The Merrill Blog

Get the latest updates and insights around complex content management, regulatory disclosure and compliant communications.

  • 12/05/2017

    Blog

    Hot topics at the Company Secretary Forum

    Due Diligence | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Regulatory Disclosure for Corporations | Merrill DataSite® | Merrill Bridge®

    Merrill Corporation proudly sponsored the 6th Annual Company Secretary Forum 2017 on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at QEII Centre in London. Dedicated to company secretaries and senior members of the secretariat team, this year’s plenary sessions included corporate governance, board diversity and composition, directors’ duties and stakeholder engagement, Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), corporate crime and director liability.

     

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  • 12/04/2017

    Blog

    XBRL Taxonomy a Key to Better Communication with Investors, Says IASB Chair

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Hans Hoogervorst, chair of International Accounting Standards Board, says IFRS XBRL Taxonomy is a key component in the IASB’s "Better Communications" initiative aimed at bringing better clarity to financial reports. The end goal is to ensure companies can communicate a clear, consistent and objective story to investors through their financial statements.

     

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  • 11/06/2017

    Blog

    SEC Pay Ratio Disclosure

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC’s future direction under new Chair Jay Clayton is still unfolding. New leadership in Washington is focused on streamlining regulation. In Congressional testimony and speeches, Clayton made it clear he wants to improve the opportunities for companies to raise capital while still protecting investors.

     

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  • 10/25/2017

    Blog

    SEC IFRS Filers: Get to Know the Proposed SRT Taxonomy

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    SEC IFRS filers should be aware of the proposed Shared Reporting Taxonomy (SRT) for the upcoming mandated SEC XBRL filings, starting with financial periods ending on or after December 15, 2017.

     

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  • 10/19/2017

    Blog

    SEC’s XBRL Mandate for IFRS Companies – Move Forward Confidently

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Merrill Corporation has the pleasure to welcome Bartek Czajka, the previous IFRS Taxonomy leader at the IFRS Foundation, to its industry-leading team of experts. He joins Merrill to provide IFRS companies with an unprecedented level of XBRL expertise – the crucial expertise needed to confidently move forward with SEC XBRL filings.

     

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  • 10/10/2017

    Blog

    SEC ‘Rapidly Increasing’ Its Use of XBRL-Enabled Analytical Tools

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC is increasingly using structured data to assess risk and detect potential fraud.

     

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  • 10/09/2017

    Blog

    Should XBRL Financials be Audited?

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    There is no audit requirement for XBRL tagged financial statements filed with the SEC. Is it a problem to have no independent assurance on company-provided financial information that’s being used for analysis and investment purposes?

     

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  • 09/22/2017

    Blog

    Q&A with an expert: Mike Willis, Assistant Director, SEC Office of Structured Disclosure

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Mike Willis is the Assistant Director in the SEC’s Office of Structured Disclosure (OSD). Among other things, the OSD works on the design and implementation of technological processes and tools that support the SEC’s use of structured data, such as XBRL-tagged financial information.

     

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  • 09/20/2017

    Blog

    Jay Clayton maps out the SEC’s future direction

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC is undergoing a crucial period of transition under Chair Jay Clayton, who was appointed by President Trump earlier this year. Unlike the previous chair, Mary Jo White, who is a former prosecutor and litigator, Mr. Clayton is a transactional lawyer. He is expected to focus more on improving the capital markets than on enforcement.

     

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  • 08/30/2017

    Blog

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

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    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.

     

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  • 08/07/2017

    Blog

    Q&A with an expert: Bloomberg Global Data’s use of XBRL shows the vital importance of data quality

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The July issue of Dimensions featured an interview with Emil Efthimides, the regulatory monitor for the Global Data division at Bloomberg LP. He oversees the collection and delivery of financial-statement data for use by investors and financial analysts.

     

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  • 07/13/2017

    Blog

    Rohman Helms Mission to Strengthen XBRL Data Quality

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Merrill Corporation has for a decade been instrumental in facilitating and promoting XBRL data reporting standards to allow for better and more efficient analysis of financial reports. In a testament to those efforts and its industry leadership, Lou Rohman, vice president of XBRL Services, was recently appointed chairman of the XBRL US Data Quality Committee (DQC).

