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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oracle Financials Technical Interview Questions and Score Sheet

Over the last few years I’ve been involved in interviewing a number of Oracle Financials Consultants and have also in the past been sitting on the other side of the desk as an interviewee. The last time I conducted an interview it was more technical in nature and I decided to came up with a list of questions to ask the interviewee. These questions were focused along the lines of people, process and technology and I thought I would write a blog entry with the questions as I’m sure it will be useful for interviewers and interviewee’s alike. In addition to the questions I also developed a score sheet utilising the Kepner Tregoe decision making methodology, an approach I learnt when doing my Masters in Business Leadership (MBL). This score sheet allows the interviewer to develop an objective means of evaluating the answers to interview questions rather than a subjective one and can be modified to suit a number of different scenarios. I haven’t included any answers to the questions as in many cases there is no right answer, I prefer to see if someone understands the concepts and can explain them well. Having said that, if any one wants to come up with a suggested answer sheet I will gladly append it to the questions listing. Hopefully this question listing and score sheet will provide readers with a baseline/guideline that can be used in any type of interview.

Technology Questions

General Ledger

  • Explain the organisational concepts of business group, set of books, legal entity, operating unit and inventory organization and the hierarchical structure relating to these.
  • What are the three C’s in relation to a set of books? 
  • Explain the difference between a key flexfield and descriptive flexfield
  • What is the difference between a cross validation rule and a security rule? 
  • What is a value set and what are the different types of value sets that you will find within Oracle?

Accounts Payable

  • Describe the Key Configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the Accounts Payable module.
  • Briefly describe the Supplier Invoice to Payment process within Oracle.

Accounts Receivable

  • Describe the Key Configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the Accounts Receivable module.
  • Briefly describe/draw the Customer Invoice to Cash process within Oracle
  • Describe the Key difference in setting up accounting for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
  • What happens when you have a receipt in Oracle that can’t be applied to an invoice?

Fixed Assets

  • Describe the key configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the fixed assets module.
  • Briefly describe/draw the asset additions process within Oracle.

Cash Management

  • Describe the key configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the cash management module.
  • Outline the Statement to Reconciliation process within Oracle with particular reference to the different options you might want to consider when reconciling.

All Modules

Describe/draw the sequence of events you would undertake in closing the various financials modules.

People Questions

  • Draw a typical structure relating to project implementation and describe the role each person would play within a project.
  • Describe how to implement an effective training strategy within an implementation – include the timing of training relative to the project lifecycle.
  • Within an implementation describe a Change Management strategy that you would put in place.

Process Questions

  • Describe/draw the main phases of an implementation lifecycle and the key milestones and deliverables within each of these phases.
  • Describe the key differences between a process and work instruction
  • Within a project describe the different test phases that you might go through and what level of testing would be undertaken.
  • Describe a typical process you would implement for managing Change Requests and Bug requests within your organization.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oracle Financials Applications Consulting

Oracle Financial Applications Functional ConsultingI recently came across the Oracle Financial Applications Consulting site and thought I would give it a mention since there’s some downloads on the site which I believe would be useful to readers. The about section of the site has the following to say about the founder:

The Orafinapps was formed by Daniel North in 2005 to provide Oracle Financials consulting services and solutions. The business has recently been rebranded in order to emphasise its core skills and to provide a strong platform to attract new business and share skills, tools and experiences with others in the Oracle Financials community

Daniel is a principal level ex-Oracle UK consultant with an Accounting & Finance degree and considerable experience of large multi-country projects over the last 10 years of implementing Oracle Financials.

He is a skilled and effective applications consultant, who brings with him a great deal of international experience, strong communication skills with the drive and enthusiasm to get results quickly. He has continually demonstrated his ability to adapt to new and challenging environments whilst maintaining consistently high standards of professionalism.

 Daniel offers services in the following areas:

The sites Knowledge Base has a number of downloads which are categorised as follows:

Oracle Financials Implementation and User Guides

A collection of Oracle Financials related material used for implemetation and training purposes. Current sub categories include the following:

  • FSG Reporting
    • FSG User Manual
    • FSG Training
    • FSG Report Writing Guidelines and Strategy
    • FSG Overview spreadsheet
    • Links to FSG SQL scripts
    • FSG Hits and Tips such as writing continental Europe style balance sheets
  • Accounting for Currency - General Ledger currency information surrounding the treatment of foreign currency and the handling of revaluations and translations. 
  • Country Specific Localization Guides - A collection of country specific setup documents, solution proposals and user guides.

A collection of Oracle Financials Tools

Oracle Financials Project Plans, Scope Documentations, Functional, Configuration Documents, Dataload Classic .dld files & Dataload Professional Files .fld

  • Project Management Tools
    • Go Live Criteria Check List Go/No Go
    • Oracle Financials Consultant Interview Questions

The Largest Collection of Free Oracle Financials Scripts on the Internet

The scripts can be downloaded and used  free of charge subject to the following:

  • All scripts have been written for use on Oracle R11i ( 11.5.5 to 11.5.10 ) although untested they may work on other verstions and should be run using a tool such as TOAD or similar. 
  • They should be submitted with read only sql account under the APPS schema. 
  • Always run scripts first on a test system after taking a full system back and only run them in a production system once you have tested and undertaken your own peer review.

