XBRL US Publishes Proposal to Improve XBRL Filings and a Few Reminders

The SEC requirement to provide XBRL submissions with filings that include registrants’ financial statements (including of course Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K’s that include full financial statements) is one of the issues we discuss in all our workshops. Most of these discussions are about “problems” and “issues” companies have with XBRL. Some of the most frequently raised issues are inconsistency in tagging and creating unnecessary extensions.

Few would question the need for addressing these issues in tagging to make XBRL data more usable. XBRL US and the FASB, (FASB maintains the taxonomies for US GAAP), have both been working on projects to improve tagging.

XBRL US Proposed Guidance and Validation Rules

XBRL US, the non-profit group that has as its mission:

“to support the implementation of XML business reporting standards through the development of taxonomies for use by U.S. public and private sectors, with a goal of interoperability between sectors, and by promoting XBRL adoption through marketplace collaboration”,

has proposed several rules relating to the use of XBRL. These rules are being exposed for public comment through September 14, 2015. You can review the proposed rules which deal with topics such as “element values are equal” and “negative values” at:


If you have not read about the history and development of XBRL, you could also check out this part of the XBRL US web page:


FASB Simplification Project and Related Improvement Projects

We have blogged before about this FASB project to make the taxonomies easier to use and hence improve the quality of information. The staff has made progress in some areas such as removing unused tags. The latest update on the simplification project for the US GAAP taxonomies is at:


If you scroll around the page linked to above, you can also read about projects where the FASB is focusing on improving the taxonomy in targeted areas such as fair value disclosures and pensions.

FASB Implementation Guides

The FASB XBRL Staff has also issued a significant number of Implementation and Reference guides to use in XBRL tagging. You can find all of them, ranging from topics such as segment reporting to subsequent events, at:


SEC XBRL Documents

Lastly, in the XBRL world, just in case you haven’t heard about them, the SEC has issued two documents about the use of XBRL, a “Dear CFO Letter” about calculation structures and a DERA study about the use of extensions. We blogged about them a while back and you can review them by looking back to our post of September 2, 2014.

As always, your thoughts and considerations are welcome!






2 thoughts on “XBRL US Publishes Proposal to Improve XBRL Filings and a Few Reminders

  1. George: Just read your post on XBRL and I have to ask: Are you aware of anyone who uses XBRL? I hear the SEC staff uses for data mining but apart from them is any private party actually using the XBRL data?

  2. Great question Ryan, and actually our next XBRL post! Have you checked out a company called Calcbench? I think they have one of the more viable tools. They have also been out at conferences and such. So, while it may not be used much (although the SEC does use it in ways like the accounting quality model) it looks like the tools to use the data are finally appearing! Lets all watch together!

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