APRA Connect was first used in production in September 2021. The Private Health Insurers (PHI) have been using APRA Connect for their HRS 605 submissions (). General Insurance (GI) and Life Insurers (Life) have only been accessing APRA Connect to keep entity information up-to-date; so for most insurers, AASB 17 APRA reporting updates and AASB LAGIC APRA reporting updates will be the first actual data submissions on the new platform, effective 1 July 2023.
In this article we share some APRA Connect lessons learned from Super and Private Health industries, who have been submitting data on APRA Connect for some time now.
In this article we cover 5 key items to consider in preparation of go-live.
APRA Connect test environment link: https://connect-test.apra.gov.au
APRA Connect production environment link: https://connect.apra.gov.au
1. Accessing APRA Connect
APRA Connect has a test and a production environment that insurance entities can access. To access the test environment, entities must first have authorized users in RAM and be familiar with the functionalities of APRA Connect. If this is not the case, entities can submit an access request through D2A to appoint a Regulatory Reporting Administrator (RRA).
Since the parallel run submissions for insurance-related forms will be made available in the APRA Connect Test environment, it is recommended that all resources requiring access are granted access well ahead of the parallel submission deadlines.
Please note that the APRA Connect Test environment and the APRA Connect Production environment are managed separately, and user profiles/roles must be granted separately on both.
2. APRA Taxonomy for Insurance Submissions
APRA Connect has a separate taxonomy that is specific to insurance submissions. APRA no longer follows SBR/XBRL standards and does not release a Plain English Taxonomy (PET). Instead, APRA releases a set of taxonomy artifacts on its website, consisting of excel workbooks containing a data dictionary, validation rules, and the reporting taxonomy. The reporting taxonomy includes the Schema, Elements, Form Set, Folders, Forms, Rules, Hole Restrictions, Entity Details, and Report table Template(s).
3. APRA Validation Rules for Insurance Submissions
The Validations published for APRA Connect for insurance-related forms are significantly different from APRA's current approach for publishing data validations for D2A. APRA currently publishes D2A validations on a regular basis. These validations are constructed using the reporting taxonomy, referring to the attribute codes in the taxonomy.
APRA Connect validation rules are provided as part of the taxonomy artifacts. Since APRA no longer has a concept of Attribute codes, dimensions, or concepts/measures, the validation rules are technically more complex to interpret. APRA still provides business descriptions of reporting errors or warnings.
A key observation for APRA Connect is that the validation rules in APRA Connect are executed sequentially. New validation errors/warnings will appear after the first set of validations/errors has been resolved.
In addition to the above, APRA has also released an XSD file that contains the technical validations that must be considered while preparing the data set for submissions. Entities must consider these rules in their preparation of the submission file, regardless of their preferred method of submission format, such as XML or XLSX.
4. Submission Options for Insurance Entities
APRA Connect accepts different file formats than D2A for insurance-related forms. Excel file uploads are supported for some forms, as well as XML files. APRA is yet to confirm the acceptable format for insurance-related forms, but we anticipate APRA will follow the same pattern.
Unlike D2A, structured copy-pasting is not supported for sections of forms. APRA Connect is restricted to only one cell at a time. Insurance entities should prepare to either load excel files or xml files, as the copy-paste option will be too time-consuming and onerous.
Insurance entities should familiarize themselves with the process of file uploads well ahead of the first submission date, as reporting teams will find the new process takes time to adjust to.
API submissions are not supported at this time. APRA has indicated this feature is being worked on for a future release.
5. Handling Large Files for Insurance Submissions
Some of APRA's new reporting tables for insurance entities, such as the , contain a large number of rows. Reporting entities should be aware of the following:
APRA Connect performance: some reporting entities have experienced performance issues with APRA Connect, especially when uploading large excel
APRA Connect 200 rows render limit. Entities submitting tables with more than 200 rows, will not be able to see their data submissions inside the portal. APRA Connect has a 200 row render limit. The workaround to see the data that was loaded is through the upload history.
Summary of key differences between D2A and APRA Connect
Below is a summary of the key differences between APRA Connect and D2A.
In conclusion, the introduction of APRA Connect technology has significant implications for ADIs in their regulatory reporting processes and systems for submissions. ADIs need to become familiar with the new taxonomies and the upload/validate/submission process to transition to the new APRA portal successfully. The article also highlights some key differences between D2A and APRA Connect.
To make the transition to APRA Connect easier, RegConnect was launched in 2021. RegConnect automates the submission process on both D2A and APRA Connect with minimal deployment effort. It is always up-to-date with the latest APRA Connect taxonomy, validations, and submission models. To learn more about RegConnect, please get in touch with one of our product experts for assistance.
If your organisation is looking for an APRA reporting automation software solution that addresses all aspects of the end-to-end APRA reporting process, visit www.reg-360.com. Reg360 is the most intuitive, easy-to-use APRA reporting solution that support full automation on a securely hosted Cloud in Australia.