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USFRTF STYLE GUIDE

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USFRTF STYLE GUIDE

    RECOMMENDATIONXBRL US

    USFRTF Style Guide

    RECOMMENDATION, dated 2007-03-08

This version:

    XBRL-StyleGuide-RECOMMENDATION-2007-03-08.doc

    Editors

    Name Contact Affiliation

    Eric E. Cohen eric.e.cohen@us.pwc.com PricewaterhouseCoopers

    Walter Hamscher walter@hamscher.com Standard Advantage

    Charles Hoffman Charles.Hoffman@UBmatrix.com UBmatrix

    Brad Homer bhomer@aicpa.org AICPA

    Eric Linder eric.linder@savanet.com SavaNet

    Campbell Pryde Campbell.Pryde@morganstanley.com Morgan Stanley

    Paul Sappington psappington@edgar-online.com EDGAR Online

    Allyson Ugarte ugarte@pipeline.com

    Phil Walenga PhilWalenga@EBizReporting.com EBizReporting

    Abstract

    The purpose of this document is to summarize information used when creating labels, documentation, concepts, and references within the USFRTF. The purpose is to (a) provide standards of style for those creating elements for inclusion in the taxonomy, (b) serve as a reference for users, and (c) otherwise contribute to consistency within the USFRTF. Status

    Circulation of this RECOMMENDATION is unrestricted. Recipients of this draft are invited to submit comments to the editors and authors, and to submit notification of any relevant patent rights of which they are aware and to provide supporting documentation. USFRTF Style Guide, RECOMMENDATION of 2007-03-08, Page i

    RECOMMENDATIONXBRL US Table of Contents

    1 Introduction ...................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Scope ....................................................................................................... 4 1.2 Relationship to other work ............................................................................ 4 1.3 Organization of this document ....................................................................... 4 1.4 Terminology ............................................................................................... 4 2 Document conventions ........................................................................................ 6 3 Style Guidance .................................................................................................. 6 3.1 General Guidance ........................................................................................ 6 3.2 Guidelines for Labels (excludes documentation and reference labels) ................... 8 3.3 Guidelines for Definitions ............................................................................ 18 3.4 Guidelines for References ........................................................................... 20 3.5 Guidelines for Data Types ........................................................................... 22 3.6 Other Considerations ................................................................................. 22 A References (non-normative)............................................................................... 23 B Rule Automation (non-normative) ....................................................................... 24 C Intellectual Property Status (non-normative) ........................................................ 24 D Acknowledgements (non-normative) ................................................................... 25 E Document History (non-normative) ..................................................................... 25 E.1 Proposed rules to incorporate into the Style Guide .......................................... 26 E.2 Rejected rules originally appearing in the Style Guide ...................................... 26 F Approval process (non-normative) ...................................................................... 27

List of Tables

    Table 1. Common terms: multiple correct spellings, spelling to use .................................... 7 Table 2. Disallowed articles ......................................................................................... 9 Table 3. List of preferred adjectives ............................................................................ 12 Table 4. Concepts that may have positive or negative values .......................................... 14 Table 5. Preferred wording for definitions .................................................................... 20 Table 6. Allowed Reference Parts ............................................................................... 21

List of Examples

    Example 1. Proper capitalization of labels ...................................................................... 9 Example 2. Examples of words (among others) that are not capitalized, ............................. 9 Example 3. Properly constructed labels (per formula) .................................................... 11 Example 4. Poorly constructed labels (not per formula) .................................................. 11 Example 5. Proper use of ―Other‖ ............................................................................... 12 Example 6. Disallowed use of ―Other‖ ......................................................................... 13 Example 7. Proper use of cash flow labels .................................................................... 14 Example 8. Disallowed use of cash flow labels .............................................................. 14 Example 9. Proper use of valuation labels .................................................................... 15 Example 10. Disallowed use of valuation labels............................................................. 15 Example 11. Use of "[Abstract]" on concepts used only to organize taxonomy ................... 15 Example 12. Disallowed use of ―total‖ should be avoided ................................................ 16 Example 13. Making tuple content unique .................................................................... 16 Example 14. Tuples are singular ................................................................................ 17 Example 15. Providing for a block of text ..................................................................... 17 Example 16. Proper use of the period start and period end label ...................................... 18 Example 17. Disallowed use of the period start and period end label ................................ 18 Example 18. Proper Date Format ............................................................................... 19 Example 19. Disallowed Date Format .......................................................................... 20 USFRTF Style Guide, RECOMMENDATION of 2007-03-08, Page ii

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Example 20. Providing for notes at different levels ........................................................ 23

USFRTF Style Guide, RECOMMENDATION of 2007-03-08, Page iii

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    1 Introduction

    The USFRTF will contain thousands of concepts. Consistency in creating the taxonomy aids its usability. This document is intended to facilitate such consistency. Guidelines in this document represent lessons learned from creating other XBRL taxonomies, general information relating to creating any classification system, and common sense. 1.1 Scope

    The rules in this document have been created with financial reporting in mind. However, some of the rules may be inappropriate or inapplicable for other types of business reporting. This document MAY be expanded to cover other taxonomy frameworks used in the US, such as taxonomies for federal, state and local governmental reporting, not-for-profit reporting, personal financial statements, etc.

