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SEC Releases Updated EDGAR Filer Manual

On October 1, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released the latest version (version 18.3) of Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR). With that update came changes to the EDGAR Filer Manual, with some of the changes marking an important shift towards improving the quality of XBRL data.

What’s been updated?

The EDGAR Filer Manual is broken down into three different volumes – Volumes I, II, and III. Volume I (v31) provides general information, including information relating to the EDGAR filing and application process. Volume II (v48) relates to the EDGAR filing process, while Volume III (v6) is a guide that can be referred to when filing Form N-SAR.

In the latest release from the SEC, updates were only made to Volumes I and II. Volume III remains unchanged since January 30, 2017.

What do the changes mean for XBRL?

From an XBRL perspective, the main changes that are of interest rest within Volume II.

Specifically, the SEC has stated that filers will now be notified when their submissions contain possible XBRL tagging issues. Specifically, EDGAR warnings (not suspensions) will now appear:

  • “if a filing uses deprecated tags in a submission”;
  • “when certain US-GAAP and IFRS numeric reporting items are tagged incorrectly as negative”; and
  • “if a filing contains custom Axis tags for purposes already served by certain existing standard taxonomy axes”

These updates are shown at 6.5.42 to 6.5.44 of EDGAR Filer Manual Volume II respectively.

As a result, any filer using XBRL data should be aware of the possible new error warnings that they may encounter and know how to take steps to resolve any potential filing pitfalls – for example, by double checking whether any deprecated elements appear within the taxonomy being used.

Although these new warning messages within EDGAR will mean that a more attentive eye needs to be cast over the submission of tagged XBRL data, this is, in fact, a good thing. These changes highlight the SEC’s commitment to developing the quality of the XBRL data being submitted, and also keep filers on their toes to ensure that they meet these new quality standards.

You can see the full list of updates made to the EDGAR Filer Manual on the SEC’s website.

DataTracks has over a decade of experience helping organizations file with regulators, including the SEC. Our team is well placed to advise you on the updates to the EDGAR Filer Manual and can also assist when it comes to your EDGAR filing requirements. Speak to a member of our team today to find out how we can help.