Archive for January, 2014

FATCA update U.A.E.

January 30th, 2014

In 2010, the U.S. government enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the goal of diminishing tax evasion, FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and individuals to report any financial accounts held by Americans to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Because of this, according to a recent Forbes.com story, FATCA is influencing how governments around the world share tax information.

This is already creating consternation. Banking institutions, for example must find a way to classify preexisting and new customers to meet this requirement. There is a lot of confusion about what is to be reported. There are different rules for new accounts, for “recalcitrant” accounts (naughty accounts) and for pre-existing accounts. The deadline for FFIs to finalize the registration of these foreign accounts owned by Americans in the IRS Registration Portal has been delayed from the initial statutory date of January 1, 2014 to July 1, 2014.

This gives banks a bit more time to figure out a strategy for this compliance. While it sounds like an easy process, classifying this information is a bit more complicated than one might think – it can be a time-consuming, costly process that may require extensive manual labor. And to comply on an on-going basis, it makes sense for banks to find a way to modify their systems so there is an automated classification and reporting process permanently in place.

In 2010 the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) announced it would soon start taking measures in an attempt to tackle tax evasion. Other than the voluntary commitment of US residents to report income on foreign accounts to the service, it urged Foreign Financial Institutions (FFI) to report details of such accounts to the IRS. Nearly three years of negotiation, regulation, and time framing followed, with a final regulation and timeline formed in October last year. According to these agreements, FFIs are subjected from July 1, 2014 to due diligence of all accounts except grandfathered accounts. From March 15, detailed reporting of accounts is required. Grandfathered accounts are obligations that are outstanding on January 1, 2014.

Transactions made by US citizens from January 1, 2014, are fully monitored, the UAE Central Bank has agreed to adopt the Model 1 IGA, an agreement stating that all financial institutions in the UAE will answer to the FATCA request of sharing information about any US accounts, assets, or transactions channelled through. A US citizen living outside the US must file the FATCA Form 8938 if he or she holds or has signatory control over funds in FFIs totaling $200,000 in aggregate at the end of the year or $300,000 in aggregate at any time during the year. The thresholds for couples filing jointly are $400,000 and $600,000, respectively. There are severe penalties for under-reporting income in any FFI. The thresholds for US-based citizens are much lower and US residents with signature power over jointly held overseas accounts may have to report even though the overseas citizen may not.

If an FFI has not registered as intending to become compliant or has a national agreement (IGA) in place ‘withholding’ will have already started. In the case of the banks in the UAE, this agreement has been made, and thus withholding should be already in place. However, due diligence on all accounts will begin on this date. All pre-existing accounts will have to be identified with basic information as per 1 July 2014. Basic information includes name, social security number/TIN, address, account number, current value etc. The requirement is more than just reporting the accounts that the FFI know as being linked to US ‘persons’ – the FFI also has to do a manual search of all their files where the account has a value of $1,000,000 or more to check if there are links to the US. If the FFI has not complied by this date then they will suffer withholding tax of 30 per cent,

FFIs over the next couple of months will be registering the data required. The FATCA registration website opened on January 1, 2014. Note that the information reported must be backdated to include information relating to the year 2014, and therefore January 1, 2014, was a very important date.

Annual reporting by PFFIs is to be phased in starting in 2015 (with respect to information related to the 2014 calendar year), with reporting of the full scope of FATCA information required no later than March, 2017, states the IRS. The information reporting will have to include full details of the accounts, such as the underlying investments of funds, all transactions, interest earned etc. The phasing in starts with “recalcitrant” (known or suspected offenders) accounts, large value accounts, pre-existing accounts and works its way down to the mass volume accounts with smaller sums.

It is important to note that by July 1, 2014, or sooner banks may adopt new rules regarding the opening of new accounts with US-linked transactions.

Needless to say not everyone is happy about this – this post gives some reasons why!

http://1389blog.com/2014/01/26/why-republicans-are-right-to-support-repeal-of-fatca/

Security – what’s new

January 30th, 2014

Spoofed versions of the popular file transfer program FileZilla that steal data are circulating on third-party websites, the organization behind the software said Tuesday.FileZilla is an open source application, and hackers have taken its source code and modified it in order to try to steal data for more than a decade. But this campaign, run on third-party websites, is one of the largest FileZilla has seen to date, it said.

A new form of encryption is called “Honey Encryption”. It protects data with an added deceptive security mechanism i.e.. fake data that looks like valid information is presented to cybercriminals upon each failed password attempt. It was developed by former RSA chief scientist Ari Juels and University of Wisconsin researcher Thomas Ristenpart, and generates a piece of fake data resembling the user’s real information each time a hacker fails to access an account, as is common in brute-force hacking.

