In June 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stated that energy companies in the United States would be required to file quarterly and annual reports in the XBRL format, replacing the PDF forms they were earlier submitting.
The XBRL format allows companies to switch to standardized and machine-readable formats. Thus, making it easier to submit the data to FERC. With this, FERC and other key stakeholders can conduct a faster, more accurate analysis of the information published by the companies. Additionally, FERC anticipates that the XBRL filing format will eventually reduce the cost of compiling and filing financial reports.
FERC involves reporting a company’s financial and operational information in a form-based filling pattern. So it is mandatory to pay careful attention, as mistakes in these regulatory forms can cost money, time, and even reputation. It is crucial to look out for certain things when choosing a software vendor for FERC compliance.
Here, we enlist seven factors that will help you achieve high-quality FERC reporting:
1. Know What Your Company Needs?
The first step in selecting an appropriate XBRL vendor involves enlisting demands expected by the company from the ideal software. Some of the fundamental needs can be:
- Easy data capturing
- Getting rid of the tedious process of manual data entry
- Auto-population and auto-tagging of the FERC form
- Quick and easy last-minute review
- Filing a calendar that notifies the date and time for completing the compliance process
- Running checks to validate the file for XBRL standard and FERC compliance requirements
- Unlimited and speedy support when needed
Understanding the product and offerings of the XBRL vendor must align with the company’s needs.
You will be successful with your XBRL vendor search only when you are clear about your company’s requirements.
2. Identify The Potential Sources
When looking for the right XBRL vendor for FERC compliance, you might want to compile a lengthy list of all potential software packages available in the market. Do not solely depend on Google search. It is advisable to look out for the list of ‘Member XBRL Software Providers’ by XBRL US here.
3. Do Your Due Diligence
Once you have selected an XBRL vendor from the list of potential software, it is now time to conduct some research. Here is a systematic way to do it, you must –
Check For The Right Certification
It is crucial to check if the XBRL vendor that your company chooses is certified for-
- Accuracy by XBRL International (XII), and
- Data-Security by Service Organization Control (SOC)
IRIS CARBON® feels proud to earn the SOC 2 badge.
Check For The Right Credentials
The XBRL vendor you select must be a member of XBRL US. Additionally, look for their clientele list, track record of their previously done filings, and years of experience in the XBRL space.
Check For Quality Rankings Of XBRL
The ideal XBRL vendor aims to surpass the quality over and beyond the regulator’s expectation. We recommend looking for the latest quality rankings before signing an XBRL vendor.
XBRLogic (US-based quality evaluator) publishes rankings each year. IRIS CARBON® has been consistently scoring #1 rank for XBRL quality since 2019.
4. Look For Reliability Of The XBRL Vendor
Choosing an XBRL vendor comes with many benefits. But it also implies that your company is reliant on the software provider for disclosing significant information publicly. They help cast a public image for your company. So, before you land the anchor of trust on the XBRL vendor, look for factors to rely upon.
An excellent starting point could be considering testimonials and references from existing clients to determine whether the XBRL vendor you are considering is capable of handling your FERC compliance or not.
5. Seek For Service & Support Offerings For FERC Compliance
When filing forms for FERC compliance, it is necessary to be cautious during the implementation and monitoring phase. Ascertain that your XBRL vendor is capable of providing you with service and support at the moment you require it. Here are a few things you can make a note of-
- What is the response time?
- How quickly and accurately the queries are resolved?
- How to establish contact with their support teams? Is it via phone, email, or online chat?
- How well does the support team communicate?
- Do they work in your time zone?
- Is the XBRL support available per your comfort?
You must be wondering how to get answers to the above-stated questions.
Here’s a tip – Book a Free Demo!
6. Watch Out For Recent Upgrades & Automation
XBRL reporting for FERC compliance requires mapping data fields to the FERC taxonomy’s XBRL tags. Make sure that your XBRL vendor keeps evaluating the most recent version of the FERC taxonomy and is open to innovating their product accordingly.
While some XBRL solutions come with an auto-tagging option. But when it comes to complying with FERC, the software does not require any tagging at all. The process is pretty straightforward:
- The platform comes with a pre-defined format of the required FERC forms.
- Simply upload the spreadsheet on the platform.
And the platform handles XBRL tagging for you, automatically. The FERC forms are auto-populated with values embedded with their respective tags.
7. Get Quote With Clear Pricing Details
Finally, everything boils down to the factor of pricing. Make sure that the cost of the product quoted by the XBRL vendor justifies the value being offered. Needs forecasted by the company must be met. The terms should be clearly stated and there should be ‘NO’ surprises incurred when the cost is taken into consideration.
IRIS CARBON® offers one flat price packed with unlimited support, whenever and wherever needed. What more? ‘NO’ additional charge for the support provided. Also, there is a ‘NO’ cap on the number of training sessions.
Finding out the right XBRL vendor for FERC compliance involves many steps. If you consider these seven factors stated above, you’ll be able to take a firm and wise decision.