SEC OKs New GAAP Taxonomy for XBRL

The SEC has adopted the 2011 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy, which is used for creating and submitting tagged interactive data files in extensible business reporting language (XBRL), the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) said in a press release Tuesday. The taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the official taxonomy previously used by SEC issuers.


FAF, which is the parent organization of FASB and GASB, is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the taxonomy applicable to public issuers registered with the SEC.


FAF said questions about using this taxonomy for creating and submitting XBRL tagged interactive data files in compliance with SEC rules should be directed to the SEC. Contact details and guidance are available at the SEC’s XBRL portal.


The taxonomy is a list of computer-readable tags in XBRL that allows companies to tag precisely 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, assemble, and process data so it can be readily accessed and analyzed by users of financial statements.


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 in the United States for tagging business reports across all business domains to aid investors and other users. FASB staff provided technical accounting standards support to XBRL US during the development of the 2009 taxonomy. In early 2010, FAF assumed maintenance responsibilities for the taxonomy, and, along with FASB, assembled a team of technical staff dedicated to updating the taxonomy for changes in U.S. GAAP, identifying best practices in taxonomy extensions, and technical enhancements.


To listen to an archived, one-hour webcast hosted by FASB covering what public company financial report preparers need to know about using the taxonomy, click here.


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