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SEC’s XBRL Mandate for IFRS Companies – Move Forward Confidently

| October 19, 2017

Merrill Corporation has the pleasure to welcome Bartek Czajka, the previous IFRS Taxonomy leader at the IFRS Foundation, to its industry-leading team of experts. He joins Merrill to provide IFRS companies with an unprecedented level of XBRL expertise – the crucial expertise needed to confidently move forward with SEC XBRL filings.

Bartek was instrumental in the publication of the latest IFRS Taxonomy. Having spent seven years working at the IFRS Foundation and participating in the creation of new and amended IFRS Standards, he has a deep understanding of the accounting standards themselves. Bartek knows what is expected of businesses to ensure they prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS Standards and correctly tag them for SEC purposes using the IFRS Taxonomy.

The time to act on the SEC mandate is now! On March 1, 2017, the SEC announced that IFRS companies must file their financial statements using XBRL. The mandate starts with annual reports for fiscal periods ending on or after December 15, 2017.

What are the Challenges?

The SEC mandate means communicating financials in a new, innovative format. Proper creation of this format requires experience with the creation, review and filing of XBRL documents. It requires sufficient knowledge of the IFRS Taxonomy, the SEC rules, the XBRL structures and the nuances of IFRS accounting disclosures. Finding this unique combination of skills in one individual or even in one team is rare.

Aware of the challenges, Merrill added Bartek to its XBRL team. No one knows the IFRS Taxonomy better. Bartek provides companies with the right answers, at the right time - to create XBRL the right way.

As Merrill’s Director of XBRL Consulting Services, Bartek proudly joins Merrill’s already unparalleled line-up of IFRS XBRL experts. This talented team continues to simplify the complexities of XBRL and lead the way with proper and consistent tagging. Current clients of Merrill are excited about the addition of Bartek. And future clients will benefit significantly too.

According to Bartek, “The first few years of XBRL filing are usually the toughest. Filers not only have to use an unfamiliar XBRL taxonomy, but also need to make correct tagging and structuring choices.  The experience can be challenging and time-consuming. To avoid falling foul of the SEC tagging requirements, it’s important to have the right expertise involved, whether internal or external. It is clear to me that Merrill has an unparalleled level of expertise to help clients properly tag and file the XBRL, not only effectively, but efficiently.”

What are the Risks?

Sub-standard XBRL results in XBRL-formatted financials that erroneously provide different information than the traditional paper-based financials. This creates significant risk in several areas:

  1. SEC use of XBRL. With new software in place, the SEC has greatly intensified its use of XBRL filings.
  2. Reputational Risk. XBRL is widely used in the marketplace. Analysts, aggregators and the media now identify and comment on XBRL errors.
  3. Legal Liability. XBRL financial statements carry the same weight of liability as the traditional paper-based financials. XBRL errors impact legal liability.

The Unmatched Experience of Merrill’s XBRL Team

Bartek said, “Merrill has been committed to IFRS XBRL for many years - not just this year due to the new SEC mandate. From 2011 to the present, Merrill has been involved as an active member of the IFRS Foundation’s taxonomy advisory groups. And for several years prior to the mandate, Merrill has collaborated with many IFRS companies to create SEC XBRL. Merrill’s XBRL team continues to lead the way for SEC IFRS filings, and I am excited to be a part of that.”

Merrill’s team is unique. It’s the only team with the top expertise to help companies prepare and understand XBRL properly. The team provides what matters most for SEC IFRS companies – the experience and knowledge of the IFRS Taxonomy, the SEC rules, the XBRL structures and the IFRS disclosures. Merrill understands the financials and how to properly apply XBRL to them.

Move Forward Confidently

Merrill approaches the quality of XBRL with the seriousness it deserves. The addition of Bartek brings an even higher level of expertise to Merrill’s team - making it an ideal time for businesses to join Merrill in getting XBRL right.

Contact Merrill to move forward confidently. Put the expertise on your side.

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