April 22, 2013
XBRL is a disaster for smaller companies.
It is a multi-billion dollar waste of time and directs financial reporting resources away from proper reporting of financial activities as well as operational needs that as far as I can tell, is not being used by our shareholders, either intitutional or individual.
In my discussions with other CFO's as well as other professionals (attorneys and registered accountants) there is universal agreement that XBRL has to be scaled back or eliminated for smaller companies.
Our firm spent over 80 hours and thousands of dollars preparing the templates, and the stunningly redundant, and useless detail tagging for our December 31, 2012 annual filing. We spend a similar amount of time each quarter to complete the interactive filing, none of which is (or can easily or inexpensively) electronically co-ordinated with our EDGAR filing.
Unlike SOX 404 work, for which there was a legitimate argument for difficulties with internal control, XBRL was not a solution to a problem, but was a theoretical improvement for shareholders that is and will continue to be an abysmal failure.
Clearly the Committee should recommend the immediate elimination of interactive reporting (XBRL) for smaller companies, or at the very least the elimination of the detail tagging and redundant reporting of the notes to the financial statements.