Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oracle R12 Internet Expenses Features

Introduction

With Oracle Internet Expenses,
- Employees can enter and submit expense reports using a standard Web browser or a Web-enabled mobile device.
- Oracle Workflow automatically routes expense reports for approval and enforces reimbursement policies.
- Oracle Internet Expenses integrates with Oracle Payables to provide quick processing of expense reports for payment.

Overview

Oracle Internet Expenses, a T&E expense management solution, is designed to ensure self-service users comply with Organization’s expense reimbursement policies, while at the same time quickly and accurately entering their expenses.

 

Features

Expense Allocations

This feature empowers end users to perform General Ledger (GL) accounting and/or Oracle Projects expense allocations, including splitting expenses. This feature ensures expenses are properly charged since users know best how their expenses should be allocated.

 

Flexible Setup

One is able to define whether end users can update one, many, or all GL accounting segments. One is able to define different segment update rules for each chart of accounts, and at the set of books level. This ensures proper data security since users only have access to information that is relevant to their responsibilities.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J (11i.OIE.J) and enhanced in Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

Expenses Splitting

Based on system setup, end users are able to split expenses across multiple accounting segment values, for example across multiple cost centers. Oracle Projects users are able to split expenses across multiple projects or tasks. This is important since users often perform work for many different entities.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack K (11i.OIE.K).

Users have the flexibility to split one, many, or all expenses at the same time using equal percentages, or user-defined percentages. Users can also split individual expenses by amount.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

GL Accounting Validations during Entry

Based on setup, Internet Expenses ensures the accounting code combinations are valid before expense reports are submitted for approval. This helps to streamline the reimbursement process since end users have first-hand knowledge about where expenses should be charged. If one chooses to validate the workflow (existing behavior), back-end personnel will be able to correct invalid code combinations via a notification.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J (11i.OIE.J).

 

Customized Accounting Generation

Using new accounting client extensions, one can create custom rules to build and validate accounting code combinations. This is important if one has special accounting hierarchy rules that are not met with the out-of-the-box defaulting and validation rules.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J/JRUP2 (11i.OIE.J).

 

My Allocations

Users can predefine expense allocation sets to facilitate rapid expenses entry. During entry, end users are able to apply their allocation sets, adjust the results, and create new allocation sets.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

Global Per Diem and Mileage

This feature provides enhancements to the existing solution, including the ability to automatically upload U.S. GSA Per Diem rates. This helps one to comply with various statutory rules that dictate how users should be reimbursed.

 

U.S. GSA Per Diem Uploads

Expense process owners can automatically upload CONUS and OCONUS Per Diem rates provided by the U.S. government. The solution provides full support for seasonal rates. The uploaded rates are available both for reimbursing employees, as well as for establishing policy compliance limits for meals and accommodation expenses.

 

Enhanced Per Diem and Mileage Calculations

The enhanced global per diem solution provides additional support for complex calculations to meet statutory regulations, especially in the Nordic countries. Various enhancements have been made to the mileage reimbursements solution. In particular, one now has the ability to upload accumulated mileage for employees, if one happens to implement Internet Expenses in the middle of a fiscal year.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

Cash Advances Management

End users can apply advances during expenses entry. In addition, users are able to search on payments information. These enhancements help one to provide improved cash advances management.

 

Self-Service Advance Applications

End users are able to apply their cash advances during expenses entry. If a user does not apply an available advance, they are asked to enter a reason why they did not apply the advance. In real-time, users are presented with information on the outstanding balance of their advance. This is particularly useful when end users must reimburse their employer for an outstanding balance on an advance.

This feature helps to streamline the expense reimbursement process since users know best to which expenses their advances apply.

 

Payables Advances Management

The HTML-based audit management module has the ability for Payables personnel to review or apply advances, and to adjust advances applied by end users. (In prior releases this was only available in the Payables Expense Reports form.) In addition, one is able to define audit selection rules to ensure expense reports are selected for audit if users do not apply available advances to an expense report.

 

Payments Search

Users are able to search on both advances and reimbursements. This capability is available to end users, Payables personnel, help desk personnel, and users of the expense analysis and reporting module. This is particularly important to management so they can keep track of outstanding advances.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

Bar Coding

Based on setup, a bar code is generated and printed on the expense report confirmation page. When Payables personnel receive the receipts package, they can quickly scan the bar code to ‘check in’ the receipts package. This dramatically improves the productivity of one’s Payables personnel.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

Manager Approvals

The integration with Oracle Approvals Management (AME) has been further enhanced to support the expense allocations feature.

