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GENERAL LEDGER
ENQUIRIES & REPORTS

Edition 2
January 2001
Title: General Ledger Enquiries & Reports

Author: Yvonne Johnston

Date: January 2001

This second edition is an extensive re-writing of the first


edition by Alison Bellamy, released in
November 1999.

Thanks to Dominic Abbey, Administrator of the Department of Computer Science for allowing the use
of one of that department's accounts as an example in the screen shots incorporated in this document.
GENERAL LEDGER
ENQUIRIES & REPORTS
Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................. 4
Introduction................................................................................................................. 4
Oracle General Ledger - Keywords and concepts...................................................... 5
Balances................................................................................................................. 5
General Ledger Enquiries .......................................................................................... 7
Account Detail ........................................................................................................ 7
Account Summary .................................................................................................. 7
Making GL enquiries using the 'Funds Available' screen........................................ 9
Account Enquiry ....................................................................................................... 13
Enquiring on 'Actuals'........................................................................................ 15
Enquiring on 'Encumbrances' ........................................................................... 19
Enquiring on 'Budgets' ...................................................................................... 21
Reports in Oracle General Ledger ........................................................................... 27
A guide to understanding the balances report .................................................. 33
Appendix I – Getting Help ........................................................................................ 34
Appendix II - The Toolbar........................................................................................ 35
Appendix III – Keyboard Shortcuts ......................................................................... 36
Introduction
This user guide assumes familiarity with navigating within Oracle Financials, either gained
through attendance on the Navigation course, or through having read the Navigating within
Oracle Financials document. In addition, appendices are included at the end of this guide to
provide assistance in getting help and using the toolbar and keyboard shortcuts.

Familiarity with the Microsoft Windows environment is also assumed, as well as an


understanding of basic Windows’ terminology, such as clicking and double-clicking.

The reader should also be familiar with the structure of UCL's Chart of Accounts.

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Oracle General Ledger - Keywords and
concepts
Financial data is stored in Oracle General Ledger as transactions or balances.

Transactions

All transactional data enters the General Ledger in the form of a journal. Data from other
Oracle Financials modules (for example Accounts Payable - AP) and from non-Oracle
Financials feeder systems (e.g. payroll) is imported into the General Ledger as a journal.
These journals are then posted to the general ledger on a daily basis. Note: Entries made in
other modules (e.g. AP) do not automatically update the General Ledger.

Balances
The journals which update the transactions data also update the balances held in the General
Ledger. Balances are stored at account code combination level i.e. using all 6 account code
segments (account, source, analysis, optional, unit and company). These balances can be
viewed as detailed accounts. Balances are also stored at summary account level. At UCL we
use summary accounts to provide balance information at account segment (i.e. the first, four-
character segment) level.

There are 3 types of balances held in Oracle General Ledger and they are all completely
separate and different from each other:

1. Actual Balances. These are updated by actual transactions such as purchase invoices,
salaries, expense claims and sales invoices and receipts.

2. Encumbrance Balances. These arise from commitments incurred when Purchase


Orders are raised and approved. When the purchase invoice relating to that PO is
matched and approved the encumbrance is reversed and an 'actual' transaction is
created. Thus the encumbrance balance is reduced while the actual balance is
increased.

3. Budget Balances. Budget balances are updated by the entries made in budget
journals. (See 'Enquiring on Budgets').

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General Ledger Enquiries
The most efficient way to obtain General Ledger Account information is by performing an on
screen enquiry.

There are several useful enquiry forms and all use a similar convention for entering account
parameter details.

The following pop-up box appears in all enquiry forms where you have to enter account
parameters:

List of values

What you should enter here depends on what you want to see - detail or summary
information?

Account Detail

If you want to view data held at account code combination level then either enter in the
precise combination you need or enter the segment(s) you are interested in viewing and the
query will return all code combinations using those segments.

