Quality of XBRL Filing Certified by Professional Members 

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has pressed upon for the need to improve the quality of XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) filings. In a letter sent to the Presidents of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Company Secretary in India (ICSI) the Ministry said it is the bounden duty of these institutes to improve the quality of XBRL filing for the financial year (FY) 2011-12 to be undertaken by its members. Further, the Institute may conduct further trainings, issue guidelines, etc so that such quality related issues are appropriately resolved.

As per the letter a random scrutiny of XBRL filing of financial statements by few companies to MCA for FY 2010-11 reveals significant variations in disclosures in published results and the XBRL filing due to ‘incorrect’ mapping of disclosures. It has been observed that few disclosures were ‘mapped/ tagged’ with incorrect accounting concept despite availability of appropriate element in taxonomy. It has also been observed that provisions of “Block Text tagging” and/ or “Footnote” have been inappropriately used to report disclosures like subsidiary details, related party transactions, Director’s Report, etc. even when appropriate elements were available in the taxonomy for such disclosures.

Moreover, Such filing are inaccurate and do not adequately represent true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company as per Section 211 of the Companies Act, 1956. Such XBRL filing, apart from being misleading, also dilute the effectiveness of XBRL, for stakeholders’ usage relating to the companies. It is unfortunate that professionals have certified the authenticity of such incorrect date, for which they are liable to be penalized. Such lapses defeat the very purpose of introducing XBRL filing which are meant to elicit more detailed and refined information as to the affairs of companies. Please note that XBRL filing are being minutely scrutinized to see if similar mistakes also appear in a larger sample.

It is note worthy that XBRL filing of financial statements by a select class of companies for FY 2010-11 was mandated vide Ministry of Corporate Affairs Notification GSR No: 748(E) dated 05.10.2011. The E-forms were duly certified by CA/CS/CWA professionals for their completeness and correctness in representation with respect to audited financial statement of the company.