The SEC XBRL ruling and IFRS

Last week the SEC formally published the XBRL mandate. While they released it in mid-December 2008, this was total ratification. Sound weird? Think of it just as  Barack Obama re-taking the oath of office after some minor fluffs ;-)

Of more interest to me is the ruling for non-US companies listed on the US markets. They file to the SEC in US GAAP, although many of them undoubtably are reporting in their countries in IFRS. The US will have to start reporting in IFRS in a few years, and therefore are open to foreing filers filing in IFRS XBRL down the line.


There seems to be confusion around this matter, so to highlight selected parts of the formal rule:

  1. we believe that the updated IFRS list of tags will be sufficiently advanced to require that foreign private issuers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB provide their financial statements in interactive data format under the phase-in schedule we are adopting 
  2. We also encourage foreign private issuers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB to provide financial information in interactive data format once EDGAR will accept such filings. (the footnote [94] to that says: Pursuant to the EDGAR Filer Manual, we will notify filers of the ability to file in IFRS on our Web site.)
  3. Foreign Private Issuers with Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with IFRS as Issued By the IASB will have to submit reports on Form 20-F or Form 40-F for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2011

To summarise, from conversations with the SEC, they’re looking at possibly accepting IFRS (the official IASB version) in the third year (2011). Filing in IFRS to EDGAR is likely to happen before that, but as we know, EDGAR will probably not last long after June 2012.

About Derek

My key interests are online investor relations, websites, social media, enterprise 2.0 and intranets, and XBRL. Speak to me if you need a solution in any of these disciplines, or follow my knowledge links on this site and others. Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn or in recent conversations.