XBRL is a language for electronic communication of business data. Each item is tagged with information about various attributes. No matter how experienced a team is, consider returning to some fundamental principles for improving the XBRL reporting process.
Here are some tips on how to improve management reporting processes:
1. Collect and normalize your data
– Start early. Waiting until the document is complete may be too late.
– Create flexible templates that enable contributors to submit structured and unstructured data in a consistent fashion so that you do not have to worry about rescheduling or reformatting.
2. Build an integrated reporting infrastructure
– Build and maintain a proper database into standard format that can be managed through tagging or filters and applied across your organisation at all levels.
– Limit the access to use or alter specific document or information to certain person to help maintain the data integrity.
3. Work from a single source of data
– Store every data element in one place
– Establish links between source data and all related places, so that when a figure changes, that change can propagate throughout all the required places.
– Make sure everyone pulls data from the one source to eliminate errors and inconsistencies.
4. Time Management
– Estimate the time commitment and procedures involved to produce an XBRL filing.
– Know the key phases in the filing cycle and how to budget time for each phase.
– Set a timetable in advance and stick to it to avoid last minute hassle.
5. Training and Guidance
– Obtain proper XBRL training prior to tagging.
– Know the structure of your organisation in which it regulates.
– The more effort and time you put into your XBRL training, better the outcome.
– Reach out to your peers.
– Connect with your colleagues in a similar industry or region with the complimentary Taxonomy Analyzer.
7. Improve the value of reporting
– Get in a successful test filing one week before your official submission. This will help you avoid last-minute surprises.
8. Attend webinars or programmes conducting relating to XBRL filing
– Attend ongoing educational webinars or programmes relating to recent amendments into the Act and framework to make yourself updated of the present scenario.
– Build up your XBRL experience in steps. Begin with a small portion of the document, such as a note or two.
10. Update your skills
– Stay on top of changes.
– Pay close attention to common items that require maintenance as you carry forward the XBRL from one quarter to the next. Don’t forget about taxonomy migration issues.
11. Professional guidance
– Leverage professional knowledge. Refer to XBRL examples for model tagging on common disclosures.
– Supplement with hourly XBRL services as needed, and be sure to reserve time with your Professional Services Manager early.