As we move into what looks like an economy shaking off the last of the doldrums, many financial services firms will probably feel they have more than enough on their hands.
I am sure they will have, however they also need to manage an important piece of core business, even as they plan to seize new market opportunities. The problem can be summed up by two key acronyms: XDMP (for ‘Disclosure Management Platform’) and XBRL.
It’s a key area of compliance reporting that SynApps has started to work in, partnering with a great dedicated firm in this particular area, CoreFiling, as well as our prime tech partner, EMC, and a major global consulting brand. (In fact, CoreFiling, which is based in Oxford, is viewed as the leader in this market.)
The basic background is that globally, regulatory reporting is going electronic. Authorities, post the Credit Crunch/global financial crisis, are looking at banks’ financial reporting and making decisions on whether banks have enough equity, in order to prevent the issues we suffered from over the last few years.
They are also standardising the way they want international banks to share this information with them, with most work being done around XBRL, which is to say the eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a freely available and global standard for exchanging business information.
Banks need to generate a standard financial report to meet these regulatory demands; these reports are being produced such that the auditing and compliance organisations can get a clear report of whether the bank has over-stretched themselves or not. This standard format is called XDMP, which is where CoreFiling come in, as it produces the best tools available to input data from Excel spreadsheets, transform it for the XDMP format and then output it into files that can be sent to the regulator containing all the compliant information they need.
Provision of reports in the XBRL format is becoming mandatory from April this year (2014), when all banks will need to be able to produce this information. The truth is, they can do it today – by getting 20 to 30 people to run about, find the information, convert it manually into the XBRL format to send to the regulator.
But it is a very laborious, error-prone, manual way of doing it. We are used, as a document and content management company, to helping organisations replace cumbersome back-end, paper-chase style processes. So we have developed the XDMP solution to help financial firms crack their XBRL problem and get the process automated, with the system sitting on our core Documentum technology. What’s even better, we have a customer. It’s a well-known High St brand, but at the moment we can’t reveal the name. As soon as we can, we’ll be telling you more about this fascinating engagement!
This is a new area for SynApps but one with fantastic potential – and so I am sure it’s a topic we will be talking to you about over the next few months as we move to help other firms get to grips with their core compliance reporting issues.