For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy companies will quickly begin reporting quarterly and annual monetary and operational information in XBRL format to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The XBRL format isn’t new for public companies which were submitting reports with XBRL tags to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, but the taxonomy for tagging FERC forms will be completely different.
In many respects, the burden should 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 business reporting) and the Arelle open-source XBRL validation engine. And a “fact” in both stories is represented by a worth (numeric or non-numeric), elements, date, unit, and accuracy.
But, as we detail beneath, you’ll discover fairly a couple of differences with FERC’s XBRL requirements.
Standard schedules enable for extremely prescriptive tag assignments. That means no more tagging from scratch. For example, the Workiva answer for FERC reporting provides users with pre-tagged types. These standardized pre-tagged varieties not solely reduce preparation efforts considerably, in addition they reduce tagging inconsistencies—you can obtain higher knowledge high quality with much less effort.
Also, you are not required to tag each number. No problem to monetary statements require block tags solely. 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 answer for SEC reporting and the Workiva solution for FERC reporting: You will be in a position to hyperlink data in your 10-K to your pre-tagged Form 1 for consistency and efficiency.
If no relevant XBRL concept is on the market, the data is not to be tagged. However, if an applicable concept exists, FERC requires the knowledge to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that some required data may be reported inside footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, no extensions are allowed. Besides concepts, axes and members are additionally to be used as offered. So, how do you report company-specific information, similar to officer names? In order to support reporting of company-specific data, FERC uses the typed dimension.
The bonus for Workiva users? Although FERC makes use of a special technical specification, you will notice the Workiva FERC reporting resolution offers the identical feel and appear as axis/member software within the Workiva resolution for SEC reporting.
For FERC reporting, no custom labels or label roles are needed. Labels are auto-assigned by the official FERC renderer based mostly on type areas. Also, there are no calculation to define. In truth, custom calculations aren’t permitted. Validation rules will deal with consistency checks.
Since FERC taxonomy assigns particular hypercube to each schedule, there isn’t a outline structure to build. For users of Workiva for FERC reporting, this is mechanically managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, truth ordering just isn’t controlled by the outline and is not required. FERC uses a numeric element “OrderNumber” to regulate sequencing of company-specific info. Users of the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting can simply assign row numbers in the form schedules as “OrderNumber” within the Workiva platform. Lastly, there aren’t any custom dates as you’re restricted to a small listing of allowable values.
Going forward, there is not any digital kind to submit. Machine-readable information is the key focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official type renderer will provide standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL knowledge.
Since most submitting data to the SEC is public record, the SEC doesn’t provide this, but FERC does. Whether FERC will truly approve a request for confidential information is one other question! If you’ve an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, ensure your vendor additionally helps FERC compliance, for the rationale that FERC taxonomy is not going to be the identical as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, choose an XBRL software vendor, or invest the money and time to construct and preserve an in-house solution for FERC compliance, understanding the similarities and differences between XBRL filings for FERC and for the SEC shall be essential when evaluating your choices.
Percy Hung is director of structured knowledge initiatives and Peter Larison is supervisor of structured data initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a global software-as-a-service company. It offers a cloud-based related and reporting compliance platform that allows the use of connected information and automation of reporting throughout finance, accounting, threat, and compliance. For more info, visit

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