May 29, 2017
Photo: (From left) Chia Yong Wei, Group CEO Microlink Solutions [witness]; Gerard Monteiro, Executive Director, OMESTI Bhd; Mr Swaminathan, CEO, IRIS Business Services; and P Anand, IRIS Business Services [witness].
A digital approach from two companies will deliver a common global standard for financial reporting terminology and data formatting across the Asean region.
Malaysia's Omesti Group (Omesti) and India's IRIS Business Services (IRIS) have officially announced a partnership to drive the adoption of a common global standard for financial reporting in Asean made possible by the introduction and deployment of the XBRL global reporting standard platform.
Omesti executive director Gerard Monteiro said that this move will also help automate business operations.
"Annual reports, quarterly results, and other statutory submissions are just some of the documents that companies need to file with regulators and corporate authorities," Minteiro said.
"A significant number of these financial reports are still produced manually leading to a number of issues typically associated with manual processes," he said.
"Setting a common global standard with XBRL reduces the risk of error, significantly shortens cycle times and standardises the presentation of data," added Monteiro.
He said XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) will "to better connect members of the entire financial and business reporting supply chain."
"In simple terms, XBRL is an electronic information supply chain standard for moving financial and business reporting information into an interactive intelligent information format," said Monteiro.
"It provides clarity of information across international borders allowing overseas investors to gain a better understanding of financial and other corporate data," he said.
Essentially, XBRL is a dictionary of 'tags' that can be applied to each element in a financial statement. This informs standard software what the item represents and how it relates to other items in the report, somewhat similar to attaching a unique barcode.
Monteiro said some key advantages include:
- Standardisation - reducing inconsistencies in terminologies and data formatting
- Accuracy - providing data that can be both calculated and verified
- Speed - allows much faster and real-time preparation of reports as well as intuitive data search and access
- Reusability - data once entered can be reused to represent the same data in multiple ways and multiple formats
- Platform Independent - allowing data to be exchanged and transferred with ease
- Region Independent - allowing presentation and exchange of data in many different languages
Ramping up digitalisation projects
This new tie-up complements OMESTI's role as implementation partner for the Catalyst electronic registry solution and is set to bring further automation to the entire business cycle. (See - More business transparency with new ASEAN digital registry: Malaysia, New Zealand).
Omesti's group of companies have been stepping up digitalisation initiatives during the last three years. One example is its work with Malaysia's legal machinery, first announced in September 2014. (See - IT in Law: Malaysia's legal profession set to embrace change). One of the first completed implementations was in Kota Bahru, officially announced in May 2015. (See - IT in Law: Omesti's eCOURTs system now live in Kota Bahru.)
In addition, an Omesti company recently released IoT solutions to help address recurring local challenges linked to floods, energy management and plantations (see - Malaysian company releases IoT solutions for flood and natural disaster mitigation).
What happens next?
Swaminathan, CEO of IRIS Business Services, said that in the last seven years, the company has been very active in the XBRL space, developing solutions for many clients in various territories including Singapore. IRIS also specialises in taxonomy creation, software solutions and in the conversion of structured and unstructured data into XBRL for SEC filing.
The partnership with Omesti is initially for a period of two years, and extends to Myanmar, Laos, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, China, Japan, Brunei, Mongolia and Malaysia, where OMESTI will hold exclusive rights. Other countries may be mutually agreed upon as and when required, he said.
Commenting on the tie-up with Omesti, he said: "Together with OMESTI, we will be 'disrupting convention'. XBRL certainly disrupts convention; it changes everything. And for the opportunity to partner with OMESTI to do that, we are grateful."
"We have made a beginning in Malaysia with our potentially transformational work at SSM" he added. (See - Digital set to transform Companies Commission of Malaysia's regulatory role).
"And we thank OMESTI for choosing to partner with us on the SSM project. Since then, we have realised that there is a lot more to be done here and across the region," said Swaminathan. "We are also greatly encouraged by the statements of our respective Prime Ministers calling for an Enhanced Strategic Partnership between our two countries."
The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.