Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2019

Contractors, sureties, and bond agents encouraged to provide input

The XBRL US Surety Working Group, today announced the publication of a draft release of the Contractor Financials Taxonomy, which contains data standards to capture income statement and balance sheet information about contractors. The taxonomy was created by starting with an initial set of data standards contributed by Crowe LLP, a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm. The Surety Working Group, which is comprised of surety carriers, bond agents, and software companies, then further refined the data fields and definitions, and expanded on the initial set of standards.

“We see a lot of variation in the financials prepared by contractors,” noted Kristen Sharpe, CPA, Credit Solutions Senior Product Manager at Crowe LLP, “XBRL standards for contractor financial statements will improve the consistency of data reported, and will also allow sureties, and bond agents to automate data collection and analysis.”

Financial statement information must be collected and analyzed by bond agents and sureties during the surety underwriting process. The data is typically provided in PDF or spreadsheet format, which forces data users to manually rekey information into their financial systems before analysis can begin. The Contractor Financials Taxonomy contains approximately 420 concepts, many of which were drawn from the US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy which is used today by over 6,000 public companies reporting financial statement data to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Contractor Financials Taxonomy is designed to be used in conjunction with the Work in Process (WIP) Taxonomy to help contractors provide machine-readable data to carriers. The WIP Taxonomy was also developed by the Surety Working Group.

During the 60-day public exposure period, contractors, sureties, bond agents, software providers and other stakeholders are encouraged to review the data standards in the taxonomy and provide input on definitions and on elements that should be added. The public review includes a Taxonomy Guide on how to work with the taxonomy, along with sample XBRL-formatted financial documents prepared using the taxonomy. To access the public review, go to:

Sponsoring organizations in the Working Group include AIG, Crowe LLP, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual Surety, Marcum LLP, the NASBP (National Association of Surety Bond Producers), Travelers, and Zurich Insurance. Participating organizations, serving as observers and advisors, include SFAA (The Surety & Fidelity Association of America) and the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board).

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