For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy companies will quickly begin reporting quarterly and annual financial and operational knowledge in XBRL format to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The XBRL format isn’t new for public firms that have been submitting stories with XBRL tags to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, but 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 enterprise reporting) and the Arelle open-source XBRL validation engine. And a “fact” in both reports is represented by a value (numeric or non-numeric), elements, date, unit, and accuracy.
But, as we detail under, you’ll discover fairly a number of variations with FERC’s XBRL requirements.
SIMPLIFIED ELEMENT SELECTION
Standard schedules allow for extremely prescriptive tag assignments. That means no more tagging from scratch. For example, the Workiva solution for FERC reporting offers customers with pre-tagged types. These standardized pre-tagged forms not solely reduce preparation efforts significantly, additionally they minimize tagging inconsistencies—you can achieve greater knowledge high quality with much less effort.
Also, you aren’t required to tag every quantity. Notes to monetary statements require block tags only. For instance, if disclosure notes are pasted into FERC Form 1 from the 10-K you file with the SEC, those can be tagged with a single text block for FERC. A bonus for users of the Workiva resolution for SEC reporting and the Workiva solution 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 relevant XBRL concept is available, the knowledge is to not be tagged. However, if an applicable idea exists, FERC requires the data to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that some required data could also be reported within footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, Authority are allowed. Besides concepts, axes and members are also for use as supplied. So, how do you report company-specific data, corresponding to officer names? In order to help reporting of company-specific info, FERC uses the typed dimension.
The bonus for Workiva users? Although FERC uses a different technical specification, you will notice the Workiva FERC reporting solution offers the identical feel and appear as axis/member utility within the Workiva answer for SEC reporting.
NO OUTLINE MANAGEMENT OR CUSTOM DATES
For FERC reporting, no custom labels or label roles are needed. Labels are auto-assigned by the official FERC renderer based on type areas. Also, there are no calculation to define. In fact, customized calculations are not permitted. Validation rules will deal with consistency checks.
Since FERC taxonomy assigns particular hypercube to every schedule, there is no outline construction to build. For customers of Workiva for FERC reporting, this is routinely managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, fact ordering is not managed by the define and is not required. FERC makes use of a numeric component “OrderNumber” to control sequencing of company-specific information. Users of the Workiva solution for FERC reporting can easily assign row numbers within the kind schedules as “OrderNumber” within the Workiva platform. Lastly, there aren’t any customized dates as you’re limited to a small record of allowable values.
SUBMISSION OF DATA AS INSTANCE DOCUMENT ONLY
Going forward, there is no digital type to submit. Machine-readable information is the necessary thing focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official kind renderer will present standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL information.
SUPPORTS REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL DATA
Since most filing knowledge to the SEC is public report, the SEC doesn’t supply this, however FERC does. Whether FERC will actually approve a request for confidential data is another question! If you’ve an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, ensure your vendor additionally helps FERC compliance, since the FERC taxonomy is not going to be the identical as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
PREPARE FOR YOUR NEEDS
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, choose an XBRL software program vendor, or make investments the time and money to construct and keep an in-house resolution for FERC compliance, understanding the similarities and differences between XBRL filings for FERC and for the SEC shall be essential when evaluating your choices.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Percy Hung is director of structured information initiatives and Peter Larison is manager of structured knowledge initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a global software-as-a-service company. It supplies a cloud-based linked and reporting compliance platform that allows the use of linked knowledge and automation of reporting throughout finance, accounting, risk, and compliance. For more info, go to www.workiva.com
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