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

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

“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
  • 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.