Foreign Issuers

Foreign Private Issuers using IFRS are required to file their financial statements in XBRL for Year ends ending on or after December 15, 2017. See the release here.

Canadian companies listed with the SEC, who use IFRS for their filings are required to file in XBRL for fiscal year ends on or after December 15, 2017. For most filers, the deadline will be Mar 31, 2018. Until then, the companies need to consider how they are going to comply.

Some will outsource the work to one of the many providers of XBRL services. Others will carry out the work in house, by purchasing the necessary software and training some staff to prepare the filings. Accounting Staff are generally the best ones to assign to the job, because XBRL preparation is essentially an accounting task.

Several references and aids are available to help with this work. The main ones are on the SEC website ( Other references are available on the Website of XBRL Canada (

You can view the initial release here.

The IFRS taxonomy (as well as the US Taxonomy) is available on the SEC website at

Technical requirements for implementing XBRL are set out in the updated EDGAR Filer Manual on the SEC site.

The IFRS Foundation recently published a guide to the preparation of financial reports for filing purposes using the IFRS Taxonomy. The new Guide can be located at the IFRS website.  

And then the SEC announced its preliminary 2018 reporting taxonomy (SRT) following a formal public review, an event of particular interest to foreign private issuers.

The 2018 SEC Reporting Taxonomy (SRT) moves a range of elements from the GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy into a new taxonomy that can be used for companies reporting under both IFRS and US GAAP.

The introduction of the SRT taxonomy eliminates the need for foreign private issuers (FPIs) using the IFRS taxonomy to import the US-GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. This simplifies what would otherwise be a complex process.

The full text of SEC announcement is available here and the taxonomy on the FASB website here.

Companies should keep an eye on these websites for new and additional information.

Inline XBRL (iXBRL)

It is expected that during 2018, all filers will be required to use inline XBRL, (iXBRL). This means that the XBRL filing can be combined with the usual filing so that only one filing will be required. The SEC Decision is outlined here on its website.

iXBRL is explained here. It might make sense for Canadian filers to start with iXBRL rather than starting with XBRL and then having to switch in 2018. There is, however, some risk in taking this approach as if a mistake is made in such a filing, it will be rejected and then considered to be late.

The SEC developed an iXBRL viewer, which is illustrated here.

Canadian Filings to date

We have lots of Canadian IFRS XBRL News -  like Sunlife

We have some Canadian Inline XBRL News – Canadian Pacific Railway submitted in Inline XBRL recently (