By Evan Condran. It has been a common complaint with SEC filers that they don’t see the value in XBRL submissions. There has even been proposed legislation to reduce the requirements for XBRL filings. The distaste towards interactive data is most likely an aversion to change – frustration with the mandate taking time out of their reporting process coupled with the fact that XBRL provides streamlined transparency into disclosures. However, as the data continues to standardize we continue to see new uses for machine readable financials.
Forward thinking industry experts have envisioned the true value of interactive data, not only from an expedited auditing standpoint, but also the potential for consumption from the investment community. It was presented at the XBRL US conference that interactive data is being used more frequently today in multiple facets of the reporting and investor communities, in the US and globally.
Beginning January 1st, 2015 SBR (Standard Business Reporting) in the Netherlands will require certain XBRL filings, including tax filings, to replace the PDF versions of financial statements. ING, the Dutch multi-national financial services corporation, will require their clients to file in this format starting in 2017 and recently announced a plan to award early adopters of the program with discounts on loan and credit applications. ING will extend these discounts to small and medium-sized customers who submit financials in the XBRL format within their SBR requirement.
This is an encouraging step in the right direction for additional open data file submissions within US regulatory bodies, such as the IRS and SEC, in both private and public companies. The quality of XBRL will increase as the SEC has begun to use their analytical models to identify and red-flag filers with potential errors. ING’s discount program creates a greater awareness for leveraging the transparency enabled through interactive data by rewarding their clients financially.
For more guidance on how to put XBRL to strategic use for your organization download Certent’s white paper, The 5 Fundamentals to Learning XBRL. The age of interactive data reporting has only just begun!