 

Enhanced Cost Center and Projects Approvals

One is able to route expense approvals based on the aggregated amounts charged to cost centers or projects. The approval notification shows both the total amount to be approved, and how much of each expense was charged to the area of approval authority. This feature ensures that proper approval authority is enforced when an expense report is allocated to many different cost centers, projects, or awards.

 

Parallel Approvals

One can route approvals in parallel when expense reports are charged to multiple cost centers, multiple projects, or multiple awards. This streamlines the approvals process and ensures the users are reimbursed as quickly as possible.

 

FYI Notifications

One can define rules in AME to send FYI notifications to managers and others who should be informed of expenses charged to their area of authority, but who do not need to approve the expense report.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

Audit Management

The following enhancements have been made to the HTML-based audit management module.

 

Enhanced User Interface

The Audit Expense Reports page has been redesigned with separate expense views relevant to the activities auditors perform. These activities include verifying expenses, processing policy non-compliance issues, and reviewing other expenses data. This improves the overall auditor experience and will facilitate better decision-making.

When receipts are itemized, the relationship between the receipt and the itemized lines is shown. This increases auditor productivity since they are able to quickly verify that required receipts are received.

Auditor Itemizations

Payables personnel are able to itemize receipts using the same user interface that is used by end users. This helps streamline the reimbursement process and ensure that expenses are properly accounted for.

Expense Allocations in Audit

Auditors have visibility to all allocations information, including when expenses are split. They are also able to update the accounting for split expenses. This allows auditors to ensure that accounting is correct for all expenses.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack K (11i.OIE.K).

 

Audit Automation

The already robust audit automation functionality is further enhanced as discussed below.

 

Payment Holds

One is able to automatically place expense report payments on hold when users have not submitted required receipts. This feature helps to ensure compliance with one’s expense reimbursement policies.

 

Enhanced Audit Rules

New audit selection rules are available, including the ability to select for audit all expense reports over a certain amount. This feature improves expense report compliance with one’s internal controls.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

 

Receipts Management

These new features help to streamline the receipts management process.

 

Enhanced Receipts Required

Users don’t need to submit physical receipts when they charge business expenses to their employer credit cards. Auditor efficiency is improved when physical receipts are not required. Similarly, end users will spend less time processing their expense reports.

Receipts Tracking

Expense reports have a receipts status to indicate whether receipts are, for example, required or overdue. One is able to send notifications to users when receipts are overdue, and when receipts are received. The receipts status and notifications improves the tracking and management of receipts that are required for proper verification of business expenses.

 

Receipts Missing

It is possible to send notifications when users do not have original receipts and a missing receipts declaration is required. One is able to use Oracle Approvals Management to route expense reports for approval when end users cannot provide original receipts or other evidence of the business expense.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

Entertainment and Fringe Benefits Policy Compliance

End users are able to enter employee and non-employee information for expenses related to entertainment and fringe benefits. One can capture additional information for attendees and recipients such as the business sector of nonemployees. This improves reporting for policy and statutory compliance.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

Credit Cards

These new features help streamline administration of credit card programs, and streamline expenses entry

Automatic Level 3 Itemizations

One is able to upload and validate detail transaction data for MasterCard CDF3 and Visa VCF4 formats, when merchants provide this data. Oracle Internet Expenses uses the detail transaction data to automatically itemize credit card transactions. This reduces the time users spend completing expense reports, and ensures transactions are accounted for properly.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J (11i.OIE.J).

Automated Transaction File Transfers

One is able to automatically download credit card transaction data files from one’s card provider's server. This feature provides a synchronized and efficient way to retrieve one’s credit card transactions. In this release this feature is available for American Express card programs only.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J (11i.OIE.J).

Visa Integration

A new credit card transactions load and validate program provides complete support for uploading and validating Visa transaction files in Visa VCF3 and VCF4 formats.
Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J (11i.OIE.J).

Historical Transactions Management

One is able to categorize unused transactions as ‘historical’ and thus prevent further processing of these transactions. One can also send notifications to inform end users to start submitting subsequent transactions on expense reports. This feature helps to ensure that the cutover to using the Internet Expenses credit cards solution is smooth, and that end users understand the new procedures.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Minipack J RUP1 (11i.OIE.JRUP1).

