Posted on Monday, August 10, 2020

XBRL US submitted a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission commenting on their request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend their current data collection process for Form N-CEN. Form N-CEN is required to be reported by investment companies using a custom XML schema. Form N-CEN contains a limited amount of financial data. While ultimately, we believe this data would be more useful if published in XBRL format, we recommended that the SEC retain the current reporting process for now, because vendors and issuers have already established processes to accommodate the data to the custom XML schema established by the SEC.

The SEC adopted the custom schema for N-CEN at the same time that it adopted a custom XML schema for Form N-PORT which discloses monthly portfolio holdings and therefore, contains a significant amount of financial data. In our letter on Form N-CEN, we recommended certain actions at such time that the Commission revisits the topic of data collection of Form N-PORT:

  • Transition N-PORT reporting to XBRL instead of the custom XML schema in place today.
  • For data reported on Form N-CEN, as a short-term solution, the Commission could consider creating a utility to convert the XML data into XBRL format, so that data users could access all investment company data using the same data extraction tools. Long term, the Commission could consider transitioning investment companies to preparing N-CEN data in XBRL as well.

Read the SEC announcement.

Read the XBRL US comment letter: XBRL US Comment on SEC Proposal RE Collection of Information of Form N-CEN