Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Oracle Internet Expenses

Oracle Internet Expenses (iExpenses) is essentially an extension of Oracle Payables. It provides a way for employees and contingent workers to enter their expense reports. Employees and contingent workers become suppliers, and their expense reports become supplier invoices in Payables.
Integrate with Other Oracle Applications
  • Oracle Human Resources - for one database of valid employees and contingent workers
  • Oracle Payables for seamless and streamlined expense report payment
  • Oracle Projects - for billing to customers or internal tracking of costs
  • Oracle Approvals Management - for flexible approval rules
  • Oracle Grants Accounting - to charge expenses to awards for funds tracking
  • Oracle Time and Labor - for common user interface
  • Oracle Daily Business Intelligence - for expense analysis, Top Spenders report, and drill-down to line details
Expense Report Entry
  • Enter expense reports using a browser, a wireless web-enabled mobile device, or an offline spreadsheet
  • Enter expense reports on behalf of others
  • Enter expense reports for contingent workers
  • Pre-populate expense reports with credit card transactions
  • Itemize charge card or cash line items and assign multiple expense types; Enable automatic Hotel Folio itemization based on card feed
  • Allocate reports to many cost centers
  • Copy saved and submitted reports
  • Withdraw reports after submission
  • Require or enable projects and tasks
  • Require or enable category specific additional fields
  • Include advances and refunds as negative amounts
  • Default data based on user preferences, including from prior reports
  • Calculate mileage and per diem during expense entry or import of spreadsheet
  • View approval and payment status on the home page or using a Web-enabled mobile device
  • Automatically capture and manage expense receipts online
  • View notes, responses and actions in Approval Notes
  • View card transaction history, mark items disputed with card provider
Company Policy
  • Define company policy for online enforcement
  • Define exchange rate defaulting and tolerance checking
  • Require receipt by expense type and amount
  • Require justification by expense types and upon policy violation
  • Require receipt itemization and provide set of expense types for itemization
  • Configure descriptive flexfields or additional fields for expense types
  • Enable special messages or calculations on review, confirmation pages
Workflow Approvals and Notifications
  • Approve expense reports and associated receipts, flag policy violations, and enforce reimbursement policy
  • Review details of expenses with supporting receipt documentation on approval notifications
  • Optionally require manager and accounts payable approval by exception
  • Delegate or transfer approval authority, and handle vacations
  • Build flexible approval routing rules and conditions, including line-based and cost center-based approvals
  • Notify employees of policy violations, rejection or adjustments
  • Notify users of reimbursements and payments to card issuers on their behalf
Charge Card Administration
  • Define card usage and transaction submission policies for online enforcement
  • Identify employees with outstanding credit card transactions by details or aging
  • Automatically notify of unsubmitted card transactions, escalate as needed
  • Pay charge card issuer directly on behalf of employees
  • Use automatic new account registration
  • Map card types for expense type defaulting
… What is New n Release 10.5.10
Expenses Home Page. The Expenses Home Page allows users immediate access to a variety of expense reporting information, workflow notifications, and their corporate credit card account information. It is a nice “portal” where employees can see and manage all expense reports. Employees are alerted to changes and transactions that require their attention and these items are highlighted and linked, so that they can be addressed in a timely and efficient manner. When you click on the Internet Expenses responsibility link, you are taken directly to the Expenses Home page. Because you can access all functions from the Expenses Home page, there is no longer the need to show a list of menu items.
Expenses Home
Contingent Workers. It was about time! Non-employees, such as contractors and temporary workers, can now enter expense reports into Oracle Internet Expenses. You set up contingent workers in HR, and associate them with their Vendor record. The service providers who employ them are then paid directly through Accounts Payable. Contingent workers can also be set up to approve reports, enter reports for others, and audit reports.
Expense Allocations. You are now able to manually override accounting information (for non-project expense lines only!).
Future-Dated Expenses. Expenses process owners can use the setup utility to define whether future-dated expenses should be treated as warnings or errors during expenses entry. This ensures that expenses are not entered into inappropriate accounting periods, which causes reimbursements to be delayed and accounting to be incorrect.
User-Interface Enhancements. Several usability enhancements were made, including browser Back button support and bubble text. In addition to the Internet Expenses Back and Next buttons, you can now use the browser Back button to go back and make changes while entering an expense report, unless the report has been submitted or items were deleted. Bubble text was added for buttons and icons.
Other improvements include:
  • Enhanced Approval Rules using Oracle Approvals Management
  • Enhanced Approver Entry
  • Enhanced Adjustment and Short Pay Process
  • Enhanced Expenses Itemization
  • Paperless Audit Rules
  • Audit List Rules
  • Manager Reporting
  • Improved Workflow Notification
… And What It Could Do Better
Improve the Offline Expense Report Upload Importing the Offline Spreadsheet is clunky, prone to errors, unintuitive, and most users stay away from it. How about a WebADI like looking upload, which validates against valid projects, tasks and expense types? Clients also ask for ways to customize the offline spreadsheet so that they could input company logo, expense policy, etc.
Provide Valid Alternative Approvers Only. The list currently shows everybody in the employee-supervisor hierarchy. Employees can chose Override Approvers, who are not defined as approvers in Payables, and hence, expense report submissions fail. This can be avoided by simply limiting the list of employees in the Override Approver field to valid approved in Payables.
Detail vs. Summary Expense Entry - it would be nice to be able to switch the default expense report layout between summary and detail.
Provide a List of Override Cost Center Values. Users can currently enter only cost centers, but they are unable to choose them from the list.
Expense Report Printing Printing an expense report does not fit to a page! There are a couple of Metalink notes out there, but no solutions. Please fix this!
Provide customizable views to limit the list of projects, tasks and expenditure types (similar to OTL views).
Improve AME Why provide yet another tool to make the applications work? Why not use Workflow instead? While is is a great idea to provide additional options for expense report approvals, the current AME is far from being the “robust tool forline-based and cost center-based approvals “.
Provide a better solution for CEO Expense Report Approval. The default approval workflow uses the supervisor hierarchy to approve expense reports, i.e. everybody needs a supervisor in order to approver expense reports. Assigning a dummy employee to be CEO’s supervisor is not a good solution.
Allow Cross-Charge between multiple business units for project-related expense reports by engaging Account Generator, even if the initial combination of employee’s default company and override cost center is invalid.
Manage Attachements. Provide a better way for iExpenses Administrators to manage (view, save, print) expense report attachments.
Provide a way to change project-related information for submitted expense reports before they get imported to Payables.
Provide Direct Deposit Integration with 3rd Party Vendors. Not as much iExpenses feature, but a requirement for better integration with Oracle Payroll, or other Payroll providers like ADP and PeopleSoft. Companies need to be able to reimburse expense reports via direct deposit without replicating bank and bank account information in Oracle Payables. Most employees now have their paychecks deposited directly, and expense reports should be paid the same way.

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