Sunday, April 13, 2008

No benefits to CFOs?

We've been talking about XBRL scepticism earlier, concluding that the instances referred to were not to be taken overly seriously.

This story (again!) is different, though, even though it has its shortcomings. Where it is probably spot-on is in the statement that preparers presently have little to no benefits from the implementation of XBRL as there are no tested ERP applications that truly integrate XBRL at this point. So all (complex) XBRL preparation will be done in a bolt-on fashion.

This is probably true for the time being, until the SAPs and Oracles of this world actually integrate XBRL GL into their products fully. On the other hand, the integrated approach of XBRL adoption is usually referred to as the most expensive one, thus the intermediate bolt-on solution will result in little additional expenditures.

The story gets much more disputable where it goes into the benefits for analysts. It quotes the FEI as poking holes in the other purported benefits of XBRL by insinuating that "The organization predicts XBRL could instead lead to analysts receiving excess information." This is an undue truncation of an admittedly complex, yet valid point made in the FEI's comment letter:
We believe we may be creating a situation where preparers will be providing more information than the analysts want (versus key information/data), later than when they need it (to update their models), thereby missing the real window of opportunity which is likely when a company releases its earnings for the quarter. Strategically, the long-term direction of this project needs to be determined and communicated − is it to upgrade the manner is which data is filed with the SEC or is it to provide (key) information to investors and analysts for their use?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pensions Directive Review

As a precursor to the EU Commission review expected later this year, CEIOPS has published its own Initial review of key aspects of the implementation of the IORP directive. The main conclusions (from the press release) are:
  • there is considerable diversity in the way some key aspects of the IORP Directive have been interpreted and implemented;
  • there is little evidence of major issues arising from these differences;
  • given early days and limited experience of the Directive's implementation in some areas, it would be premature to recommend changes to the Directive.

  • More to follow ...

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Pensions webcast

    In yet another effort to increase its accessibility, the IASB makes its first ever recorded webcast about its recent pensions DP available to the public on its pensions project site. The webcast had about 120 participants and the included Q&A session was rather good.

    I think that the IASB ought to add public webcasts to its ongoing projects due process. The ease of (global) participation and dialogue would enhance the reach of the IASB's due process to a new group of users (of financial statements) which was hitherto unreachable due to lack of time and attention.