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Expense Transparency and Analysis in Higher Education: A Real-Life Case Study Webinar Preview
Posted on February 12, 2019
Author: Jun Zhang, Performance Architects

This blog post provides a preview of the content the Performance Architects team will discuss during a free, live webinar on Friday, February 15, 2019, at 12:30 PM EST entitled “Expense Transparency and Analysis in Higher Education: A Real-Life Case Study.”  Register here to attend the webinar!

Oracle announced the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud service, Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS) during the Oracle Open World in September 2016. Since then PCMCS has become a great tool to provide expense transparency and analysis.

PCMCS is one of the Oracle EPM Cloud solutions, similar to Enterprise Planning Cloud (EPBCS), Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud (FCCS), etc. PCMCS identifies and maximizes business profit drivers, and manages cost and revenue allocations.

Higher Education Responsibility Center Management (RCM) Models

In the higher education industry, responsibility center management (RCM) is widely used as a management framework. RCM is a decentralized approach to financial management that provides incentives for income generation and supports effective resource management and cost control. However, the downsides of RCM are obvious in certain cases as well. It adds complexity to the academic dean and chair roles; it makes users become preoccupied with allocation rules; and it doesn’t provide transparency or traceability to the cost centers for responsibility centers. During multiple higher education EPM implementations, we’ve also heard that universities wanted more flexibility to model “what-if” scenarios for their cost allocations. PCMCS provides us an excellent allocation solution to address these needs.

A typical allocation process for higher education includes the following steps:

How the Oracle PCMCS Solution Helps

PCMCS helps planning and budget professionals to better understand their revenue and costs, while providing transparency and traceability throughout the process. The solution offers the planners a high-level allocation of costs allocated from cost centers to responsibility centers. PCMCS also provides “what-if analysis” capabilities in modeling different revenue and cost scenarios, and flexibility in using different input and allocation drivers for different scenarios.

As one of the Oracle EPM products, PCMCS also supports Smart View reports and dashboards. Instead of using a complex Excel-based RCM process, planners can use Smart View traceability templates and the out-of-the-box (OOTB) traceability maps which provide tremendous transparency.

Here’s what an Excel-based RCM process looks like:

The out-of-the-box traceability maps provide a visual demonstration of how allocations are happening in the solution:

EPM Solution Suite Integration

As we mentioned, PCMCS is one of the EPM family members. In some cases, a mix of on-premises and cloud solutions can present a challenge to data and metadata integration strategy. To address this need, we have used both an on-premises Oracle Data Relationship Management (DRM)-based master management solution and cloud-to-cloud data management solutions such as Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service (EDMCS).

We prioritize integration based on required schedules, as well as reporting and analytics frequency. The metadata shared across financial systems using these solutions results in significantly less maintenance. In the meantime, data never leaves EPM suites, and this also provides a seamless audit trail.

We will cover more in the upcoming webinar. If you have other questions that aren’t addressed in this blog post or the webinar content, please don’t hesitate to contact us at communications@performancearchitects.com or to leave a note below and we’ll be in touch to address your interests.

You can review a recorded session of, or slides from, this webinar by signing up for free for Performance Architects’ Learning Center, a community and forum that contains functional, technical and industry-specific “How To” sessions, webinars, and white papers.

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