XBRL securities filings means corporate narrative gets to investors faster, more accurately

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Editor

An in depth interview with Bloomberg’s Global Regulatory Monitor, Mr Emil Efthimides in this week’s Dimensions report from Merrill Corporation (registration required)  should be of interest to regulators, companies and accountants alike.

Bloomberg already pulls XBRL data directly from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Israel, Mexico and Brazil, but it has now been consuming the more complex US SEC filings since 2014. SEC XBRL filings are more comprehensive than most countries, partly because of the requirements of US GAAP and partly because the US regulator obliges companies to tag every part of the financial statements, and use extensions to capture company specific disclosures.

According to Mr Efthimides, every quarter sees the Bloomberg Equities system offer more and more detail from SEC filings to their subscribers, as data quality improves and their AI systems learn more about individual company filings.

Bloomberg would like to see a lot more data collected and available in XBRL format. Top of that wish list would be Earnings Releases (perhaps India’s BSE should get in touch) but it extends to Municipal Bond issuers financial statements and corporate actions as well. Efthimedes is looking forward to the full adoption of Inline XBRL in the US and in Europe, as he expects that the format will further simplify consumption and enhance data quality.

Bloomberg is represented on the XBRL US Data Quality Committee by Efthimides, who fully endorses the suggestion that the use of machine executable business rules should be part of the regulatory data collection framework.

XBRL International considers that data quality is a key responsibility of companies and regulators alike. A basic best practice for regulators is to use rule sets (such as the DQC rules, or internally managed ones) that can be run by filers prior to submitting their data and by the regulator on receipt.

At a FASB round table this week in Norwalk, CT, XBRL International’s CEO John Turner made this point to the US standards setter, suggesting that the FASB encourages the SEC to work with the DQC to help ensure that mistakes that can be easily identified in this manner are kept out of this key data.

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