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Stress less: 5 ways to get ahead this reporting season

by Cathal Connolly, Head of Global Regulatory Reporting
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It’s reporting season once again, which means the next few weeks are likely to be fairly frantic for compliance and regulatory teams. But there’s no need to stress. Here are five tips from the AQMetrics customer success team to help you get a head start on your reporting this month.

1. What’s needed?

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to first clarify the reporting frequency and the funds in scope for reporting. Business shifts throughout the year can lead to changes in reporting that are overlooked until the last minute. Does the firm have any nil filers? Get these reports submitted in advance to get a head start on reporting.

2. Technical differences and regulatory changes

While the regulatory reporting requirements are harmonised across Europe, each regulator may implement different technical standards for their reporting portal.

Given this, it’s important to register with any new NCAs in advance, and request the technical specifications for submitting reports. Some regulators, for example, accept submissions via a portal while others require specific encryption methods.

Fortunately, there haven’t been any major regulatory changes since the last reporting season. That is set to change later this year, of course, but there are technology solutions that can help you stay up to date – while keeping all your global reporting on the one platform.

3. Say goodbye to Excel

Have you previously submitted your reports in Excel? Several regulators, including the Central Bank of Ireland, have recently stopped accepting Excel reports, and instead require reports in XML. This can be particularly challenging for smaller firms or managers, although a dedicated tech partner or data specialist can certainly help you with the transition to an automated streamlined process.

4. Get your data in shape

As always, make sure your data is in good shape, including minimising redundancy, duplication and defects.

Although your NAV packs may not be signed off yet, now is the time to check your static data. Are you currently receiving data in files over email from your fund administrators? If so, consider requesting automated files, enhanced for regulatory reporting with sub asset codes mapped. Many fund administrators will be happy to help.

Also remember to validate the data at each point: on loading, on processing and on generation of XML to be submitted to the regulator. Inaccurate data should not pass through these three gates.

5. Don’t chance it

There are always grey areas when it comes to regulatory reporting. It can be difficult to strike a balance between upholding industry standards while also reflecting the firm’s strategy in the report. An independent partner can help with providing industry wide best practices and also automating the aggregation of data to reflect your firm’s methodologies.

Stay ahead this year

By closing the Q4 filings with a clean set of data and a robust reporting workflow and process, you are placing the firm in a position of strength for 2020 reporting, particularly with new regulations that are coming down the line.

The new liquidity requirements, for instance, set to come into force later this year, will bring new reporting requirements, the technical details of which are continuing to emerge and are likely to be a major feature in the coming months. With further changes expected, it’s something AQMetrics will be keeping a close eye on for its clients as the year unfolds.

Need any immediate help with your regulatory filings? Contact us today.

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by Cathal Connolly, Head of Global Regulatory Reporting

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