There’s an odd bug in Google search which is pointing users directly to a personal email address. The address appears in a “Compose” window that pops up when the top search result for Gmail is clicked. Very, very bizarre (and reproducible). see http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/24/gmail-glitch-is-causing-thousands-of-emails-to-be-sent-to-one-mans-hotmail-account/

The largest of the three studies — a Stroz Friedberg online survey of more than 700 information workers — found that senior management may be the biggest threat to an organization’s digital well-being. Fifty-eight percent of senior managers reported (digitally) sending sensitive information to the wrong person. Compare that with just 25 percent of lower-level employees guilty of the same misstep. More than half of all senior managers in the study admitted to taking files with them after they left a job. Only 25 percent of rank-and-file employees were found to have done the same.

The study also found that 9 in 10 senior managers admitted to uploading work files to personal email and cloud-based accounts, a faux pas that could lead to intellectual property theft and attacks on corporate networks.

In a study by Osterman Research, of 160 security professionals seventy-four percent of respondents said that malware had posed a significant threat to their networks in the past year, while 64 percent said the same for email scams. Who did these security experts blame for such high rates of vulnerabilities? Workers themselves. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that malware unknowingly downloaded by Web-surfing employees posed the biggest threat to corporate security. Fifty-six percent thought that the malware and phishing schemes rampant in personal webmail accounts were an even bigger threat to companies.

Lax ‘Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)’ policies weaken corporate security. Forty-six percent of security professionals questioned in the study said they no longer even try to manage the safe use of personal devices in the workplace.

A survey published last week — a SecureData survey of more than 100 IT professionals at midsize companies — found that clear security management strategies for employees are lacking within their organizations. 60 percent of the IT staffers surveyed listed employee carelessness as the biggest threat to a company’s cybersecurity.

The idea behind “Honey Encryption” is that if the intruder does ultimately enter the correct password and breach the account, then the fake data will be indistinguishable from the real data

Traditional encryption methods obfuscate the data, or make it look unintelligible, so hackers need to make sense of the garbled data after accessing it. Decoys and deception are really underexploited tools in fundamental computer security. Each decryption is going to look plausible so the attacker has no way to distinguish which is correct.

Banking regulatory changes, fines, what to do? U.A.E., Qatar…

January 29th, 2014

There is a continual flux of regulatory reporting changes. There also recent high profiles of banks being fined large sums for non- compliance.Some recent news:

The DFSA proposed changes to the forms that authorised firms submit through the Electronic Prudential Reporting System, which has necessitated changes to the PIB and PIN modules (and consequently the FER module on Fees) of the DFSA Rulebook. The objectives in the rule changes are primarily to improve the collection of data in line with their risk-based supervision approach, but have also filled certain reporting gaps such as the reporting of foreign exchange positions as required under the Basel standards on banking supervision. The proposed revised forms are also included in the updated PRU module. The regulator has also made a specific proposal that the period for submission of the Quarterly Regulatory Return (under PIN 6.5.7) and the Financial Group Capital Adequacy Return (under PIN 6.6.2) should be reduced from two months after the period end to one month after the period end.

Some UAE Central Bank Rule Changes announced for 2014:
The UAE Central Bank will introduce a series of new rules to regulate outsourcing, disaster recovery, Shariah banking, financial statements regulations and CEO’s financial bonuses, to enhance performance and ensure conformity with international standards and best practices.

• The Central Bank is planning to introduce financial services law (framework law), the new banking law and a new law regarding criminalisation of money laundering.
• In the sphere of banking supervision, the directors approved the project on the Implementation of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) under which financial institutions will be obliged to make certain disclosures to the IRS concerning accounts belonging to US nationals.
• In the area of monetary policy instruments and reserve management, the Central Bank is considering introducing a discount window, a settlement system linked to securities custody and financial stability.
• The Central Bank is working to launch a virtual banking system in order to facilitate financial inclusion and the smart government systems on mobile phones.
• The Central Bank agreed to establish an Economic research department and a risk monitoring unit.

In December 2013, the Government of Dubai announced the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and its board of directors as part of its goal to make the Emirate of Dubai the global capital of Islamic finance. Law No 42 of 2013 details the basic objectives of the Centre, which includes drawing up the Centre’s general policy and setting up strategic plans for the development of the sector in the Emirate, in addition to developing comprehensive and unified standards to judge the extent to which any commodity or financial service or otherwise complies with the provisions of Islamic law, and promoting these standards locally and globally.

