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Get Yer Taxonomy On…
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Financial reporting enthusiasts, take note: the world now has a new taxonomy of financial reporting terms for you to use!

Just before Christmas, the Financial Accounting Standards Board released its usual taxonomy of accounting terms according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. This is the taxonomy U.S. filers have used for years to “tag” the items in their financial statements that get filed with the SEC.

This year, however, FASB also debuted a new “SEC Reporting Taxonomy” — for other items that might be included in an SEC filing, but aren’t financial items that fit into GAAP.

For example, some of the SEC Reporting Taxonomy tags pertain to disclosures about oil and gas production that energy companies might be required to disclose. Other relate to financial schedules required by the SEC, and condensed consolidated financial information.

Now, for Calcbench subscribers who aren’t corporate accountants or lawyers obsessed with how financial information is reported, we know you may be thinking, “Umm, kinda cool, but what does this mean for me?”

Soon enough, it will mean more data available to you via Calcbench. The taxonomy and tagging talk is mostly insider stuff about how IT systems (including ours) can pull data from SEC filings and bring it to your screen in precise, speedy, accurate ways.

From your perspective as a consumer of all that data, this taxonomy news means you’ll just have more data — the data that will now be tagged according to the SEC Reporting Taxonomy — indexed, collated, and living comfortably in the Calcbench databases.

We should also note that overseas, the IFRS Foundation has proposed a taxonomy for companies that file statements using International Financial Reporting Standards. The SEC voted last year to require foreign private issuers who use IFRS to tag their SEC statements, so you’ll be able to see data from those filers, too.

One caveat: this won’t happen overnight. First, the Securities and Exchange Commission needs to approve these taxonomies, although that’s a formality that will happen in early 2018. Then companies will start submitting the SEC filings with the new tags; then Calcbench will start collecting that data. Ditto all that for the IFRS taxonomy, too.

But as the data starts arriving later in 2018, we’ll be passing it along to you.


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