Evolving with dynamic consumer behavior is a continuous challenge for retail businesses around the world. Finance and accounting teams need to automate manual processes, plan appropriately, and identify opportunities to increase profitability. In this post, we identified three use cases in which Oracle Cloud EPM provides a solution to retail’s industry-specific challenges.

Transaction Matching

Any consumer-facing organization that processes a variety of payments recognizes the heavy burden of manually matching transactions across various systems. Matching point-of-sale (POS), credit card/cash/check processors, banks, and financial systems (ERP), is a complicated endeavor. Manually reconciling individual data points in an Excel-based approach is tedious and time-consuming.

Oracle Cloud EPM supports detailed transaction matching with an intelligent matching engine for accurate decision support. Oracle uses a rule-based approach to match information such as transaction date, customer/account ID, Merchant ID, amount, and location on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis. The matching engine enables accounting teams to focus on the exceptions that require further attention or adjustments.

4-5-4 and 13 Period Planning

For retailers looking for accurate and integrated store-level financial planning, maintaining an industry-specific calendar is critical. Oracle Cloud EPM supports 4-5-4 weekly planning and 13 period planning to account for variations in week and month working day structures. With high sales expectations across weekends and holidays, maintaining a consistent frame of reference is critical to understanding performance. Period 13 calendars support rolling forecasts with varying levels of detail to accurately gauge how your organization will operate with updated actuals as they are recorded.

2021-2023 Retail Sales Reporting and 4-5-4 Merchandising Calendar – National Retail Federation

Profitability Analysis

Brick and mortar success is driven by a variety of factors across target customers, location, product availability, and in-store customer experience. Retailers can leverage the power of Essbase in Cloud EPM to slice and dice profitability metrics across any dimension of interest. Understanding store-level profitability helps decision-makers identify the highest and lowest performing physical locations and assess the secret ingredients behind retail success.

Retailers who sell their own products can conduct granular Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and profitability analysis with data points across supplier costs, location, variable MSRP, and more. Product sales will vary across channels (e-commerce, physical, branded partnerships, etc.), marketing promotions, and time of year. Cloud EPM also supports seasonality calculations to normalize high volume sales periods throughout the year.
As retailers compete for our fleeting attention online and our physical presence in-store, they must address unique industry-specific challenges across e-commerce and brick & mortar. Oracle Cloud EPM provides a platform to automate data gathering and illuminate profitability for products, services, and physical locations.