Qatar Central Bank (QCB), the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and the Qatar Financial Market Authority (QFMA), jointly launched a strategic plan for the future of financial sector regulation in the country to position Qatar as a leader in the region in financial sector regulations and thereby to support Doha’s ambitions to be a global financial centre. The goals are to enhance regulation by developing a consistent risk-based micro-prudential framework; expanding macro-prudential oversight; strengthening financial market infrastructure; enhancing consumer and investor protection; promoting regulatory cooperation; and building human capital. The move comes as regulators around the world increase their focus on systemic risks, and demand greater co-operation and co-ordination among financial sector regulators at the local, regional and international levels. The Qatari plan sets out how the regulatory authorities will work together to help build a resilient financial sector that operates to the highest international standards of regulation and supervision

Some recent regulatory fines in the banking sector:

JPMorgan was hit with $20 billion worth of fines during 2013

FCA Fined Lloyds £28 million for ‘serious failings’ – because Lloyds TSB had been fined in 2003 for unsuitable sales of bonds, the regulator increased the fine by ten per cent, making it the largest fine ever imposed by the regulator or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority. Lloyds has made an obligatory apology and the FCA said that changes and the redress being made by the group correct many of the issues.

US Regulators Fined RBS $100 million for violating US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, Burma, and Cuba, between 2005 and 2009. This settlement follows others by international banks in recent years, including $674m paid by Standard Chartered in 2012 for violating sanctions against Iran, and $1.9bn paid by HSBC in 2013 for sanctions violations and laundering money for Mexican drug cartels.

FINRA Fined Barclays Capital over Record Keeping – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which acts as Wall Street’s self-regulator, fined Barclay’s Capital $3.75 million for failing to properly preserve electronic records as well as certain emails and instant messages for at least a decade. FINRA stated that it fined the brokerage unit of Barclays PLC for not keeping the records in a non-rewritable, non-erasable format to prevent alteration, as mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission requirements (the format required by regulators is called WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many). This was a widespread issue affecting all of the firm’s business areas, and Barclays was unable to determine whether all of its electronic books and records were maintained in an unaltered condition. FINRA also noted that proper book-keeping and record storage are regulators’ primary means of monitoring whether banks are in compliance with securities laws. Therefore ensuring the integrity, accuracy and accessibility of electronic books and records is essential to a firm’s ability to meet its compliance obligations.

If you have headache in timely, compliant, regulatory reporting then the bad news is that its going to get tougher very soon. The good news is that BRSAnalytics is a proven solution to automate much of the process of report generation, and to simplify the creation of new reports or report changes. Its in built data warehouse and Excel ad hoc analytic layer also makes it much easier to respond quickly to Central Bank queries for more information.

That is why we have are meeting with 10 banks this week and next. If we missed you and you need to know more then please contact us for information, a remote demonstration or to meet with you. 00971 43365589

For further information see our previous blog articles.

eVAYO touch terminal from Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

January 27th, 2014

The new member of our eVAYO family, the touch terminal IF-5721 with PIN pad, is now able to support two new features: the Scrambled PIN Pad and Auto Enter.

With the Scrambled PIN Pad feature, the number keys change their position after each booking process (see examples above). This security feature makes it significantly more difficult to figure out a person’s PIN based on observation only.

Auto Enter is a convenience feature. If this feature is enabled, an employee no longer has to press the “OK” button once his/her PIN has been entered. When the specified number of digits has been reached, the device automatically activates a booking.

As of now, both features are available with software version 7.13.03.
Furthermore, they are also available for terminals of the series IF-5735.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan surgery.

January 25th, 2014

The president of the United Arab Emirates has undergone surgery after a stroke and is in a stable condition, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday – the presidential affairs ministry is quoted as saying that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan suffered a stroke early on Friday which “required doctors to perform surgery”, adding his condition has since stabilised. .

Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa is the eldest of Sheikh Zayed’s 19 sons. He came to power after the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, in 2004.

He is a moderniser whose low-key approach helped steer the Gulf Arab state through a tense era in regional politics. Analysts say the popular leader has helped maintain one of the longest and most stable ruling families, whose ties with important clans and leaders of the other emirates, has helped the UAE to prosper through a time of global economic crises, regional political tensions and unprecedented growth and change He has balanced relationships with countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

He and his family have the good wishes of all U.A.E, residents.

Dynamics AX mobile logistics – Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

January 21st, 2014

AX Anywhere offers Dynamics AX mobile logistics solutions for your business. we were the first partner to implement this system in Dubai and it has contributed to the customers significant growth in new business over the last two years. In fast moving systems real time update are essential. The more data to enter the greater the risk of mistakes. With a mobile solution you can capture document id, item code, batch code, serial code etc. with fast accurate bar code scans.

