By Josh Feldman. XBRL has become a worldwide standard for business and financial data, however a lack of consistent guidance has made the accuracy, consistency and reliability of this information a challenge. Inconsistent or incorrect tagging make automated analysis of this data a real chore – but what can we do? XBRL US recently announced an initiative, known as the XBRL US Center for Data Quality, to improve the utility of XBRL financial data filed with the SEC. Certent is proud to be a member of the Center and below is a quick look at what the Data Committee plans to develop.
The XBRL Data Quality Committee, in its June 24th release, announced its plans to address two main areas. The first, to provide uniform, consistent tagging of financial data and to clarify those specific circumstances where custom tags are appropriate. And the second, to automate validation rules to detect input errors and verify compliance with the Committee’s guidance. Barry Melancon, CEO of the American Institute of CPAs, and Chair of the XBRL US Board of Directors stated, “This industry-funded initiative will make it substantially easier for companies to create consistent, good quality financial statements in XBRL format.”
The Committee plans to contribute validation rules to the Arelle open source XBRL platform and make the updates freely available for use by XBRL software providers, public companies and others. Committee meetings will be open to the public and any proposed guidance and validation rules will be available for public comment before they are published.
Representatives from The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Bloomberg, American Institute of CPAs and the CFO Institute will also be involved in the Committee. Louis Matherne, Chief of Taxonomy Development at FASB, said, “We are pleased to be part of this initiative, which will give the FASB insight into data quality concerns that will help us improve the U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy.”