Canadian securities regulators have published a report detailing the results of their continuous disclosure reviews for the past year, a year in which they focused on the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) notice issued Thursday summarizes the results of their continuous disclosure reviews for fiscal 2012 (the year ending March 31, 2012). The report indicates that the overall number of reviews completed by the various CSA members dropped compared to the previous year, as they reduced the number of smaller, focused reviews they carried out and increased the number of full reviews, which were further complicated by the introduction of IFRS.

The CSA reports that 56% of their review outcomes required issuers to take action to improve disclosure, compared to 70% in fiscal 2011. The drop in required action reflects the fact that a number of the issue-oriented reviews sought to gather information on the IFRS transition, to identify industry trends, and to identify differences between IFRS and previous accounting protocols, the CSA notes.

Of the 56% of cases where some action was required, the CSA reports that in 2% of its reviews, issuers were cease traded, placed on a default list, or referred to enforcement; 9% of the reviews resulted in issuers being alerted to specific areas where disclosure should be enhanced; 17% required issuers to amend or refile certain documents; and, 28% resulted in reporting issuers being required to make enhancements to their disclosure in future filings.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2013, the CSA says its focus will be on the first annual IFRS report. Some of the topics that may receive greater attention include: judgments and sources of estimation uncertainty disclosure; asset impairments; and, business combinations.

“Continuous disclosure is paramount to an efficient Canadian capital market, and ensuring information is timely, reliable and relevant is fundamental for maintaining investor confidence,” said Bill Rice, chair of the CSA and chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission.