Does your company struggle with unreadable spreadsheets that track employee headcount and related workforce expenses? Did you know that Oracle offers an Enterprise version of the Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS) that uses several dynamic dashboards and reports to help your company meet strategic initiatives and that is easily readable by your HR and FP&A teams?

Oracle’s EPBCS Workforce Planning Module is built to fit your enterprises’ needs, as-is and out-of-the-box. Workforce allows your company to track personnel related expenses at the employee level, job level, entity level and some custom levels. You will see reports and dashboards analyzing expenses related to base salary, bonuses, merit raises, taxes, allowances and any number of compensation types that your company offers. This includes out-of-the-box variance analysis and forecasting for your FP&A team. Workforce also allows your HR team to see expense analytics dashboards based on employee demographics. Additionally, Workforce can help your company pursue strategic initiatives by managing employees by skill and allocating them to where they are needed. This is done through a dynamic hiring requisitions, new hires, transfers and terminations system. All of these features allow your company to see if it is functioning efficiently or exactly where changes need to be made. These features and more come with Workforce Planning on EPBCS with little necessary maintenance.

What can be enabled out-of-the-box:

  • There are three cubes available out-of-the-box:
    • An input cube and stores generic earnings, benefits, and taxes
    • A detailed sub-cube for calculations and drivers
    • A detailed reporting cube and includes employee demographics
  • 6 Folders of forms that each contain analytics on expenses, variances and demographics
  • 7 Dashboards related to Workforce analysis
  • Several Smart Lists to simplify choosing properties
  • Business rules for each new cube
  • 8 new dimensions and shells of hierarchies that can be customized to your company’s structure

Out-of-the-Box Features

Below is the setup wizard that will facilitate your application administrator in enabling features that are essential in your company’s workforce analysis.

Granularity – How will expenses be managed? At the Employee level, Job level or a hybrid of both. For example, some companies manage base salary expenses by each specific employee and corporate bonuses on the job level (Analyst, Manager, VP, etc.). This would be a reason to use both employee and job. Another, simpler option is to use job level average for each compensation related expense.

Expense Planning – Employee or Job level expenses may be greater than just the employee’s base salary. This is where you can enable Additional Earnings, Benefits, Taxes and Merit Based Planning. Enabling these will allow you to add expenses at a more specific level including but not limited to:

  • Federal & State Taxes
  • Benefits such as Healthcare, 401k Matching & Auto Allowance
  • Any Additional Earnings that are common expenses to the company

Those will later be configured to percentages of salary, flat amounts and max amount limits.

Headcount Planning – Employee Demographics is concerned with analyzing expenses related to Age, Gender, Etc. Strategic Workforce Planning tracks the skills of individual employees or jobs. This functionality also would show you when talent needs to be allocated to certain areas or departments in order to maintain your corporate strategy.

Workforce Management – Create new hire requisitions based on your company’s needs. Once hired, the requisition can be easily moved into the record of existing employees, which is the data analyzed on the dashboards and forms. Terminations and transfers are also offered out of the box and use a similar process.

Additionally, 3 custom dimensions can be enabled for additional personnel analysis.

Structure of Compensation Expenses and Levels:

  • Component –
    • Salary Grades
    • Tax Tiers
    • Types of Benefit
    • Additional Earnings that are offered by your company
  • Entity – Salary and non-salary expenses may vary from entity to entity. Include properties and data you want calculated at the entity level
  • Employee – Properties for each individual employee and data you want calculated at the employee level
  • Job – Properties for each position held in the company and data you want calculated at the job level
  • Union Code – Include Union related expenses that can be tagged at the employee, job or entity level

Workforce Assumptions

Plan expenses for hourly employees based on specified assumptions that will be used globally in the Workforce Module. Enter Hours per Day, Hours per Week, Workdays per Month and Partial Payment Factor.

Salary Grades 

How many levels of base salary are required? Each level (or grade) will require a Salary Basis (i.e. hourly, annually, semi-annually) and a Rate which is a dollar amount. These grades can be configured on different levels (employee, job, etc.).

Salary Basis is a good example of an out-of-the-box Smart List being used.

Benefits and Taxes

There are so many variations of benefit packages that companies offer. Workforce can configure to the way YOUR company does benefits. The same goes for Federal taxes and taxes for each state in which your company has a presence.

Identify how your company calculates benefits:

  • Simple Table – one rate and one threshold per year

  • Rate Table – multiple rate options with no threshold

  • Rate Table and Threshold option -multiple rate options with different thresholds

  • The financial account they will be affecting
  • Payment terms & frequency
  • Value type – flat amount or % of salary
  • The max value type – flat or %
  • If the component is taxable
  • If this amount should be added to gross pay

Planning and Forecast Preparation

How far in the future would you like to project labor expenses? How often? The EPBCS module allows for forecasting and budgeting for future workforce expenses at different levels of granularity. Assumptions can be made on a monthly, quarterly and yearly level. You are able to choose the number of periods in the future you would like to project.

Employee Properties

You can also track expenses based on properties related to employees. Properties come out-of-the-box if enabled. You also have the option to create custom properties to track. These property titles can be attached to Smart Lists and are configured to individual employees.

Non-Compensation Expenses

Another optional feature is Non-Compensation analytics which displays dashboards and forms that are found under the Non-Compensation card. Examples include the costs of hiring a new employee which would include costs to recruit, to train once hired, etc.

Performance Metrics

This can be used in a couple ways. If enabled, Performance Metrics can be used to analyze the performance of employees in a POV. It is also used to rate employees for compensation purposes. See Merit Rates for more details.

Merit Rates

Organizations can set rates of salary increase based on the Performance Metric rating. The metrics are used globally across the application as standard increase based on merit.

Is Workforce Planning Right for Your Enterprise?

Whether your company employs hourly workers, salaried workers or temps, has low or high employee turnover, pays only yearly bonus or has a comprehensive benefits package, and all of the above, the Workforce Planning module on Oracle’s Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service will assist your company in managing employees and the related workforce’s expenses. Simple dashboards and reporting will help your FP&A team see exactly where a variance occurred. HR will be able to manage the variances by allocating employees using the Headcount Planning tool. No matter how complicated your workforce management is, the Workforce Planning Module will make it simple and get you to out of spreadsheet hell.

Blog post by Henry Rosenberg of Key Performance Ideas.

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