     

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  • 06/13/2017

    Blog

    Study Finds Signs of Life on Planet IPO

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    After a lackluster 2016, the market for initial public offerings shows signs of a revival in 2017. Simultaneously, the SEC has indicated a renewed interest in supporting IPOs under its new chair, Jay Clayton, who has stated that capital formation will be one of his highest priorities.

     

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  • 05/04/2017

    Blog

    What can we expect from Jay Clayton, new Chair of SEC?

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    With Jay Clayton’s confirmation, as new SEC chair, we know we can expect to see changes in both focus and tone from the Commission. I anticipate that, with his background as a corporate attorney, Clayton will focus more on improving capital markets than on enforcement.

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  • 03/27/2017

    Blog

    After the Mandate: Top 10 Things You Need To Do Now as an IFRS Filer

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    On Wednesday 1 March, the long-awaited mandate requiring IFRS filers to file in XBRL was announced by the SEC. This is a momentous step for IFRS filers and failure to comply is not an option.

     

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  • 03/02/2017

    Blog

    SEC Mandates XBRL for IFRS Companies

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    On March 1, 2017 the U.S. SEC published the IFRS Taxonomy on its website and, consequently, launched a mandate for IFRS companies to submit XBRL files for periodic financial reporting.

     

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  • 03/02/2017

    Blog

    Inline XBRL Mandated in Proposed SEC Rule

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    On March 1, 2017, the SEC passed a proposed rule requiring Inline XBRL as the format for submitting financial statements to the SEC. The requirement will be phased-in for operating companies.

     

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  • 02/22/2017

    Blog

    SEC in transition - Dodd-Frank Act hangs in the balance

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    After the financial crisis in 2008, the SEC took an activist approach under Chair Mary Jo White. They attempted to balance implementing the requirements of the gargantuan Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed to prevent similar issues, with its core three-part mission: protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.

     

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  • 02/07/2017

    Blog

    Unique Financial Disclosures – Is XBRL Beneficial or Problematic?

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    If you’ve prepared or reviewed SEC financial statements that are tagged with XBRL, you know it happens. The financials include a disclosure for which there is no appropriate tag in the dictionary of tags (the US GAAP Taxonomy).

    So what do you do? You create your own unique tag (an extension tag) and add it to your company’s XBRL filing, as required by the SEC rules.

     

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  • 01/24/2017

    Blog

    New EDGAR Authentication Process Effective January 30, 2017

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Effective on January 30, 2017, the SEC has implemented an enhanced authentication process when EDGAR filers request a passphrase update. What are EDGAR passphrases? They are used to update EDGAR filing codes and may need to be updated if misplaced, or if a registrant wants to keep filing codes confidential in connection with employee reassignments.

     

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  • 01/10/2017

    Blog

    Recap of Merrill webinar: what’s new in XBRL with SEC and idaciti?

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Merrill recently hosted a webinar on some of the latest ways XBRL is transforming how financial information is consumed, featuring Alexandra Ledbetter of the SEC Office of the Investor Advocate and Emily Huang, president of idaciti, as well as Lou Rohman. Learn more about this informative webinar.

     

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  • 01/04/2017

    Blog

    XBRL Requirement Announced for EU Public Companies

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    After significant consultation and feedback, a conclusion was finally reached; public companies in the European Union will be required to submit digital annual financial reports using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) – specifically the Inline XBRL format.

     

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  • 12/21/2016

    Blog

    SEC change makes it critical that EDGAR profile includes valid email address

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Does your organization’s or Insider's EDGAR Company Profile include an up-to-date email address? If not, you could be in for a big hassle that could keep you from filing on time.

     

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  • 12/14/2016

    Blog

    SEC Allows New Feature for XBRL: Typed Dimensions

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    A new feature is coming to SEC XBRL. It’s called “typed dimensions”. The SEC updated its EDGAR Filer Manual on December 12, 2016, to allow for this new feature, stating that “filers will be able to provide typed dimensions defined in standard taxonomies in all XBRL submissions.

     

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  • 12/08/2016

    Blog

    IFRS and SEC XBRL Mandate - Take Notice

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    I saw technology intersect several times with the SEC filers that use IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) during the 2016 Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments on December 5-7 in Washington DC. But despite this, SEC IFRS filers still aren’t required to submit financial statements using XBRL, a technology format that provides tagged financial data, allowing software to efficiently consume the data.

