Posted on Thursday, March 2, 2017

New rule would improve efficiency of SEC filing

XBRL US today applauded the unanimous vote by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publish a rule proposal requiring public companies to submit their periodic financial statements and footnotes using Inline XBRL. The Inline XBRL submission would replace the current practice of dual XBRL and HTML submissions. An Inline XBRL report is a single file that combines a computer-readable XBRL and a human-readable HTML version of corporate financial statements.

The SEC also announced that the IFRS XBRL Taxonomy has been approved and posted on the Commission web site. Foreign private issuers have the option of using this taxonomy immediately for periodic reporting; and they will be required to do so with their first annual report on Form 20-F or 40-F for a fiscal period ending on or after December 15, 2017.

“Switching to a single Inline XBRL document will reduce the burden on companies that today file two separate documents each quarter,” said Campbell Pryde, CEO of XBRL US, “These new arrangements will produce a single file that provides greater value to the investment community than traditional HTML files, as standardized data can be automatically consumed, saving time and improving efficiency.”

XBRL International is the global standards development organization, responsible for the development and maintenance of the XBRL standard, including the Inline XBRL format. XBRL US is the US-based jurisdiction of XBRL International, responsible for developing US financial data standards.

Inline XBRL evolved out of traditional XBRL and is currently used by nearly 3 million private and public companies reporting to the UK tax authority, HMRC. Inline XBRL is also used by the Japanese securities regulator to collect data from public companies and the Danish business registrar to collect financial statements from private companies.

Inline XBRL was also recently mandated for use in Europe by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU agency responsible for EU securities regulation and the conduct of EU public markets. Starting in 2020, public companies that prepare consolidated IFRS financial statements to the EU will report using inline XBRL. The SEC’s announcement will mean that two of the world’s largest financial markets will use the same disclosure arrangements.

“This move by the SEC is extremely sensible and will make fundamental financial data more accessible and more suitable in our digital age. The XBRL standards are open and freely licensed in order to enhance transparency and accountability in business performance. The SEC is demonstrating exactly how this can be achieved,” said John Turner, CEO of XBRL International.

For more information on Inline XBRL, see

To learn about the SEC’s voluntary filing program for Inline XBRL, watch XBRL US’ most recent webinar:


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