For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy corporations will quickly begin reporting quarterly and annual financial and operational information in XBRL format to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The XBRL format isn’t new for public corporations which have been submitting reports with XBRL tags to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, however the taxonomy for tagging FERC forms shall be different.
TIME TO EVALUATE YOUR OPTIONS
In many respects, the burden ought to be lighter for FERC filers than SEC filers. Both will depend on the XBRL 2.1 Specification (which defines the fundamental constructing blocks of XBRL implementation in business reporting) and the Arelle open-source XBRL validation engine. And a “fact” in both reviews is represented by a value (numeric or non-numeric), components, date, unit, and accuracy.
But, as we element beneath, you’ll notice quite a number of differences with FERC’s XBRL requirements.
SIMPLIFIED ELEMENT SELECTION
Standard schedules allow for highly prescriptive tag assignments. That means no more tagging from scratch. For example, the Workiva solution for FERC reporting provides customers with pre-tagged types. These standardized pre-tagged types not only scale back preparation efforts considerably, in addition they reduce tagging inconsistencies—you can achieve larger knowledge quality with much less effort.
Also, you aren’t required to tag each quantity. Notes to monetary statements require block tags only. For example, if disclosure notes are pasted into FERC Form 1 from the 10-K you file with the SEC, these could be tagged with a single text block for FERC. A bonus for users of the Workiva solution for SEC reporting and the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting: You will have the flexibility to link info in your 10-K to your pre-tagged Form 1 for consistency and effectivity.
If no applicable XBRL idea is out there, the information is to not be tagged. However, if an applicable concept exists, FERC requires the data to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that some required info may be reported within footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, Authoritative are allowed. Besides ideas, axes and members are additionally to be used as provided. So, how do you report company-specific info, such as officer names? In order to help reporting of company-specific information, FERC uses the typed dimension.
The bonus for Workiva users? Although FERC makes use of a different technical specification, you will see the Workiva FERC reporting solution presents the identical look and feel as axis/member application within the Workiva resolution for SEC reporting.
NO OUTLINE MANAGEMENT OR CUSTOM DATES
For FERC reporting, no custom labels or label roles are wanted. Labels are auto-assigned by the official FERC renderer based on kind places. Also, there aren’t any calculation to outline. In reality, customized calculations usually are not permitted. Validation rules will handle consistency checks.
Since FERC taxonomy assigns specific hypercube to each schedule, there is not a define construction to build. For users of Workiva for FERC reporting, this is mechanically managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, reality ordering is not managed by the define and is not required. FERC makes use of a numeric component “OrderNumber” to manage sequencing of company-specific data. Users of the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting can easily assign row numbers within the type schedules as “OrderNumber” in the Workiva platform. Lastly, there are no custom dates as you’re restricted to a small listing of allowable values.
SUBMISSION OF DATA AS INSTANCE DOCUMENT ONLY
Going forward, there is not any digital form to submit. Machine-readable information is the key focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official form renderer will present standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL information.
SUPPORTS REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL DATA
Since most submitting knowledge to the SEC is public record, the SEC doesn’t offer this, however FERC does. Whether FERC will actually approve a request for confidential knowledge is another question! If you have an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, ensure your vendor also helps FERC compliance, since the FERC taxonomy is not going to be the same as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
PREPARE FOR YOUR NEEDS
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, select an XBRL software program vendor, or make investments the money and time to construct and keep an in-house solution for FERC compliance, understanding the similarities and variations between XBRL filings for FERC and for the SEC shall be crucial when evaluating your options.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Percy Hung is director of structured knowledge initiatives and Peter Larison is supervisor of structured knowledge initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a global software-as-a-service firm. It provides a cloud-based connected and reporting compliance platform that permits the utilization of linked data and automation of reporting throughout finance, accounting, threat, and compliance. For more data, visit www.workiva.com
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