At the end of every month, the blood pressure of thousands of JD Edwards professionals rises several points. Why? Many times, it’s because their CFOs are pounding the table asking why they can’t balance their general ledger (GL) against perpetual inventory.
Several years ago, I looked at the inventory reconciliation headache and started asking questions. Why does a process that should take a few days end up taking several weeks? And why are the integrity reports in World and EnterpriseOne so inadequate to the task? Those questions led me to develop a solution to the problem. I’m going to talk about that solution at Collaborate ’07. If you’re going, I invite you to see me. I’ll be presenting on Thursday at 9:45AM at Session 23770. I’ll also be at the Andrews Consulting Group/GSI Booth 718 in the exhibit hall if you want to talk.
If you are not going to Collaborate, keep reading. I’ll give you a high-level overview of the solution.
If you have ever tried to reconcile inventory to GL, you know what a nightmare it can be. You can get slapped with variances for all kinds of reasons: software changes, incomplete transactions, manual adjustments, or just because you run the GL and inventory reports at different times.
It would be nice if JD Edwards gave us tools that truly help us to resolve these variances. To their credit, they do offer around half a dozen tools, such as the Cardex to GL report. It’s just too bad that these integrity reports are so tough to use. If you run Cardex to GL, for instance, you could end up with a document that kills three trees. Once you start wading through the thing, 95% of the variances it shows you are not real problems…just one-penny rounding errors! Just as bad, you can’t sort the report or drill down on variances to learn what’s behind them. It’s no wonder that many companies just give up on using these reports or invest IT dollars developing their own. It’s just too hard to search for the needles in multiple haystacks that these reports create.
A Magnet for the Needles
To fix this problem, I created a solution that spans both GL and inventory and acts as a single source of information for both. You can sort the data by discrepancies, ignore the discrepancies that don’t matter, and drill down on the real problems to find out what could be wrong. The solution — which we call RapidReconciler — pulls all the operational data out of EnterpriseOne and World into a SQL Server database. My users access the database via a client interface program. Here’s a screen shot of one of the reports that RapidReconciler generates.
By the way, I’m working right now on some enhancements to this interface that will make it easier to use and a lot more intuitive. For instance, I’m adding workflow tools that tell you what steps you should take next based on what each report uncovers. This could help my clients reduce their reconciliation time windows even further.
I hope that this post gives you hope that there are real solutions to the inventory reconciliation headache. If you have questions or just want to know more about RapidReconciler, leave a comment below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.