When there are crucial differences in structural or chemical properties, or part dimensions then the risk of error in data entry is not just administrative correction but may result in catastrophic failure after shipment.

Dynamics AX Anywhere offers mobile solutions for various business processes that are standard to the Dynamics AX experience, particularly in the areas of trade and logistics, production, sales and retail. In the trade and logistics realm, this product offers the mobile flexibility companies, especially those without a WMS, need while maintaining any level of security required.

AX Anywhere allows users to: receive, transfer, count, adjust and pick goods from any mobile device.

AX Anywhere gives companies the option of their users initiate any of these processes by scanning (or keying in) data, by selecting from a list (such as a list of shipments or products) or by working off of a user-created journal that directs the mobile user on exactly what products to count or move.

End user training time and cost in the warehouse is significantly reduced – no need to learn Ax transactions and navigation. Choose a transaction, enter document id, enter item code and quantity, and the rest is automated.

Receiving – scan, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a receipt. Begin the receiving process by selecting an already created item arrival journal.
Transfer order – scan, key in or select a transfer order from a list to initiate a transfer order between warehouses.
Move/Put-away – A, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a product transport within the warehouse via a transfer journal. ahead of time create a transfer journal in AX that contains a list of specific product moves you want to make, and then have a user in the warehouse select that journal with AX Anywhere to perform the moves.
Pallet transport – scan or key in a pallet license plate (LP) to initiate a pallet transport.
Count – scan, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a product count. Optionally, create a count journal ahead of time to specify the products and locations to count. Then a user can select that journal with AX Anywhere and perform the counts.
Adjust – perform a profit/loss stock adjustment on any product by simply scanning, keying in or selecting that product from a list.
Pick – scan, key in or select a shipment number from a list to initiate a pick.

There are several additional options available for customizing AX Anywhere to fit your needs through the use of parameter settings:

Allow the scanning of a GTIN to determine the unit ID used for a receipt, count or pick.
Prefill pallet quantity will assign a predetermined pallet quantity when receiving.
Turn on or off the requirement of scanning a location, item, batch, pick bin or license plate when picking.
Enter a note after picking is completed.
Print a pick license plate after picking is completed.
Auto-ship when items on a transfer order are picked.
Automatically enter the quantity when scanning an EAN128 during counting.
Set a deviation quantity for cycle counting

AX Anywhere also provides information on any product or pallet LP through the use of inquiries. For example, scan or key in a product number to view a list locations and quantities of that product within the warehouse.

AX Anywhere supports any device with a browser, and data is 100% real-time within AX.
It is integrated within AX, so implementation is quick and easy to replace current manual processes and will improve your operation’s productivity, accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

Ask us for details-better still see a working system.

Synergy at the Microsoft CRM 2013 Gulf launch in Dubai

January 15th, 2014

Our Dynamics CRM team visited Microsoft Gulf offices yesterday for the official launch of CRM 2013 for this region. As readers of this blog know we were working on this version throughout the last quarter and eagerly awaiting its official release.

Aishwarya updated me on the announcement made at the meeting that Microsoft has acquired Parature . Parature is a 13-year-old company that delivers Web- and mobile-access knowledge-bases, live chat, survey and feedback systems, and social monitoring and response functionality. The Herndon, Va.-based firm has more than 500 customers with over 70 million end users licences.

About 13 years ago, a group of five Cornell University undergraduates started a business out of their dorm, based on one simple product: a free Internet-based instant messaging service. That company, Parature, has now built a strong foothold in key industries such as: education, gaming, high-tech, non-profit associations, online media, public sector, and travel.

Major brands include: Ask.com, Asure Software, ATRA, Brenau University, BuilderMT, CompTIA, e-MDs, EPA, Florida Atlantic University, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, IGN Entertainment, iWin, NASA SEWP, PlayFirst, SoftChalk, Threadless, Top Down Systems, TMA Resources, and Travel Lodge UK.

Parature is the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions and it takes a personalized approach to web-based customer service & help desk software. It provides:-

1. Key, self-service, knowledge base software
2. Core customer service
3. Live chat
4. Mobile access
5. Survey and feedback capabilities
6. Social monitoring
7. Facebook portal capabilities
8. Automated customer service
9. Ability to manage online discussion boards
10. On-line surveys

Parature, will integrate multiple channels, such as social, email, Web-based chat, and Web self-service. The two companies have already partnered for more than a year, so a pre-built integration is already available to connect Parature’s cloud-based apps to Dynamics CRM.

This is addition to Microsoft’s acquisitions last year of NetBreeze and Marketing Pilot.

