XBRL mandatory reporting in the EU by 2020

Recent announcements of changes coming to the Accounting and Transparency Directives of the EU set a timeline for electronic reporting of financial data in a format such as XBRL. This is great news. Congratulations to all that have worked hard to make this happen.

In specific, the requirement will be for annual reporting, and only for companies that are traded on an exchange. If that is the target group of filers, why wait until 1 Jan, 2020? The SEC’ EDGAR program has driven the taxonomy and tagging tools, and the cost reductions. European companies that are SEC 20-F filers will have to file XBRL as soon as the SEC approves an IFRS taxonomy. So there is little reason to wait 7 years.

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One thought on “XBRL mandatory reporting in the EU by 2020

  1. Heres a strange thoguht though – the SEC approves the taxonomy for IFRS and this approval is what will initially make that taxonomy acceptable. With that as the starting point, it seems quite likely that the SEC will continue to police the IFRS taxonomy to make it acceptable for 20-F filers and over time will require clearer defined tags relating to where various reported items go in a taxonomy where at present the actual standard itself is silent (how often do we read ‘reported in Equity’ or ‘in Income Statement’? Will this not have the outcome of the SEC becoming over time the eventual judge over reporting of IFRS, and is this what we want?

    That said – EU electronic filing was always going to arrive sooner or later once the US went down that road, and its a surprised its going to take as long as 2020. Why not the US method of requiring the equivalent of the FTSE100 for each exchange having to report by 2018 and the filing location being set up a year earlier? Many of those top companies will already be 20-F filers too, so already most of the way down the line to being ready anyway.

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