Tie-Outs for Filing Documents

This article describes how to perform a tie-out for your filing documents. Tie-outs help to ensure the accuracy of all dates, numbers and verbiage as rendered in the SEC Viewer.

Preparing Your Document for Tie-Out

To perform a tie-out, you will need to save your document to PDF and then compare that document to the SEC viewer.

Make sure you share any changes before you output your document to PDF. Then go to File > Save As > PDF. Select the Cover Page, Item 1 to get your main financials and then the Notes. Choose OK to save to your desktop and then print a copy.

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Highlight all facts that will need to be checked within the PDF section or document, or you may want do this only with the in-text numbers.

Using the SEC XBRL Viewer for Tie-Outs

On the XBRL Outline tab in the right-hand project panel, right-click the appropriate section and choose Show in SEC XBRL Viewer.

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It will open in a separate browser tab. Content in the viewer will match the SEC website.

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First, check the dates and the descriptions to make sure that the XBRL descriptions on the SEC website match your PDF, particularly in parentheticals that may have changed from previous quarters. If you need to change any labels, use the Label Editor.

Confirm that the order of notes in the viewer outline is correct and check the precision shown for rendered values in your financials and notes. Confirm that all values match EDGAR signs in terms of positive and negative values.

Tie-Out Steps for Each Tagging Level

Systematically compare your PDF to the SEC Viewer for each level of tagging.

Level 1: You'll need to confirm that the full text block range (including note title) is included in the viewer. Also make sure you did not use a Level 2 Policy Text Block tag or a Level 3 Table Text Block tag for a Level 1 text block.

Level 2: Confirm that all policies throughout the entire document that have been tagged are included. Note that Level 2 Policy Text Blocks may reside outside of the Summary of Significant Accounting Policies.

Level 3: Confirm that all tables are included and generally include a preceding sentence to provide further context for the table. Also, make sure that any footnotes are included in the table text block range.

Level 4: Perform a tie-out of all numbers in tables, in text facts, and phantoms. The SEC Viewer can include additional line items if the document contains shared tags. Make sure that the amounts are actually included somewhere else in the filing, such as in phantom facts. Make any required changes to your document as you go or mark your PDF with the needed changes.

Tie-Out Best Practices

In order to mark your PDF consistently, consider using standardized shortcuts and marks.

A suggested best practice is to note all correct facts with a tick mark and to note incorrect facts by circling them.

Additional suggested markings include the following:

  • Equal sign: Missing content is marked with a minus sign (-).

  • Plus sign: Extra content is marked with a plus sign (+).

  • Neg: A negated value is marked with "neg" to indicate that the value is rendering as the opposite sign from the PDF.

  • Lab: If the label is different on the SEC viewer, mark the label with "lab".

  • Date: If there is a date error such as an extra, missing or wrong date, write "Date".

  • DUP: If an item is rendering twice, use "DUP".

  • Asterisk: If you need to write a description for an incorrect fact, use an asterisk and put the additional info at the bottom of the page.

  • Does not equal sign: If there is a rounding or accuracy error, use an equal sign with a "does not equal" slash through it.

  • Brackets: If a text fact has missing or additional information, use brackets with missing/extra symbols at the location.

  • L1, L2, L3 and L4: Use L1, L2, L3 and L4 respectively to indicate that text blocks, accounting policies, table text blocks and details need reviewed.

  • Double arrow: If the order of items is incorrect, use a vertical double arrow to indicate that tables, line items, etc are out of order.

Key Points to Remember

When negating values, negate all facts using the same concept at the same time. This will help prevent disconnection between the XBRL outline and facts in the Wdesk editor. If this isn't possible, double check outline label roles after all negates.

All numeric facts are required to be tagged. Always verify project rendering after making changes. Review all verbiage around facts. Sentences and paragraphs around facts are meaningful. If the rendering doesn't make sense to you, facts may be mapped incorrectly.