Another interesting conversation I had with a customer of ours recently was around how their Project-Close business process was convoluted and very time consuming. When projects were to be finally closed, they needed to undertake the following actions in succession:
- Determine what revenue accrual adjustments were required
- Create Revenue Events to write-on or write-off the WIP or Unearned Revenue values from their accounts
- Adjust Project Budgets
- Adjust the Agreement Funding and Baseline these updates
- Generate the Revenue and Accounting reports
- Close the Project
As it’s lengthy process requiring a high level analysis and checking, this task was often left to year-end, meaning time pressure for their year end accounts also came into the stress equation. Of course, depending on which version or Oracle E-Business Suite you are on, there are some efficiencies that can be configured when closing projects.
However, it got me thinking as there are Oracle Projects API’s available for all these tasks. If one was reasonably experienced with Oracle PL/SQL, or that expertise within the business, it would be possible to write your own custom wrapper package to undertake all these tasks automatically. The only remaining issue is the validation of the data and error handling.
That’s where the More4Apps Application Interface Wizard is particularly useful. You can create an Excel look-and-feel end-user layer that interacts with the custom package and add your own column validation and pre/post PL/SQL rules if required. Also, by creating a SQL script to identify projects that meet the “Project Closure” requirements, the analysis component is done.
Irrespective of what your Project Close Process is, Users (and these don’t need to be your System Administrators or the IT Team) can simply download the relevant data into the Wizard and then upload to the wrapper package to undertake all the necessary action to close the projects. Should exceptions occur during the process detailed messages can be written back to the Wizard to inform the user.
Whilst it takes some effort to set this up, my philosophy has always been that the saving in time, often during high pressure deadlines, will be well worth that investment. My advice; start small with just a few of the API’s in the wrapper package and when you get these working add more until you are confident the entire process requirements have been catered for.
Founder and Head of Development