The Financial Accounting Standards Board made available its proposed 2013 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy in XBRL format for public review and comment Thursday.

The taxonomy is a list of computer-readable financial reporting labels coded in Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, an open-source computer language that allows companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures.

The tags allow users of financial statements to electronically search for, assemble, and process data so that the data can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts, journalists, and regulators. 

The proposed 2013 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other recommended improvements to the official taxonomy, which is used by public issuers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The deadline to submit written comments is Oct. 29, 2012. The 60-day comment period is intended to solicit feedback on the updates from users of the taxonomy and to provide SEC filers, service providers, software vendors, and other interested parties with the opportunity to become familiar with and suggest revisions to the taxonomy, including incorporating new elements for current filings.

The 2013 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is expected to be finalized and published in early 2013. The proposed 2013 U.S. GAAP taxonomy and instructions on how to submit comments are available at FASB’s XBRL page.

The SEC staff said they encourage filers, investors, analysts, software service providers and other interested parties to participate in this public review to continue to improve the process for creating and using XBRL tagged financial statements.

Upon completion of the public comment period and consideration of the feedback, the taxonomies will be finalized and ultimately made available for use with the Commission’s systems which the staff expects to happen in early 2013. Indication that the updated taxonomy is available for use will be made via the standard taxonomies page at http://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/edgartaxonomies.shtml.

The 2013 U.S. GAAP taxonomy may be used for filing submissions as soon as it is listed as available for use on http://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/edgartaxonomies.shtml. The staff encourages filers to transition to the updated taxonomy as soon as is practicable. The staff strongly encourages companies to use the most recent version of a taxonomy release for their Interactive Data submissions to take advantage of the most up to date tags related to new accounting standards and other improvements. When finalized, transition guidance will be posted on http://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/edgartaxonomies.shtml along with the final 2013 taxonomies.

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