Management Ledger models, whether HPCM or PCMCS, have been around for a few years, but I still receive emails asking for help in figuring out where the results are coming from. This request is often related to the lack of understanding of the Balance dimension. Here are some key pieces of information regarding this system dimension, how it works, how it should be used when defining allocations and integration jobs and how to leverage it to troubleshoot your allocations.
Traceability is the word of the day in any system, but especially in regulated industry. Being able to prove the numbers is crucial to all businesses but can be very time consuming and complex for companies who operate across diverse lines of business, with a large pool of Channels, Services, Customers or Products.
The sexiest topic of account reconciliations consistently revolves around automation. Yes, ARCS provides a central repository. Yes, ARCS is auditable. YES, ARCS shows a traceable workflow throughout the reconciliation cycle. All of these features are highly useful and absolutely a prerequisite to an enterprise worthy solution, but if you want to really grab people’s attention in a design session, start talking about the things they won’t have to do.
Redesign IS possible: ARCS does not permanently punish any design decisions made on “Day 1,”…but not all changes are equal in complexity, nor can all changes be made without consequence. A successful implementation ensures that the application design is sound for today and that a well laid roadmap is in place for tomorrow.
A common question I am asked during a design session is “Can I manually enter this reconciliation today, but create new feeds to automatically load the data tomorrow?” The answer is a resounding YES, and it provides clear added value to the next phase of any ARCS (or ARM) project. It can be a viable project strategy to set up reconciliations using an Account Analysis format on “Day 1” and change to a Balance Comparison format when automated data loads are built on “Day 100.”
Out-of-the-box, ARCS makes it easy to “oh, and this!” when adding new scope. The obvious example is monthly maintenance. Reconciliation Administrators and Power Users can build new Profiles to deploy for future months (or even the current month) with relative ease. With the “Copy” feature, previously created Profiles can serve as ready-to-use templates and reduce the manual effort involved in building a Profile from scratch.
Modularity – My initial experience with this concept was during the build of my first computer. There is a great, omnipresent dread that consumes people who share this hobby – imagine this scenario (or nightmare rather!): you have just invested significant time, energy, and finances to create the perfect machine – only to have it rendered obsolete the next month by changing technology that is incompatible with your swanky new rig!