XBRL Tagging

In March, the SEC introduced proposed changes to include Inline XBRL Tagging in financial filings. The public comment period recently ended on May 16th, and the comments are available to read here. XBRL US offered one such comment on the proposed requirements to include Inline XBRL in financial filings, and in it expressed agreement that inclusion on Inline XBRL will help to improve the quality of reported structured financial data while reducing the burden on filers.

Specifically, XBRL US suggests that further enhancements can be achieved by 1) encouraging filers to adopt XBRL US Data Quality rules, 2) using an auditor to review the XBRL portion of the filing, and 3) reducing the use of extensions and further consolidating like terms in the US GAAP taxonomy. Inline XBRL is a well-established technology already in use in other markets. By eliminating the need for both an XBRL and HTML filing to the SEC, Inline XBRL improves data quality and reduces completeness errors. Errors can also be more easily assessed and addressed through an Inline Viewer.XBRL US also believes the phase-in schedule is appropriate, with large accelerated filers complying first, and suggests that the initial filing be a 10-Q to allow companies the chance to begin using Inline XBRL with a smaller filing. Other suggestions were made with respect to when the SEC should begin requiring the use of Inline XBRL. For example, XBRL US believes changes in workflow, vendor readiness and issuer learning curves, and potentially switching vendors may cause delays for the first filers. For mutual funds and their vendors, these considerations become even more pressing considering the potential need to typeset filings before preparing their XBRL components and the larger volume of filings. Also XBRL US recommends that the 15-day waiting period for mutual funds be eliminated in order to make the filings available in a more timely manner to investors. Foreign private issuers will also be incorporating both XBRL and Inline XBRL at the same time, so the SEC aligning requirements with the European Securities Markets Authority will reduce the burdens for those filers.

Finally, XBRL US recommends that Inline XBRL be required for any SEC disclosure, including the MD&A and proxy statement. If the data is valuable enough to necessitate disclosure, it should be tagged with Inline XBRL to be computer-readable.

For the complete comment from XBRL US, see here. With the public comment period closed, a final rule from the SEC should be forthcoming. Novaworks will report on this rule and all other new actions taken by the SEC. Note that GoFiler already provides tools to incorporate and validate Inline XBRL into your financial filings.

Novaworks contributed to the public comment made by XBRL US.

Sources: M2 COMPLIANCE

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