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2013 US GAAP Taxonomy Is Available for Review and Comment

September 22, 2012

The 2013 US GAAP Taxonomy (UGT) is now available for review and comment. The comment period ends on October 31, so now is a good time to add comments, including adding new taxonomy elements to replace your current extension elements. You may provide comments to the 2013 taxonomy here.

In XBRL, taxonomies provide a method of naming, classifying and defining the meaning of business and financial data. Taxonomy elements are associated with individual business and financial facts so that the meaning of those facts can be electronically understood. The underlying metadata provided by the taxonomy tag allows investors, analysts, journalists, regulators, and others search for, assemble, and process data so that the data can be readily accessed and analyzed electronically.

The proposed 2013 taxonomy includes elements for Accounting Standard Updates issued since the 2012 UGT was released. In addition there are several other improvements including an update to reflect the common reporting practices of SEC filers, correction of errors, rationalization of duplicated concepts, updated modeling of the taxonomy’s structure and other architectural changes. An effort was made to minimize the impact on current filers while also making necessary improvements to the new taxonomy.

Among the most major changes were the following:

  • Removed references superseded by the Codification
  • Removed non-GAAP references that are no longer maintained
  • Remodeled the segment disclosure area to provide flexibility and accommodate varying reporting practices while promoting consistency
  • Remodeled certain areas related to the insurance industry to promote clarity and consistency
  • Rationalized elements related to notional disclosures
  • Remodeled the disclosure for unrecognized deferred taxes to eliminate redundancy
  • Added elements with periodStringItemType to accommodate period ranges for aging of exploratory well costs and debt redemption periods
  • Remodeled the disclosure of other operating income and expense to eliminate redundancies
  • Removed 2009 UGT deprecated elements that are no longer supported

Summary of Structural Changes to the Taxonomy

Documentation and visual cues at the element level are included in the proposed 2013 UGT update to make identifying changes to the UGT easier for preparers. For example, the Change Label shows the date a change was made and what was changed or added in the UGT. The following are the types of changes documented in the Change Label

  • New Element
  • Modified References
  • Modified Documentation Label. This includes both the changed and original text.
  • Modified Standard, Period Start, Period End, or Total Labels
  • Element Deprecated
  • Modified Data Type
  • Modified Period Type
  • Modified Deprecated Label (used when the deprecated label has been modified for other than relationship changes)
  • Element Undeprecated
  • Modified Balance Attribute
  • Modified Axis Default

If the change in the proposed 2013 UGT update is the result of an ASU then the change label will identify the ASU and all related changes.

“Shared Searches” are available for the proposed 2013 UGT update in the FASB Taxonomy Online Review and Comment System to highlight changes made to the taxonomy. After selecting an item from the “Shared Searches” and selecting “Highlight Matches” at the bottom of the screen, the filter highlights in pale yellow the relationships groups, presentation relationships, calculation relationships, and definition relationships that contain elements that are modified or added in the proposed 2013 UGT update. As the user navigates through the UGT, all changes are highlighted in bright yellow. Each element that has been modified or added includes the Change Date and the Change Label.

In addition, a FASB XBRL Extension Taxonomy Change Application (TC App) is available that allows users to quickly identify element changes in an existing XBRL extension taxonomy resulting from the 2013 UGT update. Several other taxonomy tools are available as well including:

One of the taxonomy structural changes includes the addition of a new label type for certain DomainItemTypes that function as both domains and members. These domains may be thought of as “total members” since they are used as domains and to qualify the total of several facts qualified by members of the domain. Elements that function as both are identified in the 2013 UGT update with an additional Axis Default label when used in the taxonomy structure as a [Domain] element. For example, CashAndCashEquivalentsMember is used as a [Domain] element within ScheduleOfCashAndCashEquivalentsTable under the CashAndCashEquivalentsAxis, but used as a [Member] element within FairValueInputsAssetsQuantitativeInformationTable under FairValueByAssetClassAxis and its domain.

There have also been improvements in the UGT for various industry and other disclosures including:

  • Debt Redemption Periods
  • Capitalized Exploratory Wells Aging Periods
  • Segments
  • Insurance Industry
  • Other Comprehensive Income
  • Other Income and Expense

More information on the 2013 UGT is available on the FASB website.

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