IRIS iConnect® is a financial analysis and analytics tool from the stables of IRIS CARBON®, a highly sought-after digital reporting solution that simplifies the work of compliance teams worldwide. IRIS iConnect® provides users access to the IRIS XBRL data repository, where historical financial information in a machine-readable format is available at a click. Compliance teams and financial analysts can benefit from the rich source of decision-useful information that the tool makes available at a low cost.
We are making IRIS iConnect® available to our clients in the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, South Africa, and India. In these geographies, we help companies to comply with multiple regulatory mandates and file high-quality machine-readable information to the respective regulators. IRIS iConnect® clients in these regions and elsewhere can access a rich and endless stream of data that feeds insights into the business ecosystem.
In this article, we discuss five ways in which IRIS iConnect® can fulfill your business information needs and enhance your decision-making process. Read on:
Finance Teams can Access High-Quality Granular Data
The eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) supports a financial data transmission format that is easy to access, compare, and analyze. Ever since companies in the US, UK, and elsewhere started filing financial reports in XBRL, regulators, analysts, investors, and other stakeholders have had access to high-quality machine-readable information that can be sliced and diced in numerous ways. Over time, a rich source of historical XBRL data has been created. Finance teams and financial analysts can harness this data to assess an organization’s current position and potential future performance with a high degree of accuracy. IRIS iConnect®, which works through an MS Excel plugin, offers your teams the right platform to start off with.
To provide you with an example of how XBRL data can enhance decision-making, here is a case study. China’s Hubei Sales Company (HSC), a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), used XBRL to grow its oil sales from 6,300 Tonnes to 3.51 million Tonnes in a span of 18 years and gain a one-third market share.
HSC undertook a massive promotional marketing initiative to achieve its aims – the value of which is difficult to evaluate. However, the contribution of XBRL is quantifiable. To start with, HSC standardized its internal and external data using XBRL. The data was collected and sorted, with real elements identified and tagged, to create a structured directory. The organization then built a management accounting system that used big data to process the XBRL data.
The Tool makes Financial Planning and Analysis Efficient
Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) feed on data. Large volumes of structured data are ideal for FP&A activity as they lend themselves more easily to sorting and analysis through the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. IRIS iConnect® offers easy integration with various modules of the IRIS CARBON® product suite, such as Disclosure Management and XBRL reporting. Data pulled in from IRIS iConnect® can also be used across platforms that provide interoperability under XBRL International specifications. Finance teams can either access IRIS iConnect® from within their IRIS CARBON® module or use data from the analytics tool on a separate system. The results will be the same either way.
Each activity involved in FP&A – budgeting, financial planning, performance reporting, and forecasting – has its specific data requirement. Since the XBRL format makes every line item in companies’ financial statements discoverable due to machine-readability, an XBRL-driven analytics solution provides data sets that serve every specific purpose. Therefore, all conceivable forms of analysis are achievable for users of IRIS iConnect®. Companies can also perform peer benchmarking using their competitors’ XBRL data. Comparability is a crucial benefit of XBRL, with most entities in geographies such as the US, EU, and the UK filing financial information in the machine-readable format.
For more information, read our blog about the use cases of financial reporting analytics for CFOs here.
Enhanced Compliance and Stakeholder Communication
Financial reporting analysis is concerned with improving business processes and enhancing an organization’s disclosures. For the external environment to perceive an organization as working in the interest of various stakeholders, financial reporting teams must adopt specific and voluntary communication. Structured financial data in XBRL format helps organizations achieve this by making business disclosures machine-readable, comparable, and highly transparent. However, organizations must aim for more than just transparency. And this is where IRIS iConnect® can help.
Our tool helps users take the utility of XBRL data a level up. Through a more detailed analysis of financial (and non-financial) processes, users of IRIS iConnect® can improve how they communicate value to various stakeholders. By building on the primary data hygiene that XBRL facilitates, users can bring insights of a higher quality to organizations’ internal and external audiences. Voluntary and transparent insights backed by Big Data analysis are bound to be more readily accepted by business stakeholders and create favourable conditions for the growth of an organization.
Also read our blog about the top financial analytics software for improved business decisions here.
The Tool Provides Efficiencies on Multiple Fronts/Levels
IRIS iConnect® offers users as much value as any top-of-the-line financial analysis solution at a fraction of that cost. Access to the tool is simple – through an Office 365-based MS Excel add-in. Data gathering need not be a painstaking process anymore, with finance teams and analysts able to access and extract the data they need in a few clicks. Moreover, IRIS iConnect® is compatible across systems: MS Office for Windows, Mac, or Office Online – you name it. Since the tool provides financial data in real-time, users can save themselves the need to update their data multiple times.
IRIS iConnect® also offers greater ease of use as it comes with the spreadsheet interface with which financial reporting teams and analysts are most familiar. Since the tool extracts data across the financial reporting ecosystem, it facilitates peer-to-peer comparison of critical business data, leading to improved processes. Moreover, the tool allows users to download their desired data in a model of their choice. IRIS iConnect® streamlines financial analysis by offering users a convenient way to query, extract, and evaluate the available data.
You can Build a Modern and Future Proof Finance Team
Finance teams today have a role that goes far beyond the quarterly and annual financial close or ensuring the optimal use of the resources of a business. Advanced software solutions have taken mundane and manual tasks off the shoulders of finance teams which can now spend more time analyzing how operations can be made more efficient. Financial analysis and analytics solutions come in handy for such decisions, and IRIS iConnect® is a powerful tool for finance teams to have in their arsenal. It can help modernize financial operations by creating the right conditions for budgeting, financial planning, and forecasting with vast amounts of decision-useful data.
IRIS iConnect® sources XBRL data from the US SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) portal, and India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal. Soon, the tool will source data from across the EU via the European Single Access Point (ESAP) – a portal that will provide access to corporate financial and non-financial information. As global companies begin to file sustainability information in the digital XBRL format, IRIS iConnect® will supply users with a whole new stream of material information that will guide their decisions.