    1.2 Relationship to other work

    The guidelines in this document pertain to XBRL taxonomies as defined in the XBRL Specification (XBRL) and the Financial Reporting Taxonomy Architecture (FRTA).

    1.3 Organization of this document

    This document is organized to be used as a reference.

    1.4 Terminology

    Terminology used in XBRL frequently overlaps with terminology from other fields. arcroleRef, child, concept, context, As defined in XBRL.

    duplicate item, descendant, DTS,

    duplicate tuple, element, entity,

    fact, footnote, instance, item,

    linkbase, linkbaseRef, period,

    roleRef, schemaRef, taxonomy,

    taxonomy schema, tuple, unit,

    terse label, standard label,

    documentation label, taxonomy,

    instance document

    DTS Component A DTS contains taxonomy schemas and linkbases. The

    bounds of a DTS are such that DTS Components include

    all taxonomy schemas and linkbases that can be

    discovered by following links or references in the

    taxonomy schemas and linkbases included in the DTS.

    MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, See [RFC2119] (Appendix A) for definitions of these and

    SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, other terms. These include, in particular:

    SHOULD NOT, MAY, OPTIONAL SHOULD

    Conforming documents and applications are encouraged

    to behave as described.

    MUST

    Conforming documents and consuming applications are

    USFRTF Style Guide, RECOMMENDATION of 2007-03-08 Page 4 of 27

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    required to behave as described; otherwise they are in

    error.

    Financial Report A document containing quantitative and textual

    information that is either meant to satisfy authoritative

    financial reporting standards and generally accepted

    accounting principles/practices (GAAP), or a regulatory

    report whose subject matter is primarily financial position

    and performance and related explanatory disclosures, or

    a data set used in the collection of financial statistics. This

    excludes transaction, journal-level, reporting, and

    primarily narrative or non-financial quantitative reports.

    GAAP Generally accepted accounting principles/practices: Term

    used to describe broadly the body of principles/practices

    that govern the accounting for financial transactions in

    the preparation of a set of financial statements. Generally

    accepted accounting principles/practices are derived from

    a variety of sources, including promulgations of

    accounting standards boards, together with the general

    body of accounting literature consisting of textbooks,

    articles, papers, common practices, etc.

    XBRL Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) 2.1

    Recommendation [XBRL].

    USFRTF U.S. Financial Reporting Taxonomy Framework.

    FRTA Financial Reporting Taxonomy Architecture.

    definition This refers to the Documentation label role in the XBRL

    specification

    (http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/documentation)

    disclosure A disclosure is information which is disclosed within a

    financial statement. Disclosures are made within a "note"

    within a financial statement. A disclosure relates to

    information, not presentation of that information.

    note A note (or sometimes called a footnote) is an organization

    of disclosures within a financial statement in the form of a

    categorized section of the notes. A note relates to the

    organization and/or categorization of the information

    disclosed (a disclosure). A note is a common or even

    preferred organization of disclosures. It is not the

    information disclosed.

    presented, or presentation, or The term "presented" or "presented on the face" or presented on the face "disclosed on the face" are disclosures which must be

    made within the face of the primary financial statements

    or on a specific statement. Whereas, if information must

    be simply "disclosed", that information could be disclosed

    within the notes to a financial statement or presented on

    the face of a statement.

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    2 Document conventions

    The following formatting is used for non-normative examples in this document:

    The following formatting is used for non-normative counterexamples (examples of poor, discouraged, or disallowed usage) in this document:

    Non-normative editorial comments are denoted as follows and removed from final recommendations:

3 Style Guidance

    The purpose of this Style Guide is to facilitate the creation of a consistent, high-quality, easy-to-use taxonomy. Multiple domain experts will be working on the same taxonomy, so it is important to guide those domain experts and facilitate consistency. Consistent styling of labels, documentation, etc. will make the taxonomy easier to use (e.g., locating the correct concept within the taxonomy) and that is the purpose of this guide.