Sunsystems 5 to be discontinued long live Sunsystems 6!

January 14th, 2014

Important information about Infor SunSystems 5 and SunSystems 6

Infor has announced its intention to discontinue all license sales of SunSystems 5 in 2014.

Infor is focused on delivering significant new capabilities for Infor
SunSystems to bring value to customers and enhance the user experience. This targeted investment helps our customer to deliver world-class capabilities with comprehensive financial management capabilities that assist customers to achieve their business objectives.

Effective June 1, 2014, Infor will discontinue all license sales and additional-user license orders of SunSystems 5

Infor will continue to support SunSystems 5 for certain issue fixes, according to the current support policy.

In the current version 6 release of SunSystems, Infor has replaced the Actuate reporting tool with SunSystems Reporting Services (SRS), based on the industry-standard Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

SRS is provided with a Report builde ruser interface that makes it easy to use and provides a more accessible reporting environment with improved functionality. This change in SunSystems 6 is a product advancement which will help improve customers’ reporting experience.

Infor’s current release, SunSystems 6, is an Infor 10x-compliant release, positioned to take advantage of Infor’s innovative capabilities and technology that include Infor Ming.le™, Infor ION, Infor Context, and Infor Mobile.

The SunSystems 6 release will be the foundation for current and future enhancements.

SunSystems 5 availability – Infor has issued notification to inform our customers as of June 1, 2014, Infor will no longer sell licenses for Infor
SunSystems 5.

Depending on your upgrade schedule, any customer requiring additional SunSystems 5 licenses and modules should place orders prior to the end of May 2014.

Infor currently has no plans to end support for SunSystems 5. Support and maintenance will continue in accordance with Infor’s current support policies.

After the release of SunSystems 6.2.0, the monthly patch sets for SunSystems 5.4.1 will reduce in frequency—as was the case with previous releases. Issue fixes for SunSystems 5.4.1 and earlier will still be carried out periodically, and emergency patches will continue to be delivered as determined by Infor.

Infor’s SunSystems primary product line is now SunSystems 6.

From the
SunSystems 6.2.0 release, currently targeted for early 2014, Infor will
follow its documented support and lifecycle policies, and the maintenance frequency for SunSystems 5.4.1 will reduce accordingly.

Please see the Infor Support Operations Handbook—Lifecycle Support
Information section—and applicable Knowledge Base articles for more
information. Customers can consult this information to help them plan
the applicable upgrades in a timely manner.

SunSystems 5 patch set delivery:

Currently, SunSystems 6.1.1 and 5.4.1 receive monthly patch sets. With the release of Infor SunSystems 6.2.0 onward (currently expected for early 2014), Infor will follow its documented Lifecycle Support policy; Infor SunSystems 5.4.1 will receive emergency patches as required, and where mutually agreed, as critical.

SunSystems 5 will receive reduced maintenance updates in the future
with infrequent patch sets.

SunSystems versions

SunSystems 6.1.1 – The current release of SunSystems is 6.1.1. This
major release has been available for more than two years, and is a well-
established release of the SunSystems product. This release is
currently patched to patch set 27.

This release includes the new web user interface deployment platform,
the Infor 10x compliant capabilities, and experiences and technology.

Infor encourages you to learn more about SunSystems 6 and Infor 10x
when planning your future use of Infor SunSystems. This this has been a popular upgrade among customers.

SunSystems 6.2.0 – This next major release includes a range of
functional and technology improvements that expand the product
capabilities, as well as the extended analysis module—the first new
module since 5.1 release. It also includes a Unicode database and
business unit administration functionality that creates more flexibility and simpler implementations, with features to reduce the cost of
implementing and maintaining.

SunSystems 4 – Any organization currently running SunSystems 4, or
an earlier version, will be not be impacted by this announcement, and
maintenance and support on those versions will not be affected.

However, organizations looking to upgrade, will be required to
implement SunSystems 6
.

Next steps

As Infor ceases license sales of SunSystems 5, it is time to plan your
upgrade to SunSystems 6.

Infor actively encourages all Infor SunSystems 5 customers to
upgrade to Infor SunSystems 6. Adoption of the latest release can help
you gain the best return on investment from your Infor SunSystems
product.

Moving to a new release requires time to plan, especially for customers with multiple sites. Infor is providing you with advance notice so that you have time to make the appropriate upgrade plans.

For further details about this information or upgrading to Infor
SunSystems 6, please contact the Synergy Support desk or your Account Manager.

