Wednesday, September 21, 2016

IFRS Foundation Releases Common Practice Guide.

Last month, the IFRS Foundation released a guide to the common practice content to the IFRS Taxonomy. The guide is directed to help users and those who comment on the taxonomy updates to gain a better understanding of the nature of that content and the objectives of the periodic updates. This guide is of particular interest to Canadian companies and organizations that may have to use the IFRS Taxonomy and are monitoring its developing content.

The Guide to Common Practice Content helps readers make informed contributions to the IFRS Taxonomy consultation process. The guide clarifies:

  • IFRS Taxonomy common practice content;
  • why the IFRS Taxonomy includes common practice content;
  • the process followed to identify common practice elements; and
  • the criteria used to propose identified common practice elements for inclusion in the IFRS Taxonomy.
The guide can be obtained at this link.

Monday, September 19, 2016

SBR Savings in Australia expected to exceed 1 Billion

The latest figures issued by the Australian Tax Office show that savings to government and business are expected to reach 1.1 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year. This exceeds the budgeted amount of $800 million for the same period. A real success story for other governments to consider. For more, click this link.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Data Coalition Recommends Structured Data to the SEC

The Data Coalition has recently released a report in which it recommends to the SEC that structured data be used for all of its filings. The Coalition points out that a system of disclosure has evolved under existing legislation and under a paper regime in which numerous documents are required to be filed by registrants. This is inefficient and involves much duplication. It points out that these documents are formatted with the presumption that they will be printed and read on paper, while most users read and analyze them in digital format.

This approach is consistent with the concept of standardized Business Reporting (SBR) with which governments can save large amounts of money by requiring filings using structured data rather than paper based forms.

Friday, July 29, 2016

New XBRL Canada Website

XBRL Canada has launched a new website that features more up-to-date news (in handy carousel format) as well as more on upcoming and recent events and blog entries. The site is attractive and consistent with the overall image of XBRL International. The site also ties more closely with the International site. The new site will be a much improved source of current information about the impressive and continuing growth of XBRL in business and financial reporting and filing. Check it out at

Friday, June 10, 2016

Newsletter for June 2016

Canadian XBRL Perspectives
Advanced Data Management - From XBRL Canada

June 2016
Up-to-date News and Information on XBRL as it affects Canada


Section 1  XBRL Around the World  

The use of XBRL continues to grow around the world. Here are a few key applications.
Companies House (the UK Business Registrar) posts account data from over 1.5M firms. The data is updated on a daily basis in both XBRL and iXBRL formats and is available for free. The US SEC makes financial statements from over 9,000 companies available in quarterly XBRL data sets dating back to 2009 at no cost. The German business registry collects financial data from over 1M firms though various channels, which is converted to XBRL and published each year in the Bundesanzeiger. Erhvervsstyrelsen, the Danish Business Authority, makes financial and other data from over 200,000 firms freely available online.
South Korea's online DART system has over 58,000 XBRL entries from both private and public companies dating back to 2007 available to download in XLS format. Japan's EDINET (Electronic Disclosure for Investors Network) platform allows the retrieval of financial statements in XBRL from over 9000 firms.
Colegio de Registradores (the Spanish Business Registrar) collects and distributes information on over 800,000 firms, and also provides detailed statistical information and credit reporting on SMEs. Citizens of Singapore can purchase information on over 60,000 firms from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority though the agency's BizFile online portal. And Japan's EDINET (Electronic Disclosure for Investors Network) platform allows the retrieval of financial statements in XBRL from over 9000 firms.
That’s quite a record!

Section 2   US Open Government

A committee of the US Senate has advanced legislation called S. 2852, the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, that will mandate all public federal information in the US be presented in searchable formats and be made freely available for everyone to use. Corporate data collected by the US government like financial statement data from the SEC and some banking information from the FDIC are already of course available through existing XBRL initiatives, and the DATA Act, currently in implementation, covers government spending,
The key to S. 2852 is in Article 5, which states that government data should “be published as machine-readable data … in an open format, and …. under open licenses.” This not only addresses the need for structured data but the issue of government using proprietary systems that have the effect of restricting access to data. This is a very preliminary first step but an important development. Learn more. (From 

 Section 3   Taxonomy Update

The XBRL Canada Taxonomy Group recently conducted a review of the IFRS taxonomy from the viewpoint of whether it fully meets the needs of Canadian Banks. Based on a preliminary review, several items were identified in the financial statements of the banks that are not clearly covered in the taxonomy. The working group will be discussing this further with the IFRS Taxonomy Group and the banks.
The working group is interested in reviewing the IFRS taxonomy from the viewpoint of several Canadian industries. When it becomes a required part of Canadian financial reporting, the taxonomy will be ready for action.


1.    XBRL US hosted a free half-day day forum on 4 April in New York City to help people understand and plan ahead for the changes that blockchain and smart contract technology will present for financial markets. Panel discussions covered blockchain and smart contract fundamentals, public versus private alternatives, the pros and cons of XBRL use in smart contracts, and other topics. More sessions are planned. Check the website for XBRL.US.
2.    Data Amplified 2016 - 8th November, 2016
Set your sights on Singapore for the 2016 XBRL International Conference. 8-10 November 2016.

XBRL Canada
Supported and administered by
The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
277 Wellington St W
Toronto, Ont
Newsletter Editor
Gerald Trites, FCA

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Better Financial and Business Disclosure Needed for the Digital Age

A recent article by Mike Willis, of the SEC, formerly of PWC, is remarkable in its insight and relevance. Mr Willis points out that the current disclosures are outdated and rooted in the paper age. He suggest a program of "investor testing" to see what information they want in order to make decisions. He points out that we need to broaden our concept of what disclosures are needed by investors.

Mr Willis also argues that the digital age calls for digital data to be made available, not paper based information. It calls for the use of structured data for delivering this data. It also requires a significant revision of Edgar in order to maximise the usefulness of the digital data that is required.

An important mention in the article is that of smartphones, which are now widely used for internet apps and are very useful for reading and analyzing data. But the right data needs to be available ,and in a format that can easily be analyzed.

If Edgar and the disclosure system needs revision, the SEDAR system in Canada needs it even more. There, financial reports are filed in pdf form, which offer no opportunity for analysis of data. Data can only be accessed when the data from the pdf is re-input into a separate tool. That is inefficient and unfair to investors who should be able to get the information they need in usable form - even on smartphones.

For Mr Willis' article, click this link.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The IASB has published Update 1 to the 2016 IFRS Taxonomy

This update incorporates the IFRS Taxonomy elements for the Disclosure Initiative (Amendments to IAS 7). The Taxonomy changes resulting from this Update are final, the public consultation having taken place during Exposure Draft stage. Access the updated taxonomy here.