FASB looks for feedback on taxonomy

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board is asking for comments on how effective its U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy really is.

FASB released an Invitation to Comment document Wednesday asking for input on the GAAP Taxonomy, the set of computer-readable tags in Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, format corresponding to various standards and accounting terms. XBRL technology enables companies to tag the thousands of pieces of financial data they include in financial statements and footnote disclosures so computers can compare the data more easily and it can be analyzed by investors, financial analysts, regulators, and others. The SEC has been requiring public companies to submit their financial filings in XBRL format in recent years, and although there have been problems with data quality and other issues, the SEC is now allowing the use of Inline XBRL, which is supposed to be more flexible.

FASB’s Invitation to Comment document, U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy—Efficiency and Effectiveness Review, deals with potential further improvements to the usability of the GAAP Taxonomy and the processes that support activities related to development of the taxonomy. FASB took over responsibility for development and maintenance of the GAAP taxonomy several from XBRL US, and it is looking for feedback from accountants and other constituents at an early stage in its review of the taxonomy. FASB is looking for comments by June 15.

The board also plans to host a public roundtable meeting on July 18 to discuss the comments it has received. Those who wish to participate can email director@fasb.org. Further information is in the ITC document.

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