Believe it or not, a decade has elapsed since June 2009, when the SEC implemented its XBRL-tagging requirement for financial disclosure filings. Three years later, the XBRL mandate was fully phased in for all SEC filers, and it continues to expand. All regulatory compliance teams at SEC reporting companies are now involved in XBRL tagging. SEC rules that took effect in May 2019 now require Inline XBRL for information on the cover of Forms 8-K, 10-Q, 10-K, 20-F, and 40-F.
To mark the anniversary, Dimensions asked six XBRL experts in the securities regulation, financial reporting, or capital markets sectors to comment on the structured-data revolution in SEC reporting: its benefits to investors and companies; the success stories thus far; and the challenges that remain for structured data and the general modernization of disclosure.
• Mike Willis, Assistant Director, SEC Office of Structured Disclosure
• J. Louis Matherne, Chief of Taxonomy Development, FASB
• Campbell Pryde, President and CEO, XBRL US
• Christine Tan, Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer, idaciti
• Pranav Ghai, CEO, Calcbench
• Lou Rohman, Vice President of XBRL Services, Toppan Merrill
NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the individual respondents, and they do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations.
What is your favorite XBRL/structured data memory?
Mike Willis, SEC: My father is a very proud grandfather and was recently introducing my three children to a group of his friends. He started off by introducing the oldest one as “my favorite grandchild.” You can only imagine the look on the other two grandchildren’s faces.
He continued, pointing to the next one (“and this is my favorite grandchild”) and then to the last one (“and this is my favorite grandchild”). He summed up with “I have the greatest grandchildren and love them all; each is my favorite.”
This is how I feel about my XBRL memories. They are all my favorites. I learn something new from each one, and each one has a special place. One general experience does persist: The collaboration among the market participants to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the business information supply chain. Those problem-solving collaborative efforts are encouraging and empowering.
Lou Rohman, Toppan Merrill: My favorite memory is teaming with multiple people jammed around a large conference table, day in and day out, creating the 2009 US GAAP Taxonomy. It took countless hours, lots of banter,
and many bright people. The effort was so exhausting that we skipped the 2010 US GAAP Taxonomy; the next annual version was the 2011 Taxonomy. Everyone needed a break to recharge in 2010!
J. Louis Matherne, FASB: Leslie Seidman, the FASB chair in 2012, was looking for information on reported “expected return on plan assets” to see if entities were lowering their expected return on plan assets for pension plans due to market volatility. She was unable to get this information through the regular channels.
She then asked the XBRL team if we could get her this data, and she would be happy if we could cover the Fortune 500. Within an hour, we gave her what she needed for all filings covering 2008–2012.
This was a tipping point. Since that day, we have delivered 170+ research projects using the XBRL data to support board-level projects.