Countries like the US and Japan will not
adopt IFRS because technology will render convergence unnecessary
before it is complete, according to XBRL expert Kurt Ramin.
Ramin is an adviser to the International
Accounting Standards Committee Foundation’s XBRL team and led the
organisation’s work with XBRL International in 2005 when he served
on the XBRL International Steering Committee.
XBRL tags will allow individual items to be
uniquely identified in companies’ financial statements irrespective
of which country they were created in, so they can be easily
searched online and used for other comparative and analytical
Ramin said the time for confusing wordsmithing
around standard setting was over because XBRL will allow users to
collect data with the same meaning using the electronic tagging
system – without the need to converge local GAAP and IFRS.
“The standard business reporting using XBRL is
the future because it is independent of the taxonomy used. They
don’t have to use IFRS and they don’t have to use US GAAP as long
as there are the same definitions there,” he explained.
In February, the US Securities and Exchange
Commission ruled that public companies with a worldwide public
float of more than $5 billion will have to report their financial
results using XBRL by 2011, with 500 of the largest US companies to
begin filing using the interactive data tagging as early as 13
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Ramin also says the recent codification of US
GAAP will make the implementation of XBRL much easier.
The US Financial Accounting Standards Board’s
codified GAAP became the sole authoritative source of
non-governmental US GAAP for reporting periods on 1 July.
The codification reorganises the thousands of
GAAP pronouncements into about 90 accounting topics and displays
all topics using a consistent structure.