Account Summary

If you wish to view a balance (and drill down to transactions) at the account segment level
only, then enter the required account code(s) in the 'Low' and 'High' account boxes and enter
the character 'T' in all the other boxes. The 'T' stands for total and what this means is that all
other segments are totalled while the account is shown in detail. In fact, when performing
such an enquiry you actually need only enter the 'T' in the 'Source' boxes as the system knows
from that that you intend to total on all the other subsequent segments too. Please note that the
'T must be upper case.

TIP: You can get a full listing of all account codes available to you by using the pick list
/list of values This can be accessed by pressing the button shown, or using cntrl & ‘L’
on your keyboard.

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Making GL enquiries using the 'Funds
Available' screen
The 'Funds Available' screen provides top-level information on an account or an account code
combination. It shows the budget available for the year, the actual expenditure (net of any
income) incurred year to date, any outstanding commitments recorded on the system and thus
the funds available for future expenditure. You cannot drill down from this type of enquiry.

To open the ‘Funds Available' screen, navigate as follows:

And click on 'Funds' to show the following form:

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Enter the required parameters and tab to the Account field. The following box will appear:

Enter the parameters required. If the balance on the whole account is required, enter 'T' in all
the segments other than the account segment.

The following shows the enquiry result:

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If you wish to enquire on all the account code combinations for one account then enter the
low & high parameters for the other segments

The following shows the enquiry result:

Clicking on the up/down arrows will give further combinations and balances if available.

Alternatively, where there is more data than can be viewed on one screen, the data can be
exported to a spreadsheet where it can easily be manipulated as required. This can be done by
clicking on 'Action' and then selecting 'Export'. (Please see Newfis documentation on
Exporting to Excel in order to ensure that your PC is set up to export to Excel directly)

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The following shows the exported data together with the totalling (in bold) performed in
Excel.

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Account Enquiry
If you require more detailed information about account balances and transactions then you
need to use the account enquiry form.

• Navigate to Account as shown:

Choose the required start and end periods from the List of Values or delete and
manually enter the relevant periods.

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Please note that the To field will automatically change to display the same period as the From
field, therefore if you wish to enquire on more than one period you must ensure you change
this date.

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Enquiring on 'Actuals'
The 'radio button' is set to 'Actuals' by default so if you wish to enquire on actuals, leave it as
it is.

Click or tab down to the 'Accounts' section of the form. The usual pop-up box will appear for
you to enter the account parameters.

The example below is an enquiry at summary account level so 'T' is input in the source fields:

This produces the following:

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You can then look at the balance by clicking on ‘Show Balances':

Clicking on 'Detail Balances' will show balances at account code combination level:

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Transactional information can then be drilled-down to. For example, if the 4th line of the
above is selected and 'Journal Details' clicked then the following is returned:

Clicking on 'Drilldown to Payables' for one line shows:

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Alternatively, if on the original 'Account Enquiry' form, 'Show Journal Details' had been
selected, then all transactions making up the balance on the summary account would be called
up:

This clearly can result in a lot of data being returned, but it is useful if exported to Excel
where it can be manipulated using spreadsheet functionality.

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Enquiring on 'Encumbrances'
(For the purposes of this document, it is assumed that 'encumbrances' are synonymous with
'commitments'.

In fact, there are 2 types of encumbrance - 'commitment' and 'obligation'. Obligations arise
from timing differences between the different stages of Accounts Payable invoice entry and
authorisation. From hereon, reference will be made only to 'commitment' - which arises from
the issuing of an approved Purchase Order. (For simplicity, we will ignore the existence of
'obligations'.)

To enquire on encumbrances from the account enquiry screen, select 'Encumbrance' by


clicking on the radio button. Under 'Encumbrance Type' enter 'Commitment'.

