The Financial Accounting Standards Board said Thursday the the 2015 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is now available, although it is pending final acceptance by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The taxonomy is a list of computer-readable tags in Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, enabling companies to tag the thousands of pieces of financial data included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. The XBRL tags allow computers to automatically search for, assemble, and process data so it can be accessed and analyzed more easily by investors, analysts, journalists, and regulators. The SEC has been requiring public companies in recent years to file their financials using XBRL. So far the technology has proven to be of limited usefulness for most investors, but the SEC has been able to leverage the data to search for patterns of possible fraud or misreporting.
The 2015 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the 2014 taxonomy currently used by SEC issuers. The FASB staff issued proposed improvements to the taxonomy in the fall, allowing users of the taxonomy to provide feedback on the updates and to provide SEC filers, service providers, software vendors, and other interested parties the opportunity to become familiar with and incorporate new element names for their filings.
In early 2010, FASB’s parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation, assumed maintenance responsibilities for the Taxonomy, and, along with FASB, assembled a team of technical staff dedicated to updating the taxonomy for changes in GAAP, identifying best practices in taxonomy extensions, and incorporating technical enhancements.
The GAAP 2015 Taxonomy is available here.
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