Companies Improve XBRL Filings by Following New Rules

Mike Starr

The XBRL US Data Quality Committee has released an analysis showing big improvements in the quality of filings in Extensible Business Reporting Language format by companies that follow a new set of validation rules.

A new analysis by the XBRL US Data Quality Committee shows that errors for filers who used its first set of validation rules reduced errors by 64 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015. The error count for accelerated filers (that is, large companies with equity securities valued at more than $5 billion) declined by 70 percent, while the error count for smaller reporting companies declined by 60 percent.

“The early success of the DQC’s validation rules in reducing errors is the first step in its mission to improve the usability of XBRL data,” said DQC chairman Mike Starr in a statement. “We expect that as more registrants use these rules, we will see a further decrease in the number of errors in the data covered by the DQC’s rules.”

The DQC intends to publish a second release of guidance and validation rules for public comment next week. In addition, the DQC plans to issue for public comment a discussion document later in June that will be the first of a series on a proposed framework for element selection and extension use.

The rules are available for free and can be accessed on the XBRL US web site or through certain XBRL service providers. When the rules identify a potential error, they provide detailed information on the potential error with guidance on how to correct it. In addition, an explanation of each rule’s function is available on the XBRL US website in a downloadable PDF file. Software providers can have their implementation of the rules approved by the XBRL US Center for Data Quality. To view results of the analysis, visit To access the rules, go to

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