Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Two Upcoming Webinars from XBRL Canada

Webinar – May 8, 2018 at 12:00 Noon ET
Digital Transformation and the need for Standardization
Presenter: John McAlister, of McAlister & Associates.
John McAlister is a Globally known expert in digital transformation. 
John is well known within business and financial sectors, in Australia and Internationally, as having led transformation programs that have changed the way that Australian Individuals deal with the Tax Office and how Businesses deal with each other and with government.
John is a former Assistant Commissioner and National Director of the Australian Taxation Office. In those positions, he:
·       Initiated and led the Electronic Invoicing initiative, estimated to deliver savings of $10 Billion through an open digital framework.
·       Managed Standard Business Reporting (SBR) which led to savings estimated at more than $1.4 billion. 
·       Influenced the adoption of data and message standards for SuperStream, delivering benefits of $3.2Billion.
·       Led the development of the ATO’s e-tax system
·       Created and delivered the pre-fill initiatives and piloted the foundations of the online Tax return.
John brings insights from more than 20 years of transformation experience in Information creation, management and distribution. Much of this at the leading edge of Information Technology and as a thought leader who has changed the way risk is understood and addressed through the use of data.
This webinar is a unique opportunity for Canadian governments and business to learn from his experience, as we move ahead with digital transformation at all levels.
The webinar is free of charge. To register, please send an email to gtrites@xbrl.ca. Access details to be provided after registration.

Webinar - May 30 at 1PM Eastern
Lessons Learned from the first filings by FPIs
Most Canadian companies who are Foreign Private Issuers will have filed in XBRL format with the SEC by May 30. Hopefully all went well, but inevitably there will have been some issues.  In this webinar, we will share the experience that has been gained by both companies and regulators.
Presenters include: Mike Willis and Wasim Thaha. Mike is a retired PwC partner with public company reporting and audit experience.  He is the Assistant Director of the Office of Structured Disclosure at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Wasim is Director of Business Development at Newsfile Corp and Past Chair of XBRL Canada.
Mr. Willis will present on the perspective of the SEC on the more common issues experienced in the filing program to date. Mr Thaha will present some findings from the Canadian filer perspective. The webinar will last for approximately forty five minutes.

The webinar is free but registration is required. Please register by emailing gtrites@xbrl.ca.

Monday, April 23, 2018

South Africa to Require iXBRL

The CIPC in South Africa has recently announced that all companies must file their annual financial statements using inline XBRL. iXBRL is a form of XBRL that combines traditional XBRL tags with human readable HTML It eliminates the need to file an instance document separately from a human readable document such as HTML or PDF.

The requirement will become effective on July 1, 2018 and filers will use a customized version of the IFRS Taxonomy. With this announcement, South Africa joins several other regulators in the world who have gone to iXBRL or who (like the SEC) plan to do so.

According to IRIS, Core benefits CIPC has seen in iXBRL are
  •     Availability of smart data without the need of re-keying or re-formatting
  •     Reduced costs
  •     Ability to quickly and automatically identify problems with filings
  •     Ability to monitor data, activities and arrive at conclusions with far greater speed and confidence
Some of these benefits are best realized by using an inline XBRL viewer, such as that available on the SEC site. Such a viewer enables instant checking of the XBRL tagging before it is actually filed.


Friday, April 20, 2018

SEC Data Sets Use XBRL Extensively

The Financial Statement and Notes Data Sets provided by the SEC include the text and detailed numeric information from all financial statements and their notes extracted from exhibits to corporate financial reports filed with the Commission using XBRL. The data Sets provide significantly more disclosure than previous data sets. The information is presented without change from the "as filed" financial reports. The data is presented in a flattened format to help users analyze and compare corporate disclosure information over time and across registrants. The data sets also contain additional fields such as a company's Standard Industrial Classification to facilitate the data's use.

Information on the data sets can be found on the SEC website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bank of England PofC Study on XBRL Analytics

The Bank of England recently conducted a Proof of Concept study on XBRL for analytical purposes. The methodology involved a analytics software provider and addressed questions whether the software tool, NTT DATA & Reportix, was able to deliver on key criteria for determining t he usefulness of the data for analytical purposes using their tool.

BofE has made a large commitment to XBRL, as have other European banks and regulators, so this test was very important. XBRL is used in over 75 countries and in the uK it is estimated that 70 - 80% of the regulatory data comes in XBRL format. While XBRL has been used for analytical purposes for some time, the BofE study was important because of it rigour, comprehensiveness and the quality of its findings.

