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Thursday 18 September 2014

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The IFRS Taxonomy


 

The IFRS Taxonomy is the XBRL representation of IFRSs, including International Accounting Standards (IASs), Interpretations, and the IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs), issued by the IASB. The IFRS Taxonomy contains tags for all IFRS disclosures. 

By providing the IFRS Taxonomy, the IFRS Foundation seeks to address the demand for an electronic standard to transmit IFRS financial information.

Like the IFRS Bound Volume, the IFRS Taxonomy is released once a year to incorporate new IFRSs, improvements to existing IFRSs, and also changes in XBRL technology.

The annual development cycle of the IFRS Taxonomy involves the:

  1. construction of an XBRL technology framework (known as an architecture), and
  2. implementation of up-to-date IFRS disclosure and presentation requirements (ie financial reporting content).

The two are then combined and the result is a set of XBRL, computer files which make-up the IFRS Taxonomy.  The annual development cycle of the IFRS Taxonomy is illustrated below:

The IFRS Taxonomy is developed through a formal system of due process and broad international consultation. This ensures transparency and compliance with best practice, and also provides quality assurance and opportunities to engage with stakeholders in order to understand their concerns and the impact the IFRS Foundation's decisions will have.

 

 

About taxonomies

XBRL tags are defined and organised using a categorisation scheme called a taxonomy.  Taxonomies are the computer-readable 'dictionaries' of XBRL.  A taxonomy provides definitions for XBRL tags, it provides information about the tags, and it organises the tags so that they have a meaningful structure.

A taxonomy enables a computer with XBRL software to:

  • understand what the tag is (whether it is a monetary item, a percentage or text);
  • what characteristics the tag has (eg if it has a negative value);
  • its relationship to other items (eg if it is part of a calculation).

Taxonomies differ according to different reporting purposes, the type of information being reported and reporting presentation requirements.  Therefore a company may use one taxonomy when reporting to a stock exchange, but use a different taxonomy when reporting to a securities regulator.

Taxonomies are available for most of the major national accounting standards around the world.  For a company reporting in IFRS, the IFRS Foundation publishes tags for each IFRS disclosure.  These tags are organised and contained within the IFRS Taxonomy.

 


Related information

Read the Snapshot (a quick introduction to IFRSs and XBRL)

Click here for the IASB XBRL Team and the XBRL due process

Contact us

IFRS Taxonomy Team 
email: taxonomy@ifrs.org