XBRL US, the nonprofit group working to develop the Extensible Business Reporting Language in the U.S., said it has finished codifying collections of financial and business terms for U.S. generally accepted accounting principles in XBRL format, along with an accompanying preparers guide.
The collections, known as the GAAP taxonomies, along with the preparer's guide and accompanying documentation, were delivered to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The SEC is encouraging companies to begin filing their financial statements in XBRL to make them easier for investors to analyze and compare, and is widely expected to soon mandate the filing of financial statements in XBRL.
The SEC will hold an open meeting on May 14 to discuss a rule proposal requiring the use of XBRL for public company reporting. Public company preparers would use the XBRL US GAAP taxonomies and preparers guide to create their XBRL-formatted financials.
"This delivery ensures that the tools are in place for public companies to create interactive data-formatted financials with ease and efficiency, and the May 14 open meeting will be the start of a process to enable widespread use of interactive data tags resulting in greater transparency, accuracy and granularity of information in the marketplace," said David Blaszkowsky, director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, in a statement.
The XBRL US GAAP taxonomies, preparers guide, case studies and other supporting documentation can be viewed at http://xbrl.us/pages/us-gaap.aspx.
Even with a mandate coming out, there are still multiple versions of XBRL around, noted one financial software vendor. "We're looking forward with some interest to what the SEC is coming out with," said Coda CEO Jeremy Roche (pictured) in an interview. "XBRL has been discussed for so many years and it never has really gotten traction. If they mandate it, it will definitely push it forward. While it's still voluntary, they will just discuss it."
However, Roche believes the SEC should give companies a lead time of two years to prepare for XBRL. "If it's mandatory and it's a reasonable time scale, then people will adopt it," he said. "Twenty-four months would give people two reporting cycles to get it in place."
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