No doubt, XBRL is not easy. But it is getting easier – and many companies are adding XBRL experts onto their financial reporting team.
But how do you define an XBRL expert? (XPERT?) Well, like this… the American Institute of CPAs and XBRL.US have introduced an XBRL US GAAP Certificate Program.
Bringing an in-house expert is helpful to companies for two key reasons:
- Holistic control over the edit and review process – even down to the last moment before submitting to the SEC.
- Holistic responsibility for accuracy. At some point, mostly depending on their market-cap, companies will be liable for the accuracy of both the numbers and the taxonomy tag work.
IMPORTANT POINT > XBRL services like us ARE accurate… but as companies are becoming accountable for taxonomy errors, they are taking a more active role in the process. This is in comparison to the first years of XBRL – most companies were “hands-off” to the actual tagging. They had no pain from errors.
From the AICPA and XBRL.US:
The Certificate Program content was developed and reviewed by XBRL US, the AICPA, and XBRL US members including accounting firms and XBRL service providers. The program consists of approximately 35 hours of online coursework.
Courses will cover understanding XBRL and the US GAAP taxonomy, reviewing and validating XBRL documents, creating the extension taxonomy and building the instance document, transitioning to a new release of the taxonomy, using the SEC Edgar Filer Manual, and creating individual financial statements. Other topics include detailed footnote tagging in 20-plus categories, including pensions, debt, acquisitions, leases, fair value measures, segments, tax, business combinations, commitments and contingencies and more. The program also provides tagging simulations for a hands-on learning experience focusing on practical application of the principles presented in the detailed footnote modules.
Have a great day.