The Financial Accounting Standards Board and XBRL US have completed their work in revising the XBRL U.S. GAAP Taxonomy to reflect the FASB Accounting Standards Codification that was released on July 1.

The new Codification will serve as the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. GAAP and is effective for interim and annual periods ending after Sept. 15, 2009. The Securities and Exchange Commission mandated the use of Extensible Business Reporting Language last December. XBRL technology allows public companies to file their financial statements in an interactive data format that analysts and investors can use to compare companies more easily. The SEC mandated the use of XBRL for all public companies over a three-year phase-in period. The largest public companies, with a worldwide public float greater than $5 billion, began filing for interim financial statements with periods ending on or after June 15, 2009.

Last year, FASB created an XBRL project team that worked closely with XBRL US to release the new XBRL extension taxonomy for the Codification. FASB’s XBRL project team reviewed the authoritative references in the current taxonomy and added the related Codification references. Public companies can use this digital dictionary when creating XBRL-formatted financials. Public companies that use the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy to create XBRL-formatted financial statements can now link directly from the taxonomy extension to the specific Codification reference posted on FASB’s Codification Web site. The Codification references, element labels and definitions will provide companies with the information they need to select the right element in the taxonomy to accurately reflect their financial statements.

“The work that FASB and XBRL US have done to bring these references into the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy further streamlines the process of financial statement preparation for public companies,” said FASB Chairman Robert H. Herz in a statement. “Incorporating the Codification into the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy will give preparers an easy tool that will help them select the appropriate elements for filing their XBRL financial statements.”

The Codification reorganizes the thousands of U.S. GAAP pronouncements into roughly 90 accounting topics and displays all the topics using a consistent structure. It also includes relevant SEC guidance that follows the same topical structure in separate sections in the Codification. The U.S. GAAP Taxonomy was developed by XBRL US under contract with the SEC as a comprehensive set of reporting elements that include GAAP requirements and common reporting practices.


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