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Tagging the Statement of Cash Flows – New Guidance for SEC Filings

Lou Rohman, Vice President, XBRL Services, Merrill Corporation | August 30, 2017

Take note if you’re involved with SEC XBRL financials: there’s a new document that provides guidance on structuring and tagging the statement of cash flows using the US GAAP taxonomy. The Statement of Cash Flows Guidance was produced by the XBRL US Data Quality Committee (DQC) to reduce errors and improve consumption of XBRL data. It is open for public comment through September 5, 2017, and is expected to be finalized and published in early Fall 2017.

This is the first time the DQC has produced a separate guidance document to go along with a set of automated rules. The document provides detailed guidance, several examples, and closely follows the FASB codification for the statement of cash flows. So, whether you’re tagging XBRL, consuming it, or just reading XBRL financial statements, this document is key since it brings improvements that will make SEC XBRL tagging more proper and consistent across companies.

What’s in the guidance? It includes several topics, including details on the various ways that filers present discontinued operations in the statement of cash flows and the resulting implications for XBRL tagging. It also sorts out the use of XBRL dimensions on the statement of cash flows, stating that dimensions generally aren’t required, but explaining and providing examples of certain cases where dimensions are appropriate. And fortunately, the guidance addresses Accounting Standards Update 2016-18 (Statement of Cash Flows – Restricted Cash) and provides information on element selection before and after adoption of the ASU.

I recommend reading the document to determine which parts are applicable to your situation, and then applying the guidance accordingly. And for further clarification, watch a one-hour webinar replay produced by XBRL US specifically on this guidance.

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