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SEC Proposes to Require Use of Inline XBRL

by   |   March 6, 2017

In 2009 the SEC adopted rules requiring operating companies to provide the information from the financial statements accompanying their registration statements and periodic and current reports in machine-readable format using eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, by submitting it to the Commission in exhibits to such reports and posting it on their websites, if any. Filers subject to these XBRL requirements must submit an interactive data file, including information tagged in XBRL, as an exhibit to the related official filing.

The SEC has proposed rules that would require financial statement information and mutual fund risk/return summary information to be provided in the Inline XBRL format. Inline XBRL allows filers to embed XBRL data directly into an HTML document, eliminating the need to tag a copy of the information in a separate XBRL exhibit. Inline XBRL would be both human-readable and machine-readable for purposes of validation, aggregation and analysis. The proposed amendments also would eliminate the requirement for filers to post Interactive Data Files on their websites.

You can see an example of the Inline XBRL format here.

The SEC proposes to phase in the Inline XBRL requirements for operating companies in annual increments based on the category of filer status. Large accelerated filers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP would be required to comply with Inline XBRL requirements for financial statement information in the second year after the rule is effective, followed by accelerated filers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP in the third year and all other operating company filers that are required to submit Interactive Data Files in the fourth year.

The proposed Inline XBRL requirements for financial statement information would apply to all operating company filers, including smaller reporting companies, emerging growth companies and foreign private issuers that currently are required to submit financial statement information in XBRL.