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If any skeptics still wonder whether the Securities and Exchange Commission takes XBRL exhibits seriously, look no further: the regulator recently dinged Goldman Sachs for errors in its most recent Form 10-K annual report, and ordered the esteemed bank to file an amended version.

The mistakes seem to be in XBRL tagging only; Goldman did not have any errors in the original Form 10-K itself and all its financial data remains unchanged. (Annual revenue of $33.82 billion, net income $5.55 billion, if you’re curious.) Still, in the narrative that accompanied the revised Form 10-K filed on March 1, Goldman says it filed the revision because of errors in Exhibit 101—the exhibit that contains XBRL-tagged data.

So there we have it: yes, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance does pay attention to XBRL submissions and will insist on corrections where warranted.

The amended 10-K identified four tagging errors in net income, a bundle of errors in fair value of “Level 3” assets (where the assets have no external data to help a filer determine fair market price), and a few errors in segment reporting. The single most notable error was in net income, where one item tagged as $1,491,000,000 in the original Form 10-K was revised to $1,686,000,000—an increase of $195 million. One fair value item was revised upward by $142 million, and another was marked down $219 million.

You may see such revisions in the picture here.

Goldman Sachs blamed the errors on its financial printer.


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