Qatar Stock Exchange – Q-Disclosure
Qatar, through an initiative supported jointly by Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) and Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA), is preparing to implement an XBRL-based reporting and disclosure system covering both Financial Statements (annual, semi-annual and quarterly) and non-financial disclosures (including but not limited to corporate announcements, corporate actions and other regulatory announcements).
The aim is that the XBRL-based system for both financial statements and non-financial disclosures will first be run on a pilot basis but in due course become mandatory for listed companies.
XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is the result of a move towards a single global electronic financial reporting standard allowing more efficient retrieval and analysis of financial information. The standard was developed by an international non-profit consortium of over 650 major companies, and government agencies and adopted by accounting standards bodies, regulators, and banks around the world.
The idea behind XBRL is instead of treating financial information as a static text – as in a standard internet page or a printed document, XBRL provides an identifying tag for each individual item of data, whether numeric or textual. This tag is computer readable and allows the information to be used interactively.
“In a nutshell, XBRL provides a language in which reporting terms can be authoritatively defined. Those terms can then be used to uniquely represent the contents of financial statements or other kinds of compliance, performance and business reports. XBRL lets reporting information move between organisations rapidly, accurately and digitally. XBRL is the international standard for digital reporting of financial, performance, risk and compliance information, although it is also used for many other types of reporting. The open XBRL specifications are freely licensed to anyone seeking to use the standard. XBRL provides a way to:
- define unambiguous, reusable definitions
- report individual facts against those definitions
- where necessary (and permitted) extend those definitions to take account of unique reporting ideas or aggregations
- test the resulting report against the constraints set out in the definitions
- file or publish the finished report
- consume entire reports or individual facts as needed”
Source: XBRL International website.
XBRL is either in mandated or in voluntarily use in an increasing number of countries including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Japan and the United States. XBRL has been mandatory in the UK since April 2011; mandated in the United States since December 2008, beginning in 2009 for the largest companies and for all public companies in 2015.
In line with the XBRL adoption, QSE has developed an integrated solution within the platform that also standardises non-financial disclosures.
The system will be a web-based solution, available in Arabic and English, fully aligned with IFRS and designed with sector specific taxonomy for Banks & Financials, Insurance (Commercial and Islamic), Real Estate and Other (to cover Consumer, Industrials, Telecoms and Transportation).
The system will allow for validation of the information submitted by the reporting entities based on XBRL specifications, as well as other defined business rules and will also provide functionalities for auditors to login and view the unaudited reports, and approve them.
The system will allow for five financial reporting statements in accordance with IFRS (face financial statements only) including: income statement, statement of comprehensive income, statement of financial position, changes of owners’ equity and statement of cash flow.
As regards Financial Statements, XBRL reporting will cover all of (i) annual audited (ii) semi-annual reviewed and (iii) quarterly statements.
As with the XBRL financial statements, the non-financial disclosure system will allow for validation of the information submitted by the reporting entities based on XBRL specifications, as well as other defined business rules.
Specifically, QSE has developed web forms/templates for standard corporate actions such as company announcements, board of directors’ changes, AGM, EGM announcements, dividend announcements disclosure dates of financial statements of all listed companies, financial statements, ownership limits & number of free-float shares in listed companies, rights issue, bonus shares and other corporate action practices and disseminate such announcement to QSE and market participants.
QSE has completed the development work and is now in the early stages of the ‘testing’ and ‘pilot’ phases, which we expect to run through until July 2020. It is envisaged UAT will take place with listed companies and auditors in batches between October 2019 and June 2020.
QSE expects the XBRL-based financial reporting and non-financial disclosure systems will be mandatory for all listed companies by in Q3 2020.
Further information and Q&A can be found below.