October has developed into a fairly important month for XBRL and for our XBRL clients. A couple points to highlight are below.
The first point is that, to the chagrin of many in Congress, the bill to nix the XBRL requirement for companies below $250 million in revenue has not been considered on the floor. This past May, the Financial Services Committee had approved Rep. Robert Hurt’s proposed bill titled The Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act (H.R. 1965). It is not moving forward at this point.
The Data Coalition reports two factors to the bill’s demise.
One, committee Democrats opposed to the proposal increased from five Financial Services Committee members in 2014 to all Democrats except one last May, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Democratic ranking member of the committee. With a risk that Democrats would oppose H.R. 1965, preventing the fast-track “suspension of the rules” procedure from being used to pass the bill, House leaders may have felt there was not enough floor time for the more laborious processes that must be employed to pass controversial bills.
Two, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) sent a letter to the SEC in July supporting the continued use of XBRL for corporate financial statements. With bipartisan support in the upper chamber for continuing to develop the use of structured data at the SEC, rather than curtail it, House leaders may have concluded that H.R. 1965 would not survive consideration by the Senate Banking Committee even if passed by the House.
When this bill was first introduced, the hard, high costs of XBRL to issuers was the driver, followed-up by a “no one is using it anyway” conversation. Both true, considering the bill relied heavily on a 2012 XBRL “state-of-the-union” report. Fortunately, as an industry that has matured, we have the pricing and products settled now. Speaking for Vintage, our fleXBRL program solves the exorbitant cost dilemma quite elegantly via our Intelligent Value mission.
The second point addresses quality – and our drive to make our clients number one for accuracy. We’ve done that, via our XBRL teams expertise working with the DataTracks software. As obvious as it sounds, accuracy is paramount for the Street to adopt XBRL into their systems. The Hurt bill would have “hurt” (sorry) any Street integration of XBRL as the data stream must be full market to deliver it’s promise of uniform, comparable data.
We’ve built a deep culture of quality within Vintage – launched (visually) with our new brand and our promise of Intelligent Value. This Hoffman report is a wonderful third party valuation.
Free XBRL quality forum in NYC in November: > https://xbrl.us/events/2015-forum/
My popular XBRL rant in LinkedIn: > https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141008213022-11679621-congress-has-no-idea-what-xbrl-is-so-let-s-get-rid-of-it