Quality Assurance for Inline XBRL Accounts

Download the Tagging Quality Report

Tagging Statutory Accounts with the UK FRC Taxonomy

The SureFile Accounts service is provided by Xmetric Ltd and has been available for twelve years now, and over that time it has provided Quality Assurance reports for more than 150,000 sets of UK and Irish statutory accounts prepared in Inline XBRL format by SureFile Accounts subscribers. Until 2014 these were tagged against the UK GAAP or UK IFRS taxonomies published in 2009. Since 2015 the vast majority of accounts have been tagged against the UK FRC taxonomy (Full IFRS, FRS 101, FRS 102, FRS 102 1A and FRS 105), with a good sprinkling of Charity accounts using the FRC Charities extension and Irish statutory accounts using the FRC Irish extension.

Over the years we’ve developed and refined our validation rules, both technical and accounting, in response to the typical mistakes that subscribers make, consciously or unconsciously, in their tagging choices. We’ve also refined the analysis of numeric or monetary discrepancies so that we can provide comprehensive diagnostics, which often identify the exact or underlying cause in order to help the preparer correct them quickly and efficiently. SureFile Accounts’ diagnostics recognise:

  • incorrect use of signs;
  • tagging the same fact with different concepts in related groups;
  • omitting a tagged component of a sum;
  • omitting a tagged component in a sum total;
  • omitting to tag a value (or multiple values) in the document that appears to be equivalent to an arithmetic discrepancy;
  • using concepts intended for the notes in a primary statement;
  • scaling errors in totals or components;
  • allowing for rounding of values;
  • digit transposition errors.

All these, and more, are illustrated in the examples described in the Report (PDF) - click to download it:

We are making this report freely available to encourage software vendors and preparers using tagging tools to think carefully about tagging quality, both at a technical level and in terms of data content. It is the distillation of 12 years of experience in dealing with, and attempting to diagnose, quality issues with FRC-tagged accounts in the UK and Ireland. Hopefully it will help raise the level of quality generally, but also highlight for preparers specific pitfalls to be avoided.

We firmly believe that you cannot assess the success or otherwise of quality improvement processes if you cannot measure quality objectively. We have therefore developed and refined a quality measurement algorithm that provides an objective score for each set of accounts submitted to SureFile Accounts. By following the guidance we provide, and understanding the diagnostics it is based upon, preparers can witness at first hand the resulting incremental improvements in their tagging quality score and be assured that they are producing tagged accounts of the highest possible quality.

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