XBRL Best Practices Guidance Now Available
XBRL is designed to enable greater transparency, accuracy and timeliness of data as long as it is applied consistently by those who prepare it. One of the major challenges to consistent application of XBRL is the diversity and complexity of US GAAP and the wide variety of ways companies choose to present it. This diversity in traditional financial reporting practices causes different XBRL tagging judgments to be made by professionals who are trying to best communicate that information in XBRL.
In order to promote greater consistency, XBRL US established a Best Practice Committee. The Best Practice Committee meets regularly to discuss a variety sample disclosures and options for how to best tag them in XBRL. Once a consensus is reached, Best Practice Resolutions are written, approved and posted to the XBRL US website. Through this process, the committee achieves its mission of identifying best practices in the creation of XBRL-formatted financial statements and communicated those best practices to the XBRL community.
The resolutions of the Best Practice Committee are available on the XBRL US website Best Practices Committeepage. The site has links to each of the monthly resolutions since 2010, but XBRL US has now made it easier to access all of those resolutions by publishing a summary of XBRL best practice guidance covering all 2010 and 2011 best practices. XBRL US has now published “Best Practice Guidance – Summary of Guidance Issued to Date“. It is also available on the Best Practices Committee page.
When will you employ XBRL best practices?