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Office of the Controller > Departments > Financial Reporting >Year End Financial Reporting
Printable

FY07 Year End / FY08 Financial Reporting

 
For a complete list of closing schedules, click here. Please note, some event dates are subject to change prior to Year End. Check back periodically and in early July for the most up-to-date information.
 

Messages from the Reporting Team:
 
 

   
 
Year End Reporting Calendars

Performance Improvements for Year End:

Other performance hints: What you can do

Monitoring system performance: What we can do

Using CREW Functionality to Streamline YE Reporting:

Miscellaneous Reminders:

   
     
 
 
   
 

July 2007

 

 
   
     
 

In order to provide the tubs with more timely information during this fiscal year end, there will be two additional data refreshes to the Data Warehouse (HDW) on Sunday night, July 8 th after the first June close and on Sunday night, July 15 th after the second June close. This means that June journals entered after the 11 a.m. deadline on the Friday of the close and before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday night will be posted and reflected in CREW on Monday morning. Note that there will not be a data refresh on Sunday, July 22 nd after the third close. Any journals entered after 11 a.m. on Friday, July 20 th will be deleted.

Any regular invoice batches and invoice imports that have been processed by the Accounts Payable department from Friday to Sunday will also be uploaded on Sunday evening and reflected in CREW on Monday morning.

This means that users do not have to wait until Tuesday morning to get information on journals and AP invoices processed after 11 a.m. on Friday until 6:30 p.m. on Sunday after the first and second closes. Rather the data will be available in CREW on Monday morning.

Also, the Friday journal deadlines are 11am instead of 9am as in previous years.

Please note, the University is closed on Wednesday, July 4th for the holiday. No journal vouchers will be posted to the GL on that day. JUN-07 journals entered after 5pm Tuesday, July 3rd until 5pm on Thursday, July 5th, will be posted to the GL on Thursday, July 5th and be available in the HDW on Friday, July 6th.

 
     
     
 

August 2007

 

 
   
     
 
For a complete listing of Closing Deadlines for Financial Systems Transactions, please refer the May 4th eNews @ http://fad.harvard.edu/training/enews/html/current.html
 
     
   
 
 
 
 
   
  Performance Improvements for Year End  
     
  When a report will complete and be available to the end-user depends on five main variables:
      1. CREW up-time and when scheduled reports kick-off
      2. Report performance
      3. Queue configurations for throughput
      4. Volume of reporting
      5. Date periods used in reports; the amount of data being retrieved
 
   
  Performance Variables and End-User Satisfaction  
     
  An analysis of business-critical reporting days associated with FY06 Year End and recent month-end closes shows a range of user experience. Improvements to bring components of low satisfaction days in line with "stress-free" days include earlier CREW up-times, performance tuning of longer-running reports, and enhanced queue configurations to allow greater throughput for reports.  
         
 
   
     
   
   
     
   
   
   
  CREW Up-time Improvements  
  Scheduled reports begin to execute, aka "kick-off", when the nightly data loads to the Harvard Data Warehouse (HDW) complete and the reporting zones are brought up. During the FY06 5th Close, scheduled reports kicked-off at 8:28am, thus all reports hit the system at that time. Compounding the backlog was a high-volume of on-demand reports submitted throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Recent upgrades have improved the run time of the nightly load process resulting in earlier CREW up times.
 
     
 
   
 
 
   
 
  Report Performance Tuning  
   
  On average 72% of all financial reports executed are Detail Listings. The majority of Detail Listings complete in minutes. Longer running, yet high volume reports, such as the Budget Variance and CINA Flex reports contribute to queue bottlenecks impeding the execution of other reports.

Of note is the fact that of the analysis sample, 98% of all reports submitted completed in less than one hour. In other words, 2% of all reports, in addition to a later CREW up-time, are the major contributors to queue backlogs and the longer pending wait times experienced by end users.

The recent Oracle 10g financial database provided opportunities to reduce the run time of longer running reports.
 
