Thursday, March 4, 2010

SEC Adds New XBRL FAQs In Advance Of March 23 Seminar

Earlier today, the SEC posted six new items (Q. 36-41) to its Staff Interpretations and FAQs Related to Interactive Disclosure (XBRL). The posting of the new FAQs today comes in advance of the SEC's March 23 public seminar on XBRL, announced recently by the SEC.

The March 23 seminar will take place at SEC's Washington, DC headquarters, is aimed at helping companies and preparers comply with rules that require financial reports to be filed using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

Additionally, as noted in the SEC's press release about the March 23 XBRL seminar, “The seminar will help answer frequently asked questions about the rules and technology requirements. SEC staff will present information to help corporate filers understand how to comply with the rules." Companies are encouraged to email questions to the SEC’s Office of Interactive Disclosure (OID) in advance of the program. Details on how to send questions to OID, and additional details on the March 23 program, can be found in thes SEC's press release. The event will also be webcast on www.sec.gov .

IASCF Seeks Comment On Proposed IFRS Taxonomy 2010
Separately, the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation released for public comment an exposure draft of the International Financial Reporting Standards Taxonomy 2010 (IFRS Taxonomy 2010). According to the IASCF’s press release, the proposed taxonomy is consistent with IFRSs (full IFRS) and IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs).

Bill Sinnett, Director of Research at the Financial Executives Research Foundation, and I recently spoke with Olivier Servais, the IASCF's XBRL Team Leader for more insights into the IASCF's announcement and how it may relate to the development of XBRL in the U.S.

Servais explained: "The IFRS taxonomy is updated each year in light of the new IASB standards issued in the previous year." An additional important advance for in the 2010 IFRS XBRL Taxonomy, said Servais, is that its 'architecture' has been aligned with other GAAP taxonomies used around the world. "This architectural alignment will enabled companies and their investors to more easily use, compare, contrast disclosure concepts from the IFRS and US GAAP Taxonomies," he added.

I asked Servais if XBRL is part of the IASB-FASB Memorandum of Understanding (regarding convergence); he replied it is not, and while he did not want to opine on convergence - or on the propects for any ultimate action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to permit IFRS by U.S. filers [note: Sinnett and I spoke with Servais last week, prior to the SEC's announcement of the Commission Statement on Global Accounting Standards, see related posts here, here and here], he did say that, "I am pleased the development of XBRL in the U.S. is now part of the FAF (Financial Accounting Foundation), since they have a similar accounting standards perspective and function as the IASCF." (See our earlier post, SEC Approves FASB Support Fee; FAF To Maintain XBRL.)

The comment period on the IASCF’s proposed IFRS Taxonomy 2010 ends April 22. Further information can be found in the IASCF’s press release.

Additional resources on XBRL
Here are some additional resources on XBRL:

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