    Overall goals of this document are to achieve the following:

    1. Provide users of the taxonomy with labels which are recognizable to the user. The labels

    may not be exactly what they use in actual reporting, but they must be recognizable.

    2. Provide users of the taxonomy with consistency. Consistency will aid predictability,

    which will make it easier to locate a concept.

    3. Provide labels that minimize the need to go to documentation resources and reference

    materials and ensure that the user of the taxonomy is using the correct concept.

    4. Maximize the possibility that users of the taxonomy that apply common "search" and

    "filter" or "find" techniques enabled by a computer application will find the correct

    concept in the USFRTF, which is expected to contain over 10,000 concepts.

    5. Provide enough information within labels to maximize usability, uniqueness of labels,

    etc., while minimizing the length of labels.

    6. Provide a unique label for every concept in the USFRTF so that users do not need to go to

    the concept name level to ensure that they have the correct concept.

    7. Provide sufficient documentation and references to provide an unambiguous

    understanding of each concept in the USFRTF.

    8. Provide a terse label that may be used as a line item on a financial statement. (This

    should be performed in an automated manner)

    9. Consider the style used in the IFRS-GP taxonomy and the possibility of converging U.S.

    GAAP and IFRS in the future.

    3.1 General Guidance

    In general, the following basic conventions apply to labels when creating a taxonomy:

    ; One unique label is created for every concept (a noun) used in the USFRTF;

    ; A concise label describes the meaning of a concept;

    ; The precise meaning of a concept will be found in the taxonomy documentation and

    references;

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    ; A label should facilitate the ability to locate a concept quickly;

    ; A label should be recognizable, consistent, and easy to read; and

    ; Each label should follow the same pattern.

    The Chicago Manual of Style should be followed when the USFRTF Style Guide does not address specific style questions. The dictionary for this Style Guide is http://www.dictionary.com. 3.1.1 Follow FRTA Guidance

    Rules prescribed by FRTA take precedence over rules in this document. This document goes beyond FRTA rules.

    3.1.2 The agreed-upon spelling MUST be used for the following terms As there are various accepted ways to spell certain terms, the following list of terms should be used in the USFRTF.

    Only adjectives should be hyphenated. For example, "Available-for-Sale" or "Share-based." Generally, words formed with the following common prefixes should be written as one word, not hyphenated.

    infra, ultra micro, macro over, under re, un, non pro, anti

    (infrastructure) (macroeconomics) (understaffed) (nonprofit) (prorate)

    intra, extra semi, pseudo pre, post sub, super supra, co

    (intraenterprise) (semiconscious) (postoperative) (suboptimal) (coauthor)

Exceptions:

    ; Use a hyphen if the second element is a proper noun, a capitalized word, or a numerical

    figure.

    Examples: un-American; post-1945

    ; Use a hyphen if it is necessary to distinguish homonyms.

    Examples: re-sort vs. resort; re-treat vs. retreat

    ; Use a hyphen if the second element consists of more than one word.

    Examples: pre-nuclear-age civilization

    ; Use a hyphen to avoid doubling a vowel (except after the short prefixes co, de, pre, pro,

    and re, which generally are printed solid).

    Examples: anti-inflation; semi-independent; cooperation; reemerge

    ; Use a hyphen before a compound term

    Examples: non-self-sustaining, preVietnam War (before an open compound, an en

    dash is used);

    ; Use a hyphen to separate the repeated terms in a double prefix.

    Examples: sub-subentry;

    ; Use a hyphen when a prefix or combining form stands alone.

    Examples: over- and underused, macro- and microeconomics.

    Table 1. Common terms: multiple correct spellings, spelling to use

    Proforma Pro forma, Pro-forma, ProForma

    Noncurrent Non Current, Non-Current, NonCurrent

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    Postemployment Post-Employment, Post-Retirement

    Assets Held-for-Sale Assets-Held-for-Sale, Assets Held for Sale

    Share-based Share-Based, Sharebased, Share based

    Long-Term Long-term, Long term, Long Term

    Indefinite-Lived Indefinite-lived, Indefinite lived

    Net of Tax Net of Tax Effect, Net of Income Tax

    Nonaccrual Non accrual, Non-accrual, Non-Accrual

    Noncancelable Non cancelable, Non-cancelable, Non-Cancelable

    Noncash Non cash, Non-cash, Non-Cash

    Nondeductible Non deductable, Non-deductible, Non-Deductible

    Noninterest Non interest, Non-interest, Non-Interest

    Nonoperating Non operating, Non-operating, Non-Operating

    Nonperforming Non performing, Non-performing, Non-Performaing

    Nonproduction Non production, Non-production, Non-Production

    Nonrecurring Non recurring, Non-recurring, Non-Recurring

    Nontaxable Non taxable, Non-taxable, Non-Taxable

    Available-for-Sale Available for Sale

    Short-Term Short Term

    Other Miscellaneous

    The use of hyphens with suffixes should be determined based on the following guidance from The Chicago Manual of Style:

    Most suffixes form solid words with the roots to which they are attached. Exceptions:

    ; Use a hyphen if a root word ends in a double consonant and its suffix begins with the

    same consonant.

