Delegates convened in Paris this week for the annual Data Amplified conference on the future of business reporting in a digital world. This unique event brings together a mix of disciplines, including regulators, companies, the accountancy profession and software professionals.  

“Innovation in technology solutions brings advanced analytical capabilities to oversight bodies to better monitor – and predict – risks across their regulated entities,” said John Turner, CEO of XBRL International, Inc.  “It also helps issuers and regulated institutions gain more insight into the drivers and outcomes of their businesses.  XBRL plays an important role in the mix of those solutions.”

The European Commission is developing a proof of concept for the European Financial Transparency Gateway (EFTG), a centralized index using Blockchain technology that will provide distributed access to public company financial statement filings from across the EU. The EFTG would simplify access to this vital information, according to Alain Deckers, Head of the Accounting and Financial Reporting Unit at DG FISMA at the European Commission. Deckers’ keynote speech on the EU policy framework that underpins the shift to digital financial statements – to be prepared in Inline XBRL (iXBRL) for public companies operating in the EU from 2020 – highlighted the logical need for digital financial statements to be covered by external audit, from an investor protection perspective.

Richard Howitt, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), shared his vision for integrated reporting in the digital age, which included the use of XBRL structured data to connect financial and non-financial information more directly in company annual reports.  Mr. Howitt also emphasized the need to define more guidance around the ‘hidden capitals’ – human, intellectual and social/relationship capitals – to help issuers account for, measure and analyze the stocks and flows of those capitals along with financial, natural and manufactured capitals.

 

Dominique Laboureix, Board Member of the Single Resolution Board, outlined the manner in which the risk of bank failure is being shifted from government to the markets through the use of bail-in mechanisms and other linked powers to deal with banks that appear likely to pose unacceptable risks to depositors and taxpayers. He described the use of XBRL to streamline the collection of the large quantities of risk data needed by the SRB to monitor the European banking sector, and to improve the quality of that information.  The mission of the SRB is to ensure an orderly resolution of failing banks with minimum impact on the real economy and the public finances of the participating EU member states of the banking union.