For companies looking to get a head start on their XBRL filings, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has released its 2015 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy, pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The 2015 GAAP Taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards that have been adopted by FASB since the 2014 release, in addition to general improvements that have been recommended to FASB over the course of the past year. The Taxonomy must be approved by the SEC before companies can rely on it to file their financial statements in XBRL. FASB generally provides its finished version of the Taxonomy ahead of SEC approval to give companies more time to explore changes and begin adjusting their filings accordingly.
The IFRS Foundation also recently released an updated IFRS Taxonomy, incorporating the new IFRS standard for revenue recognition issued in May, which takes effect in 2017 but IFRS filers are allowed to adopt early. Despite numerous updates to the IFRS Taxonomy since the SEC began requiring XBRL filings in the United States, the SEC has not yet deemed an IFRS Taxonomy acceptable for use in the United States. As a result, IFRS filers have not yet been required to file their financial statements in XBRL.
FASB has not yet incorporated the new revenue recognition standard into its GAAP Taxonomy because it does not take effect in GAAP until 2017. FASB is considering, however, incorporating the new standard into its next draft release to provide companies with more time to study it and comment on it.
The 2015 Taxonomy contains updates for more than a dozen other accounting standards issued in 2014, including new elements for equity method investments, troubled debt restructurings, service concession arrangements, discontinued operations, development stage entities, repurchase-to-maturity transactions, stock compensation, and consolidations. In terms of other changes to the Taxonomy not driven by changes in rules, FASB said the newest Taxonomy contains “substantially fewer” changes than in prior years.