Friday, November 17, 2017

SEC's New SRT Taxonomy Important to Foreign Direct Filers

The SEC has announced its preliminary 2018 reporting taxonomy (SRT) following a formal public review, an event of particular interest to foreign private issuers.

The 2018 SEC Reporting Taxonomy (SRT) moves a range of elements from the GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy into a new taxonomy that can be used for companies reporting under both IFRS and US GAAP.
The broad categories addressed in the SRT include:
-   The oil and gas industry
-   Financial schedules
-   Condensed consolidating financial information for guarantors
-   Country code elements
-   Common axis/domain used while reporting financials in US-GAAP.
The introduction of the SRT taxonomy eliminates the need for foreign private issuers (FPIs) using the IFRS taxonomy to import the US-GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. This simplifies what would otherwise be a complex process.
The full text of SEC announcement is available here and the taxonomy on the FASB website here.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Following is a press release issued today by XBRL International. Be sure to check out the link below on the Countries with major XBRL Implementations:

XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is an XML standard for tagging business and financial reports to increase the transparency and accessibility of business information by using a uniform format. XBRL was created by the accounting/audit profession. The XBRL standards is used by more than 130 regulators in more than 70 countries to collect high quality, reliable and timely digital business information from millions of companies around the world.

This standard is maintained by XBRL International, an international non-profit consortium of approximately 800 major companies, organizations, and government agencies around the world. It is an open standard, provided free of license fees, and is already being used in numerous countries.

Please feel free to call on me if you have any questions or would like to set up interview with John Turner, CEO of XBRL International to discuss this press release, XBRL and implementations of XBRL around the world. Countries with major XBRL implementations.

David Colgren

Monday, October 02, 2017

XBRL Canada Tweetchat on XBRL and SEC Requirements for Canadian Companies

XBRL Canada will be holding a Tweetchat on Monday, October 16th at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Eastern Time on the specifics of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) XBRL requirements and how they affect Canadian foreign private issuers.

Foreign Private Issuers using International Financial Reporting Standards will need to report using XBRL for the first time this year.

The session will be led by Eric Cohen, one of the founders of XBRL and a globally respected speaker on XBRL. The session will be completely interactive on twitter and Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues about:

How the SEC requirements on XBRL will affect Canadian foreign private issuers
How Canadian foreign private issuers can prepare for meeting these requirements
Important developments since the issuance of the rules

We will be using and twitter (#xbrlcan) to conduct the presentation and discussion.

To register, please email with "Register" in the subject line.

How the Internet of Things is Changing our World

Today, there are an estimated 8.4 billion devices connected to the internet. This is just the beginning of the Internet of Things (IoT). Amid all the publicity about the growing incidence of connecting toasters and refrigerators to the internet, there has been a remarkable lack of public interest or even awareness of the precipitous long term implications of this trend.

Part of the reason may be because people don't realize how fast it is moving. And perhaps they don't realize how extensive the IoT will be. There has been lots of publicity and some concern about the linking of cars, given the prospect of the cars being hacked by groups intent on wreaking destruction. But this is only one aspect of the IoT.

Connectivity of things has expanded to medical equipment, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs, etc.

More recently, the connectivity has extended to include animals and sometimes humans. On the east coast, people have been watching with interest the travels of a large white shark, named Hilton, along the coast of Nova Scotia. surfacing occasionally to connect with the internet through a device attached to him in North Carolina, and even tweeting occasionally to invite his friends to join him on this beautiful coast (a slight intervention by his monitors).

Upcoming connectivity is expected to extend to the human brain, opening the possibility of hacking people's brains. And the scope for control by unscrupulous governments is striking.  Even more Orwellian that Orwell.

And the incidence of hacking attempts has grown. In October, 2016, there was a large Denial of Service attack on Dyn, an internet services company that helps connectivity of millions of devices, including thermostats and baby monitors. Recently there was another large attack called Wannacry, which involved capturing files and demanding payment for their release.  This attack increased awareness and concern in some quarters.

These events and the certainty of the expansion of the IoT point clearly to an urgent need for intervention and the establishment of security controls over the IoT. A massive challenge but one that cannot be ignored.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Advances in Technology for Corporate Reporting - Breakfast Session and Seminar.

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and XBRL Canada will be holding a special event on WednesdayOctober 25th from 8:00 am – 9:30 am - a breakfast information session to discuss the evolution of technologies such as XBRL, blockchain and artificial intelligence, and the current and potential implications on corporate reporting in Canada and internationally. This event is being hosted at CPA Canada’s offices at 277 Wellington St. West.

