A test environment for APRA Connect is now available (https://connect-test.apra.gov.au/). In preparation of the official go-live date of the APRA Connect Live environment (September 2021), entities can now familiarize themselves with the new platform and review the impact the new platform will have on their Regulatory Reporting process.
All entities will be required to maintain entity information on APRA Connect, however the submission of regulatory reporting returns will be gradually rolled out over the coming years. APRA has indicated it will roll out new regulatory reporting requirements in APRA Connect, while existing collections will remain on D2A for the foreseeable future. As a consequence, the immediate impact and timeline of readiness is different for the different industries. The following table provides an overview of the APRA Connect roll-out for return submission:
PHI and Super funds will be the first entities to submit some of their returns on the APRA Connect platform in September 2021. Entities with Form 701 reporting requirements will soon follow in January 2022, followed by ADI’s who will need to submit ARS 220 and 115 in APRA Connect for the March 2022 reporting period. GI, Life and RFC’s will follow later in 2022.
How APRA Connect works
In a recent webinar we covered the key functionalities of APRA Connect in more detail. A recording can be viewed on demand and the presentation materials used in the session can be downloaded here:
APRA has made a detailed user guide available to help users of the system navigate the new submission portal.
Transitioning to APRA Connect
The transition to APRA Connect is not just a platform change. With APRA Connect, APRA is moving towards new reporting taxonomies. While the industry is currently familiar with APRA’s SBR taxonomy and PET, the new regulatory reporting requirements in APRA Connect are built using an entirely new taxonomy, with new file structures, data dictionaries and validation rules.
“The transition to APRA Connect is not about submitting the same data into a new platform. APRA Connect relies on new reporting taxonomies and requires changes to the reporting process. All entities need to review the impact on their business processes and governance and controls to avoid being caught off guard.”
The new portal will also impact entities’ business process. In many entities, the internal review and sign off process is done after the data has already been loaded and validated in D2A. Executing the validation rules in D2A prior to sign off is a common industry practice that is embedded in the current governance framework and often considered a key control. In the new portal, returns, when uploaded through excel, xml or XBR are automatically validated and submitted if there are no validation errors or warnings.
As a consequence of the “Auto-Submit”, entities need to ensure they have embedded the key controls such as data validation and review and sign-off further upstream, before the data hits the new portal.
How we can help
RegConnect is a low-impact validation and submission tool that supports the pre-validation of all returns across both D2A and APRA Connect. Moreover, the solution support XML and XBRL upload formats for both platforms, removing any manual handling from both the current and future process. RegConnect is a fit-for-purpose tool designed by industry practitioners, striking the right balance between improving the process and governance whilst maintaining a minimal IT footprint and remaining cost-efficient.
Don’t take our word for it. Try it before you buy it. A free trial is now available to assist entities in the preparation and testing for APRA Connect. Download your free version here.