Developing Global Best Practices for Company Extensions

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Dave Nitchman

Announcing the  “Entity Specific Disclosures Task Force” (ESDTF)

The XBRL Best Practices Board (BPB) has approved the formation of a new task force to identify best practice for the handling of entity specific disclosures (ESDs) in XBRL including, but not limited to, the use of preparer extension taxonomies.

Reporting systems usually specify a base taxonomy (or taxonomies) that preparers of reports may use to tag disclosures in reports to be filed to that system. Particularly where systems deal with financial statements and other kinds of user defined reports the base taxonomies are unlikely to contain the entire set of reporting items. This can mean that preparers have to create entity specific disclosures. With accounting standards setters suggesting that financial statements need to be more tailored to the circumstances of issuers and with significantly less boilerplate, this is an ongoing reality.

The task force is being formed to address the reported problems that users and regulators face when working with entity specific disclosures. Items common to regions, reporting domain or collecting systems are not covered directly by the proposed task force as the creation of this type of extension has not caused significant problems or debate in the market.

The proposed Entity Specific Disclosures Task Force (ESDTF) will report to the Best Practices Board and seeks to develop a set of recommended best practices and specification recommendations as required that:

  • Investigate the business nature of ESDs; why they are created, when they are used, what they are intended to represent, and the business requirements of the preparers, users and regulators working with them.
  • Describe best practice principles and solutions and document common difficulties to guide reporting system owners when deciding how best to handle this type of disclosures within an XBRL based electronic filing system, and if necessary articulate requirements for syntax solutions.

Membership of the task force is open to all members of XBRL International, including members of local jurisdictions and XII direct members. Members may opt to have voting, or non-voting status, with the latter carrying no attendance obligations. Consortium members may join the group using the working group enrolment form. Non-members contact join@xbrl.org to learn about your membership options.

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