     

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  • 11/29/2016

    Blog

    Second set of XBRL rules published for SEC filings

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    I’m excited to say that the XBRL US Data Quality Committee (DQC) officially published its second set of approved rules and guidance on XBRL tagging for SEC filings. Filers should begin using these new rules by the beginning of 2017 to help identify and correct errors in their filings. As vice chair of the DQC, I know the incredible amount of work and expertise that went into these new rules—and I believe they’re a significant step forward in improving data quality across the board.

     

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  • 11/22/2016

    Blog

    SEC representative: structured data has tremendous benefits to companies—not just investors

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC recently released guidance on the new Pay Ratio Requirement which serves as a timely reminder to all public companies: With the January 1, 2017 compliance deadline fast approaching, it’s time to make sure you understand the new requirements—and that you’re prepared to determine and disclose them.

     

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  • 11/15/2016

    Blog

    With compliance deadline approaching, SEC issues guidance on Pay Ratio rule

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC recently released guidance on the new Pay Ratio Requirement which serves as a timely reminder to all public companies: With the January 1, 2017 compliance deadline fast approaching, it’s time to make sure you understand the new requirements—and that you’re prepared to determine and disclose them.

     

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  • 11/10/2016

    Blog

    The Best One-hour Webinar on Structured Data

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    FEI and Merrill Corporation are teaming up to present this webinar titled “The SEC and XBRL: Financial Reporting in a New Light”. Past FEI/Merrill webinars have been fast-paced and full of relevant information. This too will be enlightening and a quick way to learn about the topics that matter.

     

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  • 10/25/2016

    Blog

    Asset-backed securities requirement for asset level data continues the trend towards structured data

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    In 2014, the SEC adopted Regulation AB II which aims to bring greater transparency to the asset-backed securities (ABS) market and prevent the surprises that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. ABS filers directly impacted by the change — which requires asset information to be submitted in a structured data format on Form ABS-EE — are likely well aware.

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  • 10/18/2016

    Blog

    SEC is reviewing IFRS Taxonomy - When will XBRL be mandated for SEC IFRS filers?

    Regulatory Disclosure for Corporations | Merrill Bridge®

    "When?" is the question. When will the SEC require XBRL-formatted financial statements from companies that prepare their financials in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)? My expectation is sooner rather than later.

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  • 10/11/2016

    Blog

    2017 US GAAP Taxonomy introduces new dimensional structures

    Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    A few weeks ago, FASB released the proposed 2017 US GAAP Taxonomy. On October 4, I attended a webinar where the FASB taxonomy team delved into some of the notable changes in the 2017 Taxonomy.

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  • 09/20/2016

    Blog

    Software can’t catch these common XBRL errors

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The gap between software and the human brain gets smaller every year. Smart virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri think like we do (and maybe better), and self-driving cars are now on our roads (probably driving better than most of us). But here’s one area where software can’t fully replace a knowledgeable human: catching every potential error in your company’s XBRL filings. There are still a wide range of very common errors and other issues that cannot be detected by error-checking software.

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  • 09/13/2016

    Blog

    Usage of XBRL Data – SEC, analysts & timing

    Regulatory Disclosure for Corporations | Merrill Bridge®

    I get this question at least once a week, and people have been asking me (and asking others) for the past seven years. For the first few years after the 2009 SEC mandate, my answer was “I’m not sure.” But when you consider the timing, it wasn’t until 2013 that all companies that are required to file had submitted four quarters of filings with detailed footnote information tagged.

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  • 09/06/2016

    Blog

    2016 U.S. GAAP Taxonomy has 3,399 changes — do you know them all?

    Regulatory Disclosure for Corporations | Merrill Bridge®

    Did you know that bot, fro-yo and glamping are now — officially — words? The Oxford English Dictionary adds new words every year, and I’ll forgive you for not keeping up with all of them. I’ll also forgive you for not knowing all of the 3,399 tags that underwent changes in the 2016 U.S. GAAP Taxonomy.

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  • 08/30/2016

    Blog

    Data Coalition to SEC: the future of disclosure is data, not documents

    Regulatory Disclosure for Corporations | Merrill Bridge®

    I’ve eagerly read the many comment letters from my peers in response to the SEC’s Concept Release on Regulation S-K. They’re filled with great feedback, new ideas and important concerns. Few of these responses have been as pointed as the one issued by the Data Coalition.

