New XBRL and proposed 2012 US GAAP financial reporting taxonomy released

By Anne Rosivach
 
The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, the oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Boards (IASB), announced in September that it had completed the first part of its project to address requests by regulators and preparers, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for extensions to the IFRS eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) taxonomy.
 
This interim common-practice taxonomy will provide about 350 extensions for the most commonly used types of expenses on financial statements, such as sales and marketing. Work is continuing on extensions to the detailed tagging of the footnotes to financial statements. The IFRS XBRL team expects to publish proposals in October 2011.
 
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The initial release (on March 25) of the IFRS Taxonomy 2011 was not well received. Almost immediately, the SEC and others expressed concern about its adequacy. All public companies and foreign private issuers were required by SEC rules, issued in 2009 and effective in 2011, to attach XBRL exhibits to periodic and current reports and registration statements as well as to transition reports for a change in fiscal year. The SEC decided to postpone the requirement for foreign private issuers after the publication of the IFRS Taxonomy 2011, saying it did not have sufficient time to review it.
 
On September 1, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released the Proposed 2012 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy for public review and comment. The proposed 2012 taxonomy contains accounting standards updates issued and other recommended improvements since the official taxonomy which is used by public issuers registered with the SEC.
 
The US GAAP taxonomy is a list of computer-readable financial reporting labels coded in XBRL, an open-source computer language that allows companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. Tags allow users of financial statements to electronically search for, assemble, and process data so investors, analysts, journalists, and regulators can readily access and analyze it. 
 
The deadline to submit written comments on the Proposed 2012 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is October 31. The final 2012 taxonomy is expected to be finalized and published in early 2012.  
 
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