Focus on the accuracy and quality of your data because the SEC is moving
ahead with the plan to use XBRL for regulatory review. That's the
message from Craig M. Lewis, the SEC's chief economist, to public
companies in meeting their XBRL compliance requirements, based on an
interview in the April 2013 edition of Dimensions, a newsletter
for legal, financial and corporate compliance professionals published by
Merrill Corporation (www.merrillcorp.com),
a leading global provider of technology-enabled services for the
financial, legal, health care, real estate and other corporate markets.
In the interview, Lewis, the Director and Chief Economist of the
Division of Risk, Strategy and Financial Innovation with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC), speaking on his own behalf, outlines the
value of XBRL data that allows the SEC, investors, analysts, the media
and other stakeholders to compare and analyze public company financial
data instantly. In addition, Lewis offers insight about the predictive
accounting quality model being developed by the SEC.
"It is a fully automated system that effectively takes a firm's filing
the day it comes in, processes it, and then keeps it in the [SEC's]
database so that somebody who is interested in looking at a report on
that company would be able to do so within 24 ours of the filing being
posted on EDGAR," says Lewis, who was named to his current position in
"The Craig Lewis interview offers incredible insight into how XBRL is
evolving and answers the question of many SEC filers: 'Is anyone ever
going to use this XBRL data '" notes Mike Schlanger, Vice President of
XBRL Business Development and Strategy for Merrill Corporation. "Mr.
Lewis' comments demonstrate that the SEC is using XBRL data to enhance
its review process and is committed to building new tools in the future.
The bottom line: XBRL is not going away; quality and accuracy do matter;
and as Craig Lewis stresses in his Dimensions interview, larger
public companies now carry the same liability for their XBRL data as
they do with their EDGAR filings."
"One of the main obstacles to the SEC's vision," Schlanger adds, "is the
continued occurrence of errors in a registrant's XBRL filings. The SEC
has published multiple Staff Observations informing filers of the
errors with which they are most concerned. However, many filers remain
unaware of how these errors can make their way into their filing.
Outside experts, such as Merrill's XBRL CPA team, are dedicated to
helping public companies close this knowledge gap to ensure they have
the requisite knowledge to verify the accuracy of their XBRL files."
(merrillcorp.com/transaction-services) is published by St. Paul-based
Merrill Corporation for legal, financial and corporate compliance
professionals, offering insights and in-depth information related to
financial compliance filing and corporate transactions. The newsletter
is available free of charge to professionals at Dimensions/April
About Merrill Corporation
Founded in 1968 and headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., Merrill
is a leading provider of solutions for complex business communication
and information management. We serve the legal, financial services,
health sciences, insurance and real estate industries with document and
data management, litigation support, language translation services,
branded communication programs, fulfillment, imaging and printing. Our
unmatched proprietary technologies and more than 5,000 people in
locations around the world empower the communications of the world's
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