2014 US GAAP Taxonomy: Let's Make It Usable
- Require revision of filings that contain tagging errors. This is a simple rule. If it is important to tag the data, it is important to tag it correctly in every aspect.
- Use structured data to make regulatory oversight more efficient and effective. To accomplish this objective, the SEC needs to develop and make available for public comment a detailed plan on how it will transform its oversight processes using structured data. After all, if the use of structured data isn’t improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory oversight, what’s the point? The way investors use structured data is directly related to its use by the SEC. If it isn’t good enough for the SEC, it isn’t good enough for an investor either.
- Find out what users of the XBRL-formatted data need. According to a study released by Columbia University in February 2013, investors want tagging errors, including unnecessary extensions, to be eliminated. But what else should change? For example, do investors, intermediaries, and academics want the SEC to eliminate ambiguity in modeling choices in certain, or even all, instances? The big questions are: What changes do investors want in order to incorporate the use of structured data into their existing workflows? And, can those changes be made without any additional burden being placed on the filers?
About the author
Mike Starr is Vice President of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs. He previously served as the SEC Chief Accountant’s advisor with a focus on investors’ financial information needs and the role of structured data in meeting those needs. Prior to his work with the SEC, Mike served as Chief Operating Officer for Grant Thornton International Ltd., where he oversaw global strategy and public policy. He earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Oklahoma State University (OSU), and in 2010 was recognized as an OSU distinguished accounting alumnus and inducted into the School of Accounting Hall of Fame.