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Opinion: A Smarter Approach to the New Austrian Reporting Requirements

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By Lauren Dearmer, Product Marketing Manager, Wolters Kluwer Financial

Over the last couple of years Austria’s Central Bank, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), has been working with the financial services industry to radically restructure the way in which financial data is reported. The project was initiated to ‘improve the data quality, specifically methodological soundness and data accuracy, consistency and reliability, and at the same time to enhance flexibility and reduce the cost of the reporting system for both the compiler and the reporting agent’.

The common data model that has been prescribed to fulfill this objective is comprised of two key interlinked tenets – the ‘Basic Cube’ and ‘Smart Cubes’. The Basic Cube provides a unique, standardized, exact, and therefore unambiguous definition of individual business transactions and their attributes which in turn enables firms to aggregate or calculate and report multi-dimensional Smart Cubes – a mandatory requirement for all Austrian financial institutions starting from mid-2015.

Smart Cubes will enable the harmonization of the data collection methods to ensure data consistency and efficient data quality processes, and thus effectively and efficiently cover nearly all Austrian reporting requirements.

The logic behind this new model is clear and sound, and while the process will involve some significant infrastructural change, it also provides an opportunity for firms to look deeper at the other potential benefits that can be garnered from this particular compelling event. All of the compilation, revision and coordination of existing databases can, in fact, have an impact outside of the reporting requirements stipulated in the common reporting data model.

For example, firms can realize significant operational efficiencies by implementing a platform that not only provides Basic Cube and Smart Cube functionality but also has a future-proof architecture enabling the addition of modules that can handle the many and varied changes triggered by Basel III, CRD IV, or the expected adaptation to Europe-wide regulatory standards such as IFRS and FINREP.

By looking at the OeNB’s requirements in a lateral way, and working with a third party that has technology, content and consulting in the areas of Finance, Risk and Compliance, firms can head with confidence towards the manifold regulatory deadlines facing them.

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