Clicking on 'Show Balances' shows balances by accounting period:

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Clicking on 'Detail Balances' will show the breakdown by account code combination for any
selected month:

Clicking on 'Journal Details' will show the transactions in the form of GL batch details:

The entries show both the recording of commitments (Entered Debits) from Purchasing and
the reversal of previous commitments (Entered Credits) from Accounts Payable when the PO
has been matched with the purchase invoice.

Unfortunately when enquiring on commitments, you cannot now drill down any further. This
is why the 'Drilldown' button is greyed out. This is a deficiency in the Oracle Financials
product itself the rectification of which Oracle are treating as a product enhancement. They
are not offering a fix for our current version and are only expecting that this deficiency will
be fixed in the latest release (Release 11i) to which UCL will not be upgrading in the short
term.

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Enquiring on 'Budgets'
Background on Budgeting in Oracle General Ledger
UCL has chosen to make use of some of the budgeting functionality available in Oracle
General Ledger. The current set up is as follows:

There are two types of budgets - College and Department. It is intended that the Department
budget is maintained within departments (each migrated department being set up as a separate
budget organisation which has exclusive, password controlled access to its departmental
budget data). Departmental budgeting will be the subject matter of forthcoming
documentation and is not being covered in this document.

The College budget is set and allocated centrally. Any changes to it must be made by the
Planning & Management Accounts section of Finance Division who will put through budget
journals on request. There are 2 types of College budget entries:

1. Budget allocation for the year. These are allocations made to departments for their
share of recurrent grant, overheads or endowment fund income etc.. Such budget entries
are put through to the accounting periods September to July. These allocations are now
budget entries whereas, under the old UCL accounting system (FAS), which did not
make use of budgeting, they were put through as actuals.

2. Unspent budget carried forward. Also, under the old UCL accounting system (FAS),
certain accounts were designated as 'carry forward' accounts and the unspent balance on
such accounts at year-end was carried forward into the next year as an actual balance.
Using budgeting functionality, such carried forward balances are now treated, more
correctly, as budget balances. At the end of each financial year, the balance for carry
forward is calculated as the budget balance less the net expenditure balance (ie net of any
income credited to that account) as at 31 July. The unspent budget is carried forward to
the August accounting period (ie the first accounting period of the new financial year).
Only entries relating to the carry forward budget should go through in that period.

All budget entries go though to analysis code ZZZ which should only be used for budgets
(not for actuals or encumbrances).

One aspect of budgeting in Oracle General Ledger that sometimes causes confusion is that
positive and negative values of budget balances and entries are the opposite way around from
what most people expect. This confusion arises because budget entries and balances are not
seen as being distinct from actuals whereas they are an entirely separate type of entry/balance.

With actual entries and balances, a credit entry (a negative amount) represents income while
a debit entry (a positive amount) represents expenditure.

With budgets a debit entry (positive) allocates funds to an account. What that means,
effectively, is that you can debit actual transactions up to this amount before you run out of
funds. Please try not to view a budget allocation as income, as this is where the root of the
confusion lies.

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When viewed in this light, the arithmetic can be seen to be logical:

e.g. Unspent budget brought forward 10,000


Budget allocation for year 25,000
Total available budget 35,000

Income credited to date - 2,000


Expenditure debited to date 20,000
Net expenditure 18,000

Total available (budget minus actual) 35,000-18,000=17,000


(a negative amount would therefore represent an overspend).

This example ignores commitments (encumbrances) for simplicity sake.

Performing a budget enquiry


There are 2 ways of doing this. The first is to use the account enquiry screen:

Ensure that the radio button is set to 'Budget'. You will be required to select a budget (either
'College' or 'Department')

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From this form you can either 'Show Balances' and drill down further (in a manner similar to
when you enquire on 'Actuals') or you can 'Show Journal Details' thus:

The second, alternative way to enquire on budgets is to use the 'Budget Enquiry' form.

Navigation from the main menu is as follows:

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The Budget Enquiry screen:

Select the budget you want to enquire on and the relevant dates and account(s).

