Oracle Financials: A Paying Career

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Pick up the classifieds sections in any newspaper or business magazine and you’ll likely encounter a slew of ads that read somewhat like this: “Wanted: Oracle Financials, 2+ years experience, Austin, TX, $70K-$90K.” “Oracle Financials, 5+ years experience, Chicago, IL, $85K-$110K.” Clearly, there’s an emerging need for specialists in Oracle Financials nationwide. Oracle Financials is an Oracle Application package that offers financial management solutions to companies. It deals with every aspect of a financial organization — general ledger, order entry, shipping, receivables, cash management, assets, purchasing, inventory and accounts payable. Available in 29 languages, Oracle Applications let you operate in multiple currencies and languages, support local business practices and legal requirements and handle businesscritical operations across borders. Oracle Financial Applications enable finance departments within companies to manage their business globally, lower administrative costs, close books faster and improve cash management. It is deployed heavily in power and utility companies all across the country as well as in the navy and other government sectors, manufacturing companies, financial services and several other industries. Techies And Funkies

According to Moses Pandiarajan, there are two career tracks for professionals considering an Oracle Financials specialty: the “techies” and the “funkies” — commonly used terms for technical experts and functional experts in this field. A senior application analyst with the Boston-based PictureTel Corp, Pandiarajan,a “techie,” is responsible for implementing, administering and supporting three Oracle modules worldwide. “A technical person should know the architecture of the Oracle package, how it is organized, how it is integrated, what the front end is and how data is interrelated,” he says. “A functional person should have strong industry and business process knowledge, like in shipping, order entry or purchasing.” If an employment classified ad is seeking Oracle Financial professionals for the pre-implementation phase, then most likely, says Pandiarajan, the company is looking for functional experts. “In the initial phases of a project, the need for a funkie is very high,” he says. Functional experts analyze the project and determine the need for technical people. Ashok Pandya, a technical manager in the Oracle service Industries at Oracle Corporation, agrees with the current shortage of funkies: “In fact, in the consulting division we pay more for functional experts,” he says. “A functional expert is the one who interfaces with the customer the most, understands their needs, analyses their projects, and brings back feedback from the customer. In fact, in the consulting division we pay more for functional experts. A functional expert is the one who interfaces with the customer the most, understands their needs, analyses their projects, and brings back feedback from the customer. On the technical end, our engineers have solid programming backgrounds, and they focus on internal development while providing the tools for implementation.” The Perfect Match “Ideally, a person with an MIS background plus a finance background, or a CPA with some technical background is best suited for an Oracle Financials position,” says Pandya. In general, people with CPA, MIS, MBA, computer science, and good development backgrounds would do well to consider enhancing their career with Oracle Financials. “The most successful people in Oracle Financials are those that have a strong background in accounting,” states Poorvesh Sheth, Assistant Controller, Visicom Laboratories. “The biggest problem with consultants is that they know what Oracle can do, but don’t know what it should do. People who have about six to seven years of accounting experience, with a few years of user experience, will be the most successful. They will also command a significant premium (about 20 to –25 percent) on compensation packages,” he adds.

“NCA allows faster turnaround and allows you to reach out to a larger user base. Although technical certification in Oracle is not a necessary credential to get a job in Oracle Financials.” says Pandiarajan. to make about $100K. Maintaining [projects] on an NCA architecture is also easier.” he says. a sign of lucrative times and a very lucrative career .to –6-day training for each module (see sidebar for information on Oracle Education). “As far as user friendliness is concerned. Its increasing market presence has ignited a demand for this sound. “It is well suited for both the manufacturing sector as well as the services sector. You could be based in San Diego but be called on to work in Denver. Pandya agrees. “Oracle itself offers many jobs all across the country. For instance if a CPA wanted to give Oracle Financials a try. Oracle is often the preferred choice of several companies. says Pandya. Sheth. who describes himself as a “heavy user” of the application.“We look to see if they [employment candidates] have a good understanding of the workflow for the business and good analytical minds. Some techies have ventured into this field by gaining on-the-job training at other companies. “It’s a demand and supply situation. “Geography isn’t much of a factor. several navy. As the second largest software company in the world. “Even for professionals who are skilled in one area of the financial business. points out Pandya. Oracle Education provides a 5.” adds Pandya.” explains Pandya. “Oracle Financials is a very complex and comprehensive suite — it’s hard to know everything in it. Both projects and manufacturing are fairly well integrated with Financials. More Oracle packages create greater demand for Oracle-knowledgeable people. you could easily find jobs in the US too. Oracle reportedly held the largest number of ERP installations around the world in 1998. we need people who are ‘immediately billable’ — so industry experience is absolutely necessary.” A good product will always have a good market. especially in consulting. they will make $100 an hour. going up about 10 to 15 percent every year. Colorado — and still make as much money. “Oracle Financials is a very versatile project. the demand for Oracle professionals will remain firmly entrenched. nationwide. As a consultant working for a company other than Oracle. That really does it for us. Clearly. clearly prefers Oracle Financials. if you are marketable.” he concludes. “People who have experience with other well known ERP systems like SAP or PeopleSoft can also get hired for Oracle Financial positions because we know they can adapt easily.” Beyond consulting. employees having at least five years’ experience may rake in from $85K to $110K.” says Sheth. the problem is retaining good talent. adding. He adds.” explains Pandya. However. Thanks to its Web-based Network Computing Architecture (NCA). “If you’ve worked with Oracle Financials in India. The New England area has more than 500 implementations.” says Sheth. Getting exposure to Oracle or trying out internships may be a good starting point for students. but along the West Coast. Oracle Financial employees with at least two years’ experience may make up to $70K to $90K.” explains Pandiarajan. “In fact. Oracle is focusing on medium range companies. obtaining an MBA or CPA certification is “highly desirable. in Southern California. Oracle is far easier to use than SAP.” he added. People have a very strong appetite for learning.” according to Pandya. For example. so the market is good. “Positions in Oracle Financials may be as lucrative as any other ERP packages. Southern California has a lower need for Oracle Financial people. which equates to about $200K a year.” Because of its stronger manufacturing applications and projects. “Although SAP is the number-one ERP vendor. The Personal Financials The range of salary depends on what the individual wants to make. government.” he says. power and utility companies have Oracle implementations.” suggests Pandiarajan.” “In consulting positions. but are not very committed because it is easy to find good opportunities elsewhere. who has used both SAP and Oracle Applications.” People with international experience are also highly desirable. the Oracle market share if growing at a fast clip. Oracle Financials is a good starting point for people wanting to transition into this field. they can expect. “If a person is willing to travel as an independent consultant.” “The salaries for a person working for Oracle Corporation would start at about $75K. stable and arguably superior software technology. As long as Oracle remains pervasive in the global marketplace. and had an interest in a particular area of the financial business. or through formal training by Oracle Education or other software training institutions. he or she should brush up on some development skills and apply for a Oracle Financial position.

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