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How is APRA Connect different from D2A?

Last updated: 9 September 2021

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 data alongside Direct to APRA (D2A) with a progressive cutover of data reporting to APRA Connect over the coming years.
  • APRA Connect will also be used by entities to provide entity information such as responsible persons, address and contact information, 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 data before they need to submit in APRA Connect. 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 APRA Connect 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 (including 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.
  • APRA Connect supports a range of file formats and submission methods including Excel, XML and XBRL uploads, APIs and manual data entry. The appropriate file format(s) and submission method will be defined for each new collection as part of the industry consultation process.
  • Taxonomy artefacts will be published for each collection to help entities prepare data for submission on APRA Connect. Artefacts include the data dictionary, validations, reporting taxonomy and XSD (to validate files). The artefacts will clearly indicate which submission methods apply for each collection.
  • 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. 
  • Users will be able to save and view returns in draft and locate them easily in the portal. Note that once draft data is saved in APRA Connect, it is visible to APRA.
  • When a file that passes all validations  is uploaded by any user role, the file is automatically submitted. An optional approval step in the form of a validation rule (a warning) prior to submission of a completed data return has been implemented. For more information see User roles

Data validation and submission of supporting information

  • APRA Connect will not accept values other than those defined in the relevant reporting standards and associated reporting 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.

Data resubmission

  • Resubmission of data must be made in the same system as the data was originally submitted (i.e. D2A or APRA Connect). No historical 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.

Data retrieval

  • Users will be able to view data submitted in APRA Connect. Data submitted in a return can also be saved as a PDF file. Tables with more than 200 rows will not be rendered; users should refer to their source system to view data which exceeds the 200 row limit.
  • Users will only be able to view data in the system in which it was submitted.
  • Users will be able to retrieve uploaded files in the format in which they were submitted, using the Upload History feature.

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