Public companies are getting the jump on XBRL adoption

XBRL US, the XML standard setter for business information reporting in the U.S., has announced that public companies are heeding the advice to "start early" in preparing for XBRL adoption, according to a joint survey with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Seventy-three percent of respondents said that they have begun preparations for adoption of XBRL. Most of those surveyed, 93 percent, had at least a basic knowledge of XBRL. 

Many organizations are looking to outside vendors to create and submit their XBRL-formatted financial statements. 55% of those who have already submitted XBRL-tagged data have used consultants or outside vendors to create and submit, while 56% of those who have yet to submit plan to outsource to a service provider. 

"It's clear from this survey that external reporting managers recognize the importance of the XBRL creation process and are taking early steps to get educated," said Campbell Pryde, Chief Standards Officer, XBRL US. "The same care and attention to detail that go into the preparation of any report going to investors and regulators must be applied on the XBRL documents." 

New processes are likely to bring implementation challenges. When asked about their biggest concerns, new filers responded that insufficient resources and a need to get educated was top on their minds, while those that have already submitted XBRL filings are more concerned with detailed footnote tagging and obtaining information on how to increase the efficiencies in the preparation and submission process. 

Preparation time for creating XBRL-formatted financial statement decreases dramatically after the first filing, according to respondents who have prepared multiple XBRL financials:

  • 57% said it took them over 120 hours to complete their first submission; 64% of those that filed a second time around said it took less than 40 hours
  • 45% of those that filed a second time said it was significantly easier the second time

The XBRL Preparedness Survey was conducted via an online questionnaire from November 4 to November 29, 2009 and included over 200 respondents from public companies. Key findings from the survey and the full results are available at http://xbrl.us/News/Pages/20100114summary.aspx

XBRL US conducts a series of in-person training events and free online webinars geared to help companies increase the efficiencies in XBRL preparation and submission, including detailed footnote tagging. To learn more, visit http://xbrl.us/webinars for webinars and http://xbrl.us/trainingfor training sessions.

Source: XBRL US

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