NOTE: You can only perform a budget enquiry on summary accounts. You cannot perform
them on detail accounts (ie at account code combination level).

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Click on 'Detail Accounts' to obtain:

And on 'Budget Journals' to see more information:

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Reports in Oracle General Ledger
Reports are classified as a type of 'Request'’ in Oracle General Ledger.

They can be accessed using the following navigation path:

You will then be asked the following:

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Select 'Single Request'

You will need to enter the name of the request (report) you wish to run. Those available to
you can be seen by calling up a list of values. (The most useful reports all begin with UCL, so
you could limit the list by entering UCL% in the 'Find' box).

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UCL Balances Report. This report is one which has been specially written for UCL use. It is
like the hard copy balances report which is sent out each month. The only difference is in the
formatting of the report. The advantage of running this report on-line is that it can be run at
any time and will give the latest balances available (and not just the balance at the previous
month-end).

UCL Transaction Report. Also specially written for UCL and similar to the hard copy
report but can be run on-line. There are system performance problems with this report which
mean that if the report is run for multiple periods it may take a while to run (times of 35 to 40
minutes are not uncommon). In order to prevent users clogging up the entire system by
running several such requests at once, any multiple period transaction report request will be
placed in a queue so that only one such request is ever running at one time. As the system
performance problem is dependent on the number of periods selected, a separate request has
been created to allow users to run this report for a single period only. These requests do not
go into a queue.

Note Both the balances and the transaction reports can only be run for one financial year at a
time. You cannot run a report covering more than one financial year.

UCL General Ledger and UCL Account Analysis reports are both Oracle standard reports.
The UCL prefix simply means that they have been adapted to work in connection with the
'Security Rules' that limit the codes to which users can have access. As such the reports are
less useful than the customised reports (above). The 'Account Analysis' report shows
transactions going through an account for any given period. It is considerably faster to run
than the UCL transactions report but that is because it is retrieving less data. The 'General
Ledger' report contains similar transactional data to the Account Analysis report but also
shows opening and closing balances. Please note that these two reports can only report on one
balance type at a time. Separate reports have to be run to show budget, encumbrance and
actual amounts.

Entering Account Parameters


Unlike account enquiries where you can leave certain account parameter fields unfilled, when
you are listing account parameters for reports you must fill in all fields of the parameter box.
Wildcards ('%' in Oracle) cannot be used here. You must enter account segments in the form
of 'low' and 'high' values.
e.g.:

UCL List of Accounts

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This report lists all accounts to which a user has access under their relevant security rule. It
shows the account code, account description, default source code and default unit code.

Running and Printing reports

The example below shows the running and printing of the UCL Balance report for account
CL60. The parameters are selected:

Click on 'OK'.

Click on 'Submit Request'

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The request screen appears as below:

Clicking (not too frequently) on 'Refresh' will indicate the status of the request.

Once the request is completed, you can print the output. However, you are strongly advised
to 'View Output' first to check the length of the report. (Selecting this will enable you to
view the report via your web browser).

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Provided your printer has been registered to print from NewFIS, you can print out your report
by clicking on 'Special' on the toolbar and selecting 'Reprint' and specifying the no. of copies
required, the printer to use and the page format.e.g.:

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A guide to understanding the balances report
Please note that the balances report incorporates all three types of balance.

The first three columns show budget balances. 'Budget b/fwd' shows the unspent budget
brought forward from the previous year. 'Budget For Year' shows the budget allocation for the
year and 'Amount Available' shows the total budget available.

The next three columns (columns 4 to 6) show actual balances. 'To Date b/fwd' shows the net
income/expenditure balance at the beginning of the period specified in the date parameters.
'For Month' shows the net income/expenditure movement for the period(s) specified in the
date parameters. 'To Date c/fwd' shows the net income/expenditure balance at the end of the
period specified in the date parameters.

