XBRL: Is It Time to Simplify?

Workiva supports Inline XBRL 

October 2, 2013

WebFilings own Mike Starr, Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Susan Yount, Director of Reporting Practices, recently co-authored "The State of SEC Reporting Using Structured Data" in the September edition of the Financial Executive magazine.

The article sets forth the following actions that the SEC must take to achieve the original vision for the use of structured data:

  • Require revision of filings to correct tagging errors and eliminate unnecessary extensions
  • Integrate the use of structured data into its internal review process to make that process more efficient and effective
  • Simplify the tagging of financial data using XBRL
  • Determine the level of assurance on structured data that investors want
  • Transition the SEC’s entire filing regime from document formats to structured data formats

Subsequent to the publication of Mike and Susan's article, Congressman Darrell Issa sent a letter to the Honorable Mary Jo White, current chair of the SEC. The letter requested that the SEC explain how it will enforce the quality of XBRL-formatted financial data and incorporate the use of that data in its internal review process to make it more efficient.

Since Ms. White has testified before Congress about the critical importance of leveraging technology to streamline operations and increase the effectiveness of the agency's programs, we eagerly await the SEC's response to Congressman Issa’s letter.

Stay tuned to the blog in the upcoming weeks as Mike offers his views on what the SEC and the FASB can do to simplify the tagging of financial data using XBRL.

Mike Starr

About the author

Mike Starr, Vice President, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs, joined the Workiva team in September 2012. Mike previously served as the SEC Chief Accountant's advisor and acted as a liaison aimed to improve the quality of accounting and auditing decisions. 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.