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  • 08/23/2016

    Blog

    Should Non-GAAP Financial Measures be Tagged in XBRL?

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    In May 2016 the SEC updated guidance on the use of non-GAAP financial measures in its revised Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations. The updates add clarity to what the SEC considers misleading non-GAAP measures. These updates, along with recent speeches expressing concern by SEC Chair Mary Jo White and various SEC staff members, have made it clear that non-GAAP financial measures are coming under increased scrutiny at the SEC.

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  • 08/16/2016

    Blog

    Broader and Deeper Use of Structured Data – Investor Perspectives

    Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The CFA Institute confronted the topic of data and technology in financial reporting in a recent paper. The paper’s vision for the future focuses on a broader and deeper use of structured data. The paper suggests that investors are hungry for more financial data in a structured format. The current XBRL requirements apparently have only whet the investors’ appetites.

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  • 08/04/2016

    Blog

    Blockchain – A Revolutionary Technology

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Keep an eye on blockchain. It’s one of the “next big things” in the FinTech world that will have revolutionary impact on business transactions. So the question arises, what is blockchain?

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  • 08/02/2016

    Blog

    SEC Announcement on Negative Values in XBRL: Don't Say the Opposite of What was Meant to be Said

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Saying the opposite of what was meant to be said usually creates a lot of confusion. That's the case for SEC XBRL filings in which a company erroneously enters a negative amount in the XBRL file when it should be a positive amount. The company is saying the exact opposite of what was meant to be said.

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  • 07/19/2016

    Blog

    idaciti Tells the SEC: “We need better data!”

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    In an open letter to the SEC from a small-but-hot new tech startup, idaciti, calls out antiquated SEC disclosure requirements and issues a call to action for better data quality. Learn more about the message.

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  • 07/12/2016

    Blog

    XBRL Tagging Questions Included in SEC Concept Release on Regulation S-K

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Some of the questions posed in the concept release of Regulation S-K could produce revolutionary changes that significantly improve the consumption of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosures.

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  • 07/06/2016

    Blog

    SEC Cracking Down on Inappropriate Custom Axis Tags

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Filers increasingly create custom axis tags when applicable standard axis tags already exist in the US GAAP Taxonomy. It hurts overall data quality, and now the SEC is taking notice.

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  • 06/30/2016

    Blog

    XBRL US DQC Announces Second Set of Validation Rules

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The XBRL-US Data Quality Committee today revealed its second set of validation rules and guidance for SEC filers, inviting public comment on the proposed rules.

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  • 06/23/2016

    Blog

    Are you using this free XBRL error-checker?

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Some organizations still aren’t using this error-checking tool — and continue to submit filings riddled with common, easily fixable errors. Find out how you can take advantage.

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  • 06/17/2016

    Blog

    Inline XBRL: You can have your XBRL and read it too

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Just as SEC filers are beginning to gain familiarity with the XBRL world, there’s a new data format making headlines: Inline XBRL, or iXBRL. Find out what you need to know about Inline XBRL and what’s coming.

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  • 06/14/2016

    Blog

    8 Common XBRL Errors: Simple mistakes that can hurt your organization

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    With more than 15,000 XBRL tags, it can be difficult to avoid errors. Learn about the common tagging errors and how you can make easy fixes now.

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  • 05/31/2016

    Blog

    XBRL Quality Improvements

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    XBRL errors dropped more than 64% since release of DQC rules. See how you can take your XBRL data quality to the next level.

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  • 05/26/2016

    Blog

    The Role of Structured Data in SEC's New Crowdfunding Requirements

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    The SEC’s new crowdfunding rules went into effect, allowing companies to offer and sell securities to the investing public via crowdfunding portals. Learn how XBRL tagging could play a key role.

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  • 05/10/2016

    Blog

    New Merrill Coverage on XBRL

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    Get a clear perspective on how XBRL changes impact your organization, definitive guidance on navigating XBRL challenges, and valuable insight into where XBRL is heading.

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  • 05/10/2016

    Blog

    7 Keys to XBRL Data Quality

    XBRL & Edgar Filing | Regulatory Disclosure | Financial & Regulatory Disclosure | Merrill Bridge®

    What defines high-quality XBRL data? Understanding the factors that drive data quality, and recognizing high- or low-quality data, is a growing necessity for both filers and consumers of XBRL data.

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