XBRL: Smaller Co's Phase In; Liability Exemptions Phase Out

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The SEC's three-year phase-in -- from the largest to the smallest companies --to furnish financial statements, footnotes, and certain other information to the SEC using interactive data tags called eXtensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL, recently reached the third and final year of the phase-in, with the smallest companies (those with less than $700 million market cap) joining the ranks of their larger co brethren, effective with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2011. See the SEC's Summary of XBRL Information for Phase 3 Filers.

Lessons Learned
XBRL filers of all sizes will find useful the SEC's recent publication of 'lessons learned' during the implementation of XBRL by large accelerated filers, published in the form of SEC Staff Observations From Review of Interactive Data Financial Statements. The report was prepared by staff of the SEC's Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation.

See the related article in the Hitachi Data Interactive Blog: SEC Staff Assess Early 2011 XBRL Submissions, Offer Suggestions for Improvements

Liability Exemptions Being Phased Out
Meanwhile, the liability exemptions offered during the first two years of XBRL filing are being phased out according to preset sunset provisions set forth in the initial XBRL rulemaking. Read more in this article by Skadden Arps' Brian Breheny, Skadden on the Completion of XBRL's Phase-In Period, via PLI's Securities Law Practice Center. Prior to joining Skadden, Breheny was Deputy Director, Legal and Regulatory Policy, in the SEC's Division of Corp Fin.

Who Wants To Win $20,000?
XBRL US, the nonprofit consortium for XBRL business reporting standards in the U.S. market, recently teamed together with the CFA Institute and Wharton Research Data Services to offer "A $20,000 grand prize ... to the company, team or individual developer who submits the most inventive and useful application leveraging XBRL-formatted data from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) EDGAR database." (See XBRL-US press release.)

As further stated in the press release: "Individuals or organizations can learn more and enter the contest on the XBRL Challenge page on Facebook at http://xbrl.us/challengefb or by visiting http://xbrl.us/challenge . Updates will be shared on Facebook and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/xbrlus using the hashtag #XBRLCHALLENGE."

Developers and other prospective contestants may participate in a special briefing on August 3, 2011. Go to http://xbrl.us/challenge and click on the link on the right-hand side. All final submissions must be received by January 31, 2012.

Former FASB Chairman Featured In July 28 Webcast
In related news, former FASB Chairman Bob Herz will be the featured speaker in a July 28 webcast co-sponsored by Webfilings and FEI, entitled: SEC Reporting Today and Tomorrow: A Q&A Discussion With Bob Herz, Former FASB Chairman. The discussion will be moderated by Joe Howell, co-founder and managing director of WebFilings and organizer/community moderator of the SEC Professionals Group.

Herz will be answering questions submitted by registrants about key financial reporting developments covering a variety of topics - from the current status of FASB projects and XBRL compliance to the future with IFRS. Participants in the free live webcast can earn 1 CPE.

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