For Energy Companies, Tagging Regulations Require a New Approach

Energy firms will quickly start reporting quarterly and annual financial and operational information in XBRL format to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The XBRL format isn’t new for public corporations that have been submitting reports with XBRL tags to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for years, however the taxonomy for tagging FERC types will be totally 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 fundamental 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 fairly a few differences with FERC’s XBRL necessities.
Standard schedules allow for extremely prescriptive tag assignments. That means no extra tagging from scratch. For example, the Workiva solution for FERC reporting provides customers with pre-tagged forms. These standardized pre-tagged types not only cut back preparation efforts considerably, they also decrease tagging inconsistencies—you can obtain greater information high quality with much less effort.
Also, you aren’t required to tag every quantity. Notes to financial 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 could be tagged with a single text block for FERC. A bonus for users of the Workiva resolution for SEC reporting and the Workiva answer for FERC reporting: You will have the power to hyperlink info in your 10-K to your pre-tagged Form 1 for consistency and efficiency.
If no applicable XBRL idea is out there, the data is to not be tagged. However, if an relevant idea exists, FERC requires the information to be tagged (both numeric and nonnumeric). Note that Reliable required information could also be reported inside footnotes for schedules.
Additionally, no extensions are allowed. Besides ideas, axes and members are additionally for use as offered. So, how do you report company-specific information, corresponding to officer names? In order to help reporting of company-specific info, FERC makes use of the typed dimension.
The bonus for Workiva users? Although FERC makes use of a different technical specification, you will see the Workiva FERC reporting resolution offers the identical feel and appear as axis/member utility 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 form locations. Also, there aren’t any calculation to outline. In reality, custom calculations usually are not permitted. Validation rules 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, this is automatically managed by the Workiva platform.
Plus, fact ordering isn’t controlled by the define and isn’t required. FERC uses a numeric element “OrderNumber” to manage sequencing of company-specific information. Users of the Workiva answer for FERC reporting can simply assign row numbers in the type schedules as “OrderNumber” within the Workiva platform. Lastly, there are not any custom dates as you’re limited to a small list of allowable values.
Going ahead, there is no digital form to submit. Machine-readable knowledge is the key focus. Although not in iXBRL format, FERC’s official kind renderer will present standardized viewing for the submitted XBRL data.
Since most submitting knowledge to the SEC is public document, the SEC doesn’t offer this, but FERC does. Whether FERC will really approve a request for confidential knowledge is one other question! If you have an XBRL vendor for SEC reporting, make certain your vendor also supports FERC compliance, for the rationale that FERC taxonomy won’t be the same as the SEC reporting taxonomy.
Whether you outsource XBRL tagging, choose an XBRL software vendor, or make investments the money and time to construct and preserve an in-house solution for FERC compliance, understanding the similarities and variations between XBRL filings for FERC and for the SEC will be crucial when evaluating your options.
Percy Hung is director of structured knowledge initiatives and Peter Larison is manager of structured data initiatives at Workiva. Workiva, Inc. is a world software-as-a-service firm. It offers a cloud-based connected and reporting compliance platform that permits the use of related data and automation of reporting across finance, accounting, risk, and compliance. For more data, visit

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