Oracle extends Hyperion for more financial duties

The company releases new modules for its business intelligence software

Oracle has augmented the capabilities of its Hyperion financial analytics software with new modules to help bean counters streamline specific financial management tasks.

The new modules -- Hyperion Disclosure Management, Hyperion Financial Close Management and Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting -- are all components in the latest update of the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite of business intelligence tools, version 11.1.2, Oracle said on Wednesday.

The modules will be available this month, said Hari Sankar, Oracle's vice president of EPM product management. They can each be run in conjunction with Hyperion or deployed directly with enterprise-resource-planning general ledger systems.

Organizations would use the financial close module to speed the process of closing financial books during the end of a financial reporting cycle. "In a large company, this process gets complicated and touches many systems," Sankar said.

The module gives financial personnel a checklist of tasks that need to be completed, along with the status of the work being done. The module "streamlines financial consolidation. You move away from e-mail tracking and to a set of dashboards and reports," Sankar said.

The disclosure management module prepares documents that can be filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The software prepares these documents in the Extensible Business Reporting Language format, as per SEC regulations.

"This [module] helps system users in finance do the XBRL mapping and tagging," he said. He noted that today, much of this conversion is done in spreadsheets by hand, or outsourced.

The public sector module addresses the specific accounting requirements of that industry vertical, whose accounting rules differ from those of the private sector. This software should help such organizations with such tasks as budget planning and forecasting.

In addition to releasing the new modules, Oracle said it has made a number of improvements to the other EPM applications. For example, the Hyperion Planning application has an improved workflow engine and the ability to let users access many of the planning features directly from within Microsoft Office, eliminating the need for these personnel to learn how to use the Hyperion application itself.

"This will allow more people to get into the planning process itself," Sankar said.

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