Tokyo, Nov. 9, 2007 - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox on Friday, while at meetings of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, concluded a week of bilateral discussions with securities regulators from Japan, China, Korea, Canada and Australia focused, among other things, on timetables for implementation of interactive data initiatives for financial reporting.
In Japan, Minister of Financial Services Yoshimi Watanabe and Japan Financial Services Agency Commissioner Takafumi Sato described an aggressive timetable for implementation of data tagging using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). Japan has mandated public company reporting using XBRL for the full financial statements of all listed companies beginning with quarterly reporting in the second quarter of 2008.
China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin described how China, the first country in the world to mandate XBRL reporting, is requiring interactive data filing for the full financial statements of all listed companies in quarterly, half-year and annual reports under rules of both the CSRC and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Beginning with only 50 companies voluntarily reporting using XBRL in 2003, the program has grown to now include more than 800 companies. In addition to the XBRL taxonomy for listed companies, a taxonomy for fund companies in China has also been developed.
Korean Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman and Financial Supervisory Service Governor Kim Yong-Duk described Korea's steps toward adopting XBRL for regulatory reporting. The FSS established a voluntary XBRL filing program in 2006. Beginning in October 2007, all publicly held companies were required to file financial statements using XBRL on the electronic filing system of the FSS. Although the mandatory program just began last month, over 29 listed companies have already filed their full financial information using XBRL. Today, the XBRL data of these companies can be easily analyzed by investors, and the system allows interested non Korean-speaking investors to view and analyze a company's financial statements in English.
Ontario Securities Commission Chairman David Wilson gave an update on the launch earlier this year by the Canadian Securities Administrators of an XBRL voluntary filing program, under which issuers can voluntarily file financial statements in XBRL format.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission Chairman Tony D'Aloisio described Australia's progress with XBRL financial reporting. Australia will host the 2007 SBR/XBRL International Conference. Sessions will be presented by experts from the accounting/finance and software developer industries, XBRL and government regulators from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. Australia's implementation of interactive data for financial reporting is scheduled for mid-2010, with pilots and proof-of-concepts beginning in 2008.
And Chairman Moshe Tery of the Israel Securities Authority noted that all public company financial reporting will be tagged using XBRL beginning in 2008.
"The global movement to interactive data for financial reporting is truly underway," said Chairman Cox. "The IOSCO conference provided an excellent opportunity to share information with other jurisdictions, and to measure the progress of implementation plans. Without question, 2008 will be a watershed year for interactive data."