The Financial Accounting Standards Board is looking for comment on proposed structural changes to the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy.

FASB U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy (UGT): A Proposal to Revise the UGT Calculation Hierarchy proposes a new calculation hierarchy that is intended to improve the taxonomy’s usefulness to preparers and users of financial statements.

The taxonomy contains calculation hierarchies that demonstrate the mathematical relationship between its various elements. It indicates which elements are totals and which elements are added together to compose a total. Currently, the taxonomy provides a calculation hierarchy ? or summation ? for every statement or disclosure presentation with summation relationships, regardless of any overlap.

As proposed, the revised hierarchy would eliminate inconsistencies created by these multiple calculation hierarchies, making it more functional for users and easier to navigate for preparers. For example, the 2013 taxonomy release includes 19 summations for revenues, several of which are inconsistent. The revised hierarchy would reduce the number of summations to three.

The U.S. GAAP Taxonomy is a list of computer-readable financial reporting labels coded in the Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, that enables companies to tag thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in financial statements and related footnote disclosures.

Comments are requested by July 14, 2013. The Invitation to Comment is available on the FASB Web site. Depending on the feedback received, FASB aims to have a final revised version as early as the 2014 U.S. GAAP Taxonomy release.

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