APRA Connect is going in September 2021. The Superannuation industry will be the first industry to submit data on the new platform, with the submission of the SDT forms due by the 30th of September, followed by Private Health Insurers who are required to submit HRF605 in APRA Connect in October.
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. APRA Connect Access
APRA has a test environment and a production environment for APRA Connect . The production environment will be live on 13th of September. Entities should now have authorised users in RAM and be familiar with the functionalities of APRA Connect, including user maintenance, entity information maintenance, upload of returns, validations of returns and submissions.
Access to the APRA production environment will need to be organised separately from the test environment. A new form is made available in D2A ("RRA_PROD: APRA Connect nomination for 13 September go live") to nominate the Regulatory Reporting Administrator for the production environment. Similar to the APRA Connect test environment, the RRA will be able to set up new users in APRA Connect PROD.
2. APRA Connect Taxonomy
The APRA Connect taxonomy for PHI and Super SDT is published on the taxonomy page of APRA's website (https://www.apra.gov.au/apra-connect-taxonomy-artefacts).
The taxonomy for APRA Connect is different from D2A and sits outside of the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) process which uses XBRL standards. Entities will need to familiarise themselves with the new taxonomy artefacts which includes a data dictionary, an excel file with template forms (tables), an SDT file for XML taxonomy and a hole restrictions excel file for allowable list of values per column.
Entities requiring assistance with the interpretation or implementation of the new taxonomy can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRA will be running its validation rules in APRA Connect prior to submission. Similar to D2A, APRA has created mandatory rules and confirmation rules.
The format of the validation rules and the types of validations conducted are different from current D2A processes. Entities should expect that the analysis of the validation warnings and errors will take time; and it is highly recommended to test out this process on the APRA Connect test environment prior to the go-live on production.
4. Upload options
APRA Connect accepts different file formats than D2A. Excel file uploads are supported for the SDT and PHI forms upon go-live, as well as XML files. Note that the XML file structure is different from D2A XML. The Excel file templates form part of the taxonomy artefacts. (link)
Unlike D2A, structured copy-past is not supported for sections of forms (only 1 cell at a time). Practically speaking, entities should prepare to either load excel files or xml files, since the copy-paste option will be too time-consuming and onerous.
Entities should familiarise themselves with the process of file uploads. One of the key considerations for this process is that upload files are automatically submitted to APRA when the mandatory validation rules have passed.
API submissions are not supported at go-live . APRA has indicated this feature is being worked on for a future release.
APRA Connect triggers an auto-submit function when all mandatory validation rules have been passed; regardless of the user profile who loaded the return. This means that there is no review step within APRA Connect.
Entities who rely on the validation rules in the regulator's portal as part of their control framework will realise that APRA Connect behaves differently from D2A and that additional controls will need to built into their processes before the data gets loaded into APRA Connect.
RegConnect was designed to provide all reporting entities with access to an affordable, flexible and easy to use tool to perform validation and review of APRA reporting outside of the regulator's portals.
RegConnect makes the preparation, validation and submission process significantly more efficient. It reduces costs, risk and provides reporting teams with extra time to focus on the analysis and review of returns prior to submission. RegConnect is developed and maintained by the industry specialists of RegCentric, and is kept up to date with any changes introduced by APRA.
Seeing is believing. A free trial is available to support entities get ready of the APRA Connect transition. Download RegConnect here.
RegConnect has quickly become the tool of choice for regulatory reporting teams across all APRA regulated industries for APRA Connect and D2A. Please contact us at email@example.com if you would like to discuss how we can support your organisation.