XBRL Detail Tagging Review

This article contains a process review and checklist for XBRL detail tagged filings, along with examples of common mistakes and how to prevent them.


  • You are starting your process two weeks out from filing date.

  • XBRL tagging and modeling are completed as EDGAR stands.

  • You have created an EDGAR milestone for comparison purposes.

  • You plan to test file one week from filing date.

EDGAR Filing Checklist

  1. Have your CIK Confirmation Code (CCC) and SEC password at hand. Make sure the password has not expired. TIP: Your Wdesk administrator can add the CCC to your basic account information in the Admin area. The code then will auto-populate the appropriate fields in the Filing wizard.

  2. Validate the document to check for any broken links. Tools > Validate Document.

  3. The first run-through of this often finds many items to auto-fix. The only ones you need to worry about are any that say "(Will not auto-fix)" at the end. Running Validate Document a second time will display the items you need to fix manually. If manual fixes are required, fix them and re-validate.

  4. To avoid warnings in Step 1 of the Filing wizard, accept or reject all tracked changes for all sections.

  5. Choose File > Save As PDF or Preview Document to check the layout and page breaks.

  6. If you adjust page breaks, choose Tools > Paginate Document, so that the EDGAR document page breaks line up with the PDF page breaks. TIP: Validate Document also updates the page breaks, so if you didn’t change anything since you last validated, you don’t need to run Paginate Document.

  7. Choose File > Preview EDGAR. Check that column headings wrap consistently and formatting looks good.

  8. Open the project and check that all required exhibits and documents are included in project.

  9. Are Exhibits in separate files?

  10. Verify that all Exhibits are listed in the Index to Exhibits section of the document. If the document is being filed with XBRL, make sure that the Exhibit 101 is included in the Index.

  11. Verify that the signature date on the signature page is correct.

  12. Verify that quarter-end and signature dates are updated in the certification exhibits.

  13. If you want to review the EDGAR documents that will be filed, open the Filing wizard and run Step 1: Generate EDGAR Documents. This creates a new folder in your project called EDGAR Filing Documents. Review EDGAR from here.

XBRL Detail Tagging Checklist

The detail tagging checklist is divided into several sections.

First, confirm the following:

  1. Tagging is in compliance with EDGAR filing requirements (main financials, notes, and schedules).

  2. All necessary calculation assertions have been included.

  3. XBRL fact values have the appropriate sign (+/-).

NOTE: Remember that the fact value sign is independent of how the value appears where it occurs in the document. Assertions can help address this, but tables without assertions, such as Stockholders’ Equity Statement, might need to have some facts negated.

Reviewing the XBRL Outline

  1. Ensure all table structures (i.e., face statements and detail tagging sections) have appropriate outline structure (i.e., Table, Axis, Domain, Line Items).

  2. Confirm proper demotion of concepts under abstracts.

  3. Use the Highlight Concept Taggings in Editor tool to click through all tags to make sure that they are ordered consistently with the document, and that tags are applied.

Reviewing in the Wdesk XBRL Viewer

  1. Run XBRL > XBRL Check Document, and review messages in the Notifications tab.

  2. Generate XBRL from the project and clear any validation errors noted.

  3. For more information, see the article on Generating XBRL Documents in the Filing Wizard.

  4. Review the EDGAR/XBRL preview document. Use display filters to quickly review items like decimals, units, dates, fact values, and so on.

  5. Errors are shown in red; warnings in yellow. Errors are also listed at the bottom of the section in which they appear, and all errors are listed at the bottom of the All Facts section.

Reviewing the SEC Viewer Tie-Out

Tip: The SEC Viewer is an additional way to view the rendering.

  1. Compare the EDGAR document with the SEC Viewer (all levels). The SEC Viewer can include additional line items if the document contains shared tags. This is ok—you just need to make sure that the amounts are actually included somewhere else in the filing, such as in phantom facts.

    • Level 1: Confirm that full text block range (including note title) is included in the viewer.

    • Use the EDGAR/XBRL Viewer to review. 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.

    • 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, textuals, and phantoms.

  2. Confirm that labels in the SEC Viewer match the line item descriptions in financial statements (particularly parentheticals that may have changed from previous quarters).

  3. If you change any labels, use the Label Editor, and then select the default option to include all outline occurrences of a concept.

  4. For more information, see the article XBRL Labels - Edit and Resolve Conflicts.

  5. Confirm that the ordering of notes within the viewer outline is correct.

  6. Check section headings (including subsection titles).

  7. Check the accuracy precision shown (for example, ones vs. thousands/millions).

  8. Use a filter on the EDGAR/XBRL report to review and confirm that the accuracy in the heading of the SEC Viewer is correct (for example, Thousands, except Per Share Data).

  9. Confirm that all values match EDGAR presentation signs (+/-).

  10. Make any required changes based on the SEC Viewer tie-out.

Reviewing the DEI

Confirm the following items in the DEI table close to the filing date when all data is available.

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  1. Insure that all dates are appropriate (fiscal year end, document year end, outstanding shares, and public float).

  2. The outstanding shares have been updated and that they tie to the cover page.

  3. The public float has been updated (if applicable) and it ties to the cover page.

  4. The accuracy (for example, ones vs. thousands/millions) is set correctly.

  5. All required DEI disclosures have been made and updated for the current quarter. (Check against the template.)

Additional Reviewing and Test Filing

  1. Regenerate at the project level and clear any additional errors noted.

  2. One week before test filing, run an EDGAR blackline against the milestone created (as listed in the assumptions at the beginning of this article).

  3. Review the SEC Viewer for any sections where changes have been noted. Make any necessary XBRL changes and then regenerate the project and clear any additional errors noted.

  4. Test file.

  5. For more information, see the Help articles for the Filing wizard.

  6. Continue to monitor any changes to EDGAR for corresponding changes to XBRL.

  7. Continue to update XBRL as necessary, clearing errors at the project level.

NOTE: Changes to XBRL that do not affect the EDGAR document will not be noted in the subsequent blacklines.

Common Errors and How to Prevent Them

Here are some common mistakes that Workiva Customer Success professionals notice in the SEC Viewer tie-out.

  • Labels that haven’t been updated with current parenthetical numbers.

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  • Statements and notes are not in the same order as in the document sections, particularly parenthetical sections that are not immediately after the statement they belong to.

    image alt text

  • Commitments and Contingencies line item are missing. Because these cells contain no value, they frequently are not linked. If they are not linked, the XBRL fact will not appear.

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  • Number accuracies are incorrect, particularly on the DEI and parenthetical information.

    image alt text

  • Subsection names and Note numbers appear in the Table of Contents.

NOTE: For detail tagged filings, the Level 1 sections of each of the notes should be the same as the title of the note; the Level 2, 3, and 4 sections should include "(Policies)", "(Tables)", or "(Details)" as appropriate.