Issued: February 27, 2012
Impact: All US GAAP


There has been some confusion as to the difference between the ParentCompanyMember and the ParentMember.

These two elements are distinct and defined as follows:

ParentCompanyMember: The parent company member is the concept used to refer to the actual holding company (A separate legal entity), which is the consolidating entity on a stand-alone basis (i.e., pre-consolidation).
ParentMember: The parent member is the concept used in the US GAAP taxonomy to refer to the portion of the consolidated entity that is attributable to the Parent, which is the parent company (post-consolidation, excluding non-controlling interests).

This is further qualified in the Edgar Filer Manual at 6.6.7:

In a consolidating instance, facts that apply only to the parent company and not to any specific subsidiaries must have contexts whose xbrldi:explicitMember elements have a dimension attribute of dei:LegalEntityAxis and value us-gaap:ParentCompanyMember.

The registrant is free to define domain members to identify subsidiaries, but the registrant cannot choose the domain member to use for the parent company (it must be us-gaap:ParentCompanyMember) and cannot choose a domain member for the consolidated entity (it must have only the default value for dei:LegalEntityAxis).


Do not use the US GAAP taxonomy member concept ParentMember on the axis concept LegalEntityAxis as it is not a stand-alone legal entity within the US GAAP taxonomy.  The ParentMember member concept should be presented on the axis concept   StatementEquityComponentsAxis. For example, the value of stockholders’ equity in default (Consolidated Entity) is equivalent to the portion attributable to the ParentMember plus the portion attributable to the NoncontrollingInterestMember.

Do not use the US GAAP taxonomy member concept ParentCompanyMember on the axis concept  StatementEquityComponentsAxis as it represents the parent company as a legal entity and not a component of shareholders’ equity.  The ParentCompanyMember should be represented on the LegalEntityAxis.