Skip to main content

Changing Labels for the Same Reported Item on the Income Statement over Multiple Periods

Nov. 3, 2023

Staff in the Commission's Division of Economic and Risk Analysis has completed an assessment of how filers are labeling the elements used to tag reported items on the income statement over multiple periods. Staff has observed that some filers are using different labels for the same element used to tag the same reported item on the income statement from one period to the next, even when the description of the reported item did not change. In some cases, filers used one label in a particular form (e.g., Form 10-Q) while using a different label for the same element in a different form (e.g., Form 10-K). For example, the element “Revenue from Contract with Customer, Excluding Assessed Tax” should not use the label “Operating revenue” on Form 10-Q while using the label “Total operating revenue” on Form 10-K.

Inconsistency of element labeling undermines the comparability of data across reporting periods. When using labels other than the standard label provided in the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) taxonomy, filers are encouraged to carefully label the element to minimize the need for any subsequent changes in the label unless there are corresponding changes to the description of the reported item.

For more data quality reminders, see Staff Observations and Guidance.

Return to Top