XBRL mistakes still common
XBRL compliance is considered a pain at many companies. It offers little payoff for a lot of tedious, expensive work.
I've noted that more companies seem to have grudgingly made their peace with the situation. Now that companies have gained experience and worked out their processes for tagging the right information (even if that entails handing it all over to a contractor), you might think that companies can relax a bit. But that wouldn't be the best idea.
Compliance Week reports that the "SEC hasn't yet had its first look at detail-tagged 10Ks for about 7,000 public companies, or 80 percent of all filers." The agency expects to get its "first look at the complete data set in early 2013," after the third and final tier of companies submit 10-Ks with appropriate tags.
There are no doubt a lot of mistakes being made.
"Even companies that have been using XBRL for some time are making some common errors" that the SEC's has flagged in the past. "Mistakes are most prevalent in creating custom extensions where tags would be a better choice or in expressing positive numbers as negatives and vice versa. However, companies also make smaller mistakes simply in providing wrong numbers or making problematic typos."
In the end, such mistakes will likely be cleaned up. If not, they stand to negatively impact the credibility of XBRL data at a time when application creators need to have a high level of confidence. I hope that it doesn't hold back that movement.
- here's the article