Excerpt from "SEC's iXBRL requirements met with optimism -- and trepidation," by George Lawton for Tech Target - Search Compliance.
Experts in XBRL/iXBRL including idaciti's CEO Emily Huang shared their opinions on the current state of structured data filings and how to maximize the benefits of Inline XBRL.
The SEC's iXBRL requirements, which went into effect in June 2019 for large, accelerated filers and will be phased in for other accelerated filing businesses and smaller companies over the next two years, necessitate companies submit financial statement data and funds' risk and return summary information in a single iXBRL file, making it both human- and machine-readable.
Compliance with the SEC's new Inline XBRL requirements will change financial reporting processes. The benefits are there, but in order to maximize the benefits, data quality, including validity and consistency have to be improved.
From XBRL to Inline XBRL
Inline XBRL improves upon traditional XBRL by placing previously unavailable context at a viewer's fingertips.
IXBRL also provides a more explicit link from digital data back to its original source, making it easier to integrate time series and company comparable data within Inline XBRL data without having to access that information separately.
XBRL was arguably the biggest thing to come along to enable machine-readable financial data, and Inline XBRL is how we advance toward the common goal of providing better data.
Anna Kwok, Vice President of Professional Services at Workiva
Benefits of the new iXBRL requirements
The SEC reported that about 85% of the inquiries on the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval, or EDGAR, filing database are from bots.
Nearly every CIO and CFO is looking to automate and streamline the compliance reporting process. The adoption of iXBRL will help achieve greater efficiency, deliver higher quality and pave the way for growing use of AI and machine learning solutions.
Craig Clay, President of Global Capital Markets at Donnelley Financial Solutions.
Improved data and data use
The eventual goal of mandating iXBRL financial statement submissions is so that data provided by public companies will be higher-quality and therefore more widely used by regulators, investors and analysts.
The migration to iXBRL could also lead to greater simplicity, because companies will eventually only need to create one iXBRL report. This change will be especially beneficial for smaller companies that rely heavily on manual data input, because it will remove the need to create and update both an XBRL and HTML version.
Financial analysis improvements
XBRL has been widely used to streamline various types of financial analysis, The new iXBRL requirements should make it easier to perform simple analysis from within a web browser.
Emily Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of idaciti
For example, Huang said, idaciti customers use XBRL analytics to conduct financial analysis, perform disclosure research and improve financial communications. XBRL also makes it easier to integrate filings into financial data and financial review workflows can be automatically updated when new reports come in. One idaciti customer, Huang noted, was able to eliminate the need to pay $10,000 every time it needed a peer group valuation report for merger or acquisition consideration or competitive analysis.
Challenges moving forward: Data quality remains an issue
The perception among the filers that no one is using XBRL has caused companies to sometimes blindly trust their disclosure management service providers to manage the overall quality of their filings. This perception is wrong, the usage of XBRL/iXBRL data has increased drastically both by the SEC and the
Article: SEC's iXBRL requirements met with optimism -- and trepidation
Contributor: George Lawton