For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy corporations will soon start reporting quarterly and annual financial and operational data 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, however the taxonomy for tagging FERC types shall be different.
In many respects, the burden must be lighter for FERC filers than SEC filers. Both will depend on the XBRL 2.1 Specification (which defines the basic constructing blocks of XBRL implementation in business reporting) and the Arelle open-source XBRL validation engine. And a “fact” in both reports is represented by a value (numeric or non-numeric), parts, date, unit, and accuracy.
But, as we detail below, you’ll notice quite a few variations with FERC’s XBRL requirements.
Standard schedules enable for extremely prescriptive tag assignments. That means no more tagging from scratch. For instance, the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting provides users with pre-tagged forms. These standardized pre-tagged types not solely reduce preparation efforts considerably, additionally they reduce tagging inconsistencies—you can achieve greater knowledge quality with much less effort.
Also, you aren’t required to tag each number. Notes to financial 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, these would be tagged with a single textual content block for FERC. A bonus for users of the Workiva resolution for SEC reporting and the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting: You will be ready to hyperlink data in your 10-K to your pre-tagged Form 1 for consistency and effectivity.
If no applicable XBRL concept is out there, the data is not to be tagged. However, if an relevant idea exists, FERC requires the knowledge to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that some required info could also be reported within footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, no extensions are allowed. Besides ideas, axes and members are additionally to be used as offered. So, how do you report company-specific information, corresponding to officer names? In order to support reporting of company-specific information, FERC uses the typed dimension.
The bonus for Workiva users? Although FERC uses a different technical specification, you will see the Workiva FERC reporting resolution presents the same feel and appear as axis/member application in the Workiva solution for SEC reporting.
For FERC reporting, no custom labels or label roles are wanted. Labels are auto-assigned by the official FERC renderer based mostly on type areas. Also, there are no calculation to outline. In reality, customized calculations are not permitted. Validation guidelines will deal with consistency checks.
Since FERC taxonomy assigns specific hypercube to every schedule, there is not any define structure to construct. For users of Workiva for FERC reporting, that is automatically managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, truth ordering isn’t controlled by the outline and is not required. FERC makes use of a numeric element “OrderNumber” to control sequencing of company-specific data. Users of the Workiva resolution for FERC reporting can easily assign row numbers within the type schedules as “OrderNumber” in the Workiva platform. Lastly, there are not any custom dates as you’re restricted to a small list of allowable values.
Going ahead, there is no digital form to submit. Machine-readable knowledge is the important thing focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official type renderer will present standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL information.
Since most submitting information to the SEC is public document, the SEC doesn’t offer this, however FERC does. Whether FERC will actually approve a request for confidential knowledge is another question! If you may have an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, make sure your vendor additionally helps FERC compliance, for the rationale that FERC taxonomy won’t be the identical as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, select an XBRL software program vendor, or invest the money and time to build and preserve an in-house answer for FERC compliance, understanding the similarities and differences between XBRL filings for FERC and for the SEC might be crucial when evaluating your choices.
Percy Hung is director of structured data initiatives and Peter Larison is supervisor of structured knowledge initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a world software-as-a-service firm. It offers a cloud-based connected and reporting compliance platform that enables the usage of connected knowledge and automation of reporting across finance, accounting, threat, and compliance. For extra info, visit