 
  Significant performance gains for the following long running reports have been made recently, or are in process to be released for Year End reporting:
      • Budget Variance
      • CINA Flex
      • Stmt of Changes in Net Assets by Fund Type
      • Summary Actuals Report
      • Budget Data Dump
      • CINA by Major Fund Group Budget
      • Monthly and FYTD Budg Analysis
      • Project Budget and Costs Summary
      • Treasurer's Rpt - All Moneys
      • Treasurer's Rpt - Fund Type
   
   
 
  Queue Configuration for Greater Throughput  
     
  Due to the large number of reports that are submitted to execute at any given time, it is important that the number of reports actually executing at one time does not overburden the system. All financial reports query data from a single database residing on a single server. To control the flow of traffic, queues are established which have a given number of "slots" dictating the number of reports that may execute simultaneously.

The overwhelming majority of reports executed by end users is the Detail Listings which is assigned its own queue with several slots. All other reports share another queue with fewer slots. Given that it is primarily reports other than the Detail Listing that run long, this queue can get clogged as long-running reports don't clear the queue as quickly as needed to make room for "waiting" reports.

Analysis and testing is underway to allow more queue throughput for the "other" longer-running reports and it is anticipated that with the more robust Oracle 10g database, greater number of reports can run simultaneously without over-burdening the system.
 
 
 
   
 
  Volume of Reporting  
     
  Volume of reporting is strictly in the hands of the reporting community based on individual needs. During peak reporting periods and business-critical reporting days volume of reporting is high and minor delays in terms of pending wait times may be experienced despite measures taken.

Our analysis shows that the Detail Listing reports experience minor to imperceptible pending wait times even for the highest volume reporting days. Reducing or not submitting unneeded long-running reports on high volume reporting days creates additional bandwidth for others.
 
   
   
 
  Run time when using PFY vs CFY reporting periods  
     
  The FY06 5th Close saw 84 reports that ran for over one hour as compared to 28 for the JUL-06 month end close. Though the volume and composition of reports was fairly similar, one difference in report run time relates to the amount of data a report needs to retrieve. For instance, a Detail Listing run for Current Fiscal Year to Date after the July close, will only need to return one period of data. When that same report is run for the June close, a full year of data is retrieved.

Improving the report performance of longer running reports, such as the Budget Variance report, will reduce the run time overall; however, it is important to remember that though you may be running the same report every month, the incremental growth of data may increase the run time over time.
 
   
   
   
  Performance Hints: What you can do  
     
  Spring Clean Unused Scheduled Reports!  
  Do you have scheduled reports that run every month or at Year End that don't quite suit your needs anymore but that you're afraid to delete "just in case"? Be aware, unneeded reports take away space and system resources from the reports you really do use. (hint, use the "Schedule Later" scheduling option to put report requests "On Hold". Report requests in "Schedule Later" status are never deleted from the system and can be re-activated at any time should you decide you really do need them.)  
     
  Preserve Server Space by Deleting Reports  
  Delete the reports you no longer need to save disk server space. Save report files locally and then delete from the CREW HOME page. Remember, report requests will automatically purge from the system seven days after its completion date. (hint, set up request groups and schedule them. Delete the groups that have completed and the next scheduled issuance of the group stays active.)  
     
  Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!  
  Scheduling your report to run overnight instead of during working hours is your best guarantee of having your reports on hand when you get to your desk in the morning. This practice is particularly recommended for summary reports like the Change In Net Assets and Summary Actuals that take longer to execute. (hint, use events-based scheduling options to have reports automatically execute after the closes.)  
     
  Use the narrowest possible parameters  
  Broad parameters cause the system to have to work harder to return your results. The harder the system works, the longer it takes to get you your results. (hint, use selection sets to set up chart values once and then apply them to multiple reports.)  
     
 
 
   
  Monitoring YE Performance: What we do  
     
  Throughout the close during working hours, the HDW and FSS Reporting Teams execute queries to monitor the system for backlogs and long-running reports. If pending wait-times exceed 15 minutes, immediate analysis is conducted to assess the expected wait-times and take any actions possible to reduce the bottlenecks.

In the event of queue backlogs and long pending wait-times, alerts are posted to the CREW Gateway Page and wait-time estimates are provided.

