IBK built an IFRS closure system in 2009. While carrying out internal consolidation, IBK has attained an increase in the quantity of accounting data over a broad range, thanks to the introduction of IFRS. The bank has also come to understand
the many troubles which exist in generating internal and external reports such as FSS reports and individual or consolidated financial statements, because the person in charge has to extract, analyse, and process all data manually. IBK has considered how to
enhance work efficiency in accounting and simultaneously share related data in an efficient manner. The solution to the problem was found with the BI Portal. By grafting the BI technology onto the IFRS closure system, IBK is now able to make a range of formal
and informal reports with ease, have centralized management, and share the accounting knowledge and data generated via BI.
IBK is a government-affiliated bank established in 1961. IBK is a reliable partner of small and medium sized businesses in Korea. The bank operates 568 branches across the country and employs 7,296 people as of June 2011. IBK started a new website in 2011called
the ‘Accounting Portal’. The portal soon generated a substantial buzz in the industry, by proposing a means to greatly boost productivity via the IFRS which became mandatory in 2011.
Many businesses have been busy since the second half of 2000 getting ready for the IFRS compulsory in 2011. IBK took pre-emptive action beginning in 2009, to be ready for the change by building up a closure system to support IFRS consolidation and carrying
out working-level training to improve IFRS expertise. Despite full preparation for this new undertaking, IBK learned that it needed to improve its countermeasures in running the IFRS closure system.
IFRS has more evaluation areas than the existing K-GAAP (Korean Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and thus the amount of data to handle is greater. Hence, a great amount of work has to be prepared manually to make external submission reports such
as FSS reports, individual and consolidated financial statements, and data for audit, inspection, or internal reporting.
IBK dealt with requests for a range of internal and external accounting data with a small number of people while operating the IFRS closing system. The key problem that emerged was that staff had to handle most work manually to prepare the formal and informal
Concerning this issue, an IBK official said, “People manage financial statements or account code data consolidated through a number of systems in Excel form in order to prepare various reports. The data and reports were collected over a long period of time
through a painful work-process and stored on individual PCs, raising a potential security issue and inefficient sharing of data.”
IBK concluded that although the IFRS closure system was built with a large investment, it might not make the best use it unless the work process became automated and data sharing became more efficient and smooth. As a result, IBK began planning a new project
for the second half of 2010.
The initial plan set up at the end of 2010 did not aim to build up a portal. The scope of the project was rather to attain the automated generation of financial analysis reports and multidimensional analysis.
The plan was meant to create a BI environment at the financial and accounting report level, rather than a portal. Intra-teams user feedback was positive concerning the establishment of a BI platform, and requests for sharing and making reports increased
among many teams. IBK concluded that these requests could be accepted, and even extended via the existing BI system and decided to develop an accounting portal as its second task.
BI platform establishment began at the end of 2010 with a four month schedule. The IBK System and Microsoft Korea BI Partner Zalesia participated in the project with the goal to build a collaboration-oriented BI platform by connecting SQL Server 2008 R2
and SharePoint Server 2010. The system was designed and developed to extract data from the IFRS closure system and create a data mart, with a user then able to use the data via Excel or on the team’s web page, a feat achieved using SharePoint Server.
Zalesia formed ETL and a data mart using SQL Server 2008 R2 Integration Services and Analysis Services to achieve this. Cube processing was designed to run in parallel to secure the capabilities of OLAP. Building up the BI platform framework was followed
by design of a user zone. The user zone was designed to allow the posting and sharing of reports on the web via the SharePoint Excel Service feature.
The system was also designed to use Silverlight to insert tables into a range of formal reports which can post on web sites, considering that a range of formal reports use tables. It also set up a SSO (Single Sign On) system based on Active Directory to
share all data and report types stored in PCs, on the web. It can also maintain data security of a certain level. In so doing, differential access to original data and reports according to user rights were enabled.
IBK made a request to build an accounting portal site when system development was almost complete. IBK decided to adopt this system for the BI platform for accounting report automation and establish a portal including a specialized accounting system. This
was also an extension of the existing BI platform into a BI portal.
IBK Systems and Zalesia took on this project as well. The completed platform primarily brought data from the IFRS closure system. The new portal has the ability to share accounting rules, IFRS standard data, and financial data. It also added tax adjustment
and earnings management data.
It has become a true portal with an improved menu including BI capabilities, IFRS standards modification, work-related case studies and supervisor inquiries. The portal also assists in promoting knowledge of advanced accounting by providing training materials
such as IFRS training videos. It took two months to convert the existing BI platform into a portal. Despite the short deadline, IBK Systems and Zalesia built a portal enabling the analysis and sharing of company-wide financial and accounting data beyond the
Automated generation of a range of reports, including FSS reports
As soon as the BI accounting portal began operations, site users all confirm that the time required to generate reports has shortened. IFRS is a big challenge to the accounting team. The accounting data they need to deal with has increased enormously, beyond
comparison with K-GAAP. Additionally, the structure, format, items, and indicators are all unfamiliar and new to learn.
While the IFRS closure system addresses some of the challenges faced, it cannot solve all data extraction problems across a range of operating systems, and the processing and analyzing of such to submit relevant data for closure and auditing.
IBK has resolved this difficult problem with its BI accounting portal, which has enhanced work productivity of those doing the job. An IBK official said, “Let’s take one example of a monthly FSS report. It used to take three days on average to collect the
data and to generate a report. Now, it can be done in just a few hours. We no longer have to worry about errors made by the person in charge.”
Generate a report format without a IT team support
The accounting BI portal beneficiaries are not only the users in charge of the job, but also the IT team. Users previously needed to ask the IT team for support when needing to change formats for a variety of internal and external reports. As the users could
not access the operating data, they couldn’t even make a simple format change. The problem is exacerbated by the great number of internal and external factors that can require a change in format. Some examples include modification to IFRS standards, and changes
to internal account codes. The IT and other teams had to then make and answer frequent unexpected requests.
The opening of the BI accounting portal enabled users to pivot to make an informal report format, and analyze data without requiring IT support. Any persons knowledgeable in Excel can now handle the process of generating a new format.
Strengthening accounting data management and control
The BI accounting portal is an important opportunity for IBK to organize its management system for financial information and data at a company level, because all formal and informal reports and relevant data formerly stored on PCs can now be consolidated
on the BI portal. An IBK official said, “The BI portal allowed us to share accounting information and data transparently across the company. This data used to be stored on PC only or in a shared folder within a team. It now allows us to make strict management
of user authority for each and every report, as it is SSO-based.”
Another benefit is that the role and responsibility of each team have been more clearly defined, and are managed according to the electronic approval process. Generation, submission and collection of internal and external accounting reports at IBK are processed
in accordance with the e-approval process as of 2011. The person in charge no longer needs to check by phone or email whether or not materials have been made and collected now that the work process is automated under the authority and role of each team and
person in charge.
A foothold preparing to consolidate all accounting standardized at a company level
The accounting BI portal is optimized for accounting in the short term, but is flexible enough to extend to similar work in the mid to long term. One IBK System official said with regard to this, “It is possible to scale the existing BI portal, as it has
standardized infrastructure and capabilities. We do not need to rebuild it from scratch as before, even where the work areas differ. It is more like the PaaS service, in that we can use the BI portal as a standardized platform to extend to other areas.”
IBK has extended its newly completed accounting BI portal to cover similar work areas such as earnings management and taxes. It is currently reviewing the possibility of extending the portal to its affiliates.
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