Synergy Software Systems Dubai- birthday of the Prophet Muhammad

January 9th, 2014

Synergy Software Systems and Deyafa Systems offices will be closed Sunday 12th January to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

There will a skeleton crew on call at our offices on Saturday

Regulatory reporting in Dubai -BRSAnalytics – the benefits

January 7th, 2014

The Regulatory Challenges
The Oxford Business Group recently issued a report that included a section entitled “Banking Reforms And Regulations To Take Centre Stage In 2014

In an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance,” IIF President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Adams discussed regulatory changes expected in 2014

http://www.iif.com/press/press+443.php

The Board of Directors of Central Bank of the UAE held its 8th meeting for the year 2013 in Abu Dhabi, under the chairmanship of Khalifa Mohammed Al Kindi, Chairman of the Board. The Board reviewed important projects currently being implemented o be completed during 2014. Development of these projects would enhance performance and ensure conformity with international standards and best practices Some of these projects:
First: In the area of banking supervision:
1- Implementation of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for individuals subject to US tax laws;
2- Some proposed regulations to be prepared, or to be reviewed during 2014 are in the area of supervision of banks and other financial institutions, such as: Outsourcing, Disaster Recovery, banks’ CEOs bonuses, Financial Statements Regulations and Regulations regarding Sharia Compliant Banking Transactions etc.
Second: In the area of Monetary Policy Instruments and Reserve Management:
Discount Window A Settlement system linked to securities custody Financial stability report.

This week the Central Bank of UAE issued regulations on licensing and monitoring of exchange business to regulate, enhance exchange business profession, support its geographical spread and facilitate the provision of exchange services throughout the UAE based on solid foundations. one clause states “That the licensed person shall provide, upon the Central Bank’s request, all data, information or statistics, at any time and for any specified period and such information shall be identical to the records of the licensed person and it shall be regarded and treated as confidential information.

From January 2015 new Basel 3 Liquidity ratios will apply and then in 2018 net stable funding ratios will come into effect. The Central Bank has deferred implementation of the announced ‘large exposure regulations” pending review with the banks.

Why do the regulatory changes matter?
New rules such as those included in; COREP, FINREP and CRD IV add to the challenge of collecting and submitting regulatory reports efficiently, accurately and on time.

Continually emerging regulations demand that banks do more to achieve compliance. This includes improving the quality of information collected and reported, and managing change as banks’ responsibilities evolve in line with developments in the regulatory framework.

Financial institutions must address:
• Increased complexity surrounding data consolidation requirements
• Pressures to introduce improved corporate governance practices
• Cleansing and auditing data for populating reports
• Reporting to the regulator within the stipulated timeframes
• Streamlining and implementing consistent calculation processes
• Managing large quantities of data
• Using data effectively for internal and external reporting
• Normalising data coming in from different data sources
• Variations in the substance and timing of regulations

Regulatory reporting solution
BRSANALYTICS for regulatory compliance takes multiple, disparate data sources into an integrated centralised data architecture. The unified web-based application, automates the process of collating statistical and supervisory reports.

Developed and supported by a team of professionals the solution embeds a unique combination of technical, legislative and financial expertise. The application offers a standard engine that has been refined over several years.

Our regulatory reporting solution seamlessly integrates with banks’ existing infrastructure to deliver a robust and straight forward to implement system. Developed with the ease-of-use mindset, BRSANALYTICS provides a clearly defined, and standardized data model that is fully scalable for regulatory compliance at either branch, or head office.

Regular checks, and updates in line with regulators’ developments computational formulas ensure a fully flexible and immediately responsive solution to new developments in the regulatory framework. This provides the ability to deliver accuracy, timeliness, quality and
efficiency in the submission of user- definable period reports that start from daily submissions.

BRSANALYTICS will free up your time at the end of the process to conduct report analysis so that any inconsistencies and errors in data gathered are identified and reconciled.

BENEFITS
Out-of-the-box country reporting packs
BRSANALYTICS provides out-of-the-box reporting
packs for specific jurisdictions. This means that once data is loaded into the system, business users can immediately generate the reports, in the specific format required by the regulator. This reduces the implementation: time, costs, and risks.

Data consistency and integrity
BRSANALYTICS ensures that data imported from
multiple data sources is consistent. To ensure a quick resolution.
the user is informed of any data anomalies with guidance on the location and type of data error. The business user can also customise the solution through additional validation rules that can be applied automatically during the upload process.

With standard pre-built interdependencies of the data source uploads, BRSANALYTICS provides business users with a logical path of source data to be uploaded. Furthermore the user is also prompted with any data subsets that may need to be recalculated following manual data nterventions to be incorporated into the data load such as adjustments.

