Combining Insurance and XBRL knowledge is the key to 100% success in Solvency II reporting

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French insurance companies have completed the first round of reporting against the new European Solvency II framework, which required not only more information to be submitted, but also required the data to be provided in XBRL. The recent partnership between Effisoft and UBPartner, combining expertise in insurance and XBRL systems, has resulted in customers in France being 100% successful in their initial Solvency filings.

Effisoft and UBPartner

The first round of Solvency reporting was always going to be challenging, but our customers are pleased at how efficiently the process has worked

Adopting a new technology is never easy and always poses some unexpected challenges. Insurance companies in France recently faced such a challenge, as they implemented the new Solvency II reporting framework based upon XBRL. The issues they faced were threefold: not only was XBRL being used for the first time; but the Solvency II framework involves more extensive data to be gathered, checked and submitted; plus there were some tight implementation deadlines.

Suppliers providing insurance systems software, such as Effisoft (http://www.effisoft.com), needed a simple and easy way of adopting the new XBRL technology and integrating it into their existing applications. UBPartner (http://www.ubpartner.com), a leading XBRL software supplier, required partners which were well versed in the insurance and business requirements of implementing the Solvency II framework, to help insurance firms understand how the benefits of the new XBRL reporting requirements could enhance the overall process.

Effisoft and UBPartner have been collaborating closely since April 2013 and their combination of skills and knowledge provides the perfect platform for delivering Solvency II reports.

Easy to integrate XBRL

“Effisoft is a leading provider of software solutions to the Insurance, Reinsurance and Risk Management industries“, states Marc Accos, Effisoft‘s General Manager “We selected UBPartner because of their intimate knowledge of XBRL and understanding of the requirements for Solvency II reporting to the French regulators. We have been very pleased to see how easy it was to integrate UBPartner’s XBRL tools within our Assuretat regulatory reporting suite, saving us lengthy and much costly development time”.

He went on to say “UBPartner was always there to help our teams and ensure that our customers were able to submit their reports in a timely manner to the ACPR.”
“The first round of Solvency reporting was always going to be challenging, but our customers are pleased at how efficiently the process has worked. Effisoft has helped some 32 entities to file Solvency II submissions to the French ACPR and the number of resubmissions required to successfully file was very low compared to other firms. This is important, as several regulators have said that they will monitor the quality of submissions and number of attempts as an indicator of how well the insurance firms are managing their internal processes. Thanks to the successful collaboration with UBPartner’s dedicated staff, our customers passed the September exercise and were able to send their data in XBRL format”.

Simple and Flexible XBRL Reporting

“The first goal of the UBPartner XBRL Toolkit was to remove the need to understand complex XBRL syntax” said Steve Berdah, UBPartner CTO and Technical Director for XBRL France.
“We used our in-house knowledge of XBRL and the taxonomies to pre-map EIOPA’s Quantitative Reporting Templates (QRTs), against the Solvency II taxonomy. Customers or partners could then simply load the data into an Excel template or via a simple ‘value-pair’ file, a process they are all familiar with, and then run our XBRL Converter Tool to generate a 100% compliant XBRL document.”

“We also know that identifying errors in the data is a very time-consuming task and so we have developed a complete set of validation reports to enable users to quickly review the errors in the templates. In particular we can render the XBRL reports back into the business templates, highlighting the errors, so that business users can evaluate where the issues are without understanding XBRL”.

The Next Steps

“We are using all of our significant experience in implementing XBRL systems for national banking supervisors and from working with major financial application vendors, to enhance and improve our XBRL tools, making them easier and more flexible to integrate” added Steve Berdah. “We have shown that we can meet tight implementation deadlines, respond to changing requirements and still deliver cost-effective solutions. We believe that our tools can help others as XBRL is adopted across Europe by both banks and insurance firms.”

The requirement to report in XBRL is expected to grow significantly as European financial supervisors, such as the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) attempt to harmonise regulation and technical reporting standards across Europe. Effisoft and UBPartner have shown that by working together, the new technology and processes required to deliver 100% compliant submissions can be delivered efficiently and effectively.

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language)

XBRL is fast becoming the standard for financial information exchange and reporting demonstrated by the XBRL programs being driven by the European Banking Authority (EBA), European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and numerous government agencies. The XBRL standard is maintained by XBRL International: http://www.xbrl.org

About Effisoft (http://www.effisoft.com):

Effisoft is an international group that designs and develops software solutions for the insurance, reinsurance and risk management industries. The group is headquartered in Paris France and has offices in Dallas and London and serves the Asian & African markets through its affiliates in Singapore and Johannesburg. Effisoft has a customer base of over 300 companies in 5 continents, many of which are listed on the NYSE, FTSE and CAC40.

About UBPartner (http://www.ubpartner.com)

UBPartner is a privately owned company with headquarters in Paris and offices in London. It provides a full range of solutions and services that enable companies and regulatory agencies to realise the benefits of XBRL – from the underlying processing engine, to desktop development and deployment tools, all the way to packaged solutions for regulators and government agencies.

UBPartner technology and tools are used today in many advanced and demanding XBRL environments such as market regulators, government agencies and major corporations in France, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Poland, Norway, and Luxembourg as well as leading software vendors, such as Oracle, SAP and Infor.

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Martin DeVille
UBPartner
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Hervé Hans-Moevi
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