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CFO / Director of Financial Reporting

XBRL is a new reporting requirement that is being phased in over a three-year period. The first two years saw the very largest filers providing XBRL. It also saw average consultant/internal staff time exceed 120 hours to meet the requirements.

Planning ahead is critical. With over 8000 additional companies scrambling to access the very few XBRL experts and service providers available, waiting until mid-year could see prices spike dramatically.

Yes, this is new(ish):

XBRL is a new reporting requirement that is being phased in over a three year period. The first two years saw the very largest filers providing XBRL. It also saw average consultant/internal staff time exceed 120 hours to meet the requirements.

This is the third year, and all other 10K/10Q filers are required to provide XBRL to the SEC. The SEC estimated in their Final Rule that approximately 8700 additional companies would need to provide XBRL starting in 2011.

And scary (but it shouldn't be):

We've watched the "free" webcasts from other solution providers, the purpose of which clearly is to scare filers into buying expensive services, supported by their "expert" consultants.

Other vendors need you to understand just how complex this is. Why would they do that? For two reasons: because it justifies the high fees that they are charging, and because their processes require significant additional time (both yours and theirs).

And expensive (but it shouldn't be):
Did you put $20,000 - $40,000 extra in your budget this year to produce XBRL for the SEC? These are the kinds of numbers we're hearing are being quoted by filing agents and consultants.

Some of the consolidation software vendors are also using this new reporting requirement as the opportunity to sell you a new consolidation system and reporting platform. Are you ready to make your upgrade or replacement decision based on one aspect of your financial reporting?