Current Taxonomy Projects

(Last Updated on February 10, 2016)

(Updated Sections are Indicated with an Asterisk*)

Objective of FASB Taxonomy Staff
Current Activities* Other Activities Planned*
Due Process Documents
Contact Information

Objective of FASB Taxonomy Staff


The primary objective of the Taxonomy staff’s activities is to update the US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy (Taxonomy) for changes in GAAP, identify common reporting practices in filer taxonomy extensions and other technical enhancements, and to address questions about application of the Taxonomy. The FASB Taxonomy staff is working closely with the staff of the SEC, the staff of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), XBRL US Inc., investors, issuers, accounting firms, and other stakeholders to maintain and develop updates of the Taxonomy.

Current Activities*


The Taxonomy staff has undertaken a targeted approach by topic area to improve the Taxonomy. The Taxonomy staff is reconsidering the current modeling in the areas of Pensions and Fair Value Measurements. The Taxonomy staff continues to focus on certain industries in their work with the Financial Services Industry Resource Group (FSIRG) and Insurance Industry Resource Group (IIRG). In addition, the Taxonomy staff continues to evaluate changes through the Taxonomy simplification initiative to address stakeholder concerns regarding Taxonomy complexity.

Pensions*


The Taxonomy staff is assessing current Pension modeling and applicable guidance; understanding usage of extension elements; evaluating how public comments have been addressed; using a consistent framework for modeling an element’s balance type and the number of elements to be used in certain disclosures; as well as creating guidance on how to apply Pension elements. Taxonomy changes (including new elements, deprecations, definitions and reference revisions) are expected. In addition, a Taxonomy Implementation Guide on Pensions is expected to be issued incorporating the changes determined by the project. Aspects of this work are dependent on resolutions reached in conjunction with the Dimensional Modeling Project.

Fair Value*


In addition to the expected revisions related to the Taxonomy for Financial Instruments Recognition and Measurement Accounting Standards Update (Update) and upcoming Impairment Update, the Taxonomy staff is reviewing fair value disclosure areas. The Taxonomy staff will work closely with the FSIRG when evaluating the changes in these areas. The topics currently under review are:
  • Fair Value Inputs
  • Fair Value Option
  • Fair Value by Balance Sheet Grouping
  • Fair Value Estimate not Practicable

Taxonomy Simplification*


A Taxonomy simplification initiative was undertaken with stakeholder outreach for feedback on concerns that the Taxonomy is complex and that measures should be considered to make it simpler. This initiative will likely cover multiple releases of the Taxonomy and changes will be incorporated after due process.

For the 2015 Taxonomy, it was determined that removal of elements that are not used could help reduce the size of the Taxonomy and assist in locating appropriate elements. An analysis was performed to identify elements that could be removed with minimal impact. Included in this analysis was the identification of elements that were not used and did not have a valid reference, elements that had low use and were redundant with other elements, and elements for which the relevant transition period had expired. The identified elements were deprecated from the 2015 Taxonomy.

For the 2016 Taxonomy, the simplification efforts focused on elements with low or inappropriate use and without specific guidance, roll forward elements that had inconsistent modeling, “other” elements with inconsistent definitions, redundant dimensions, and inconsistent modeling of range elements that represented multiple ways to tag the same fact. The Taxonomy staff continues to evaluate other areas that may be targeted as part of the Taxonomy Simplification Initiative.

Dimensional Modeling


In 2013 the Taxonomy staff first assembled a Dimension Working Group (DWG) for input on dimensional modeling. In 2015, the Taxonomy staff held meetings with the DWG for input on additional issues that have been identified.

The intent of the discussions with the DWG is to build consensus for dimensional modeling issues related to the Taxonomy which will result in design principles to inform Taxonomy modeling choices going forward. The Taxonomy staff also plans to publish documents describing such principles on the FASB website. The list of topics that have been initially identified for discussion include:
  • Document line item (primary element) versus dimension choices
  • Document appropriate uses of dimensions
  • Identify the proper level of abstraction
  • Explore mechanisms to constrain use
The DWG has reached consensus for some of the appropriate uses of dimensions, but discussions continue to fully evaluate options and formulate actionable steps.

Other Activities Planned*


The Taxonomy staff frequently communicates with our TAG, FSIRG, IIRG, and stakeholders through our webcasts to get constructive feedback.

Possible topics suggested for review during the next annual update of the Taxonomy include: share-based compensation, legal entity relationships, and issues raised by the FSIRG. Highlights of the topics discussed at TAG meetings can be found on the FASB Website on the Taxonomy Advisory Group Meeting Highlights Page.

For the 2017 Taxonomy, it is expected that there will be a number of changes related to the Update for Revenue from Contracts with Customers and the upcoming Update for Leases. Along with these changes, the Taxonomy staff expects to issue proposed Taxonomy Implementation Guides for comment on these topics. The Taxonomy staff expects to expose changes for the Financial Instruments Updates which will be incorporated in a future release of the Taxonomy.

Due Process Documents


Taxonomy Implementation Guides that are out for comment or that have been finalized during the year are located at this link. Changes to the Taxonomy that relate to Accounting Standards Updates are located at this link.

Contact Information


If you would like more information about the FASB’s Taxonomy-related Activities, please contact:

Donna Johaneman
Project Manager-XBRL
Financial Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
P.O. Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856-5116
Phone: (203) 956-5202
Fax (203) 849-9714
Email: djjohaneman@fasb.org

Vickie Lusniak
Assistant Project Manager-XBRL
Financial Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
P.O. Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856-5116
Phone: (203) 956-5214
Fax (203) 849-9714
Email: valusniak@fasb.org