XBRL News from Russia, the USA and Europe

Here is our pick of the 3 most important XBRL news stories from the last week. 

1 XBRL-отчетность: затяжной прыжок

“The timely transition of financial market participants to an electronic format of reporting data based on XBRL specifications is of strategic importance for increasing competitiveness in the global market of both individual industries and the Russian economy as a whole,” the Bank of Russia described the impact of the pandemic on efforts to further implement the international XBRL standard in regulatory oversight activities in its journal “XBRL Bulletin”, which was published in autumn 2020. 

This comprehensive article (in Russian) clearly indicates that the Bank of Russia is considering to move to a reporting mandate for the banks subject to its supervision, but is hesitant to really pull the trigger due to the far reaching consequences of the step from reporting in forms to reporting actual data. While it’s no doubt a challenge, others have overcome it.

2 XBRL: What is it? Why the FASB? Who uses it?

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is the open international standard1 for digital business reporting. XBRL is used to deliver human-readable financial statements in a machine-readable, structured data format. Preparers using GAAP for publicly traded companies are required not only to create financial statements, but also to assign an XBRL tag to every number, table, accounting policy, statement, and note.

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has recently published this very brief introductory piece in its FASB in Focus series.

3 SFDR looks beyond the balance sheet, through greenwashing

When the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) came into force on March 10, it might well have been news that passed many businesses by, writes Bart van Praag, General Manager, EMEA, Workiva. After all, at first glance, the regulation only applies to financial market participants (asset managers, pension providers, insurance company investors, etc.) and financial advisors (consulting on investments or insurance). But scratch the surface of the regulation and the implications for business of all types across the EU and the UK become clear. 

This short piece nicely describes the main characteristics and features of the SFRD, which is one side of not a coin, because that would imply that there’s just two, but of at least a hypercube, because there’s the taxonomy (no, not of the XBRL type) and the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, too, for starters. But what’s certainly crucial is that ESG / Non-Financial Reporting – once declared mandatory – will require a control framework as can be implemented using Workiva’s platform. Note that this author has a commercial interest in the firm. 


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

 We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

 For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives. 

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