Open data becomes a reality
July 18, 2014 17:48 by Andrea Whitehouse
Open Data is a current hot topic. The UK government is committed to using digitisation to deliver more efficient public services. This week Companies House has announced that it will make its entire digital data available, free of charge, starting second quarter next year. In doing so, the UK will become the first country to create a truly open register of business information. See the press release.
Companies House has already said that once the service goes live, the public will have free access to the digital records of over 3 million companies.
Since December 2013 Companies House has made newly received filings available online for free download. CoreFiling have packaged these up to provide a free search and query service with access to over 2 million iXBRL company accounts.
Access the CoreFiling service.
SEC filers – avoid forgotten calculation relationships and other XBRL report pitfalls
July 14, 2014 12:29 by Andrea Whitehouse
There has been an interesting turn of events in the SEC’s stance on XBRL filings. Since the start of the SEC’s phased mandatory filing programme back in 2009, there had been little to compel filers to care very much about the quality of the XBRL documents they have been submitting.
Today, things are changing.
It was revealed last week that the SEC has been sending written warnings to CFO’s about poor quality data. Letters refer to a flouting of existing rules and expressly urge filers to “take the necessary steps to ensure that [they] are including all required calculation relationships”.
This is a distinct hardening of the SEC’s attitude towards delinquent filers. Enforcement of data quality standards is overdue and will be welcomed by investors and analysts.
So, where does this leave filers? How can they make sure they have included all those calculation relationships and complied with the SEC’s rules?
CoreFiling’s Magnify® is still the most powerful data quality tool on the market. It provides an easy, checklist-driven way to take a closer look at XBRL filings. Significantly for SEC filers, Magnify lets you check areas of your documents typically prone to error, such as calculations. With any inconsistencies clearly highlighted, you can see at a glance which calculations are being applied to the report, enabling you to verify that all possible calculations have been included.
The SEC letter encourages filers to review the EDGAR Filer Manual rule regarding calculations. Magnify incorporates all the EFM rules so you can check for full compliance; it automatically highlights any discrepancies, and lets you delve into the detail so that you can take any remedial action; it also supports the XBRL US Consistency Suite, and the Consistency Checks form an integral part of Magnify’s document review process, so you really can do an in depth quality review.
So, companies that don’t want to be caught out by the SEC’s tougher stance on XBRL filings should take a look at how Magnify can help you avoid the pitfalls and achieve quality filings.
Thoughts on the XBRL Conference in Orlando
June 25, 2014 10:50 by Andrea Whitehouse
Under the banner headline Better Data for Better Decisions, a host of people interested in the issues around XBRL gathered recently in Orlando for the latest conference organised by XBRL International Inc. This post picks up on the main themes of the conference and the way in which it helps CoreFiling and other organisations deliver successful reporting programs.
One of the major conference themes was the way in which XBRL is now being refocused from a pure technology issue into real-world application of the technology. CoreFiling remain at the forefront of this drive for change, supporting the efforts of XII where we chair the Best Practices Board, and providing business focused tools, for example metadata-driven taxonomy management solutions such as the True North® DPM [Data Point Methodology].
This theme was picked up again during the Regulatory Implementation Workshop, which also focused on best practice, and featured insightful advice and guidance from regulators with first-hand experience of implementing XBRL, exploring topics such as Stakeholder Management, Building a Business Case, Data Quality and Taxonomy Management, Taxonomy Metadata and Taxonomy Change Management. CoreFiling’s close involvement in this workshop (providing the session moderator, facilitators and a panellist) is yet another illustration of how the company seeks to work closely with regulators, to understand their real-world issues and, in the process, to make sure that this insight informs the development of our solutions. Above all, our aim is to ensure that XBRL is used effectively so that users derive real business value.
Another session focused on iXBRL, the format devised by CoreFiling, and which continues to move from strength to strength. Success stories from HMRC and the FSA in Japan showed just what is possible when reports are created in iXBRL with the joint benefit of being human-readable and able to be consumed by computer systems.
