On June 28, the SEC announced that it had voted to amend existing requirements for companies to submit financial statement information in machine-readable format using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Currently, companies are required to provide the information from the financial statements accompanying their registration statements and periodic and current reports by submitting XBRL data as exhibits to such filings and posting it on their websites. The amendments require the use of “Inline XBRL,” which involves embedding XBRL data directly into the applicable filing so that it is both human-readable and machine-readable.
Companies will be required to transition to Inline XBRL on a phased basis: large accelerated filers will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2019, accelerated filers will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2020, and all other filers will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2021. Filers will be required to comply beginning with their first Form 10-Q filed for a fiscal period ending on or after the applicable compliance date.
While there is a generous phase-in period for compliance with the Inline XBRL requirements, the amendments take effect on September 17, 2018. Immediately upon effectiveness, all filers will be permitted to cease posting XBRL data on their websites, which in turn will result in certain conforming revisions to the cover pages of various SEC filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q. For more on these changes, see the SEC’s final rule.