SEC proposes to green light iXBRL

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Mar 01, 2017

On March 1, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to propose amendments intended to improve the quality and accessibility of data submitted by public companies and mutual funds using XBRL. The proposals would require the use of Inline XBRL (iXBRL), which has the potential to benefit investors and other market participants while decreasing, over time, the cost of preparing information for submission to the SEC.

The recommendations are part of the SEC’s disclosure modernization initiative. iXBRL combines human readable HTML and machine readable XBRL in a single report. If adopted, it means that it will be easier to access and easier to understand, consume and analyse quarterly and annual financial statements in the United States. It will also mean the end of “dual filing” that has existed since 2009, in which a plain, unstructured HTML version of the disclosure was filed at (more or less) the same time as a structured XBRL version was submitted. And it means that the SEC in the US joins other major securities regulators including the JFSA in Japan, and ESMA, which governs disclosure regulation across Europe, in moving to use iXBRL to make fundamental data more suitable for the digital age.

The SEC also announced on March 1, 2017, that Foreign Private Issuers” (FPIs) can now use the IFRS taxonomy to file their financial statements in XBRL or Inline XBRL format. International businesses affected by this new ruling are advised to speak to their software vendor, filing agent or professional advisers about filing in iXBRL rather than XBRL so that they don’t have to switch again later.

Review the press release on the SEC's website.

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