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FASB member promotes XBRL: "It's in your best interest"

  • XBRL — dark blue Image

Sep 24, 2013

Harold Schroeder, a FASB member, gave a speech at the XBRL U.S. Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Schroeder focused on the need for structured data and explained the FASB's involvement with the taxonomy.

In his speech, Mr. Schroeder often referred to his background as a portfolio manager to emphasize the relevancy and importance of XBRL to investors. He also articulated the tangible benefits of XBRL for investors:

  • Reduced cost, thus improving investor returns.
  • Increased productivity as a result of faster and better analysis.
  • Increased opportunity for higher returns because more companies can be analyzed.

Mr. Schroeder acknowledged that data aggregators have been creating their own competing taxonomies for years. However, third-party vendors have limited resources and their data sets frequently contain errors. A standardized taxonomy — when filers tag their own financial statements — reduces the number of errors, especially as time goes on. He noted that preparers also have the benefit of being in control of their financial statements. Mr. Schroeder said, "With structured data, using a standardized taxonomy, the preparer is better able to take control of the data that investors receive."

Mr. Schroeder also discussed why he believes the FASB should be involved in developing and maintaining the taxonomy, saying that the tasks best reside with accounting standard experts. It is a natural fit that the FASB — the U.S. standard setter — would take on the responsibility of the taxonomy.

Please click for the full text of the speech on the FASB's Web site.

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