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SEC Grants IFRS Foreign Private Issuers Temporary Reprieve from XBRL

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On Friday the Securities and Exchange Commission, responding to a request by The Center for Audit Quality, issued a no-action letter clarifying that a foreign private issuer that prepares its financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is not required to submit XBRL interactive data files to the Commission, or to post XBRL files on its website, until the such time as the Commission specifies an IFRS taxonomy.

In 2007, the Commission adopted rules allowing foreign private issuers to file financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS without reconciliation to GAAP. In the adopting release, the Commission estimated that approximately 140 issuers would be affected by the rules; at that time there were a total of 1,058 foreign private issuers registered and filing with the Commission.  Earlier this month, the Commission released it’s latest foreign private issuer count.  For the year ended December 31, 2010 there were 970 foreign private issuers registered and filing with the Commission. I don’t know how many foreign private issuers are currently filing financial statements prepared solely in accordance with IFRS, so it’s unclear as to how many will actually be affected by Friday’s no-action letter.  If you happen to know, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Update April 12, 2011:

Anne Leslie-Bini, of rass-XBRL, tells us that as of June 2010 there were 174 foreign private issuers filing financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS, with more than 300 additional issuers eligible to do so this year.

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