TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Small Business Week in Canada provides an excellent opportunity to focus on the impact of government red tape on this critical sector, according to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
The CICA has been actively urging the federal government to adopt Standard Business Reporting, more specifically, eXtensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL. It is a data tagging mechanism that could be used with government filings to reduce both compliance costs and heighten the efficiency and accuracy of information collected.
"Redundant and inefficient reporting and collection of information places a considerable burden on small businesses and other organizations," explained Gord Beal, director, guidance and support, CICA. "Canadian companies are frequently required to report similar information in different formats to meet the needs of various governments and agencies."
XBRL Canada is a not-for-profit consortium, funded and supported by the CICA. It was formed to foster and encourage the use of the data tagging mechanism for greater efficiency in Canadian business. XBRL Canada's annual conference is taking place in Ottawa today and the collection of information by government is a primary focus.
"Small businesses are the economic engines driving the Canadian economy but far too often they sputter, clog or choke because of useless paperwork and cumbersome government processes," stressed Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and the keynote speaker at the conference. "Adoption of a mechanism such as XBRL could play a key role in helping small businesses achieve significant savings and efficiencies."
A 2010 CFIB study found that red tape at all levels of government costs businesses about $30.5 billion a year.
The CICA has discussed the benefits of XBRL in submissions to the Red Tape Reduction Commission and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. In addition, the CICA and XBRL Canada have published a special document providing a roadmap for XBRL implementation for the electronic filing of information with the Government of Canada.
More information about XBRL, including the roadmap, is available online (www.xbrl.ca)
"Over 20 countries have implemented programs to reduce the compliance burden and red tape for companies reporting to government ministries and agencies," said Gerald Trites, project director, XBRL Canada. "In several of these countries, XBRL is well recognized as an integral component in achieving efficiency."
Chartered Accountants (CAs) are Canada's most valued, internationally recognized profession of leaders in senior management, advisory, financial, tax and assurance roles. Through their integrity, expertise, and internationally recognized qualification standards, Canada's 82,000 CAs sustain their influence and leadership position both in Canada and globally. As trusted business advisors to Canadian organizations of all sizes, Canada's CAs foster confidence in Canadian business and contribute to the health and sustainability of Canada's capital markets and economy. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) represents Canada's CA profession both nationally and internationally. The CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).
SOURCE: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
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