Immediately following this session, we will also host a seminar from 10:00 am – 12 noon EDT focusing on the specifics of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) XBRL requirements and how they affect Canadian foreign private issuers.

During the breakfast information session on corporate reporting in the digital age, participants will learn:

·      How new technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are impacting business and financial reporting
·      How securities regulators are advancing the use of XBRL internationally
·      How structured data such as XBRL is used for reporting and for business and investment analysis

During the seminar focusing on XBRL, participants will learn:

·      How the SEC requirements on XBRL will affect Canadian foreign private issuers
·      How Canadian foreign private issuers can prepare for meeting these requirements
·      Other important XBRL developments

For additional information about these events, including the agenda and speakers, please refer to each of the event registration websites:

1.     Breakfast Session on Corporate Reporting in the Digital Age –October 25, 2017 from 8:00 am – 9:30 am EDT -

2.     Seminar focusing on XBRL - October 25, 2017 from 10:00 am – 12 noon EDT -

Please register to confirm your attendance by Friday, October 6.

Any questions about this event can be directed to Mike Massoud or Gerald Trites at

Monday, September 11, 2017

XBRL Canada Workshop – Filing in XBRL as a Foreign Private Issuer with the SEC

Date and Time - September 27, 2017, 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Location – Offices of CPA Canada 9th floor, 277 Wellington St, Toronto, Ontario

Presenter - Eric E. Cohen, CPA, an internationally known XBRL specialist for many years and one of the founders of the XBRL movement.

The Fee  - $50

To Register - click here for the Registration page on the XBRL Canada Website.

Background - In 2009, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a rule (Rule 33-9002) requiring all US domestic and foreign private issuers who submit financial reports using US GAAP or IFRS to the SEC. to provide financial statement information in XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language), a format intended to improve the usefulness of the reports to investors. While US GAAP filers have been providing XBRL versions of their reports for many years now, IFRS filers were unable to comply because of the lack of a supported IFRS taxonomy. This prevented most Canadian Companies from filing. In March, the SEC announced support of the IFRS taxonomy, a move that will affect both IFRS filers and US GAAP filers. Now, Canadian cross-listed companies using IFRS will be required to file their reports in XBRL.

Why XBRL is Gaining Around the World

The past ten to fifteen years has seen a remarkable transition in the way financial and business information is reported to regulators, governments and investors. Central to this change has been the role of eXtensible Business Reporting Language.

XBRL has been adopted by the SEC in the US, Companies House and HMRC in the UK, The MCA in India, the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, China, India and Japan, among others, and is scheduled for adoption by ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority), the oversight body responsible for securities legislation in the European Union. ESMA will require all EU companies to file with it using inline XBRL (an advanced form of XBRL) for periods after Jan 1, 2020. These adoptions cover a majority of the world’s major corporations.

Intermediaries around the world are increasingly using this information to analyze and compare the results of public companies. Databanks are being built that assemble the XBRL data of companies for the benefit of investors and others.

What is driving the massive change? There are short term and long term answers to this question.

The short-term benefits of XBRL rest on the ability to transfer information between systems on different platforms easily and enable the automated analysis of that information. Since XBRL reports are based on internationally recognized standards, all of the information stated in XBRL can be accessed and analyzed with the same tools. Many of the analytical steps taken can be automated thus not requiring the labour of people. ThIs makes it possible for regulators and others, as it did with the SEC, to expand its coverage of filings without hiring new workers. Similarly, it also makes it possible for analysts to expand their coverage and, importantly, to conduct more in-depth analysis in particular areas.

The longer-term benefits are driven by the general shift of reporting to the use of more advanced analytics by a variety of users of business reports as well as the increased use of data in addition to pre-formatted reports to digest the financial reports of companies. We see companies placing data tools and XBRL information on their websites.  

Another long-term benefit has been the use of XBRL for Standardized Business Reporting (SBR) for reporting to governments. SBR makes it possible to substantially reduce the duplication that always exists in reporting to governments. For example, an income tax authority typically requires that income elements like net income be reported to it while the same information is reported to the statistical agency, securities regulators and industry specific regulators.

Elimination or reduction of this duplication saves large amounts of money for companies in their compliance costs, such as the millions of dollars saved in Australia.

Business financial affairs have become more complex over recent decades and disclosure of the information necessary to understand those affairs in the traditional paper-based way has become increasingly untenable. Such reports have become long and complicated to the point that most investors can’t consume them – or don’t have time. There is a better way, and that way has been found in the use of data-based reporting and the use of XBRL.