It didn't take long for the new administration to flex its muscles on accounting practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an XBRL enforcement timetable, on schedule on Jan. 30, but delayed action on a timeline for the proposed switch from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Promising to "take a deep breath and look at this entire area again," new SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, extended the comment period on its proposed IFRS roadmap to April 20 from Feb. 19.

"Using sophisticated technology to bring clarity to financial reporting is right in line with what this administration is looking for," says Michelle Savage, communications vice president of nonprofit XBRL US.

The 206-page document, Interactive Data to Improve Financial Reporting, on the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) varies little from proposed rules and clarifies issues raised at open meetings. Notably, the SEC ruled that companies can start XBRL filing with shorter, less complex 10-Qs, rather than 10-Ks. Also, voluntary filers can start or stop the process at will, providing time to evaluate and regroup if necessary.

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