The mechanism for the electronic submission of annual returns for funds licensed, registered and administered in the Cayman Islands is now in place. With it, electronic reporting for all funds regulated under Cayman's Mutual Funds Law has begun.
Following successful industry testing, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has released on its website the electronic Fund Annual Return (FAR) form and has opened the internet portal through which funds' local auditors will submit the required returns.
Related guidance notes have also been released. The FAR and each fund's audited accounts are to be submitted to CIMA through the local auditors within six months of the fund's financial year-end, beginning with those funds that have a year-end date on or after 27 December 2006.
CIMA has been developing the electronic reporting initiative for funds for several months, with assistance from its retained business advisor Ernst & Young and with input from the funds industry. The Authority expects the initiative to facilitate more efficient collection and processing of returns from the over 8,300 funds it now oversees.
"The implementation of this E-reporting system marks a new era for
Cayman's funds industry," commented CIMA's Managing Director, Mrs. Cindy
Scotland. "Not only will we be able to more efficiently handle the audited accounts that are submitted but we will be in a position to provide better aggregate industry statistics than we have been able to provide so far. This will benefit all stakeholders."
Mrs. Scotland pointed out that accurate information of this kind has been difficult to ascertain within the funds industry on a global basis. "Because the Cayman Islands is the domicile for a majority of the world's offshore hedge funds, we believe CIMA's E-reporting system will be able to improve the reliability and quality of aggregate fund industry statistics globally," she said.
CIMA contracted the UK-based software company DecisionSoft Limited, a leading supplier of XBRL tools and systems, to implement the data validation and processing engine on which the FAR and auditor portal run. (XBRL - Extensible Business Reporting Language - is the emerging electronic standard for reporting business and financial data.)
Head of Investments and Securities, Mrs. Yolanda McCoy, said: "This has been a significant undertaking for CIMA. We are extremely grateful for the invaluable contribution of former Head of Investments and Securities Gary Linford, members of the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants (CISPA), the Cayman Islands Fund Administrators Association (CIFAA) and local law firms for their assistance and feedback on development and testing of the FAR, its guidance notes and the auditor internet portal."
The FAR (which is the same form that was referred to as the Key Data Elements form during the project's development) and its guidance notes may be accessed on CIMA's website at http://www.cimoney.com.ky/ereporting . The legislation implementing E-reporting for funds, the Mutual Funds (Annual Returns) Regulations 2006, was passed on 27 December 2006.