BizTech Blog

Oracle Hyperion: A Better Plan for Planning

Posted by Stephen Goldsmith

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Oct 17, 2012 3:34:00 PM

Does this Typical Planning (Budget) Process sound familiar?

  • Excel Templates are prepared by the Finance team (usually in October) with last’s year budget amounts is cleared out
  • Current year actual results are annualized and emailed out on separate Excel templates.
  • All spreadsheets must be checked to ensure that links and calculations are working
  • Templates are instructions are emailed out to department heads
  • Each department head is responsible for their own budget.
  • In larger companies this often involves sub-departments separated by location or line of business.

Problems That May Arise During the Planning Process
Excel is an outdated tool when preparing detailed Annual Budgets

  • Larger or even mid-sized firms with multiple lines of business, products, departments, cost centers and locations can often find themselves needing hundreds or even thousands of Excel templates to prepare a consolidated budget.
  • Most summary and detail departmental templates need to be printed out and audited by someone in finance and accounting to verify data integrity.
  • One broken link among thousands will lead to an incorrect budget and time consuming fact finding.
  • Emailing budgets to and from users is time consuming, can be accidentally overlooked or discarded, risks data integrity and is prone to user errors or consolidation issues.

Multiple versions lead to different versions of the “truth”

  • Often a company will have multiple versions of a budget, one for baseline, one for upside one for downside and sometimes numerous other combinations.
  • Review of these various versions wastes valuable time and blurs the truth of what should be the most realistic budget.

Dated material

  • By the time the budget process begins and budgets are sent out, received back, revised, approved, further revised and achieve final approval, months can often pass.
  • This can lead to outdated or irrelevant budgets depending on current business conditions.

Better Planning Using Oracle Hyperion Planning

Oracle's Hyperion Planning is a web driven Planning and Budgeting tool that utilizes Oracle Essbase as the data storage and calculation engine. It is the NUMBER ONE Planning and Budgeting Tool in the world.

  • Hyperion Planning sits on top of the Essbase OLAP server.
  • By leveraging Essbase' s multidimensional data model as well as standard relational database management platforms,
  • Hyperion Planning contains process flow management and process guidance for end users.
  • Planning has an add-in with Microsoft Office (called Smartview) which allows users to forecast or budget in Microsoft Excel, an environment comfortable to most finance users.
  • Hyperion Planning is part of Oracle's Hyperion EPM software suite and is often utilized with Hyperion Financial Reports and Web Analysis to enhance the analytic value inherent in its underlying use of Essbase.

Key Attributes of Hyperion Planning

  • Continuous forecasts (rolling, event based)
  • Centralized system manages the budget process and workflow
  • Top-down and bottom-up budgeting capability
  • Makes Use of consistent assumptions, allocations & calculations
  • Integrated Operational Planning to address in-depth revenue and margin planning
  • Purpose-built Capital Assets and Workforce planning modules for fast deployment
  • Powerful workflow and process management for budgeting and forecasting

Hyperion Planning Solutions

  • Hyperion Planning makes for a much more efficient process, controlled by Finance
  • Budgets are ready for input immediately upon release by Finance Department
  • Reduces time to complete, risk of “stragglers”, resource misuse
  • Reduced data entry, risk of errors and risk of key files on desktops or C drives
  • No hidden or offline files. All supporting detail can be uploaded to the Budget.
  • Easier budget consolidation – no need for manual uploads, email of files or transferring of files.
  • Fast calculation performance – most calculations performed in 4 seconds or less
  • Workflow feature ensures timeliness or user preparation and management review
  • Email alerts to remind user of deadlines.
  • Standard calculations and business rules maintained in database
  • No set up from budget to budget cycle. Process begins immediately
  • Reports automatically pick up new database members (new depts)
  • Low end-user training requirements
  • Implementations can take as little as three months
  • Ask BizTech about helping to assist you with your Hyperion Planning Solution today and create a better Plan for Planning.

Topics: Oracle Business Intelligence, Fusion Applications, Hyperion EPM