SEC Wants to Require Inline XBRL

By Stephen Barlas
May 1, 2017

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule aimed at reducing the cost of producing financial statements and making them more accessible for investors.


The proposal would require the use of Inline XBRL, which has the potential to benefit investors and other market participants while decreasing over time the cost of preparing information for submission to the SEC. The proposal grows out of the SEC’s disclosure modernization initiative. Inline XBRL allows filers to embed XBRL data directly into their filings instead of as attachments, reducing the likelihood of inconsistencies.


Inline XBRL would give the preparer full control over the presentation of XBRL disclosures within the HTML filing. In addition, tools like the open-source Inline XBRL viewer on SEC.gov can be used to review the XBRL data more efficiently, which benefits investors. Under the proposal, requirements for operating company financial statements would be phased in over a three-year period.


Stephen Barlas has covered Washington, D.C., for trade and professional magazines since 1981 and since 1984 for Strategic Finance and its predecessor Management Accounting. You can reach him at sbarlas@verizon.net.
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