Open data is a current hot topic, particularly now that the US President has signed into law the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) in an attempt to streamline and bring clarity to the interactions between governments and their citizens. While there is still much debate about how this will be achieved, there is a broad body of opinion that XBRL provides the only realistic option as a standard that will open up data to a wider audience.
In the UK we have already seen a very good example of this now that Companies House has created a daily XBRL feed. CoreFiling have also been active in this area, funding a research and development project to explore the potential of Open Data access to the iXBRL data. The results are now freely available, demonstrating how XBRL company data can easily be made accessible to the general public. Learn more.
Continuing along a related theme, aspects of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) were explored, including the role of public policy and the steps needed to achieve data harmonisation. Two of the highest profile SBR programs to date, Australia and the Netherlands, were well represented. CoreFiling are pleased to have provided XBRL technology to both.
Above all, the XII conference offered a chance to meet existing and potential clients and others interested in understanding more about XBRL and the market-leading software CoreFiling offer. And, this doesn’t have to mean embarking on an enormous project from scratch, as CoreFiling offer COTS (commercial-of-the-shelf) solutions to most of the common issues encountered by both regulators and filers. This means that clients can focus on their business requirements rather than deep technical considerations in their use of XBRL. One example of this is the processing of large instance documents, a key consideration as banks and insurance companies start to get to grips with the changing reporting requirements brought in by CRD IV and Solvency II directives. The products CoreFiling offer in this market, and beyond, not only provide a COTS solution for large instance processing, but also solve another thorny problem: how to render XBRL into human-readable form so that reports can be reviewed easily prior to sign off.
All in all, a highly successful and engaging conference.
CoreFiling at the SID4GOV 4th Supplier Engagement Conference – 2nd June 2014
June 11, 2014 14:30 by Andrea Whitehouse
On 2nd June CoreFiling was proud to participate in the 4th Supplier Engagement Conference, supported by the Cabinet Office and several other HM Government departments, illustrating the Government’s continuing commitment to the SME agenda.
The Government’s stated target is that 25% of all direct and indirect central government spend should be with SMEs by 2015. The aim of the conference was to explain to the audience, consisting of around 300 representatives from the SME community and government departments, the progress achieved in engaging and conducting business with the SME community.
The Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, delivered the conference Keynote Address – ‘The Importance of SMEs to Government’. He focused on the advantages offered by SMEs, who make up 99.9% of UK businesses and provide economic stimulus as well as developing innovative products, and acknowledged that the days when Government dealt with only a small number of larger vendors are long gone. His key message was that working with SMEs promotes better value for taxpayers’ money and provides an engine for economic growth. He stressed the importance of IT companies and as an example, he cited the G-Cloud initiative, part of the new digital agenda, which has seen some £175M worth of Government contracts let under this umbrella.
In turn, SID4GOV (Supplier Information Database for Government) marks a new initiative to help match Government requirements against SME capabilities, while removing many of the previous business obstacles. For example, in the past suppliers had to complete a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) that would almost always automatically exclude SMEs from the tender process, as there was an expectation that suppliers should be able to handle all aspects of the project. SME capability is now fully explained on SID4GOV, making it easier for prime contractors to include SMEs as part of wider bids.
The Conference also debated the fact that some SMEs prefer to engage directly with Government departments rather than the larger vendor prime contractors. SCC and HMRC Aspire (Cap Gemini) both offered a perspective on this.
