IASB Weighs in on Material Facts

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Dave Nitchman

“Financial statements are meant to be a means of communication, and should not be viewed as a mere compliance exercise. Management needs to take a step back and consider whether they are providing the right level of information in the financial statement and whether it is useful”. Those words from IASB chair Hans Hoogervorst from a recent IASB press release announcing new guidance, get to an interesting point.

At XII we often talk about “moving past the mandate” by not viewing XBRL filing as simply compliance but an opportunity to gain valuable insight into the enterprise – to better use the information. But what goes into those statements is just as important. The IASB’s Disclosure Initiative is in part examining ways to include the right information in financial reports. Draft Guidance on material facts, released this week by the IASB with the aforementioned press release, is an interesting exercise in this area and an important reminder that improved business reporting is a far reaching and complex endeavour.

What goes into the financial report, whether (and how) the data is structured and then how that data is shared and used are all essential to this global, multi organisation effort. We have a number of initiatives underway that are tackling these issues and it’s something you’re going to start hearing a lot more about. If you have thoughts on this area, let us know.

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