The following frequently asked questions are provided to help SEC filers learn more about XBRL filing to the SEC.

What is XBRL?

XBRL is an XML-based reporting language created for the use of submitting financial information to government institutions around the world. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires public reporting corporations and mutual funds to include XBRL data on selected form submissions to the SEC. According to the SEC, the purpose of XBRL interactive data is to provide greater transparency to investors and make the dissemination of information more efficient throughout the marketplace. Learn more

Why is XBRL filing required by the SEC?

XBRL is designed to increase the speed at which investors are able to manipulate and compare data across companies and industries. XBRL files can be downloaded into spreadsheets for easy manipulation of data, thereby providing more efficiencies and transparencies to the financial markets and a safer trading environment for investors.

When am I required to file XBRL?

All SEC filers that file financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, including smaller reporting companies and foreign private issuers, must file quarterly and annual reports in XBRL to the SEC effective as June 15, 2011.

Filers, according to size, have been filing XBRL exhibits to the SEC since the dates listed below:

  • Large Accelerated Filers (market cap $5 billion or more): June 15, 2009
  • Other Large Accelerated filers (market cap of $5billion or less): June 15, 2010
  • All other Filers: June 15, 2011
What forms require an XBRL filing?

The following forms require XBRL exhibits to be attached:

  • Annual, Quarterly, and Transition Reports
  • Securities Act Registration Statements
  • Updated or revised financial statements on other filings

To see a full list of forms requiring XBRL, visit our Understanding XBRL webpage.

Are your XBRL fees expensive?

We provide a full service SEC XBRL filing solution for your company's quarterly or annual reports at a low flat rate. Our service is all-inlcusive; you do not need to buy software or train new staff. We do not have hourly fees or hidden charges. Contact Us to obtain a quote.

Should HTML be filed with XBRL exhibits?

Yes. Since XBRL was mandated in 2009, filers have been required to submit both HTML and XBRL documents in the same submission to the SEC.

What should first-time filers of XBRL know?

A filer's first submission of XBRL should be filed on forms that require XBRL such as Forms 10-Q, 10-K, 20-F, 40-F, 485BPOS, or 497. Following the first filing, XBRL files are required to be posted to the company's corporate website by the end of the calendar day.

First-time Filer Grace Period

First-time filers of XBRL are able to take advantage of a 30 day grace period. This means that on a document that requires XBRL, such as a 10-Q, XBRL will not need to be submitted until 30 days after the date the initial EDGAR filing was submitted. Issuers will need to still file the EDGAR version by the deadline to avoid penalties. If issuers choose to use the grace period, the XBRL filing must be submitted using an amendment filing.

Is XBRL being implemented outside of the United States?

XBRL is a global phenomenon with taxonomies being developed and adopted around the world. The SEC mandate for XBRL represents the world's largest capital market to report interactive data, but XBRL is already in use by governments, regulators, banks, agencies, and public and private businesses worldwide in a wide array of applications. Although XBRL was first developed in the U.S., China was the first to mandate its use, in 2005. Australia and Japan soon joined the ranks of early adopters. Although the U.S. and Asia have focused on using XBRL in capital markets, Europe uses it for a wide array of electronic-government and cross-border applications, allowing European governments, banks, and businesses to share consistently structured XBRL data.

Are there any SEC form types that do not require XBRL?

XBRL reporting requirements do not apply on the following forms:

  • IPO registration statements
  • Registration statements under the Exchange Act on Forms 10, 20-F, and 40-F
  • Pro forma financial statements prepared in accordance with Article 11 of Regulation S-X
  • Financial information or financial statements that are not the filer's (i.e., financial statements of a material acquired under Rule 3-05 of Regulations S-X and financial statements of a company being acquired or merged, if they are provided in S-4, are not required to be included in an XBRL exhibit)
What are the key benefits of using XBRL?
  • Data Accuracy: Because financial data is tagged and saved just once, quality and integrity of the data is increased greatly. Margin for error is minimal across financial statements because once tagged, information that is transferred does not change. There is no need to enter financial information more than once, greatly reducing risk of data entry error.
  • Accessibility: XBRL provides a framework that may be used by all companies, but which is flexible enough to be customized for industry needs as well as an organization's internal needs. Information can be used and received in a format preferred by the user.
  • Productivity: Because XBRL is tagged once and only once, documents can be prepared more time and cost efficiently, financial information retrieved and shared more quickly and easily, and published online or sent to a financial printer, or uploaded faster.
  • Overall Consistency: XBRL adds value to our financial system by eliminating manual analyses of SEC filing data, thereby placing control into the investor and regulators' grasps. Companies also benefit from data consistencies by eliminating human-made errors and being able to assess the competitive landscape more efficiently.
What information should be XBRL tagged in corporate filings?

The main financial statements:

  • Balance Sheet
  • Statement of Operations
  • Statement of Comprehensive Income
  • Statement of Cash Flows
  • Statement of Stockholders' Equity

The footnotes:

  • Block and detail tagging of the footnotes is required in all GAAP taxonomy filings. Learn more about the basics of XBRL tagging.
Does XBRL result in reduced costs?

XBRL leverages the internet by automating the financial interpretation of data across mass amounts of mediums in a global uniform reporting language. It provides the ability for data re-usability, thereby reducing costs for regulators and users everywhere.

View the full SEC XBRL glossary on the SEC's website.

Contact a sales representative to obtain a quote or learn more about our XBRL filing services at 877-285-8605.