Current Taxonomy Projects

(Last Updated on March 9, 2017)

(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 Retirement Benefits 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 constituent feedback from the Taxonomy Online Review and Comment System.

Retirement Benefits*


The elements for retirement benefit disclosures continue to be examined in connection with this topical focus project. Phase 1 of this project has resulted in changes to the 2017 Taxonomy and issuance of the Retirement Benefits—Phase 1 Taxonomy Implementation Guide. The primary focus of Phase 1 was on roll forwards and dimensions for retirement benefit disclosures. Phase 2 of this project will primarily focus on elements for plan asset retirement benefit disclosures. The Taxonomy staff is assessing current modeling and applicable disclosure requirements for elements within Phase 2 of this project; addressing public comments; understanding usage of extension elements; using a consistent framework for modeling line item and dimension elements as well as creating Taxonomy implementation guidance on how to apply certain elements. Taxonomy changes (including new elements, deprecations, definitions and reference revisions) are expected for the 2018 Taxonomy. In addition, Phase 2 of the Taxonomy Implementation Guide for Retirement Benefits 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.

Financial Instruments and Fair Value*


In addition to the expected revisions related to the Taxonomy for Accounting Standards Update (Update) for Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10), the Taxonomy staff is focused on remodeling the areas of debt and equity securities and fair value disclosures. The Taxonomy staff will also consider the future effect of changes from the Update Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. The Taxonomy staff will work closely with the FSIRG when evaluating the changes in these areas. Along with these changes, the Taxonomy staff expects to issue a proposed Taxonomy Implementation Guide for comment. The fair value topics currently under review are:
  • Fair Value Inputs
  • Fair Value Option
  • Fair Value by Balance Sheet Grouping
  • Fair Value Estimate not Practicable

Reference Project*


The current Reference Project was undertaken to review references and evaluate their completeness and appropriateness in order to improve usability in element selection. It is expected that the GAAP requirements through the references will be a better starting point in selecting elements than navigating through a Taxonomy view, and better support the topical search capabilities available in the Inline viewer on the SEC’s website.

The project is expected to be performed in phases. Initially the Taxonomy staff will work on establishing the criteria for adding new references and creating a uniform format for those references. Next, where appropriate, elements will be assigned topics and subtopics. All disclosure requirements in the Accounting Standard Codification® (ASC) will be reviewed and missing, inappropriate, or extraneous references will be added or removed as deemed necessary. A review of references for elements within categories such as Text Blocks, Policy Text Blocks, Table Text Blocks, and Dimensional Constructs will also be conducted. Lastly, it is expected that elements in the Taxonomy that are included for common reporting practices will be identified as such.

In 2016, in connection with the 2017 Taxonomy, the project focused on streamlining the references on [Text Block] elements to refer to topic and subtopic where applicable and removing references related to Glossary terms. In 2017, the efforts will focus on a review of GAAP requirements found within the ASC and the development of criteria for references to promote consistency and usability.

Dimensional Modeling*


In 2013 the Taxonomy staff first assembled a Dimension Working Group (DWG) for input on dimensional modeling. In 2015 and 2016, 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 has published two draft Style Guides and plans to revise the draft Style Guides and publish additional Style Guide 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 location for the attributes
  • 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 the TAG, FSIRG, IIRG, and stakeholders through webcasts to get constructive feedback.

Possible topics suggested for review in future updates of the Taxonomy include: share-based compensation and cash flows. 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 2018 Taxonomy, in addition to changes for Accounting Standards Updates, the Taxonomy staff will continue to develop a design framework to assist with consistency and improve usability of the Taxonomy. Also, the Taxonomy staff expects to issue the Taxonomy Implementation Guides in an inline format during 2017.

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
Supervising 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
Manager-XBRL Communication Liaison & Education Support
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