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Taxonomy management system

CoreFiling's XBRL Taxonomy Management System (TMS) is a mature, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution to the issues encountered during the development and maintenance of XBRL taxonomies. Using the TMS, organisations can express their reporting requirements in a way that implements cost effective global best practices.

The TMS provides comprehensive capabilities covering the entire taxonomy management lifecycle, including:

  • True multi-user taxonomy editing
  • Automated XBRL validation and enforcement of chosen taxonomy architecture
  • Internal and external business review
  • Workflow to support changes as a result of the review process
  • Automated generation of change reports
  • One-click packaging and publication to external stakeholders

The taxonomy lifecycle process

TMS process diagram

Some common issues

  • Lack of public XBRL tools means that the taxonomy cannot be understood properly by end users
  • Inconsistent end results making it difficult for software developers to consume the taxonomy
  • Errors in the taxonomy damage the reputation of filing programs and the organisation overseeing it
  • Poor quality or incomplete samples result in decreased take-up of XBRL by software developers

Important considerations

How easily can the taxonomy development be "brought in house" after the initial consultations and drafts have been completed? Consider the following:

  • Manual enforcement of chosen rules and architecture will lead to inconsistencies that are difficult or impossible to correct, particularly if the taxonomy is already in use
  • Manually compiling changes between taxonomy versions requires XBRL experts and may result in excessive additional costs for each release
  • Email-driven internal discussion and review leads to unnecessary administrative overhead in consolidating comments and ensuring that none are lost
  • Business experts become involved in understanding low level architecture, meaning that they are not focussed where they add the most value

Advantages of using the TMS

  • Multi-user taxonomy editing - The TMS incorporates the SpiderMonkey® Enterprise taxonomy editing tool which lets all business users edit the taxonomy simultaneously within a consistent and fully audited environment.
  • Validation and architecture - As the specialist business users create additional data, every change to the taxonomy is automatically validated by CoreFiling's True North®, widely regarded as the industry benchmark for XBRL processing. This guarantees that any taxonomy produced by the TMS will conform to every relevant XBRL specification.
    As well as ensuring standards validation, the TMS allows additional validation criteria to be run automatically and continuously whenever the taxonomy is changed. These checks can be used to enforce a specific taxonomy architecture, provide automatic generation of sample instances, run spell checks and other business rules. Since the TMS leverages the True North platform, this validation can be extended to fit any further validation requirements.
  • Change reporting: As the taxonomy evolves, the TMS provides an automated change tracking capability. Comprehensive reports detailing all taxonomy changes can be generated easily at any point in the process. Auditing extends from the simple file-level tracking, important for internal use, to full XBRL-level tracking required by business and external users.
  • Packaging and publication: When it is time to publish the taxonomy for review by a wider audience or for a full release, the platform allows for one-click packaging and publication of both the taxonomy files and any supporting documentation and samples. The files, as published, are made available for viewing within the Yeti® XBRL web application, described in the Review section below.
    Having one source of taxonomy publication means that your target audience will always access the latest version, so time and effort are not wasted working with an out of date taxonomy or dealing with queries regarding which one to use.
  • Review: A critical consideration for any taxonomy project is the review process and how user feedback is captured and fed back into the development cycle. CoreFiling's TMS enables business users to view and explore published taxonomies using standard web browsers, without the need for any specialised software tools.
    This web-based approach using Yeti means that the widest possible user audience can be exposed to the taxonomy, promoting active participation in a collaborative review process. Users participate in review groups together with their peers prior to recording comments against elements of the taxonomy. This review can then be triaged and relevant observations fed back directly to the taxonomy development team.

See the TMS in action!

Examples of public-facing installations of the TMS component Yeti - being used for distributing taxonomies, collaborative review and for taxonomy viewing and searching - can be found online, supporting the following XBRL programmes:

Note: to post or view comments on the taxonomies you may need to be granted permission by the taxonomy owners.

Related products

  • True North has long been recognised as the fastest and most complete XBRL validator, providing enterprise-quality enforcement of specification and taxonomy constraints on XBRL documents.
  • SpiderMonkey is the world's only XBRL taxonomy editor designed specifically for business users, whether working alone or in extended, distributed teams.
  • Yeti combines online reference, review and commenting on XBRL taxonomies to provide an efficient collaborative environment to simplify the task of running an in-depth taxonomy review programme.