March 9, 2011

Concerns Raised with SEC about Upcoming XBRL Filing Crunch

In his “IR Web Report,” Dominic Jones reports about how “some in the industry expect the SEC will be forced to modify some of the more onerous detailed tagging requirements and extend the limited liability treatment of filings. However, some relief may also come as new technologies and service providers emerge. The Committee on Corporate Reporting of Financial Executives International (FEI) has written to SEC chair Mary Shapiro expressing concern that the XBRL filing requirements have led to delays in companies releasing reports to investors and compromised the accuracy of company filings.” Time is running short for the 8000 companies that will begin filing XBRL documents with the SEC in July.

And I don’t think companies will be given a postponement as noted in this blog entitled “Hoping for an XBRL break? Don’t hold your breath.” Finally, it’s worth reading Dominic Jones’ report about how a “Patent casts doubt on investor access to XBRL.”

Although not entirely clear, it appears that the SEC Staff recently updated its “Staff Interpretations and FAQs Related to Interactive Data Disclosure.” It’s not clear because “last modified” dates have not been affixed to each FAQ (like the Staff’s other CDIs have) and there is a note at bottom of this FAQs page that says it was last modified in December. However, the FAQs were recently reorganized and I do believe B.13 is new – and E.19 and 20 probably are too since they do not have a “formally” tag like the others…

How Law Firms Can Provide XBRL Services

In this podcast, Raul Varela of Rivet Software provides some insight how law firms can be involved in providing XBRL services, including:

– Can law firms provide XBRL services to their clients, just like some provide EDGARization services?
– What kind of options do law firms have to incorporate XBRL into their current service offering?
– What factors should a law firm consider to determine which type of XBRL service is best for them to offer?

The Burden of XBRL Costs on Smaller Companies

As the deadline for mandatory XBRL draws nearer, I am hearing from some smaller companies about how the costs charged by XBRL providers are higher than they expected. David Feldman blogs that those costs can be as high as $4000-8000 per year (which can be 50% of the operating costs for a shell company). Send me your anecdotal stories as I’d like to hear more from folks (I’ll keep them confidential as always unless you give me permission to attribute).

Poll: XBRL Filing Cost Estimates

Please take a moment to participate in this anonymous poll regarding your experience with XBRL filing costs/cost estimates so far:

Online Surveys & Market Research

– Broc Romanek