The Financial Accounting Foundation has released the 2011 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy, pending final acceptance by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 2011 taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the 2009 taxonomy currently used by SEC issuers. It contains a list of computer-readable tags in Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, allowing companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. The tags allow computers to automatically search for, assemble, and process data so it can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts, journalists and regulators.

In early 2010, the FAF assumed maintenance responsibilities for the taxonomy, and, along with the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which the FAF oversees, assembled a team of technical staff dedicated to updating the taxonomy for changes in U.S. GAAP, and identifying best practices in taxonomy extensions and technical enhancements.

The FAF issued a set of 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.

The U.S. GAAP 2011 taxonomy is available here.

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