With the Bridge Apollo Release now complete, we took the opportunity to have a Q&A interview with Chase Bongirno, Principal Product Manager – Toppan Merrill Bridge, for Q&A interview. During that interview he reiterated the core philosophy of a customer-centric approach to feature and functionality development, outlines key highlights on the Bridge roadmap for the balance of 2020, and discusses the important work going on with the XBRL US Data Quality Committee.
Q: What does it mean to take a customer ‘centric approach’ to product development?
A: It means that we take our cues from the folks who use our platform day in and day out. It also means that we survey our clients and take their responses seriously. It can mean meeting with customers who, often, have great ideas that will improve outcomes for everyone using the platform. Perhaps most importantly it means building those ideas into features that we incorporate into the Bridge platform. We are pretty customer obsessed, and that philosophy helps ensure that we are moving in the right direction.
Q: What is the focus of the Apollo release?
A: The Apollo release is focused on productivity and efficiency enhancements that are designed to give time back to users at the most critical moments, such as right before filing deadlines. This includes updates to navigation and iconography that simplifies workflow, as well as the introduction of two new features that I am excited about. The first is called ‘export tagging review’ and it allows users to export the entirety of the XBRL tagging review process, such as comments and time stamped approvals, into a prebuilt MS Excel report. The second new feature included in the Apollo release is our ‘create proofs’ functionality which gives users the ability to generate a PDF of the full EDGAR HTML package on the fly. This process today takes some time and manual work, however with the ‘create proofs’ functionality it will only take seconds, enabling internal distributions and streamlining approvals.
Q: What other features or functionality is your team working on for 2020?
A: Our 2020 roadmap is chalked full of features that are designed to save users time without sacrificing quality. We consistently hear from users that they want to focus on the critical items, while automating the mundane. One of the top items we are working on is a fully revamped filing experience that makes submissions faster, simpler, efficient and always without error. We are working to truly give filers end-to-end control of their disclosure content. Additionally, we are working on enhanced collaboration and integration tools for users inside and outside the Bridge platform. Of course, we are also keeping a close eye on emerging issues around the globe, including the forthcoming mandate from ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority), which will require that filers located in the EU submit annual reports with XBRL tagging starting next year. I am pleased to say that we will fully support the ESMA mandate later this year. The FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) also recently announced they are adopting the XBRL standard and we are keeping a close eye on the development of that taxonomy.
Q: As a Founding Member of the XBRL US Data Quality Committee, can you share with us some hot topics that will get attention in 2020?
A: The DQC has an exciting year ahead of us, as we continue to hear from the market place.
A: For those that don’t know, the DQC is responsible for producing guidance and rulesets that are designed to detect errors and inconsistencies in XBRL data filed with the SEC. We focus on issues that have a material impact on the analysis and consumption of the data. In 2020, the Committee will be implementing rules to reflect the new modeling methodology prescribed by the FASB for variable interest entities (VIEs) and equity method investments, as well as updates relating to recent accounting changes. We also plan to continue to expand the rules relating to IFRS filings. Indeed, the DQC has an exciting year ahead of us, as we continue to hear from the market place that these rules are improving element selection and increasing use of the XBRL tagged data.
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About the author: Chase Bongirno is the Principal Product Manager for Toppan Merrill. He leads a team of product engineers and designers committed to continuously improving the Bridge platform and measurably improving outcomes for our clients. Chase serves as the Chair of the XBRL US Communication Steering Committee and is a founding member of the XBRL US Data Quality Committee.