XBRL US and the Financial Accounting Foundation have inked a three-year agreement to conduct joint research on further developing interactive data tags for financial statements.

The two groups have worked together closely in the past, having introduced a “taxonomy” for U.S. GAAP using Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, data tags in 2007. The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun requiring large public companies to file their financial statements using XBRL, which makes it easier for investors and analysts to compare information across companies and industries.

In February, the Financial Accounting Foundation, the parent organization of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, took over the official job of ongoing maintenance of the XBRL GAAP taxonomy. The new three-year agreement means it will be able to continue to work with XBRL US on further developing the taxonomy. Meanwhile, as U.S. GAAP continues to converge with International Financial Reporting Standards, a related organization, XBRL International, continues its work on a similar taxonomy for IFRS.

XBRL US and FASB have worked together since 2006 to apply XBRL to U.S. GAAP accounting standards, allowing companies to digitally tag complex financial statements and footnotes using a common language. Under the latest agreement, FAF and XBRL US Labs will collaborate and work cooperatively with each other to foster the U.S. GAAP taxonomy and to promote interoperability and consistency between future versions of that taxonomy developed by FAF with other financial reporting taxonomies that XBRL US will develop and implement. 

“The collaboration between XBRL US and FAF is a powerful combination of technology standards and accounting standards,” said AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon, who also chairs XBRL US. “This work will strengthen a solid foundation for expanding XBRL adoption in the public and private sectors.”

The research will build on tools and techniques developed by XBRL US Labs to maintain and publish taxonomies for tagging financial statements. XBRL US Labs is also engaged in other research projects to standardize common business reports for mutual funds, credit ratings, mortgage-backed securities, and corporate actions such as dividends and mergers. Other projects in the works include using XBRL for tax filings as well as a research and development effort to bring XBRL apps to Apple iPhone and iPad.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access