Scripts are available in the following areas: -

  • System Administrator SQL Scripts
    • Concurrent Request Running Times
    • Users of a concurrent request including parameters
  • General Ledger SQL Scripts
    • GL : ADI Opening Balances
    • GL : Autopost Definitions
    • GL : CoA Parent Accounts
    • GL : CoA Segment Qualifiers
    • GL : CoA Structure
    • GL : CoA Values
    • GL : Code Combinations
    • GL : Consolidation Mapping
    • GL : Cross Validation Rules (CVR) Line Detail, Summary Overview & Common Configuration Errors
    • GL : Distinct accounts by GL Source
    • GL : Entered Currency by Month
    • GL : FSG Reports. Column Sets, Row Sets, Content Sets, Row Orders
    • GL : GL Interface snapshot across books & GL Interface Details
    • GL : Journal Lines including Reference fields
    • GL : Journal Category & Source Combinations Used
    • GL : Journal Headers & Batches
    • GL : Journal Line based Trial Balance
    • GL : Mass Allocation Formula
    • GL : Period Statuses
    • GL : Security Rule Assignments & Security Rule Definitions
    • GL : Set of Books configuration
    • GL : Summary Account Template
    • GL : Trial Balance from GL Balances
  • DataLoad .dld SQL Scripts
  • Includes the following Dataload scripts that output data in a .dld dataload classic format to extract configuration from one environment to load into the next using dataload classic. This eliminates the need to manually review and update you .dld spreadsheets and files.

    • Dataload .dld GL Cross Validation Rules
    • Dataload Professional .fld : Daily Rates load
    • GL : Mass Allocation Migration Script in Dataload Professional FLD format
    • GL : Mass Allocation Rule Migration Script in Dataload Classic Format

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Richard Byrom Consulting

Last year I left my permanent job and I am now going to be contracting as an Independent Oracle Applications Consultant and Solutions Architect. I’ve formed Richard Byrom consulting and the consulting tab on my site outlines the type of services I intend to provide which can broadly be categorised into the following areas: -

  • Bids and Proposals
  • Business Consulting and Analysis
  • Information Technology (IT) Strategy
  • Solutions Architecting
  • Enterprise Resource Plannning (ERP) Implementations
  • Writing and Presenting

I’m looking forward to this particular venture and am interested to see what its like working as an Independent contractor. I also see it as an opportunity to breath some life back into my blogs. If you’re interested in my services or want to talk to me about potentially working together then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oracle Events Google Mashup

I discovered the Oracle Events web site the other day which I thought was a very good way of keeping us up to date of all Oracle events going on around the globe.

It has a Google Mashup which combines event information with the worldwide location as illustrated below.

Oracle Events Google Mashup

You can search events by keyword or view in person and web event information by applying the following filters:

  • Date
  • Language
  • Target Audience
  • Database
  • Middleware
  • Applications
  • Industries
  • Service

I also like the fact there’s an RSS feed for the events. What would make this service even better is an iCAL file that you could use to import the events into an Outlook or web based calendar service

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oracle Fusion Middleware:  Who Stole Mark Drake?

For a not so technical but far more entertaining introduction to Oracle Fusion Middleware, take a look at the suspense thriller “Who Stole Mark Drake?”.

Posted By: Michael Siebert

Who Stole Mark Drake

The folks at Oracle Studios have been hard at work, setting the stage for a modern game of stolen identity.  Starring a cast of international cyber cops and robbers, this 11 minute whodunnit tale takes you on a global journey across several time zones and continents.  Now I won’t spoil the ending, but I will tell you it

doesn’t

end with Larry firing a few RPG’s from his Italian jet fighter into an abandoned warehouse filled with eBay scammers (perhaps Oracle Game Studios can work on that one).  It probably won’t win any Academy Awards either - although the soundtrack isn’t too shabby.  It will, however, give you a good introduction to the various products and components of Oracle Fusion Middleware and how it all came together to answer the question of “Who Stole Mark Drake?”.  After the film is over and you’ve regained your composure, be sure to go through the nine “Debrief Videos” , each of which answers various questions about how the mystery was solved through the use of Oracle technologies such as the Customer Data Hub, BPEL Process Manager and BAM, and Oracle Identity Management to name a few.

If you’re like me, you’ve made a commitment for 2007 to better understand Oracle Fusion.  But what is Fusion?  Applications?  Architecture?  Middleware?  Actually, it can be all of these.  The good news is that there is plenty of information out there to help us sort through the confusion about Fusion.  I’ll be focusing on the trials and tribulations of my journey to better understand the various concepts, products, and components of Oracle Fusion in future posts.  Until then, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

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