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XBRL Plan — update

Date recorded:

Alan Teixeira made a presentation outlining the organisation’s XBRL initiative, which would (in essence) (i) incorporate the development of the IFRS XBRL Taxonomy as part of the normal standard-setting function; and (ii) to the extent possible, separate (or ‘de-emphasise’) technology-specific aspects of XBRL, while maintaining XBRL expertise and leadership.

Dr Teixeira stated that he thought the IFRS XBRL Taxonomy to be ‘high quality’, but noted that jurisdictions were adapting it to make it operational in their markets.  According to reliable academic research, investor take-up is low, while preparers still view it as something done after the [hard copy] financial statements are filed.

Several Council Members made interventions.  Views were mixed: some stated that the IASB should keep control of the IFRS Taxonomy, because if control of the Taxonomy is lost, so is control of the application of IFRS.  Others thought that the IASB did not need to control—be involved, yes, but not to control.  The US SEC Observer noted that securities regulators do see XBRL as one possible ‘delivery mechanism’ of information to financial markets and expressed support of the proposed direction of travel.  On the other hand, the EFRAG Chair was concerned that, unless the IASB was involved, the IFRS Taxonomy would result in an over-standardisation of IFRSs.

Dr Teixeira noted that IASB involvement would lend credibility to the IFRS Taxonomy—and that few people knew (or cared) which part of the IFRS Foundation issued a document.  The IFRS Foundation’s over-arching aim was to facilitate the efficient dissemination of financial information, and XBRL was a powerful tool available to the organisation to achieve that aim.

The Council Chairman noted that the discussion had covered a lot of ground around an important and strategic issue, but that the issue was not an easy one to resolve and that it was highly likely that the Council would return to these matters again.

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