Quality Feedback Loop
At the XBRL US/CFA Institute Investor Forum held this week, newly installed XBRL International Chairman, Wes Bricker, gave a keynote address. It focussed on the use of SEC XBRL data, its strengths, weaknesses and next steps. Noting the huge strides that have been made in XBRL-based reporting across the globe, he praised the work of regulators, vendors and companies alike.
In the context of SEC filings, he urged everyone involved to look at the scope (what else should be prepared as Inline XBRL?), timing (when should XBRL data be available?), but he focussed on quality. There are, undoubtedly, too many errors contained in SEC filings and issuers (listed companies), vendors, auditors and the regulator can all do more to resolve them.
A key idea? Investors should call out errors or issues that they encounter with XBRL data and raise them with companies themselves. This will create a positive feedback loop that ensures that these issues can be resolved faster than they would be otherwise. The goal should be that everyone involved signs up to the idea that, as Commissioner Lee said in her speech: “…if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”!
Catch up with Wes’ speech and some of the rest of the terrific content from the Investor Forum over here (pick “Day 2”).