SEC permits voluntary use of Inline XBRL

By Ken Tysiac

The SEC will permit companies to voluntarily file structured financial statement data in a format known as Inline XBRL, the commission announced Monday.

SEC rules require companies to structure financial statement data in their filings, including annual and quarterly reports, using the machine-readable extensible business reporting language (XBRL) format. The rules require companies to provide XBRL data as an exhibit in their filings.

Inline XBRL is a technology that has emerged after the SEC’s XBRL requirements were first adopted. With it, companies can integrate XBRL-structured data within their HTML filings.

According to the SEC, Inline XBRL could decrease filing preparation costs, improve the quality of structured data, and increase use of XBRL data by investors by improving data quality.

The SEC’s EDGAR system has been upgraded to facilitate the use of Inline XBRL, and an updated EDGAR Filer Manual provides the technical requirements needed for filers to begin using Inline XBRL.

Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a JofA editorial director.

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