An inside look at the SEC’s use of XBRL

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Editor

Toppan Merrill’s Dimensions magazine recently spoke with Scott Bauguess, who drew on his 12 years in various roles at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide insight into the SEC’s use of XBRL.

Bauguess has spanned a number of roles at the SEC, most recently as the Deputy Director and Deputy Chief Economist in the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA). During the interview Bauguess gives a run-down of how XBRL is used by different departments at the SEC, the benefits and challenges of using structured data and some thoughts on the future of disclosure.

Bauguess also shared his thoughts on the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), set to mandate iXBRL disclosures for annual statements across the EU from 2020 onwards.

“Standards work best when they’re adopted widely, and an endorsement of a technology by another jurisdiction can act as both reaffirmation of the decision to adopt it and spur further action,” Bauguess said. He points out that although the US adopted XBRL prior to Europe, the UK and now Europe embracing Inline XBRL further built the momentum for the US to do so.

XBRL adoption is a positive feedback loop – as more regulators and others around the world adopt structured data for business reporting, the standard itself becomes more useful and the data gleaned is increasingly comparable. We look forward to seeing the XBRL projects inspired and informed by the experiences of ESEF in the coming years.

Read the interview here.

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