U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
January 20, 2012 /

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced the availability of the 2012 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy pending final acceptance by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The FASB is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the taxonomy applicable to public issuers registered with the SEC.

The 2012 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the 2011 taxonomy currently used by SEC issuers.

The FASB issued proposed improvements to the taxonomy in the fall, allowing users of the taxonomy 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.

Questions about using this taxonomy for creating and submitting eXtensible Business Reporting Language (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.

The U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is a list of computer-readable tags in XBRL that allows companies to tag precisely 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.

In early 2010, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) assumed maintenance responsibilities for the taxonomy, and, along with the FASB, assembled a team of technical staff dedicated to updating the taxonomy for changes in U.S. GAAP, identifying best practices in taxonomy extensions, and technical enhancements.


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