The 7th column 'Outstanding Commitments to date' shows the encumbrance balance at the
end of the period specified in the date parameters.

'Balance Available' is the sum of the budget available minus net expenditure minus
outstanding commitments

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Appendix I – Getting Help
At any point during your work, it is possible to access Help pages related to the work you are
doing. Click on the Help menu and select Window Help. Your web browser will open and
display the Help pages which are related to the Window which was open. If this page does not
answer the queries you have, try clicking on the Contents or Index links at the top of the
screen.

Click on the
links to take
you to the
relevant
page Index Link:
Displays the
full Index of
Help Pages

Contents
Link: Displays
the contents
list for the
pages related
to the window
which was

If you wish to read all of the pages for a particular subject, use the Next and Previous links to
navigate through the topic.

If you are confused by any of the jargon used by Oracle, either on the Help pages or in the
Oracle Financials application itself, try looking for the word in the Glossary. Note: this
Glossary does not provide details of the differences between American and English
Accountancy terms, and is not a fully comprehensive list.

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Appendix II - The Toolbar

• Status Bar – provides information about • Delete Record --delete the current record
your actions and brief error messages from the database.

• Navigate To... --open the Navigator • Clear Record --clear the current record
window. from the window.

• Zoom --invoke a custom-defined Zoom. • Folder Tools --open the Folder tool
palette.
• Save --save any pending changes in the
current form. • Translations... --open the Translations
window.
• Save and Proceed --save any pending
changes and prepare the form for the entry • Attachments... --open the Attachments
of the next record. window to update or view the current
attachment or add a new attachment.
• Print... --print the current screen or in or
special cases, display a list of reports to • No Attachments --open the Attachments
print. window to create a new attachment.

• Clear Form --clear all pending changes in • List of Values/Pick List... --show the list
the current form. Clears all child windows of values for the current field.
but does not close them.
• Edit Field... --open the Editor window for
• Switch Between Summary & Detail -- the current field.
switch between the summary and detail
view of the current record. • Window Help--open help for the current
window.
• Find... --open Query Find window to
select records. • Switch Responsibility... --display the
Responsibilities window – only displayed
• New Record --create a new record. when the Navigator window is active.

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Appendix III – Keyboard Shortcuts
To get a list of Keyboard Shortcuts while using Oracle Applications, click on the Help menu
and choose Keyboard Help…

• Block Menu Ctrl & B • Function 5 Shift & Ctrl & F5

• Clear Block F7 • Function 6 Shift & Ctrl & F6

• Clear Field F5 • Function 7 Shift & Ctrl & F7

• Clear Form F8 • Function 8 Shift & Ctrl & F8

• Clear Record F6 • Function 9 Shift & Ctrl & F9

• Commit Ctrl & S • Insert Record Ctrl & Down

• Copy Ctrl & C • List of Values (Pick List) Ctrl & L

• Count Query F12 • Next Block Shift & PageDown

• Cut Ctrl & X • Next Field Tab

• Delete Record Ctrl & Up • Next Primary Key Shift & F7

• Display Error Shift & Ctrl & E • Next record Down ↓

• Down Down ↓ • Next Set of Records Shift & F8

• Duplicate Field Shift & F5 • Paste Ctrl & V

• Duplicate Record Shift & F6 • Previous Block Shift & PageUp

• Edit Ctrl & E • Previous Field Shift & Tab

• Enter Query F11 • Previous Record Up ↑

• Execute Query Ctrl & F11 • Print Ctrl & P

• Exit F4 • Return Return

• Function 0 Shift & Ctrl & F10 • Scroll Down PageDown

• Function 1 Shift & Ctrl & F1 • Scroll Up PageUp



• Function 2 Shift & Ctrl & F2 • Show Keyboard Shortcuts Ctrl & K

• Function 3 Shift & Ctrl & F3 • Up Up ↑

• Function 4 Shift & Ctrl & F4 • Update Record Ctrl & U

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