XBRL Drives Actionable Analytics
This week the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Chairman Russell Golden gave some insightful remarks on the development, utility and future potential of XBRL data at the 2019 XBRL US Investor Forum on Driving Actionable Analytics.
Golden joined FASB at the beginning of the SEC’s voluntary programme of XBRL filing, and has seen the evolution of XBRL data from then until its widespread use today. During his time at FASB Golden has seen XBRL data become better, more focussed and more useful – now an essential part of financial reporting and standard setting. But, he argues, we’ve only just begun to tap into XBRL’s potential to provide more complete, consistent and timely information to investors.
Why do we need to evolve and expand structured data? Golden highlights how today big data is everywhere. To remain relevant, financial reporting must be part of the new digital reality.
Structured data allows companies to tell their own stories, unmediated by aggregators, and means financial reporting data can be traced directly to the source, improving trust. Companies who utilise XBRL in their business see better outcomes: better internal controls, communications and coordination and better estimation processes.
XBRL data also improves investor decisions, as they can spend less time gathering data and more time analysing the stocks that they follow or looking further afield at less widely followed stocks.
Golden also highlights how structured data has been used to inform the FASB standard setting process. XBRL data has helped FASB efficiently research and understand how companies are applying new standards and identify where they need to provide more support.
Read the speech here.