Regulatory reporting is a crucial activity for financial services organisations. These reports are necessary for communicating financial information together with relevant data and commentary that complies with reporting requirements and accounting standards while addressing stakeholders’ concerns.
Regulatory bodies — such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom — rely on the timely filing of accurate reports by financial institutions to identify issues that can threaten the financial health of reporting institutions and ensure adequate implementation of legal corrective steps.
Here are some things you can do to make your regulatory reporting process easier, faster, and more efficiently:
Automate with technology
Automation is known to facilitate speed and accuracy, but much more than that, automated reporting processes combined with technology-powered agile data management can help in enhancing financial services organisations’ reporting functions.
Without automation, heavy dependence on manual processes and a high level of redundancy come into play. Use a financial management system (FMS) that supports automation to provide management control and audit capabilities and to manage aggregation, attestation, and report submission.
Additionally, the right FMS will also help you:
- Implement transaction approval policy
- Assign user permissions by role
- Categorise account and transaction
- Build strong controls around period
All these can further help in improving your regulatory reporting process.
Collaborate with the right departments and teams
Regulatory reporting is not a one-man task. The regulatory reporting team will often lead the process in terms of setting milestones and timelines and establishing reporting controls and processes, among other things.
However, the process requires a concerted effort from various departments such as risk, IT, and finance. It also requires input from several teams such as data and commentary contributors, legal experts, accounting policy teams, and internal and independent auditors.
Create a centralised data repository
In order to achieve efficient reporting, you must ensure data integrity, consistency, validation and quality. It starts with bridging data silos that exist within the organisation.
A centralised data repository is an effective way to bring this off. For instance, SunSystems — a powerful financial management system for the financial services industry — allows you to integrate with other business systems so you can access all of your data in one place.
The accounting software also lets you perform a reconciliation process across reports, with capabilities for detecting data inconsistencies, thereby ensuring data quality.
Stick to a proven process
Processes and procedures provide a way to apply standards and practices to achieve consistent results. The best regulatory reporting protocols follow effective processes and procedures.
For instance, there must be processes for identifying errors, communicating feedback and progress, building proper documentation and support practices, and identifying and resolving anything that might push the reporting process off track.
Identifying data requirements and data retrieval steps also requires the right process. Such a process will ensure prompt access to data and allow you to optimise data accuracy.
Efficient and accurate regulatory reporting systems are built around collaboration, strong controls, and a higher level of automation
The right process, people, data management, and technology help to facilitate and establish a more standardised regulatory reporting system that ensures both greater accuracy and increased efficiency.
Get in touch with us to discuss how FinanSys can help optimise your financial services organisation’s accounting operations.