The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "I. Technical Field
"The present invention generally relates to methods and systems for managing and/or reporting financial information. More particularly, and without limitation, the invention relates to methods and systems for providing key figures and reports for variable time intervals at run-time using transactional data.
"II. Background Information
"For many banking and insurance companies, legal requirements (e.g., Federal Reserve regulations in
"Currently, most banks and insurance companies produce these key figures by working from operational data or transactional data. This data may be provided in an On-Line Transaction Processing (OLTP) system. OLTP is a type of computer processing in which the computer responds immediately to user requests. Each request is considered a transaction. OLTP may create transactional data with direct reference to operational processes and business transactions (e.g., customer requests, invoices, goods receipts, etc.). Automatic teller machines for banks are an example of transaction processing systems.
"Most banks and insurance companies post-process the transactional data in an OLTP system to generate and store secondary data that provides average balances. This post-processing requires significant investment in software/hardware modifications, such as ABAP program development on OLTP systems like the R/3 ENTERPRISE system from
"Despite these advances, the current capabilities of such post-processing are limited. For example, it is not easy or even possible in some cases to produce reports with both operational balance key figures and average balance key figures, or reports comparing different average balance key figures because the average balance key figures are stored in a rigid, post-processing average balance ledger. As a result, the post-processing is not able to calculate average balance key figures at variable time intervals.
"Alternatively, some banks and insurance companies post-process the transactional data by investing in user exit programs to calculate monthly average balances from two SLs, such as a monthly ending balance ledger and an activity average ledger. User exit programs are SAP-defined program objects where the customer can extend the coding to adapt the SAP Standard functionality in a pre-defined way. The calculation takes place during a rollup process and the results are posted to a monthly average balance ledger (i.e., a rollup ledger). This option does not give the required breadth of desired time intervals for ADBs and has performance throughput problems.
"Accordingly, it would be beneficial to provide a way to produce key figures and key figure reports in an efficient and flexible manner with minimum database storage and run-time requirements."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Methods and systems consistent with the present invention may provide many kinds of key figures and reports for variable time intervals at run-time using transactional data. More particularly, methods and systems consistent with the invention may provide different average balance key figures combined with transactional key figures without it being necessary to store separate data for average balances alongside the transactional data. A user may be given the freedom and flexibility to select among the different types of key figures when requesting a report.
"One exemplary aspect of the invention relates to a method of managing financial information. The method may comprise receiving transaction data, storing the transaction data as a line item in a day ledger, receiving a request for a report from a user, the request indicating financial figures to be generated over a user-specified time interval, generating, according to the request, the financial figures over the user-specified time interval using data from the day ledger, and providing the report with the generated financial figures. In one embodiment, the request for the report may be entered by a user through an interface, such as a graphical user interface. The request may include characteristics about the items to be included in the report.
"Another exemplary aspect of the invention relates to a financial management system. The financial management system may include a processor; and a database, which may be adapted to store transaction data as a line item in a day ledger. The processor may be configured to perform a method comprising receiving a request for a report, the request indicating average daily balance figures to be generated over a specified time interval, and generating, in accordance with the request during run-time, the average daily balance figures over the specified time interval from the day ledger.
"Another exemplary aspect of the invention relates to another financial management system. The system may comprise a transaction unit adapted to receive transaction data via a transaction communication channel, a special database connected to the transaction unit, and a reporting unit connected to the special database. The special database may store transaction data as line item data in a day ledger. The reporting unit may provide a report including an aggregate financial figure over a predetermined time interval.
"The financial management system may further comprise a general database for storing general ledger information. The general database may be connected to the transaction unit and/or the special database and may be adapted to store aggregated monthly transaction data. The general database may be used to manage accounting data. Having a separate general database may reduce the access time to line item data stored in the special database. Storing line item data related to daily transactions in the special database may decrease the amount of data stored in the general database.
"Another exemplary aspect of the invention relates to a computer-readable medium containing instructions to configure a processor to manage financial information. The instructions may configure the processor to receive transaction data, store the transaction data in a database in a day ledger, receive a request for average daily balance key figures, the request indicating a time interval for generating the average daily balance key figures, and generate, substantially in real-time to the receipt of the request, the average daily balance key figures over the time interval using data from the day ledger.
"Additional aspects of the invention are set forth in the detailed description which follows or may be learned by practice of methods, systems, and articles of manufacture consistent with the present invention. It is understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate several aspects of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
"FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary financial management system environment consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 1B illustrates another exemplary financial management system environment consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary information cube for drill-down reporting consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary user interface for selecting parameters of a report consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary average balance sheet report consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary user interface for creating a custom report consistent with the present invention;
"FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate exemplary additional user interfaces for creating a custom report consistent with the present invention;
"FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary method of managing financial information consistent with the present invention; and
"FIGS. 8A-8F illustrate further exemplary user interfaces for creating a custom report consistent with the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: PANNICKE, Danny;
Keywords for this news article include:
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