Unlocking Success in SEC XBRL Reporting

Renowned author, technologist, and speaker David Weinberger says, ‘Transparency is the new objectivity.’

He probably did not say it in the context of regulatory reporting, but it is as applicable in there as it is in life. The end game in regulatory reporting is an objective view of a company’s performance, and standing and the path to gain this view is a transparent assessment of the numbers.

Compliance with regulators ensures accountability on the company’s part, credibility in its operations, and confidence in its performance, making it viable for investments and growth.

How does one get to the point of accurate and comprehensive regulatory reporting and SEC compliance? How can an organization ensure that the manual processes that give rise to error and oversight are eliminated? How can the process be made efficient?

The answer is in people, process, data, and technology. Advances today have given way to a more consistent and accurate system centered around collaboration, validations, and a superior automation level.

If you’re part of your organization’s regulatory reporting team, then you must have your hands full in just trying to crunch numbers on an excel sheet. It is imperative to submit a clear, complete, accurate, and timely report to the authorities.

Your team then is probably guided by the following FOUR main goals:

  • Concise communication of financial data along with explanations
  • Comprehensive financial data that is compliant with regulatory requirements
  • Accuracy of information presented in a format that is accepted by the SEC and meets the necessary quality of data
  • It is submitted within the specified deadlines

Let us now see how people, processes, data, and technology can help you nail these goals!


Automation is gaining ground in the regulatory reporting sphere, but you can always expect some level of human intervention to ensure comprehensive compliance. While your entire team can learn more about the software, there will need to be someone who can establish controls, set milestones and timelines, monitor updates, change reporting mandates, interpret them, and ensure introduction into the software.

The best people to help you here? Software service providers!


A software can give you the option to collaborate, but how can you ensure that it is effective and used optimally? A good process! Drawing an action plan that details key milestones and sets clear deadlines is an excellent place to start.

You can then move on to ensuring accountability with the help of a software that gives you the ability to set role hierarchies. Checks and safeguards to review changes and the support of auto alerts can enhance your process’s robustness. If the software has a dashboard to check the history of changes, you’ve got yourself a keeper! Identify triggers in the system with ease, and you can refine your process to give you the best output!


Regulatory reporting relies primarily on data. Hence, the integrity and quality of data are essential to achieve your reporting goals. Let’s not forget; validation of the data is equally, if not more, integral to the whole process. Creating data silos is expensive and time-consuming.

What you need is an automated system that can reconcile across reports and alert you on data inconsistencies. Automation and expanding your technology usage are core advancements that you will need to build a more reliable bank of data that you need not struggle with every time a report is submitted. The tags and protocols can simple to rolled forward every quarter or annually, without manual intervention.


This is the penultimate piece you need to ensure that your reporting process runs like a well-oiled machine. It can facilitate collaboration across teams while maintaining the sanctity of your data. Automation in regulatory reporting enables fast tagging in XBRL conversion, running checks in audit, and successful submissions that can save you time and money.

A software can also help introduce risk-based controls that can eliminate the error. Any changes in mandates are easily integrated and automatically aligned with your data. Validations by the program mean accurate information and no room for rejections. What is more? A software, if hosted on a secure cloud-based platform, expands your horizons in collaborative working!

Here you have it – the secret to upping your compliance game. Find a great technology solution, the right people to run it, the ideal processes to make the most of it, and data to feed it, and you have yourself a winner!

Learn more about DataTracks’ solutions for SEC regulatory compliance and reporting. Register for a free demo and a 30-minute discussion with our in-house expert in SEC reporting. We manage over 800 clients in the US and have delivered over 15,000 XBRL reports for SEC.

We are also serving the regulatory reporting needs of companies regulated by FERC through our flagship product – Glacier for FERC XBRL Reporting.

Download FERC XBRL Brochure