All key success criteria were met with in the study. They included:

  • Success Criterion 1: Demonstrate the potential for the solution to reduce the effort associated to change by at least two thirds.
  • Success Criterion 2: Demonstrate the potential for such a solution to leverage investments being made by the Bank in its data architecture.
  • Success Criterion 3: Demonstrate end-users can access the data as they would normally, but now have the potential to interact it with it in different ways with different tools. 

XBRL is already the defacto standard for reporting regulatory data in digital form. The analytical tools are developing quickly, but there is work still to be done. The BofE study is summarized on their website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Digital Future of Corporate Reporting

The UK’s FRC Lab issued a deep dive report in December that urges regulators, companies, investors and technology providers to work together to realise fully the potential of XBRL and to respond to the challenge of a new European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) for digital corporate reporting due to come into effect in 2020.

XBRL has become the leading technology in the world for digital reporting. It is required by more than 100 regulators in 70 countries, including the SEC, which last year implemented requirements for foreign private issuers to file their reports in XBRL. That was a significant requirement for all FPIs around the world using the IFRS accounting standards. This includes over 300 companies in Canada, most of its largest companies.

In the EU, the ESEF requirement takes effect in 2020. That requirement calls for the use of XHTML combined with iXBRL to present reports. All EU Companies will be required to follow this approach. In the UK, iXBRL is already required by the tax authority and some 2300 companies must comply. Also, over 2000 companies file their reports in iXBRL with Companies house, the national companies registry.

The deep dive report was triggered by the forthcoming advent  of ESEF and a recognition that preparation is required to make it work properly.

The movements of the US, UK and others towards digital reporting point to the fact that a world where corporate reporting is based on paper is rapidly coming to a close. In an increasingly digital world, where companies are engaged in digital transformation at all levels, the expectation of a continuance of paper based reporting is absurd. Paper reports will survive for some time, but they will be secondary reports, expensive relics of the past.

The deep dive report fully supports the power of XBRL and contains several important suggestions, including:

  • for regulators to work together to align reporting requirements and thereby reduce reporting burden.
  • for executives and Boards to ensure that suitable governance is in place so that digital reports meet the needs of users. Companies need to have appropriate processes and procedures in place to manage disclosure in a digital age.
  • for users to familiarise themselves with Inline XBRl and structured financial statements, to ensure that they can maximise the benefit that digital disclosure of fundamental data can deliver.
  • for software vendors to work to educate the market and to continue to innovate in the delivery of high quality software that is easier, more intuitive and more accessible for the preparer community.

Here is a link to the (PDF!) report.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

In Florida, all local governmental financial statements for fiscal years ending on or after September 1, 2022, will have to be filed in XBRL format under proposed legislation. Since the state has more than 400 municipalities, this is a major move. This will mean that government reporting will be more timely, more comparable and more suitable for analysis.

Like every other unit of government in the US, those municipalities prepare “CAFRs” or Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports in accordance with US Government Accounting Standards. Those reports are currently analog. XBRL will be a substantial improvement, particularly if they use inline XBRL, which is also readable by people as well as computers. With inline XBRL, reports will continue to be read by people who are interested but also will be fed into analytics tools for deeper analysis and decision making.

More on this here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

XBRL Canada Webinar - Digital Transformation and the need for Standardization


XBRL Canada Webinar – May 8, 2018 at 12:00 Noon Eastern

Digital Transformation and the need for Standardization

Presenter: John McAlister, of McAlister & Associates

John McAlister is a Globally known expert in digital transformation and is well known within business and financial sectors, in Australia and Internationally. He has led transformation programs that have changed the way that Australian Individuals deal with the Tax Office and how Businesses deal with each other and with government.

John is a former Assistant Commissioner and National Director of the Australian Taxation Office. In those positions, he:

  • Initiated and led the Electronic Invoicing initiative, estimated to deliver savings of $10 Billion through an open digital framework.
  • Managed Standard Business Reporting (SBR) which led to savings estimated at more than $1.4 billion. 
  • Influenced the adoption of data and message standards for SuperStream, delivering benefits of $3.2Billion. 
  • Led the development of the ATO’s e-tax system 
  • Created and delivered the pre-fill initiatives and piloted the foundations of the online Tax return. 

John brings insights from more than 20 years of transformation experience in Information creation, management and distribution. Much of this at the leading edge of Information Technology and as a thought leader who has changed the way risk is understood and addressed through the use of data.

This webinar is a unique opportunity for Canadian governments and business to learn from his experience, as we move ahead with digital transformation at all levels.

The webinar is free of charge. To register, please send an email to gtrites@xbrl.ca.

Sponsored by XBRL Canada, with the support of CPA Canada.