IFRS Foundation concludes pilot XBRL initiative with public companies listed in the US

13 January 2011


The IFRS Foundation has successfully concluded the pilot initiative that it launched in April to work with US-listed foreign companies to produce IFRS financial reports in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) that are compliant with US SEC (United States Securities and Exchange Commission) requirements.

The aim of the initiative was to:

The IFRS Foundation worked with 12 companies who volunteered to participate in the initiative. Participants used the IFRS Taxonomy to produce 20-F filings in XBRL format that could be accepted by the US SEC EDGAR filing system.  ‘Level 1’ XBRL tagging was applied to the filings, ie all items in the primary financial statements were tagged while notes were tagged using a single text block.

After spending time deepening their knowledge of XBRL, participants undertook the filing process by:

  1. mapping and matching financial line items to IFRS Taxonomy items;
  2. creating XBRL files (in co-operation with participants’ selected service provider);
  3. checking and validating the XBRL files; and 
  4. rendering the XBRL files.

All participants successfully completed the mapping stage, and the majority of participants also created XBRL filings.  Feedback from participants indicated that, depending on each participant’s level of XBRL knowledge, between 6 and 60 hours was required to complete the first stage, which was mapping of financial statement line items to IFRS Taxonomy items. They then took an average of 10 hours to create the XBRL files, and an average of 10 hours to validate the XBRL files.

The feedback from participants in this pilot project has revealed several other important findings:

Next steps

The IFRS Foundation XBRL Team has decided on a number of further actions that will be taken as a result of the findings from the initiative:

  1. Minor amendments will be made to the way in which some IFRS disclosures are represented in the IFRS Taxonomy.
  2. Analysis will be undertaken of concepts that are not in the IFRS Taxonomy but that are commonly reported by commercial and industrial companies.
  3. Field tests will be initiated with: