Canada today announced a major step in the Canadian market to improve transparency of corporate reporting. 
The XBRL Canada Steering Committee has approved a Canadian taxonomy (a dictionary of accounting terms) for Canadian public companies to use under the emerging global business reporting standard called XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language).  The taxonomy has also been officially acknowledged by XBRL International.
XBRL is a data standard for exchanging business information. The XBRL standard and the Canadian taxonomy are royalty-free.  XBRL software will enable investors and analysts to better understand and investigate financial data, which should lead to greater transparency of such information. It will significantly reduce the time needed to locate and enter business information, leaving more time for analysis and comparison.  XBRL will also help enhance good corporate governance.  In a nutshell, XBRL is an XML-based framework that assists organizations to prepare, publish and analyze financial information; using XML data tags to describe financials.
This Canadian taxonomy covers Primary Financial Statements issued in accordance with Canadian GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). The approval follows a 45-day comment period of the Public Working Draft issued in December 2003.  George Farkas, Chair of XBRL Canada said, “The taxonomy will be published on the newly launched XBRL Canada web site (, which was built as a resource to help implement XBRL.”
The next step is to develop and approve a Canadian taxonomy for Notes to the Financial Statements (Notes) and for Management’s, Discussion and Analysis (MD&A).  The work on the Notes taxonomy commenced in February.
“XBRL is gaining momentum on a worldwide basis,” said Farkas.  “Several countries, including the U.S., are adopting XBRL and many software developers are building XBRL applications to go to market. He added, “A handful of early adopter companies have published their latest earnings results in XBRL format. Now that the Canadian taxonomy is finalized, XBRL Canada will lead efforts to educate all players in the corporate reporting supply chain, including software vendors, accounting firms, public companies, governments, news wires, data vendors and the financial community.” 
XBRL Canada is a not-for-profit consortium of leading Canadian companies, federal government agencies and other organizations.  It is part of a worldwide consortium, which is creating a standardized method for business reporting in an effort to improve transparency and collaboration. The development of XBRL standards in Canada has been spearheaded by XBRL Canada of which the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) is the lead member.
For further information about current members of XBRL Canada or to become a member of XBRL Canada, please refer to