Ian Hicks, CoreFiling’s Director of Professional Service, took part in a joint presentation with Dave Henderson, SME Champion – Commercial Directorate, HMRC, and Adele Every, SME & Innovation Champion, HMRC Account, Capgemini. Entitled ‘Working in Partnership: HMRC, Capgemini and the SME community’, this session explored how HMRC has worked with Capgemini to build a supplier base from amongst the SME community in order to bring on board innovative solutions, and profiled CoreFiling as an example of successfully working together. Adele explained some of the success factors when dealing with SMEs, pointing to the need to engage with SMEs early in the bid process, helping them to recognise the long cycle times and being honest if the proposed SME innovation does not fit well within the confines of the project. Of particular interest was the need to provide SME-friendly terms, such as prompt payment, to ensure a sound relationship. Ian provided the real-life example of how CoreFiling has worked very effectively with HMRC and Capgemini, pointing out that it can be frustrating when decisions are delayed, but that ultimately a successful project can lead to a sound basis for ongoing business. In CoreFiling’s case, it led to additional projects in other sectors. Ian pointed out that Capgemini engaged with CoreFiling at an early stage in the projects and employed a ‘light touch’, which really helped promote a successful relationship.
A Home Office representative, John Fernau, offered his department’s perspective on ‘Delivering against the SME Aspiration’. He explained that some of the Government’s SME engagement targets can be challenging, particularly since the majority of the projects within his department are large-scale and only substantial suppliers are in a position to prime those projects; the challenge is persuading large vendors to work together with SME’s.
The conclusion was that the Government continues to be committed to the SME agenda, because there are distinct benefits to be derived: better value for taxpayers’ money through reduced Government spending. As SMEs prosper they create wealth and jobs, so reducing unemployment and fostering growth in the economy, thus resulting in a win-win relationship.
48 COREP validations – how will you know if your disclosures fail the test?
June 10, 2014 10:59 by Andrea Whitehouse
Recently the FCA/PRA announced a significant change to its COREP reporting requirements [http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/crd-iv-validations-for-q1-reporting]. There are a number of known errors in the EBA taxonomy and consequently the UK regulator had previously indicated that it would be treating all validations as ‘warnings’ that would not result in failed submissions.
However, upon further investigation the FCA has now issued a revised notice asserting that it will be checking a total of 48 validations (relating to COREP Own Funds and Leverage, Large Exposures, LCR and NSFR) in disclosures issued to meet the impending 30th June remittance deadline. Outside the 48 validations highlighted above it will continue to ignore the other incorrect EBA validations and treat them merely as warnings for GABRIEL submission purposes.
This means that filers must be vigilant and their XBRL production systems must be able to cater for this new set of important validation rules. But, how do you know whether your XBRL documents will pass the test?
There’s one sure way to find out – by using Magnify®, our XBRL document review product. The new validations have now been incorporated into Magnify, so it’s easy to check your submissions against the new rules. If there’s a problem, Magnify will highlight the error so that you can take remedial action. The even better news is that Magnify also lets you understand what is actually contained within the XBRL document you’re about to submit; it renders the document in a human-readable format, so you don’t have to struggle with the impenetrable XBRL. So, when senior executives need to sign off the completed reports, Magnify shows clearly what is being reported.
In short, Magnify can save you time and effort – and offers peace of mind that your disclosures will not be rejected
Time is running out for submission of the first COREP filings in XBRL
May 30, 2014 10:23 by Andrea Whitehouse
It’s been a hectic week, with lots of enquiries about our Seahorse® XBRL conversion solution for COREP filings. It’s true that some callers have been under the misguided impression that the first filings need to be made by the end of May, but it’s obvious there are still lots of financial institutions out there that have still not settled on a suitable reporting solution to handle their first regulatory filings under the new CRD IV regime.
The deadline for submission of the first reports in XBRL was, in fact, moved back to the 30th June, but it’s still not long if you’ve not settled upon a solution.
If you’re still looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to the compliance issue, then do take a look at Seahorse. With its simple to understand workflow, Internet browser-based interface and highly secure environment, Seahorse provides an easy-to-use way of converting your COREP reports from an Excel spreadsheet into the XBRL document needed for filing. As a cloud-based application, several users can work simultaneously on individual report tables, creating further efficiencies and considerable time saving in the XBRL report production process.
The good thing, too, is that Seahorse is underpinned by the same stringent XBRL validation that is being used by the FCA/PRA in the UK for the receipt of filings into GABRIEL.
Take a look at the Seahorse video to see how quick and simple it can be to convert your data.
