Case study: internal and external financial and regulatory reporting for banks
Reporting is a fact of life for financial institutions, of all sizes. There is regulatory reporting to supervisory authorities, financial reporting to stakeholders, and internal reporting to different teams inside your organisation. These different reports are all necessary but have different motivators. Regulatory reporting is a necessary part of a business to ensure the FI can continue to operate and maintain licenses, whereas financial reporting is more of an indicator of the financial health of an FI. Internal reporting can be a powerful tool to provide insight to help with optimising processes and making the best decisions. Each is necessary, but for different reasons.
Regardless of the type of reporting, FI’s are increasingly required to provide greater transparency, better quality data, and increased sustainability in the reporting process. Moreover, the European regulatory agenda continues to evolve and influence how financial institutions are supervised and regulated. These added complexities for reporting can make it challenging to keep pace with regulatory, business, or external changes.
Common errors in reporting
Historically, sustainability in the reporting process has not been prioritised. For example, many internal reports are created manually in spreadsheets leading to problems such as time delays and bottlenecks. Manual data entry also opens the door for errors and provides limited ability to derive meaningful metrics for decision-making. Reporting systems must be sustainable and take a future-focused approach.
When it comes to regulatory reporting, several other sources of error present new challenges:
- Implementation errors
- Issues with interpreting the regulation
- Faulty interfaces provided by authorities
- Errors in requirements
Regulatory reporting in particular is a minefield of potential errors. It is important the reporting system is tolerant to mistakes and that as the project evolves, these errors can be corrected in the system. Whether adjustments, corrections or bug fixes it is essential these can be applied quickly and easily. This avoids the risk of interference from other parts of the reporting system and prevents the associated costs of having errors in reports sent to regulators and governing bodies.
At the same time, for regulatory reporting, it is essential to maintain auditability and traceability of the data. Achieving this objective requires that data is persisted with no data loss, which requires continuous fixing and re-reports.
How to build a successful reporting system
Näktergal Consulting has worked with many clients over the years and has a deep knowledge of what makes a reporting system successful to ensure all internal, financial, and regulatory reporting requirements are met. Based on Näktergal’s insight, there are three key considerations to keep in mind when building a reporting system:
- Autonomous modules: Successful reporting systems require autonomous modules. Each autonomous module has a specific task to complete which reduces dependencies and makes each module easier to handle. Moreover, it avoids interference between different modules and decreases risks when deploying updates since updates can be localised to a specific task.
- Iterative approach: Finally, it pays to take an iterative approach to the development process. An interactive approach continuously implements integrations and deploys small releases to ensure secure alterations of the system. It is crucial to avoid big-bang-releases as these can generate lots of small errors. Instead, it is better to deploy small incremental updates with fast time-to-market releases to reduce reporting errors.
- Data warehouses: Reporting systems are based on data warehouses, which keep track of data to generate reports. A reporting data warehouse maintains full traceability of the data lineage of all data required for reporting. Implementing a data warehouse when building a reporting system makes data loss highly improbable and means producing and formatting reports of all kinds is smooth and simple.
Improve the accuracy, efficiency, speed and quality of reporting
The Näktergal consulting team is experienced in delivering flexible, easily maintainable and extendable reporting systems. We deliver systems that improve the accuracy, efficiency, speed and quality of an FI’s reporting processes. Our expert team enables FI’s to not only achieve regulatory compliance but also provides a powerful tool for leveraging data to provide deeper insight and improve decision-making.
The reporting systems ensure compliance with a variety of financial regulations and are set up to meet current and future reporting needs. So, if a new regulation comes into place or you just want to update the way you’re reporting, everything is ready so the existing reports can be reused. The system can ensure compliance with any reporting framework, including:
- Annual and quarterly financial reports (e.g. FINREP)
- Statistical reporting (e.g. Economic and financial statistics)
- Results presentations and Board Packs
- Transactional reporting (e.g. MIFID 2 and SFTR)
- Prudential reporting (e.g. COREP, BCAR, FRY-14, EMIR and GDPR)
Näktergal Consulting has extensive experience in creating support systems for financial institutes. We deliver cloud-based and flexible automated reporting systems to improve the quality and transparency of reporting. Reach out here today to learn more about making your reporting more efficient and smooth.
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Financial, regulatory, and internal reporting all present different challenges for FIs that can quickly become a burden. To ensure sustainable, error-free reporting, look to incorporate data warehousing, autonomous modules, and an interactive development approach into your reporting processes.