value in the Value set. In addition Cross Validation rules were implemented to ensure that only specific charge types applicable to the project were able to be coded to the project.
Two pieces of functionality which may be applicable to Project based reporting from General Ledger are Budgetary Controls and Security Rules. Budgetary control refers to the process of recording budget data and tracking encumbrance and actual data against a budget. You can track budget or encumbrance data using one of two methods: encumbrance accounting or budgetary accounts. Funds checking is a feature of budgetary control that helps prevent overspending budgets by verifying available funds online before processing a transaction. With funds checking, you can verify transactions online against available budget, immediately update funds available for approved transactions, and control expenditures at the detail or summary level. Use of Budgetary Controls in conjunction with Purchasing and Payables allows for instantaneous verification that sufficient funds are available for expenditures. Budgetary Controls may be implemented at the Detail Account Level (a budget must be entered for every valid account in a budget range) or at a summary level using roll up groups.
Security rules applies to individual value sets give you the capability to restrict the set of values a user can use during data entry. You may use security rules and responsibility level control to set up data entry security on your flexfield segments and report parameters.
When you use Flexfield Value Security, users see only values they are allowed to use; restricted values do not appear in lists of values associated with the flexfield or report parameter. There are two levels where you must activate Flexfield Value Security; the value set level and the individual segment or parameter level. You make Flexfield Value Security available for your value set by choosing Hierarchical Security or Non-Hierarchical Security for the Security Type. When you make security available for a value set, all segments and report parameters that use that value set can use security. You then enable security for a particular segment or parameter. Choose Non-Hierarchical Security if you do not want security on a parent value to "cascade down" to its child values. Choose Hierarchical Security if you do want the hierarchical security feature enabled.
Make sure to stop by my presentation at Collaborate 11 in Orlando for more in this topic, or feel free to let me what you think about Project reporting from the GL using the comments link on the BLOG. Thanks and happy Oracling!!!