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April 25, 2012

IASB supports XBRL and calls for improvements

International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) chairman Hans Hoogervorst called XBRL a “remarkable success” and said it has the potential to improve the effectiveness of financial reporting.

Speaking at the 2012 IFRS Taxonomy Annual Convention in London, Hoogervorst said XBLR has the potential to supplement the “one-size-fits all approach of today’s financial statements, while certain aspects of financial reporting are stuck in the offline pre-PC world”.

In the future, XBLR will allow users to extract the information they need and to eliminate the re-keying of financial information into proprietary systems, thus reducing cost and error while increasing the speed and efficiency of analysis.

“XBRL allows users of financial statements to consume financial information in whatever language they are familiar with,” the IASB chairman said.

However, Hoogervorst stressed the need to understand the scope and limits of XBLR, as the standards should not define or impede the Board’s standard-setting activity.

“In other words, the XBRL tail should not wag the IASB dog. XBRL should be a normal output from our IFRS standard-setting work,” he noted.

Hoogervorst also said there are still challenges ahead and has set three main priorities:

  • ensure IFRS taxonomy is of the highest quality;
  • ensure XBLR is deeply integrated into the standard-setting activity;
  • work closely with preparers, regulators and the investor community to unlock the potential of XBLR and understand where there’s room for improvement.


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