Financial Accounting Foundation to Maintain XBRL Taxonomy for U.S. GAAP


The Financial Accounting Foundation announced it will take on responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the XBRL U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. Its activities will focus on updating the taxonomy for changes in U.S. GAAP, best practices in taxonomy extensions, and technical enhancements.

The taxonomy is a list of computer-readable terms in XBRL that allows companies to tag the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. The tags allow computers to automatically search for and assemble data so it can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts and SEC staff.

 

FASB and the FAF, which is responsible for FASB’s oversight, administration and finances, will assemble a small team of technical staff dedicated to maintaining the taxonomy and will work toward the release of the next taxonomy update in early 2011.

 

The 2009 taxonomy currently used by SEC issuers was developed by XBRL US Inc., an independent nonprofit organization with research, development and education programs facilitating the widespread adoption of XBRL for tagging business reports across all business domains. FASB provided technical accounting standards support to XBRL US during the development of the 2009 taxonomy and expects to continue cooperative interactions with XBRL US going forward.

As XBRL for US GAAP Financial Reporting moves from development to maintenance, XBRL US Labs—a research-and-development initiative launched in September—will continue to move forward. It plans to release an ISO 20022 Corporate Actions Taxonomy, which provides a common platform for the disclosure of U.S. corporate action messages in a standardized XML syntax, for public review in the second quarter of 2010, followed by similar releases for mortgage and proxy taxonomies later this year, according to Michelle Savage, vice president of communication for XBRL US.

 

As the user base expands, XBRL US will provide support in the form of what is expected to be a growing education and training program and service offerings. XBRL US also will continue to leverage its taxonomy development platform for other taxonomies for use of XBRL in areas beyond financial reporting.

 

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