On March 1, 2017 the U.S. SEC published the IFRS Taxonomy on its website and, consequently, launched a mandate for IFRS companies to submit XBRL files for periodic financial reporting. This XBRL requirement will be mandatory for IFRS financial statements with fiscal periods ending on or after December 15, 2017.
What does this mean for SEC Foreign Private Issuers that prepare IFRS financial statements?
The SEC mandate means the finance function will need to understand the SEC’s XBRL rules and requirements and apply this knowledge to its financial statements. SEC Forms 20-F and 40-F (and some 6-Ks) will require XBRL tags to be applied to each amount in the financial statements, including all of the detailed amounts in the notes to the financial statements.
While initially this will consist of extra work for the external financial reporting group, the richness of the computer-readable XBRL-tagged financial data will round out the SEC's 2009 rule seeking to create a rich depository of computer-readable structured financial data that is available to the public.
IFRS XBRL is one of my passions. I’ve been an active member of the International Accounting Standards Board’s IFRS Taxonomy Consultative Group and its predecessor, the XBRL Quality Review Team, for several years. Along with my colleagues at Merrill, I’ve prepared XBRL for many IFRS companies that wanted to get ahead of the SEC mandate. Now that XBRL is required for IFRS filings, I’m glad to be leading the charge to help all companies do this properly. For more information see my blogs regarding the SEC's IFRS XBRL mandate. "SEC Is Reviewing IFRS Taxonomy" and blog "XBRL for IFRS companies - AICPA PCAOB Conference"
Getting it right!
Companies should start now to understand what’s involved. Advance preparation and knowing the complexities is vital to "getting it right". I’m interested in your questions, from simple to complex, and glad to provide more information. Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn and join the conversation. I'm looking forward to hearing from all concerned individuals and helping each one of you confidently move forward with this new requirement.