The IFRS Foundation has published more interim releases for its 2011 IFRS Taxonomy to reflect new accounting standards that have been issued in the past few months. The latest releases focus on fair value measurement, disclosures regarding interests in other entities, other comprehensive income, and employee benefits.
The latest interim release provides new tags related to Presentation of Items of Other Comprehensive Income (amendments to IAS 1) and IAS 19 Employee Benefits, both issued by the International Accounting Standards Board in June. Only a few weeks prior, the IFRS Foundation also published an interim release to provides tags related to IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement and IFRS 12 Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities, issued by IASB in May.
The Foundation decided to issue the interim release to get the tags developed and accessible to companies for use immediately rather than waiting for an annual taxonomy update. It represents a step in the direction of integrating the development of new tags with the development of the accounting rules they define, a stated goal of the IFRS Foundation, in the hopes that it might minimize the possibility that companies could select inappropriate or obsolete tags to describe emerging accounting requirements. By contrast, the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the United States accepts comments on the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy continually, and seeks comments periodically on prospective taxonomy updates, but issues updates to the taxonomy on an annual basis.
The Foundation earlier published an interim release related to common-practice concepts to reflect disclosures companies commonly make under IFRS. Those tags were developed not necessarily because any specific standard explicitly requires the disclosures. Instead, the disclosures are common enough that having tags associated with them will identify them as comparable to other like disclosures made by other companies, making all XBRL-submitted information more comparable.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in particular has urged the IFRS Foundation to expand the IFRS Taxonomy to make IFRS financial statements submitted in U.S. capital markets more comparable. So far, the SEC has not yet endorsed an IFRS taxonomy for IFRS filers in the United States, leaving those companies dangling under a requirement to submit their financial statements in XBRL with no approved method for doing so. The SEC has not released those companies from the XBRL submission obligation, but has indicated it will not take enforcement action against IFRS filers that do not meet the 2011 XBRL submission requirement.
The IFRS Taxonomy interim releases allow entities to report electronically using the latest IFRS without needing to create custom extensions or risk making an erroneous tag selection. The IFRS Foundation says the additional items in the latest interim release are consistent with the XBRL architecture of the 2011 taxonomy as described in its 2011 taxonomy guide and its Global Filing Manual. All interim releases are due to be incorporated into the 2012 IFRS Taxonomy, which is scheduled to be published in the first quarter of 2012.