The Third Option – Single-click XBRL Generation

The XBRL mandate by Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has seen one annual filing till now. Predictably, it has thrown up issues, chiefly high error rates across Singapore’s filing entities. The good news here is that the problems have been identified. It is realistic to expect these errors to be ironed out really quickly.

The problem of high error rate in XBRL is caused by two factors:

  • Errors in the company’s data (and this is a big systemic problem)
  • Errors in the conversion of data from native formats to XBRL (superficial problem)

While the first problem is bigger and more worrisome, it is also less prevalent and more case-specific, requiring more involved examination.

One of the characteristic features of the solutions that are currently available for Singapore companies is that they all involve post-processing of data that is already created. So, whether a company outsources its XBRL production to a vendor or buys XBRL software and performs the conversion by itself, it involves converting data that is ready in one format, into another format.

Solution to ensure Zero Translation Error in  XBRL Conversion

However, there is a third option – integrating enterprise data systems (general ledger, for example) with the XBRL conversion system. This would involve creating a mapping system that connects data points (or aggregations thereof) in the data sources (multiple and possibly diverse) to specific taxonomy elements, thus bringing the ‘single-click XBRL generation’ dream to fruition. Although it represents a much larger first-time investment, both in monetary and effort terms, the long-term benefits of having a straight-through processing system that ensures zero translation error, are immense.

Creating this sort of pipeline between data source items and XBRL tagged numbers is not easy and it cannot happen in a heartbeat. It will take time and it will take expertise. But when was the last time a thing worth having was easily achieved?

About DataTracks:

DataTracks is a global leader in preparation of financial statements in XBRL and iXBRL formats. With over 10 years’ experience, DataTracks prepares more than 12,000 XBRL statements annually for filing with regulators such as SEC in the United States, HMRC in the United Kingdom, Revenue in Ireland, ACRA in Singapore and MCA in India. DataTracks provides world-class services with its team of certified accountants experienced in US GAAP, UK GAAP, India GAAP, SFRS and IFRS.

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