As things stand with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s XBRL mandate, compliance has been pushed to the July-Sep quarter of 2021. US energy companies will have to submit their financial and operational reports for that quarter to the commission by November 2021. Their annual reports for 2021 will have to be turned in by April 18, 2022.
FERC is still to finalize the draft XBRL taxonomy. The commission has said in a recent communication that it will take the taxonomy through a few more rounds of discussion
An earlier timeline, and why it was changed
On June 20, 2019, the commission adopted XBRL or eXtensible Business Reporting Language as its preferred format to receive annual and quarterly reports from energy companies. XBRL is a standard for business reporting that is widely used across the globe. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council have been receiving reports in XBRL from the entities they regulate.
XBRL is a system of tagging or marking up relevant business information in any document that must be submitted to a regulatory authority. The tags are found in a taxonomy, which is like a dictionary or list of tags. The tags are machine-readable, which serves the purpose of making information easily discoverable. Data or information that can be sifted through at the click of a button lends itself to easier decision-making.
Scope of the FERC mandate and the IRIS CARBON® solution
The FERC has pushed back the compliance timetable, and power companies would do well to spend more time understanding both the XBRL standard and what the mandate entails. It would help companies to have in place a filing solution at the earliest and simulate the filing process a couple of times before the actual filing.
The key difference between the SEC and FERC mandates is in their taxonomies. The SEC taxonomy is an open taxonomy, which allows companies to prepare their reports to create extension elements to depict disclosures for which they cannot find corresponding elements in the taxonomy. The FERC taxonomy is a closed taxonomy, which means companies need not create extension elements.
IRIS CARBON® is a cloud-based, collaborative software backed by a team of XBRL veterans who have been offering conversion services in the US since 2005. IRIS CARBON® offers SEC filers a great deal of flexibility in preparing their XBRL tagged reports. That’s because the annual and quarterly reports submitted to the SEC are unique to each company. And each company’s report can vary over time.
For FERC filers, IRIS CARBON® offers a much simpler interface. Since the forms that FERC requires energy companies to submit are well structured and well defined, IRIS CARBON® provides forms that are pre-mapped to the taxonomy.