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New software will reduce steps taken by firms to transmit financial statements
NFA is collaborating on a system that will make it easier for FCMs and IBs to file their required financial statements. The new software-based system, called WinJammer IV, will allow firms to transmit their statements to any entity able to accept the filing via e-mail in one step.
The current WinJammer IV software is a cooperative effort between NFA, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
"In the spirit of cooperation and to provide consistency throughout the industry, NFA felt it would be in the industry's best interest to support a single filing standard for all Member firms," says Robert Krewer, Associate Director of Compliance. "We wanted to use a system that was more uniform for Members, so they wouldn't have to send two different sets of filings to NFA and the CFTC."
Under the current system, firms receive a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet via e-mail each month, fill it out, and e-mail it back to NFA. The firm must have a relatively recent version of Excel and an Internet e-mail account to complete the process. Winjammer IV does not require Excel; it includes all the necessary calculation capability within its software. Each statement is stored within WinJammer IV, which means that NFA doesn't need to send firms a fresh copy every month. Updates to the software will be available for downloading from NFA's web site.
"Electronic filing is more cost-effective and less labor-intensive for everyone involved because the system eliminates the need for data entry and paper filing," says Erin Mattes, a Compliance Team Manager.
The initial version of the software developed by the CME and CBT was only able to accept FOCUS II and 1FR-FCM filings. The new version will accept those filings, as well as forms 1FR-IB and FOCUS IIA. The new system is also being designed to accept other financial filings which aren't standard forms.
Mattes says that currently, some firms file electronically using the iNFAst system, but there are still a number of them that don't. "NFA expects the majority of FCMs and IBs will be taking advantage of WinJammer IV at some point in the near future."
NFA will provide an instruction page for Members with the software and technical support for using the software. Details on the software and other issues related to WinJammer IV will be distributed to NFA Members in the coming months.