How is APRA Connect different from D2A?
APRA has temporarily suspended the project to replace APRA’s Direct to APRA (D2A) data collection solution with APRA Connect in response to the COVID-19 situation. APRA will advise when the project recommences.
APRA Connect will provide greater flexibility for collecting and submitting data, with new functionality and an easy-to-use interface. It will ensure both entities and APRA are well placed to continue to meet evolving regulatory needs.
What’s the scope of information collected on APRA Connect?
- APRA Connect will be used to collect financial data alongside Direct to APRA (D2A) with a progressive cutover of financial data reporting to the new solution.
- APRA Connect will also be used by entities to meet other prudential obligations to provide entity information such as the current Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) and future Financial Accounting Regime (FAR) reporting requirements which are currently under active consideration.
- APRA Connect will facilitate a range of interactions which are currently handled through other systems and processes, such as ad hoc data requests, extension, exemption and resubmission requests, post-submission data quality processes and upload of additional documents and supporting information.
- Over time, this capability will be used to support future submission of additional entity documentation currently provided through other submission methods.
What are the key differences between D2A and APRA Connect?
- APRA Connect is a web-based platform available from any computer, whereas D2A is software that is installed on a computer.
- A test environment will be available for users to become familiar with APRA Connect and trial submission of financial data before they need to submit. No option is available for entities to test returns in D2A prior to submission.
What processes will be different between D2A and APRA Connect?
Access to the new solution
- Standard web browsers will be used to access the new solution and no additional software will be required (see Technical specifications).
- All users will need to use myGovID to establish their digital identity and be authorised by their organisation to access APRA services on their behalf (see APRA Connect authentication using myGovID).
- APRA Connect requires entities to manage users and permissions (see user roles).
- APRA Connect will facilitate various user security levels so that sensitive information such as personal data required for BEAR reporting can be managed only by the appropriate people.
- Entities will also be able to authorise Service Providers to submit data.
Data preparation and submission
- Entities should familiarise themselves with each collection in the test environment before reporting commences on APRA Connect.
- Entities will be responsible for maintaining entity information, such as contact details, responsible persons and related parties (as well as BEAR reporting for Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs)) on APRA Connect.
- For manual data entry, users will no longer be able to copy and paste multiple rows of data; copy and paste works for single cells only in APRA Connect.
- Appropriate submission methods will be defined for each new collection, and these may include Excel, XML and XBRL uploads, APIs and manual data entry. For ADI returns which are moving in their current form to APRA Connect, Excel uploads will not be available.
- D2A currently accepts XBRL files that are saved as .xml. For APRA Connect, XML and XBRL files must be submitted with the correct file extension (i.e. .xml or .xbrl) to be accepted. Entities using these file formats will need to review current submission methods and make changes if required.
- Users will be able to save and view draft returns and locate them easily in the portal. Note that once draft data is saved in APRA Connect, it is visible to APRA.
- An Application Programming Interface (API) will be available for the commencement of ADI financial data reporting on APRA Connect and available in the test environment prior to release.
- Lodgement via email, mail or fax will no longer be accepted.
Data validation and submission of supporting information
- APRA Connect will not accept values other than those defined in the relevant reporting standards and associated taxonomies. This is unlike D2A where some data format rules are not enforced.
- Users can upload additional information to support a return such as explanations relating to a warning message (either free text or a file).
- The post-submission data quality process will occur within APRA Connect rather than by email.
Communication with APRA
- Entities will be able to communicate with APRA via APRA Connect for things such as extension requests for reporting due dates, exemption requests for specific forms, explanations and post-submission follow-up.
- Resubmission of data must be made in the same system as the data was originally submitted (i.e. D2A or APRA Connect). No historical financial data will be migrated to APRA Connect.
- For APRA Connect, requests for resubmission before the return due date will be automatically approved and the return will become available for resubmission immediately.
- Users will be able to view data submitted in APRA Connect. Data submitted in a return can also be saved as a PDF file.
- Users will be able to download the original file which was uploaded to APRA Connect. Note that any changes made manually to the data will not be reflected.
- Users will only be able to retrieve data from the system in which it was submitted.