Contractors and bond agents encouraged to submit standardized Work in Process data
The XBRL US Surety Working Group, today announced that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Surety Guarantee Plan A program is now able to ingest XBRL-formatted Work-in-Process (WIP) reports. The SBA guarantees surety bonds for certain surety companies, which allows the companies to offer surety bonds to small businesses that might not meet the criteria for other sureties. Contractors with SBA guarantees, and bond agents acting on behalf of their contractor clients, are required to provide WIP reports which contain detailed information about every project a contractor is working on. Data reported includes contract price, start date, estimated completion date, cost to complete and amount billed to date.
Previously, this process has been performed by manual data entry into an online form. WIP reports typically received by the SBA contain as few as five rows of data for a small contractor and as many as 25-50 for a large contractor, with estimated time to complete ranging from 5 to 30 minutes. WIP reports that are prepared in XBRL format can be uploaded to the SBA system and automatically ingested, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
“SBA has been helping small businesses innovate and grow for decades”, noted Peter Gibbs, Director, Office of Surety Guarantees, U.S. Small Business Administration, “This move to data standards will automate what has been a laborious process, and it will free up small contractors and their bond agents to focus on expanding their business.”
Several tools are currently available to convert spreadsheets and other forms of WIP reports into XBRL format from members of XBRL US including Altova and Crowe LLP. In addition, XBRL US has created an add-in to Microsoft Excel that converts a WIP in spreadsheet form into an XBRL-formatted WIP file.
“We encourage any software provider who works with contractors, accounting firms, and bond agents to adapt their tools to produce XBRL-formatted WIP reports. Automating this time-consuming process will increase productivity for everyone involved,” said Campbell Pryde, CEO of XBRL US.
The data standards created to represent the WIP report are contained in the XBRL US WIP Taxonomy which is a digital collection of terms. The WIP Taxonomy was created by the XBRL US Surety Working Group.
Sponsoring organizations in the Working Group include AIG, Altova, 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).
To learn more about the XBRL US Surety Working Group, visit https://xbrl.us/home/industries/surety/.