Oracle EPM Cloud includes an approvals process that can be used to control data submission, review, and finalization. By using Planning Unit Hierarchies and Task lists, administrators can ensure users are abiding by the budget process in a timely and organized fashion. Approval Units form the base for approval workflow process in Oracle EPM Cloud applications such as Planning & Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS).
About Approval units: An approval unit is the basic unit for preparing, annotating, reviewing, and approving plan data. Approval units are combinations of scenario, version, and entity or part of an entity. You can have one scenario/version combination per approval unit. Scenarios and versions are the basis of the review cycle. Approval units submit planning data for a scenario and version. For example, an approval unit might consist of a version (Best Case), a scenario (Actual), and an entity (New York). Approval units can also include secondary dimensions within any entity, refining the granularity of an approval unit.
Approval Process: The approval unit moves from one reviewer to another until the budget process is complete. The review process follows the promotional path you set up when you select the owner and reviewers for an approval unit, unless an event triggers a change in the promotional path. Events that affect the promotional path include:
- Exceeding or not reaching expense boundaries for budget items such as salaries, new hires or capital equipment
- The current owner returning the budget to the previous owner for additional information
- The current owner requesting help from an authorized user who isn’t necessarily on the promotional path.
The selected approvals template determines the first user to review the data. The first user completes the assigned tasks, then promotes (Bottom-Up template) or submits (Distribute template) the budget, which alerts the next owner that the budget requires their attention. Other users may also be notified whenever the budget passes from one user to another.
Each reviewer must validate the approval unit before sending the budget to the next reviewer. The validation runs all data validation rules defined for the approval unit with which the reviewer is working, and reports any data errors or changes in the approval unit promotional path
Data validation Rules: To implement business policies and practices, Service Administrators can build data validation rules that are checked when conditions are met in forms. Rules can generate validation messages, enforce limits on submitted approval unit data, and designate a specific reviewer or owner to review data that meets some condition.
- Conditionalizing the approval unit promotional path(Expense should be always less than particular value).
- Preventing the promotion of approval units that include invalid data.
When you design rules that affect the approval unit promotional path, you need to understand the order in which these rules are evaluated and applied. For information about designing data validation rules and expected outcomes.
Let’s see high level approval workflow creation process.
Select Approval unit from Navigator –> workflow. New approval units can be created from here. Click on add icon to create new approval unit.
Enter Approval unit name, Description and other required details. Select required cube. Select the primary and subhierarchy selection tab.
Select entity for which approval unit needs to be created. Select secondary dimension to include in process. Select parent for secondary dimension and relative members for the same. Then open assign owners tab.
Assign Approval unit owner. Assign approval unit reviewer.
Click on icon under promotional path tab to see users involved in process. Click save button.
Select Approval unit assignment from workflow. Approval units can be assigned to Scenario and version here. Select required scenario and version. Click save button.
Approval unit can be initiated by admin user only. Select manage approvals from workflow to initiate Approval unit.
Now login as approval unit owner. Open tasks. Enter data in the Forms. Mark task as template. Click on save. Click on next. Select promote, then select approval unit and provide annotation. Select promote from dropdown list. Select next owner from dropdown list. Click change status and then click done.
Setting up Email for Approval Notifications:
Owners and reviewers must enable approvals notifications if they want to get an email notice when there’s a change in approvals status or approvals ownership. Approvals notifications are enabled on the Application Settings page.
Approvals notification emails contain the following information:
- URL to Check Status
- Application Name
- Approval unit
- Current Owner
- Previous Owner
- Last Action
- Current Status
- Annotation Title
- Annotation Text
To enable approvals notifications:
- From the home page, click Application, and then click Settings.
- Under Notifications, select Approvals.
- Enter your email address.
Have you used Approval workflows in EPM. If not, give this a try. You will love its power and simplicity.