Tagging and Review Methods

This article contains a process review and checklist for XBRL filings, along with examples of common mistakes and how to prevent them. Prior to following these steps, read and complete the XBRL Detail Tagging Review.

Reviewing the XBRL Outline

  1. Ensure all applicable table structures (i.e., face statements and detail tagging sections) have appropriate outline parent-child structure (i.e., Table > Axis > Domain > Line Items Abstract > Line Item Concepts).

  2. Confirm proper demotion of concepts under abstracts.

  3. Use the highlighter feature and click through all elements to make sure that they are ordered consistently with the document, and that there are no unused elements.

XBRL Document Check

  1. Run XBRL > XBRL Check Document, and review messages in the left hand panel.

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

  3. Preview the document in the Wdesk XBRL viewer. Use display filters to quickly review items like decimals, units, dates, fact values, and so on.

  4. 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.

Performing a Tie-Out

Compare the EDGAR document with the SEC XBRL Viewer (all levels).

Level 1: Confirm that full text block range (including note title) is included in the viewer. Use the Wdesk 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. The SEC XBRL 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.

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

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

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

  4. Check section headings (including subsection titles).

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

  6. Use a filter on the Wdesk XBRL report to review and confirm that the accuracy in the heading of the SEC XBRL Viewer is correct (EXAMPLE: Thousands, except Per Share Data).

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

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

Reviewing the DEI

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

  1. 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 XBRL 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. For more information, see the Help articles for the Filing Wizard.

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

  6. 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 noticed in the SEC XBRL Viewer tie-out:

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

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2. Statements and notes are not in the same order as in the document sections (for example, parenthetical sections that are not immediately after the statement they belong to).

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3. The Commitments and Contingencies line item is 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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4. Number accuracies are incorrect, particularly on the DEI and parenthetical information.

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

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6. 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.