By Jen Stretch. Preparing financial disclosures is a hectic process, and one of the best ways to make sure you stay on track is to incorporate XBRL milestones into your filing schedule. Below are some general guidelines for your XBRL timeline:
- 6 Weeks Prior to Filing: Start the calendar roll forward process early and begin working on your proforma. This is the shell of the document that usually consists of blanks or zeros for current period disclosures. Also, start to build the taxonomy for any new disclosures.
- 4 Weeks Prior to Filing: Pull together your first draft, and populate live numbers for the current period disclosures. Dedicate time after the first draft to finalizing your taxonomy and tag any new disclosures.
- 3 Days Before Filing: Firm up your final draft. Make updates based on any changes to the document and complete the final review including a test filing with the EDGAR system. At this point the document is approximately 90% complete.
Another way to stay on track is to keep valuable resources handy. There are many resources available for XBRL preparers, the most important being the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), XBRL US and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Each of these entities has a section of their website dedicated to XBRL resources. On the SEC’s website, you can download the EDGAR Filer Manual (the source for XBRL rules and requirements), review SEC Staff Observations, FAQs, and preview XBRL rendering prior to filing. XBRL US provides a wide range of support from best practice guidance to testing your filing against rules approved by the XBRL US Data Quality Committee. The FASB website answers frequently asked questions, offers implementation guidelines on specific disclosures such as Subsequent Events and Segment Reporting, and provides many other resources.
While XBRL is a labor-intensive task, by implementing these tips and tricks you and your team can make the process a little less difficult. Be sure to download our XBRL Quality Checklist and SEC filing calendar to stay on task and on time.