Standard data model and centralized financial data warehouse
The standard data model covers a wide spectrum of the finance domain and banking business models. This ensures that once data is uploaded in the system, the data is automatically consolidated – irrespective of the back-end source systems. This reduces the implementation time by utilizing a proven, standard data model that is tried and tested in multiple banks. Moreover the solution is built on a robust data warehouse technology which permits the storage and consolidation of all the data, at different aggregation levels, centrally.

World-leading Business Intelligence platform
The solution is built on a sound Business Intelligence platform identified by Gartner as being the global leader in the field.
.
Tried and tested implementation methodology
The robust and flexible underlying software solution is complemented by the BRSANALYTICS standardized Professional Implementation Methodology (SPIM), which was designed from experience in implementing regulatory reporting solutions over the years. This provides a detailed, structured, and repeatable implementation process, hence ensuring project success.

Single Version of Truth
The underlying mechanism of BRSANALYTICS – to consolidate data from multiple data sources also conducts checks and validations as part of this process, thus creating a Single Version of Truth (SVOT) reporting platform for both regulatory and internal financial reporting needs.

Project Manager’s Office – best practices- free webinar

January 7th, 2014

On January 15th, KeyedIn Solutions is hosting a must-see online event: “Best Practices to Rev Up Your PPM and PMO Performance.”

Whether you are just embarking on the PPM and PMO path or have an existing PMO and PPM strategy that needs improvement, this 45-minute online event will be time wisely invested.

Please register to be our guest.

Here are just a few of the actionable insights you’ll get from our experts:

• Best Practices in Resource Management – How to Optimise the Team
• Best Practices in Operations and Metrics – How to Create Efficient Processes
• Best Practices in Automation – How to Deploy Effective Technology
• A Best Practices Example – How One Company is Doing it Right

We’ll not only cover the biggest challenges in PMO/PPM, we’ll also give you practical solutions that can transform your existing PMO to make sure you get your new PMO off to a good start.

Every strategy and tactic comes directly from successful practitioners, including a leading international company that increased the performance of their PMO in a major way.

Our goal is to give you plenty of actionable information that you can start using immediately to pick better projects and to generate more profit from your whole project portfolio.

Register and we will send you the logon instructions and calendar invite.

Even if you can’t attend the live event, register anyway and we will provide you with a link for viewing the archived session at your convenience.

We will also let you know how you can view the other videos in the series. This event is the fifth and final webinar in our complete series on PMO and PPM performance. Don’t miss out!
Please Join Us! Register now:

http://solutions.keyedin.com/KIProjectsWebinar_011514?elq=3fe65cbf687244e1a53bc49b2c927dda&elqCampaignId=

Wednesday, January 15 @ 4:00 pm (GMT), 5:00 pm (CET)

Bank Regulatory Reporting for 2014 in the G.C.C.

January 6th, 2014

Banks today have to contend with increasingly stringent regulations in various stages of development and implementation.

Furthermore, new regulations impact financial institutions at a global, regional and national level and continue to be issued at a rapid rate. Regulators want to shape a stronger financial and economic reality but this brings about a counter situation in which operational costs rise as a direct consequence of changes in the regulatory landscape.

The financial climate of this new era of banking is unarguably complex and unforgiving, and stricter regulations regarding data quality, more frequent reporting and greater aggregation of risk data, IT and operations are proving to be unwieldy to most financial institutions.

A new set of regulations are theoretically now in force for FATCA. While questions about the final regulations remain, the first important deadline for implementing system and process changes has arrived. From January 2014, FFIs who have entered into an agreement with the IRS must have adopted their procedures for opening new accounts to ensure capture of U.S. indicia. Soon screening of pre-existing relationships will also begin. Designed as a tool to counteract tax evasion, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires additional reporting requirements for all US citizens overseas. It also means substantial compliance obligations for all non-US financial institutions worldwide. Bankers say all banks in the UAE will be forced to comply as they must rely on US correspondent banks to clear dollar denominated transactions. Non compliance could invite sanctions that could include withdrawal of US dollar clearing rights with correspondent banks.

Act now, and choose proven technology to support your regulatory reporting. Synergy Software Systems a proven local specialist for more than 20 years in the implementation and support of financial and reporting solutions ensures an effective and cost-efficient path to compliance. BRSAnalytics is purpose built to address regulatory requirements with an automated pre-built data warehouse and reporting framework.

Below are listed some of its core features. Tomorrow I will highlight the benefits these bring.

Ad-hoc data drill-downs and drill-ups reporting
Following the submission of reports to the regulator, it is common to receive queries from the regulator on specific figures. The solution provides the facility to address this requirement by allowing easy-to-use data-drilling and ad hoc analytics.

