CFO GUEST:: Alison Staloch of Fundrise
Staloch: At the SEC, I remember, you know, we were we were starting to build out our data aggregation tools as an organization primarily as a way to streamline risk identification for our examinations or analytics teams, or, you know, for use in reporting metrics and our economic analyses in different rulemakings. Or for kind of broad, high level real time understanding of changes going on in the industry. And that was obviously, incredibly useful. Got a lot of value out of that, but, but we were starting to see much more accessible data on on a lot of things. And this included the portfolio of registrants and their data that my office was assigned to review.Read More
So a portion of my team, our disclosure, were disclosure, review accountants, and under the Sarbanes Oxley act, regulators are required to review the financial statements of every issue, or every three years. So my team for my team, that usually meant a rotating list of about 5000 financial statements that they had to review every year. And that is mandated review. But we always wanted to be able to utilize all of that review time and expertise on the team to be more risk based in our work. And so as my team started to play with the data, and I had a branch chief on the team, Jacob, who is particularly interested in data and was, you know, kind of getting his master’s in data analytics on the side. So, you know, really, really engaged there. And he started to show me what what he was able to see. And we realized, wow, we could we could use this data to predict where there might be a higher risk and a review, you know, things as simple as you know, a new service provider kind of popping onto the scene. We’ve never seen this service provider used in this context. And does that mean that there will be new compliance risks or, you know, financial reporting, or fund accounting risks that we should be looking at. And so we could use it to kind of, you know, when warranted, initiate a more targeted review of a subset of issuers, where we think there’s reason for concern, but we could also use it in kind of like pre identifying the risks that might exist for review, that was that was about to happen. And I think this results in a pretty significant change in the way we thought about completing that mandate, and ultimately allowed us to use our time more efficiently and effectively. And I think the the lesson that that that kind of taught me is that, you know, the obvious use of a tool or some data set may not be the only one. And so making sure you’re you’re kind of thinking about the data that you’re that you’re receiving and not just in the context of what you intended to use it for, but what it might also be used for.
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