Let’s Make Entry of Project-Related Purchasing Documents Easier!

This feature of the week is for anyone using Oracle Purchasing and Payables with Projects (R11i and R12). I spent some time with a group of users who were new to Oracle Applications (they switched from Sage and QuickBooks), and was showered with a slew of questions like “Why do I have to enter so many fields?”, “Why is it so unintuitive?”, “Can we modify the forms to hide the fields we don’t need and change the order in which they are entered?”…

The area of particular interest and concern was processing of purchase requisitions and orders. They did not use iProcurement, and hundreds of PO documents have to be entered manually in Purchasing. To make matters worse, some of their purchases were project-related, some were not; switching to a fully project-centric processing is out of question at this time.

Anyway, I don’t know how many times I had to defend Oracle’s design of the Distributions window for Requisition and POs. And quite honestly, I am running out of arguments to explain why it is so cumbersome. It is obvious that the option to enter project-related information was added on at later date, and its workflow is quite contra-productive. Let’s take a project-related requisition for example:

  • Enter requisition header
  • Enter requisition lines
  • Enter requisition distributions

Now, if it was a non-project requisition, you’d enter Charge Account and you are done.

PO Distributions

However, if it was a project-related requisition, you’d need to ignore the Charge Account, switch to the Project tab, enter the project-relate information, come back to the Accounts tab, finish the remaining required fields there, and finally, save your changes to initiate the Account Generator to assign the Charge Account. The process for entering the PO distributions is pretty much the same. Now, explain that to users.

Suggestion for Improvement

Why not make the Requisition Distributions and PO Distributions folder-based forms like the Invoice Distributions in Payables? It would not be difficult to do, and this way, users could arrange, display, hide the fields according to their business needs.

Supplier Invoice Distributions

Finally, it was really disappointing to see that this particular process and the Requisition and PO forms, were not enhanced in R12. Is this being discussed in the Supply Chain SIG? Is there a plan to incorporate the existing enhancement requests in the future?

About Marian Crkon

Marian Crkon is a successful independent consultant offering consulting and professional services to Oracle eBusiness Suite clients in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide. Marian has been involved in Oracle consulting projects and IT management for over 18 years now. He established himself an an expert in Oracle Projects and Oracle Financials, and completed several successful implementations for clients in the US and Europe. Marian lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. When he does not work or travel, he spends time with his family.

One Thought on “Let’s Make Entry of Project-Related Purchasing Documents Easier!

  1. Felicity on October 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm said:

    Entering PR in foreign currency is another area I hope can be made easier.
    We are located in Japan, but our functional currency is USD instead of JPY. When we create a Purchase Requisition, the default currency is USD, but we handle a lot of expense requisitions in JPY (85%).
    Here are the steps we follow:

    1- The user has to first enter the amount in the “Lines” tab, e.g. 500,000 (meant to be JPY), but PR will show this as USD 500,000
    2- The he needs to go to the “Currency” tab, enter the currency and check what the conversion rate is, e.g. JPY at 1 JPY = 011837121212121 USD at corp rate
    3- Then he needs to calculate manually and convert the currency amount into USD amount (considering that he is aware that he needs to divide or multiply by the rate he sees)
    4- Once the user has done the calculation, then he needs to change the USD amount in the “Lines” tab to the manually calculated and converted amount, e.g. 5,918.56 USD
    5- Then the user has to go back to the “Currency” tab and check that the currency amount is what he expected.

    If you know of an easier way to handle foreign currency PR, please let me know.


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