Expense Report-Level Descriptive Flexfields

Users have the ability to enable descriptive flexfields that apply to the entire expense report. This allows one to capture important policy information such as the start and end dates of a business trip, travel authorization numbers, and so on.

Note: This feature was first released in Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

Attachments

End users and auditors are able to attach documents such as imaged receipts to the entire expense report, or to individual expenses. Managers and auditors can access and review the attachments, which facilitates more efficient approvals.

Note: This feature was first released in Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

Expense Analysis and Reporting

The following enhancements have been made to the expense analysis and reporting tool.

Proxy Assignment

Managers with the expense analysis and reporting responsibility are able to assign the rights to view their HR reporting hierarchy to other users, such as financial analysts and administrative personnel.

Cross-Organizations Support

Managers and other users are able to perform expense analysis and reporting across organizations from a single view. This is particularly important for managers whose management hierarchy spans multiple business units or legal entities.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

Ad Hoc Reporting

Using Oracle Discoverer, one can develop ad hoc reports based on seeded expense reporting business areas. The business areas are targeted for use by operations teams with visibility across the entire company. This helps one to provide decision makers with information in a format that is meaningful to them.

 

Terms and Agreements

One is able to require end users to acknowledge that they have reviewed and agreed to the terms of one’s travel, entertainment, and reimbursement policies prior to submitting expense reports.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

 

Region-Based Confirmation Page Messages

One is able to configure the expense submission and processing instructions according to local and regional requirements. One uses region-based messages, for example, to provide different receipt submittal policies and related processes to meet shared-service or other organizational needs.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J (11i.OIE.J).

 

Help Desk Support

A new responsibility has been provided so help desk personnel can quickly search for expense reports. Help desk personnel can also view the confirmation page so that both they and end users see the same information. This ensures one’s help desk personnel can quickly resolve questions raised by end users.

Note: This feature was first released with Oracle Internet Expenses Mini-pack J RUP2 (11i.OIE.J/JRUP2).

Contact Us

This feature helps one to quickly enable end users to contact one’s help desk personnel. One has options to initiate an Oracle iSupport create service request process, open a formatted page with contact and problem description fields, open a URL, or open an email composer window.

 

Expense Report Export

Payables personnel can run the Expense Report Export concurrent program from the Internet Expenses Auditor and the Internet Expenses Audit Manager responsibilities. A new user interface allows payables personnel to review the export results online and analyze them quickly. Four categories of results list the expense reports for which invoices were created, the expense reports that had prepayments applied, the expense reports placed on hold, and the expense reports that were rejected. Existing expense import has been renamed to expense report export to reflect the change in the process.

 

Offline Expense Report

One can use this feature of iExpense to create her/is expense report while s/he can’t access the instance to submit the expense report. This can be achieved by filling the Expense Template that has been defined by the company and then upload the template to iExpense when they have access to the instance.

This feature can be leveraged to fill the expense report by the shared service team on behalf of the employee.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion,
  1. In R12, iExpense has evolved to capture expenses made by the employee pertaining to the organizational mandate.
  2. One can capture both cash and credit card expenses using iExpense application.
  3. iExpense provides a better control over expenses by the employees, by validating the expense lines against Organizational Policy.
  4.  This provides better and enhanced audit feature, for organizational transparency and statutory requirement. 
  5. Improved integration with AME provides better and more efficient approval process.
  6. Reporting, policy guidelines, terms and conditions, proxy are few more promising features of Internet Expense, in release 12.

 

Summary

One can find the enhanced features of Internet Expense in release 12 of Oracle Application as listed below.

SL No #
Features in R12 Internet Expense
1
Expense Allocations
2
Global Per Diem and Mileage
3
Cash Advances Management
4
Bar Coding
5
Manager Approvals
6
Audit Management
7
Audit Automation
8
Receipts Management
9
Entertainment and Fringe Benefits Policy Compliance
10
Credit Cards
11
Expense Report-Level Descriptive Flexfields
12
Attachments
13
Expense Analysis and Reporting
14
Ad Hoc Reporting
15
Terms and Agreements
16
Region-Based Confirmation Page Messages
17
Help Desk Support
18
Contact Us
19
Expense Report Export
20
Offline Expense Report

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