IAASB Staff Issues Q&As to Raise Awareness of XBRL Uses in Business Reporting

Jan 19, 2010 | New York | English

Recognizing the growing international use of Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)--a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data that is changing business reporting around the world--the staff of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has developed a new question-and-answer publication. It is designed to raise awareness about how XBRL-tagged data is prepared and how it may affect financial reporting.

Entitled XBRL: The Emerging Landscape, the publication explains that the IAASB's current International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) were not developed with XBRL in mind and, accordingly, do not require auditors to perform procedures on XBRL-tagged data as part of a financial statement audit. It clarifies how XBRL may lead to a demand for various types of assurance and related services engagements, and describes the scope of the IAASB's planned consultations to determine whether to develop a new international pronouncement addressing XBRL.

"As more and more financial authorities begin to require or permit entities to provide financial information in XBRL, now is the time to help educate users about some XBRL fundamentals, and for the IAASB to explore whether and how a related international standard might help address assurance needs," says James Gunn, IAASB Technical Director. "A number of organizations are involved in XBRL initiatives and we look forward to hearing the viewpoints of preparers, users, regulators, national standard-setters, auditors, and others on this important topic," adds Mr. Gunn.

The publication is available to download free of charge from the IAASB section of IFAC's Publications and Resources site: web.ifac.org/publications.

About the IAASB and IFAC
The IAASB (www.ifac.org/IAASB) develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance.

IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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