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IASC Foundation Issues IFRS Taxonomy for XBRL Format

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The end of last year saw the publication of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) Foundation’s International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Taxonomy 2010 Architecture Draft, which details the XBRL architecture and design rationale for the taxonomy. The comment period on the draft has ended and the final release date for the taxonomy that will provide the backbone for financial reporting in the XBRL format will be April this year.

The IASC Foundation also published a project summary and feedback statement on the project in December, which summarises the architectural improvements that will be implemented in the next release of the IFRS Taxonomy in 2010 as a result of consultation conducted in July 2009. The IFRS Taxonomy 2010 Architecture Draft is the proposed architecture for both the IFRS and the IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) Taxonomies.

The group indicates that rather than splitting up the large and SME entity reporting frameworks it has decided to publish a single architecture as a result of the feedback received after wide consultations that took place following the release of the exposure draft of the IFRS for SMEs Taxonomy in September 2009. Consequently, architectural improvements to the IFRS Taxonomy 2010 will be implemented in the IFRS for SMEs Taxonomy, and will therefore impact upon the release of the final IFRS for SMEs Taxonomy, which was scheduled for release in December 2009.

All of this work is being conducted with the goal of providing clarity to the market about how to structure its systems and technology in order to cope with reporting in XBRL. It should also, hopefully, prove useful in the long term for XBRL in pushing its format in other corners of the market such as corporate actions by providing a technical board from which to jump off of.

XBRL has been flat out over the last 12 months in the effort to conduct the groundwork required for its new projects. In November last year, it issued a call for partners to lend a hand in this endeavour. The not for profit consortium is currently working with Swift and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) to automate the issuer to investor corporate actions data process and is in need of research partners to work on research and development projects already underway to develop taxonomies, or digital dictionaries, for corporate actions, proxy and governance, and asset backed securities.

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