XBRL Update for April, 2010

Since our last update, there have been four significant XBRL developments:

  • Transition of responsibility for maintaining the US GAAP Taxonomy
  • SEC release of a new Previewer and Viewer engine
  • Update to the EDGAR Filer Manual
  • SEC Webinar focused on detailed tagging requirements.

Taxonomy Maintenance Transition
On February 5, 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. The current 2009 taxonomy in use by SEC issuers was developed by XBRL US, Inc., an independent non-profit organization, with technical accounting support provided by the FASB. Going forward, XBRL US will transition to other projects with continued technical support from the FASB.

The FAF and FASB are currently assembling a small technical staff dedicated to maintaining the taxonomy and will work towards the release of the next taxonomy update in early 2011. The FAF will be focused on updating the taxonomy for changes in U.S. GAAP, best practices in taxonomy extensions and technical enhancements. Additionally, the team will work closely with the SEC, investors, issuers, accounting firms and other stakeholders.

We believe moving the Taxonomy maintenance responsibility under the umbrella of the FAF reflects the value seen in XBRL providing pertinent information to financial users. In fact, you can already find XBRL Elements incorporated into the FASB Accounting Standards Codification. For filers, this is an encouraging step towards continuously improving the US GAAP Taxonomy and thus increasing comparability.

The next release of the Taxonomy, which will be released by the FAF, is expected to be in Q1 2011.  Accordingly, filers should continue to use the pre-codification “US GAAP Taxonomies, 2009” release which is supported by EDGAR and approved by the SEC for use.

New SEC Rendering Engine
On March 4th, 2010, the SEC released a new Rendering Engine for their Previewer and Viewer. All SEC submissions subsequent to the release will render under the new engine’s rules while prior submissions will continue to render under the old rendering engine’s set of rules.

The SEC’s new Rendering Engine fixes existing “bugs.” Fixes primarily relate to:

  • Support for rendering submissions that have multiple currencies.
  • Element references (“definition”) from the standard taxonomy now render when clicking on a label.
  • Display of ‘nil valued’ line items such as the line item for Commitments and Contingencies.
  • Minor rendering issues.

Update to the EDGAR Filer Manual
On March 10, 2010, the SEC released a DRAFT EDGAR Filer Manual (Volume II) (version 14), which covers the SEC’s rules relating to XBRL submissions. The reflected changes are in effect as of April 12, 2010.
Significant changes primarily relate to the required Document and Entity Information. Additionally, the SEC has changed its previously issued guidance for tagging information related to multiple classes of stock.

SEC Webinar
On March 23, 2010, the SEC staff conducted a public seminar to help companies and preparers comply with rules covering XBRL submissions. The SEC staff answered frequently asked questions about the rules and technology requirements including questions surrounding detailed tagging requirements.

The two-hour-plus webcast, which can be found at http://bizwire.pr/March23SECXBRLWebcast, provided the following additional information/clarification:

General guidance:

  • Line items shown as a “–” should be left blank, unless the balance is actually a “0” or management believes that “0” is a better distinction.
  • Only text block elements should be used for text blocking (level i, ii and iii). String elements are for optional level iv tagging.
  • When selecting an element the deciding factors should be a) the definition must capture all of the concepts, and b) the definition must not exclude any of the concepts.

Detailed tagging guidance:

  • All accounting policies must be tagged at level ii regardless of the note in which they are contained.
  • There are certain values that do not need to be tagged (e.g., court docket numbers, FASB numbers, etc.).
  • The SEC has prescribed a naming and presentation convention for each level of detailed tagging.
  • Level iv tagging should be started with tables and then concepts from the narratives be built within the table or new tables.

Have any XBRL questions or concerns?  Simply contact us at XBRL@BusinessWire.com.

One Response to XBRL Update for April, 2010

  1. Laruff says:

    That was a incredible blog post,You gain knowledge of new stuff every day.

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