Come and talk to CoreFiling’s team of XBRL experts during the XBRL International Conference, Orlando, June 9-11th
May 27, 2014 10:49 by Andrea Whitehouse
The 2014 XBRL International Conference is almost upon us. This year it will be held in Orlando, Florida from June 9-11th, profiled under the title Better Data for Better Decisions. Subjects such as government-wide (SBR) programs, big data and successful application of XBRL technology for regulators are high on the agenda. CoreFiling are taking the opportunity to continue to support the XBRL standard and community by sending several highly knowledgeable speakers to share their expertise on these subjects and more.
Do come along and meet the CoreFiling team!
CoreFiling’s speakers will be covering a wide range of XBRL topics during the track sessions, demonstrating the breadth and depth of our XBRL expertise. Below is a schedule of the tracks in which CoreFiling will be participating.
Tuesday, June 10:
Government track – What is SBR? Steps to Harmonize Reporting Across Government Agencies
The session will discuss how SBR works, and the steps required to cut red tape across different government agencies by harmonizing the data needs of the public sector. You’ll hear about the kind of formal standards needed to make it work in addition to XBRL and get an understanding of the crucial role government plays by publicly adopting standards and mandating their use.
- Levine Naidoo, CoreFiling’s VP of Partner Strategy and Business Enablement, will join a panel of international experts discussing the key steps required to create data harmonization. In prior roles he has worked as global subject matter expert and practice lead for analytics led regulatory compliance and has developed a substantial amount of techniques and approaches to implement XBRL production and consumption solutions.
Technical/Workshop track – Regulatory Implementation Guidance
This interactive session is designed to ensure that regulators, consultants, policy makers, technologists and project managers learn together about the pieces that make up a successful XBRL implementation. Participants will be guided along a pathway that covers the major aspects of these important projects. They will work together to capture their ideas and exchange their experiences, as the facilitators walk them through the process from end to end.
- Ian Hicks, CoreFiling’s Director of Professional Services, is leading this session. Ian is responsible for the ongoing support of key client accounts. He is also the current Chair of the Best Practices Board (BPB) for XBRL International.
- Ben Russell, Senior Consultant, CoreFiling Australia, is a speaker and facilitator for this session. Ben is an experienced consultant, XBRL subject matter expert and CoreFiling product specialist. He is also the current Chair of the XII Taxonomy Architecture Group Task Force (TAG-TF).
Technical/Workshop track – Using iXBRL
Marrying HTML and XBRL files can reduce cost and risk in preparation. This technique is being used successfully in many markets but not at all in others. This session will provide successful case studies with best practices and identify implementation pitfalls to avoid. A must attend session for those wondering what the impact of iXBRL will be, or might be, in their environment.
- Philip Allen, CoreFiling’s Executive Chairman, joins the panel of speakers in his capacity as Editor of the Specifications for Inline XBRL. Philip is a leading advocate of the iXBRL format and created the original Inline XBRL specification.
Wednesday, June 11:
Technical/Workshop track – Techniques in Processing Large Instance Documents
This session will cover problems and potential solutions in processing large instance documents. The challenge this poses can affect both government and business implementations.
- Jon Siddle, CoreFiling’s Head of Product Management, will be speaking during this session. As a subject matter expert, Jon has worked with regulators and regulated entities to align XBRL solutions with both standards and requirements. He plays an active role in the XBRL International Working Groups and is the lead author of the Table Linkbase specification.
All our speakers will be happy to engage in further discussions with you during the conference, so do seek them out, and be prepared for a stimulating, informative conversation.
Magnify handles EBA rules blacklist
April 24, 2014 16:33 by Andrea Whitehouse
The EBA has now produced an official “black list” of rules that should be ignored. The full list can be found on the EBA website.
Helpfully, Magnify®, CoreFiling’s XBRL document review product, already has black list support, so that this list (or any further updates) can be incorporated in order to suppress the blacklisted formula.
Who helps when your COREP submissions fail? (part 2)
April 7, 2014 12:57 by Andrea Whitehouse
Last time, I discussed the need for smaller financial institutions to take a serious look at the XBRL credentials of COREP software vendors offering low-end XBRL solutions and highlighted the advantages of trusting XBRL expert CoreFiling and our flexible, easy, inexpensive Seahorse® solution. However, larger banks and financial organisations needing a tightly integrated global reporting framework will require a more strategic approach.
Here, the need for proven XBRL expertise becomes even more crucial, but many traditional banking software vendors have little or no XBRL expertise and rely on externally sourced plug-in modules to cater for the XBRL data conversion. Such modules often rely on hard-coding methods to detect the XBRL taxonomy against which the reporting documents are created. This may result in a lack of flexibility and agility to respond when regulations change and the taxonomy alters.
Depending on the client situation, CoreFiling deliver robust yet flexible solutions in the form of either packaged applications, the XBRL Disclosure Management Platform™ (XDMP), or commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components integrated into a client environment. Our solutions are taxonomy driven and built so that new versions of the taxonomy can be dropped into the system without the need for hard re-coding each time.
For example, the XDMP solution is the culmination of a highly focused development effort by CoreFiling in conjunction with its partner EMC, experts in document management, and a major consultancy firm. It is based on COTS components and, just like Seahorse, it is underpinned by the True North® XBRL processing and validation engine, widely regarded as the most conformant and powerful validator on the market; the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has chosen True North for its EBA reporting requirements and validation of the COREP and FINREP filings it receives from the UK financial market.
CoreFiling’s long-standing commitment to the furtherance of the XBRL standards and our active participation in the XBRL consortium that oversees the development of the XBRL specifications means that we have an exceptional understanding of XBRL technology, which in turn informs our development process. Based on our extensive experience and insight, we are ideally placed to help our clients implement successful, flexible and compliant solutions.
Even if your traditional vendor is still struggling to produce XBRL documents in time for you to meet your COREP obligations, there’s no need to feel stuck. CoreFiling offer a safety net in the form of Seahorse to help filers overcome the immediate XBRL reporting obstacle.
To take advantage of our innovative approach, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)1865 203192.
Who helps when your COREP submissions fail?
March 28, 2014 12:39 by Andrea Whitehouse
The market is rife with vendors offering ‘inexpensive’ solutions to the imminent problem of filing COREP disclosures to National Competent Authorities around Europe. In particular, smaller firms with relatively straightforward needs may be tempted by the promise of ‘cheap and cheerful’ products. Creating the XBRL documents is a fairly simple process, but organisations should think through the wider issues. Licensing the right application will not be enough, whatever your vendor tells you.
Many regulators are still finalising their reporting rules, but even at this late stage the EBA’s guidelines are quite likely to change before the due date for the first submissions. Some vendors will struggle to cope when the regulatory requirements change, not only before the initial filing date, but when further alterations occur, as they will surely do over time. To what extent do vendors really understand the implications? How quickly can they react to ensure that fully compliant XBRL is generated? What happens if things go wrong?
Proven XBRL expertise is vital, especially at the service level, if vendors are to overcome any problems encountered by their clients.
What makes CoreFiling different? We have been developing XBRL products and offering expert XBRL consultancy for well over ten years. CoreFiling are the firm that provides XBRL support to many of the world’s leading integrators and consultancy firms. Our expertise is built on a deep understanding of the XBRL standard. CoreFiling are active contributors to the XBRL consortium that oversees the XBRL specifications; the company undertook most of the work in developing the key technical specification behind Eurofiling. This affords us deep insight into the standard and informs our products and services.
Seahorse®, available via key CoreFiling partners, provides a straightforward, Excel-based solution for COREP, FINREP and Solvency II filing. However, behind Seahorse lies over 200 man-years of intellectual property and proven expertise.
You may be thinking that Seahorse sounds fine for smaller organisations, but what about larger financial institutions with more complex needs?
More in a few days’ time…