Support and audit of full reporting cycle
The solution provides a single environment from which the business user can manage the full reporting cycle; from data loading, to data checking and validations, from data querying, to report generation and report submission. Moreover, the solution keeps track of and also audits all historic activities.

Customisable engine and reporting
The core engine of the solution allows business users to customise and add business rules to the underlying calculations without any programming interventions. Furthermore, the reporting layer allows changes or additions to the reports, both in terms of content as well as layout. System authorised personnel, such as power users, may also assign the rights to modify reference data mappings. This increases flexibility and prevents changes being either overlooked or forgotten.

Standard data interface layer
The solution provides a standard data interface that clearly defines the data fields and file formats required by the solution to produce the regulatory reports. This facilitates the implementation of the solution by keeping an abstracted layer from any back-end source systems.

Supports XBRL submission format
Over 30 regulators across the world have mandated XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) as the required electronic reporting format. The primary driver for XBRL adoption is the provision of a systematic reporting framework in which institutions domiciled in different countries may easily be compared. BRSANALYTICS has been developed so that it can be easily extended to support this format (with COREP and FINREP reports bearing over 35,000 data points. Source: EBA), thus satisfying the reporting requirements of such jurisdictions.

Consolidated group reporting
Consolidated reporting requirements of bank subsidiaries vary depending on the country in which they operate. Group reporting of multi-regional banks to head offices is made possible through BRSANALYTICS. The solution provides different reporting views of data as a result of the multiple Chart of Accounts hierarchies that can be structured within the application. This provides easy reporting configurations, be it for internal, subsidiary and/or the group.

Security lapses already in 2014 – useful infographic

January 5th, 2014

Three days ago, Snapchat released a response to security professionals at Gibson Security who claimed numerous exploits of the app’s API.
Snapshot replied they had implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do.

Those safeguards weren’t enough. A team of hackers posted 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers of Snapchat users as a downloadable just before midnight on Tuesday. The data is partially obfuscated by blurring the last two digits of each user’s phone number. The anonymous hackers hinted that they might turn over the raw data to the ‘right party’.

On New Year’s Eve it was reported that the USA’s National Security Agency hacked into SEA-Me-We-4, a subsea cable system that connects Europe to Asia via the Middle East and North Africa, according to documents seen by German news site, Spiegel Online International. The documents, part of the haul of information leaked by computer analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, reveal that the NSA’s dedicated hacking unit, the TAO (Tailored Access Operations) “successfully collected network management information for the SEA-Me-We Undersea Cable Systems (SMW-4)” on February 13, 2013.

FoxIT, reported on its blog that a number of its clients had encountered infections on or before 3 January after they visited yahoo.com. “Based on a sample of traffic we estimate the number of visits to the malicious site to be around 300,000 per hour,” FoxIT claimed on its blog.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group of hackers that supports the Syrian government, has claimed credit for hacking Skype’s official blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds last Wednesday.The group claimed that the attack on Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, was in retaliation for Microsoft’s alleged involvement in spying by the US National Security Agency.

Not a good start to 2014 for security for one last year’s hot apps.

At the end of 2013 Reuters reported that a hacker secretly took over a computer server at the BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster, and then launched a Christmas Day campaign to convince other cyber criminals to pay him for access to the system. The BBC’s security team responded to the issue last Saturday and believes it has secured the site. A BBC spokesman helpfully stated “We do not comment on security issues,” .

So you might like to take a look at this infographic from Deloitte.

http://www.cloudtweaks.com/2014/01/cloud-infographic-security-breaches/

Successful Dynamics Ax projects – Dubai-Synergy Software Systems

January 4th, 2014

The last quarter proved to be very busy for Dynamics Ax projects with go lives for several companies.

Bayara (Gyma) was the first go live of 2014 on 2 January 2014 with core supply chain, production and finance in just over 3 months. In the first 2 days alone there were over 1,500 transactions created by end users. Here is the first invoice:

Happy New Year from Synergy Software Systems Dubai

January 1st, 2014


Dubai ushered in the new year with a fireworks spectacle that smashed the world record for the largest fireworks show ever and lit up the coastline with a flying falcon made out of fireworks that moved across the ‘Palm’ and the ‘World’ alongside a countdown in fireworks.

Before this spectacular main course there were other superb opening displays at the Burj Khalifa , the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis hotel .

Over 500,000 fireworks were used during the main display which lasted around six minutes, with Guinness World Records adjudicators on hand.

US firm Fireworks by Grucci designed the display, and used 100 computers and 200 technicians to synchronise the pyrotechnics at a reported cost of around $6 million (AED 22m).

We wish all our readers seasonal greetings and best wishes for the year ahead.