The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on December 18 released the 2014 US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) Financial Reporting Taxonomy, which contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the current taxonomy used by US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issuers.
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The taxonomy is a list of computer-readable tags in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) that allows companies to precisely tag the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures.
The tags allow computers to automatically search for, assemble, and process data so it can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts, journalists, and regulators.
The 2014 taxonomy is pending final approval by the SEC.
The FASB issued proposed improvements to the taxonomy this fall, allowing users to provide feedback on the updates and to provide SEC filers, service providers, software vendors, and other interested parties the opportunity to become familiar with and incorporate new element names for their filings.
The 2014 taxonomy "has been revised for improvements to the calculation hierarchy, changes in GAAP, and to accommodate common reporting practices," the FASB noted in its abridged release notes on the taxonomy. The standard-setting organization added that the 2014 version has substantially fewer changes than past release updates.
In 2010, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), FASB's parent organization, assumed maintenance responsibilities for the taxonomy, which was developed by XBRL US under contract to the SEC. The FAF and the FASB assembled a team of technical staff dedicated to updating the taxonomy for changes in US GAAP, identifying best practices in taxonomy extensions and technical enhancements.
Questions about using the taxonomy for creating and submitting XBRL-tagged interactive data files in compliance with SEC rules should be directed to the SEC. SEC contact details and guidance are available at the SEC's portal on XBRL.