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Oracle Pads Its Treasury Suite

Oracle is padding its E-Business Suite 11i.9 financial software with enhancements to the OracleO Treasury, including real-time cash flow forecasting and more control over Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance measures.

The software advances, which officials said would come out in the first part of 2004, comes from suggestions made by its customer advisory group. The company said its customers wanted more control and visibility of the financial operations within the corporation.

"The security and control aspect has always been critical, but with the recent emphasis on corporate governance, the (corporate) treasury department is really playing an important role in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," said Sally Screven, Oracle's senior director of application development.

The treasury department within a corporation looks at more than just the debits and credits coming in from its various departments, whether that department is on another floor or another continent. And when those other departments are getting into derivatives and money market transactions using the euro, yen or dinar, it's a good idea to have an application that can collect and correctly interpret that information for U.S. uses.

To accomplish that, OracleO Treasury developers added increased support for FAS 133 and IAS 39, the accounting standard for reporting derivatives as an asset or liability on the balance sheet. The software now provides reports of where the derivatives are being used, as well as tracks the progress of hedge accounts through its lifecycle.

As a time-saving measure, OracleO Treasury now includes real-time cash flow information inside the corporation, rather than putting together batch reports on a daily basis. It also comes with forecasting function to help users make investment or borrowing decisions.

OracleO Treasury also beefed up its automation process, which processes anything from passing journal entries to the general ledger, to reporting transactions using CDs to issue or purchase debt.

"Our 65 subsidiaries were spending anywhere between 10 to 30 percent of their time on it, we brought all those responsibilities back to the headquarters level with no additional staff," said Geri Westphal, Oracle vice president of finance. "That's what everybody is talking about, the enhanced automation and increased productivity, so that we can move on to the value-added work instead of chasing a foreign exchange contract or an investment view."