Moving Your Financial Close to the Cloud – From HFM to Oracle EPM FCC
The Hackett Group Solution Director Mark Eklund talks with Associate Principal and Consolidation Vertical Lead Brian Willson about the benefits of transitioning from Hyperion Financial Management to Oracle EPM FCC.
Welcome to The Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. Today’s episode is hosted by Mark Eklund, Solutions Director at The Hackett Group. He is joined today by Brian Willson Solution Architect and Lead in The Hackett Group’s Close and Consolidation practice. The discussion today is centered around the technology supporting the financial close and consolidation.
This is a topic near and dear to both Mark and Brian, who have worked with many clients by supporting the last mile of the close of their corporate earnings and releases. To begin, Brian outlines the timeline of the technology supporting consolidation. Back in the 80s, a Windows-based product called Micro Control was developed. This became the market leader in terms of the consolidation space all throughout the 90’s. In the early 2000s, the companies switched over to HFM, which is still widely utilized today. In the 2016-2017 timeframe, the decision was made to move to the cloud. Today, many clients are migrating from HFM to FCC.
Relative to prior releases, one of FCC’s biggest draw points is its ease of implementation. Oracle spent much time behind the scenes aligning their solutions in the cloud to very specific business processes. Rather than having a product which is highly customized, they opted to focus on each business process to create a market leading product. It took them a few years to achieve parity with HFM. By 2019, the things you could do in HFM were all available in FCC. At the beginning, it catered to small to medium companies, but now we are seeing companies in the $10+ billion range move to FCC. We’ve seen the account to report have become templated for a lot of companies. The migrations from HFM to FCC typically take half the time of a pure HFM implementation.
Some clients today still feel hesitant about adopting cloud FCC. Brian entered consulting with an accounting background and reveals that accountants are typically quite conservative in nature. This is a large factor in the hesitance to make the switch as well as the messaging from the consulting side. The goal of this episode is to help people see the value in going from HFM to FCC. The cloud world has moved away from having one application to serve discreet business processes and transformed it into serving the users of each business process. This way, nothing is being compromised to fit all things for all users. Thus, companies aren’t losing anything in the transition but actually gaining.
Much of FCC’s value lies in its enhanced offerings compared to HFM. All of the standards of HFM are included in FCC along with even more useful features. These features include a task manager module, which offers a single source of the truth for the close process. Also offered is a supplemental data manager for things like footnotes and disclosures. This leaves collected data centralized in one place, bringing a new value unseen in HFM. Finally, FCC offers enterprise journals which bridge the gap between the consolidation process and close activities. This allows users to post journals from FCC back to the ERP.
FCC also brings improved cash flow. When building out the data model within FCC, Oracle saw an ability to automate cash flow. Their ingenious design created an additional dimension to house that information. The movement dimension allows users to calculate the change in balance accounts from one period to the next. It is possible to take an existing data model within HFM, move it into FCC and map trial balance accounts to this movement dimension. This reflects what a statement for cash flow looks like. Rather than taking several weeks to design and code within HFM, it can be generated instantly in FCC.
- 00:44 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by
- 01:21 – The history of the technology supporting close and consolidations.
- 03:44 – The capabilities of FCC today.
- 07:50 – Why do some clients feel hesitant about adopting Cloud FCC?
- 11:57 – The enhanced capabilities in FCC.
- 16:42 – FCC’s cash flow.
- 19:28 – Thank you to Brian for joining us today.