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Have You Tested Your Filing Against the XBRL US Data Quality Rules?


There has been increasing scrutiny on the quality of XBRL data over the years. Most recently this is apparent in several ways. In October 2018, the SEC released an update to the EDGAR Filer Manual (EFM) which added new XBRL related validations (see: EDGAR Filer Manual Changes: Are You in Compliance?) and more recently the XBRL US Data Quality Committee (DQC) approved and released its 7th and 8th rulesets which continue to build on the foundation that helps filers improve their data. We’ll discuss the content of these rules later, but first, let’s consider the benefit of using the DQC’s validation rules.

  1. It’s free! The DQC cares about the quality of XBRL data. That’s why these rules were developed and are freely available in several ways. Filers can test their files on the XBRL US website using the free XBRL open-source platform. Many XBRL software providers, including Certent, have also incorporated these validation rules into the report creation software.
  2. They are tested. The DQC’s approved validation rules have been through an extensive process that includes input from experts and the community.
  3. Quality matters! Investors consume XBRL data, analysts, and government entities alike. These validation rules can provide additional consistency and accuracy that will improve data consumption. 
The 7th and 8th sets of approved DQC rules include new rules as well as some updates to existing regulations. Existing rule updates include the addition of specific axes to DQC_0001, which identifies inappropriate axis member combinations. The majority of the other current rule updates are related to negative values in both US-GAAP and IFRS taxonomies.

Do these topics sound familiar? That’s because the SEC has commented on these items since 2010. Negative value and invalid axis member combinations, however, are still two of the most common errors in XBRL filings. Rules DQC_001 and several others will help filers resolve these common issues. Keep your eyes open for future updates to these topics as the DQC continually works to make updates that will improve validation capabilities for filers.

In addition to the updates to previously existing rules, 12 new regulations were incorporated into the 7th and 8th sets of validation rules. These rules address inappropriate member extensions and quality issues that may arise related to recent Accounting Standards Updates and FASB taxonomy guidance that affect common disclosures such as:
  • Pension plans and other post-retirement benefits
  • Revenue recognition disclosures
  • Ownership disclosures
Financial Accounting Standards Boards tagging guidance exists for all three of these topics, and the new validation rules will identify whether filer disclosures are consistent with the advice.

As you can see this 7th set of rules addresses common disclosures and is essential to data quality. If you would like to learn more about these rules and the Data Quality Committee, you can visit the XBRL US website, the FASB Taxonomy Implementation Guides, or check in with your XBRL service/software provider.

XBRL US recently held a webinar with details about the 7th approved ruleset as well and provided information about the proposed 8th. The replay of this webinar can be viewed at

To learn more about how Certent can help your company improve XBRL quality, contact us today.


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