President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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BRL and the future of financial reporting
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By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

October 26, 2017

BRL and the future of financial reporting

Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

The boundaries of physical and digital worlds are melting at unprecedented speeds, leaving many of our policy-makers, heads of government and business people unprepared to integrate new concepts into decision-making processes.– Global Agenda Outlook 2013, World Economic Forum

At the last meeting of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Consultative Group (CAG) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) CAG at the Public Interest Oversight Board offices in Madrid, Spain, from September 11 to 13 (my first participation as global representative of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes), Mohini Singh of the Chartered Financial Analyst (Institute presented “Data & Technology: Transforming the Financial Information Landscape.”

The key reference of the presentation was the use of technology to generate structured data. While not much discussion was made on how structured data may be created, one can surmise that XBRL was the key point. For the uninformed, let me provide some backdrop (adopted from Michael Cohn’s article, Accounting Today, July 20) on XBRL, which stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. XBRL technology uses a data-tagging format that makes it easier for investors and analysts to compare financial information across companies and industries.

In 2009 the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began requiring the largest public companies to file their financial statements using XBRL and phased in the requirements for smaller issuers over the succeeding two years.

In March this year the US SEC mandated that foreign private issuers preparing financials in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) must submit them in XBRL format for financial periods ending on or after December 15. Said IFRS reporting companies are required to tag not only the primary financial statements but also the detailed amounts in the notes to the financial statements.

In Europe XBRL usage is expected to increase. Starting in 2020 the European Securities and Markets Authority requires European Union (EU)-listed companies to use XBRL for consolidated annual reports prepared in accordance with IFRS. This will impact on about 5,300 companies.

Singh identified the benefits to investors of structured data to include:

• Improved financial statement accuracy;
• Improved productivity;
• Increased opportunity for higher returns;
• Better risk management; and
• Empowerment of the analyst.

(Noted as sources of above, R. Harold Schroeder, “XBRL US Investor Forum: Improving Financial Analysis through Structured Data” [November 4, 2015] and Pranav Ghai and Alex Rapp, “Value of XBRL for Financial Analysis” [12 January 2016])

In one of the slides, Singh showed “Financial Reporting: The Coming Changes”–

Current State Future State
Historic Real time
Periodic On demand
Composed of statements Composed of customs searches and reports
Based on financial measures
Backward looking Based on financial and nonfinancial items Predictive

Interestingly, the presentation also included the survey results on awareness of XBRL initiatives covering respondents from the Americas (60 percent), Asia Pacific (16 percent) and EMEA (24 percent). Presented below are selected data only.

2007 2016
Not aware 59 55
Aware but not up-to-date on its usage in financial reporting 32 35
Aware and plans for its usage in financial reporting 9 10

(The foregoing table shows only the comparative data between two survey periods. There are two other intervening period survey results, 2009 and 2011, but I am focusing on the difference between two periods, long enough to assess any significant difference.)

Considering the intervening period of nine years (2016 vs. 2007), the change in awareness of XBRL initiatives does not seem to be very material. The 4-percent improvement on awareness (59 percent to 55 percent not aware) does not even translate to plans of using XBRL in financial reporting, for only 1-percent improvement is registered for this group of respondents. The balance of 3 percent is aware, but not even up-to-date on its usage in financial reporting. With the US SEC mandating the use of XBRL for IFRS-listed companies of non-US origin and the foreseeable implementation of EU mandate, the use of XBRL will increase.

While merits/advantages of adopting XBRL in financial reporting have been written about and discussed, there are still some concerns to be addressed like reviewing or validating the reports against a set of standards. There are no established standards/guidelines for review/audit of reports generated by XBRL. As things stand, the reviews are reportedly based on agreed-upon procedures.

Bringing the topic to the Philippine landscape, it may take time for the country’s regulators to consider mandating XBRL for listed companies, entities of public interest and similarly regulated establishments. Creating awareness should first be initiated followed by educating concerned, parties on its adoption and the regulators’ directive to use XBRL. Of primary concern to the regulated entities will be the corresponding investment to include training people and acquiring the software.


Dr. Conchita L. Manabat is the President of the Development Center for Finance, a joint undertaking of the Finex Research & Development Foundation Inc. and the Virata School of Business at the University of the Philippines.

She is a member of the IAASB CAG and the IESBA CAG. A past chairman of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes, she now serves as the chairman of the Advisory Council of the said organization. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Forecast and prediction

Manila Times(FINEX FILES)
January 05, 2018

Forecast and prediction

'Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.'Warren Buffett

People often ask me – “What’s going to be the price of bitcoin at the end on 2018”. Without any statistical basis, my unremitting retort is – “I don’t know”.

Golden FINEX rising
J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

January 5, 2018

Golden FINEX rising

1968 was the year that changed the world, according to Time magazine. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy were assassinated. A youth rebellion paralyzed France and students took over Columbia University in New York. Czechoslovakia tasted freedom for a brief moment in the Prague Spring; Mexico City hosted the Olympics; and the Tet Offensive became the turning point of the Vietnam War.

The Philippine Basketball Association will not die
Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

January 3, 2018

The Philippine Basketball Association will not die

There were fears politics would put an end to the highly popular Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) tournaments a few weeks ago over a controversial trade involving franchise player Christian Standhardinger.

What to expect in 2018
Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
January 2, 2018

What to expect in 2018

My crystal ball tells me that the letter T will loom large in 2018, actually 4 of them, Taxes, Trans portation, Telecommunications, and Tourism. With the recent signing into law of the first phase of the tax reform package, we can see a mixed bag of results that will benefit certain sectors and be disadvantageous to others. Low income earners with an annual income of not more than R250,000 will no longer have to pay any taxes. That is certainly good news for them,

Ethics in media
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

MANILA BULETTIN (Business Option)
December 26, 2017

Ethics in media

The use that people make of the media of social communications can bring about great good or great evil. Today we move in an “information age” wherein all sorts of images, messages, perceptions, and ideas assault our senses every day. Not only is media able to influence society, but they can actually propose ideas and models of behavior that impinge on the whole world.

A Christmas Message
By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

December 22, 2017

A Christmas Message

Christmas is one day in a year where most Filipinos take the time and effort to prepare. To some, the preparation commences once the “ber” months start. And of course, there is the usual last minute rush to gear up for it.