The Help Desk is also alerted and kept informed of progress.

Look to the "Messages from the Reporting Team" for "traffic” and other important updates.
 
   
     
 
 
     
   
  What Else to Remember at Year End:  
     
  Posting Journals to the Correct Period  
  During the month of June, the period of JUL-06 will also be open and will be the “default” period. Be careful to select the proper period (JUN-06 or JUL-06) when you enter a journal.  
     
 
 
     
   
     
 

 
     
   
  Streamline YE Reporting Using CREW Features and Functionality  
     
  Request Groups, chart of account Selection Sets and Events-based scheduling are some of the features of CREW that can help automate reporting which is especially useful at Year End. Step-by-step tutorials on how to use these features are available on ABLE at http://able.harvard.edu/crew/  
     
     
 
  Closing Periods in the Detail Listing  
     
  “Year End Date Periods” in the Detail Listing reports limit the data retrieved to just the transactions/journals of each individual close. For instance, if you want to check to make sure all of your first close journals posted accurately, choose the "First Closing (mm/dd/yyyy - mm/dd/yyyy)" date period to limit results to just what posted in the 1st close.  
     
 
 
     
  The updated FY07 YE Close Period dates will be displayed in the date name starting July 1. Until then, the FY06 dates will still be shown. In other words, when the new fiscal year opens on July 1, the new dates become activated. This does not preclude setting up and scheduling reports in advance! Upon the first nightly refresh after July 1, the dates will automatically update all scheduled reports.  
     
   
     
   
  Scheduling Detail Listings Using Year End Closing Periods and Scheduling Events  
     
  Combine using Close Periods and Scheduling "Events" so Detail Listings capturing YE Journals automatically execute after each or any of the five close periods.  
     
 
 
     
 

Choose the "Once On Event" schedule dropdown and choose the close event that corresponds with the Detail Listing close date. To rapidly replicate a report for each close, from the CREW Home page:

  • click the "Resubmit/Recycle" icon of original report,
  • click the "Change Parameters" button to navigate to the Parameters page,
  • change the Report Period to "Second Closing" choice,
  • click the Schedule button when finished,
  • on the Schedule page, choose "2nd JUN Close" from the "Once On Event" dropdown,
  • click the Schedule button to complete.
 
     
   
 
 
   
  Creating Request Groups  
     
  A Request Group can be comprised of any number and any combination of reports that are scheduled to run together. For example, a Detail Listing report where the report period is "Most Recent Month" and a Summaries Actual and Budget report where the report period is "Prior Fiscal Year" can be grouped together and scheduled run after each close using the "Repeat On Event" year end close dates.  
     
 
 
     
  Any report request on the HOME page can be made part of a group. When creating new reports specifically to be part of group choose the Schedule page option of "Schedule Later". On creating new groups, the default schedule status is Schedule Later. Click the clock icon of the group to apply a new schedule.  
     
     
   
     
   
  Using Selection Sets  
     
  Use Selection Sets to set up various combinations of chart segment values that are then applied to multiple reports. For instance, a department administrator may want to see their Tub and Org activity in a Budget Variance report, a Fund Summary report, and a Summaries Actual and Budget report. So, they would set up a Selection Set to include their Tub and Org values and then apply it to all three of the reports to ensure the same segments are being captured in each report.  
     
 
 
     
   
 
 
   
  Putting it all together: A Day in the Life of a YE Reporter  
     
  Department and financial administrators manage budgets, funds, and operating expenses. For a given tub and org, one might want to see fund balances, summaries of object code expenses against budget, and a detailed look at expenses. Using selection sets, request groups and events-based scheduling can assist in automating repetitive actions and help ensure consistency in report submissions.  
     
 
Step 1:
create a Selection Set that includes the chart segment values you want report results on  
 
Step 2:
apply the sets to the reports that will display the report results in the way you want to see them  
 
Step 3:
create a group with these reports  
 
Step 4:
schedule the group to run on the year end closes  
       
 
Selection Sets + Request Groups + Events Scheduling = Streamlined Reporting
 
     

 

 

 

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