For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy companies will quickly 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 corporations which have been submitting stories with XBRL tags to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, but the taxonomy for tagging FERC types might be completely different.
In many respects, the burden should be lighter for FERC filers than SEC filers. Both will rely on the XBRL 2.1 Specification (which defines the basic building 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 price (numeric or non-numeric), components, date, unit, and accuracy.
But, as we detail beneath, you’ll discover quite a quantity of variations with FERC’s XBRL necessities.
Standard schedules enable 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 types not solely cut back preparation efforts considerably, they also reduce tagging inconsistencies—you can obtain higher information quality with much less effort.
Also, you aren’t required to tag every quantity. Notes to financial statements require block tags only. For example, if disclosure notes are pasted into FERC Form 1 from the 10-K you file with the SEC, these could 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 succesful of link info in your 10-K to your pre-tagged Form 1 for consistency and efficiency.
If no relevant XBRL concept is available, the information is to not be tagged. However, if an relevant concept exists, FERC requires the knowledge to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that some required data may be reported within footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, no extensions are allowed. Besides concepts, axes and members are also for use as provided. 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 special technical specification, you will notice the Workiva FERC reporting solution offers the identical look and feel as axis/member utility within the Workiva answer for SEC reporting.
For FERC reporting, no custom labels or label roles are needed. Labels are auto-assigned by the official FERC renderer primarily based on form places. Also, there are no calculation to define. In truth, customized calculations are not permitted. Validation guidelines will handle consistency checks.
Since FERC taxonomy assigns particular hypercube to each schedule, there is not any define structure to build. For users of Workiva for FERC reporting, this is routinely managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, fact ordering is not managed by the define and isn’t required. Money uses a numeric factor “OrderNumber” to control sequencing of company-specific information. Users of the Workiva solution for FERC reporting can simply assign row numbers within the kind schedules as “OrderNumber” in the Workiva platform. Lastly, there are no custom dates as you’re limited to a small listing of allowable values.
Going ahead, there is not any digital type to submit. Machine-readable knowledge is the key focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official form renderer will present standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL information.
Since most submitting information to the SEC is public record, the SEC doesn’t provide this, but FERC does. Whether FERC will really approve a request for confidential information is another question! If you could have an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, make certain your vendor also supports FERC compliance, for the explanation that FERC taxonomy will not be the identical as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, choose an XBRL software vendor, or make investments the time and money to construct and keep 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 knowledge initiatives and Peter Larison is manager of structured knowledge initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a world software-as-a-service company. It supplies a cloud-based connected and reporting compliance platform that enables using related information and automation of reporting across finance, accounting, risk, and compliance. For more data, go to

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