    Examples: bell-like; brass-smith

    ; Use a hyphen if the first element is a proper name.

    Examples: Florida-like

    3.2 Guidelines for Labels (excludes documentation and

    reference labels)

    The following is a summary of guidelines for labels. The USFRTF MUST provide at a minimum, one unique label for every concept. As such, software applications can differentiate concepts by label. Therefore, users do not have to work at the concept name level to determine uniqueness. Generally, it is the task of the taxonomy creator to provide the shortest possible label which contains sufficient information that, as best as possible, describes the meaning of a concept. The precise meaning of a concept is provided by taxonomy documentation and references. However, it is valuable to users of the taxonomy not to have to go back to the documentation or reference in order to determine the nature of a concept.

    Creating proper labels is a balancing act between conveying meaning and being concise. Excessively long labels can be hard to read and take up valuable screen space. It is the job of the taxonomy authors to balance these factors as reasonably as possible.

    Two common errors that domain experts make while trying to create a taxonomy are worth noting: (a) using a sentence from a disclosure checklist as the label and (b) accepting a financial statement line item description as a label that does not meet the objectives. Neither is appropriate. A taxonomy is a classification of concepts, not a financial statement or disclosure USFRTF Style Guide, RECOMMENDATION of 2007-03-08 Page 8 of 27

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    checklist. The fundamental goal of a label is to facilitate the process of locating a concept and to uniquely identify that concept without the need to go to the documentation or references. Labels should be kept as short and precise as possible. As an example, less than 0.1 percent of labels exceed 100 characters in the IFRS taxonomy. Always try to reduce the length of labels. Instances may occur when more than 100 characters are needed. In those cases, which should be rare, it is acceptable to use more than 100 characters.

    3.2.1 Labels MUST NOT contain certain special characters. The following characters should generally be avoided in creating concept labels and in documentation:

    Allowed Characters

    A-Z, a-z, 0-9, (, ), comma, -, „, space, $, [ ]

Disallowed Characters

    ? | > < : / * " + ; = . & ! @ #

    3.2.2 Labels MUST start with a capital letter and use proper case1,

    except prepositions and conjunctions.

    See examples of proper use in the table below:

    Example 1. Proper capitalization of labels

    Assets Pledged as Collateral Subject to Sale of Repledging

    Principal Activities of Joint Venture

    Example 2. Examples of words (among others) that are not capitalized,

    about, after, an, and, any, as, at, be, before, behind, but, by, for, from, has, if, in, is, nor, of, off, on, or, over, so, that, than, this, to, upon, with, yet

    In general, a preposition should be lower case except when it is at the beginning of a string. 3.2.3 The following articles MUST NOT be used in labels: Table 2. Disallowed articles

    the

    a

    3.2.4 Adjectives in all labels MUST be used with a noun. For example, "Fair Value" alone means nothing. ―Land, at Fair Value" is meaningful.

     1 Note that the Chicago Manual of Style refers to proper case as ―headline style titles‖.

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    3.2.5 Dashes SHOULD NOT be used in labels (except tuples) where

    commas can be used instead.

    For example, DO NOT use "Other Assets Current", but rather use "Other Assets, Current." 3.2.6 Every label type (except terse) MUST contain a noun. For example, "Assets" is a noun. "Current Operating at Fair Value" would not be an allowed concept.

    3.2.7 Acronyms SHOULD be clearly spelled out when used. Acronyms must be spelled out if used with the acronym in parentheses, for example, ―EPS‖ should be ―Earnings Per Share (EPS).‖ ―ESOP‖ should be ―Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).‖ Acronyms can be used only when the acronym conveys a meaning that is better known than the full label; that is., LIFO rather than Last in First Out

    The following acronyms are allowed: LIFO and FIFO.

    3.2.8 The use of abbreviations SHOULD be limited in labels. Certain abbreviations should not be used in labels such as etc, et al, i.e. and e.g. In general Latin abbreviations should not be used in labels. Abbreviations such as U.S. and U.K. are allowed as adjectives (U.S. companies) but not as nouns (companies in the United States). 3.2.9 In a series of three or more items, commas MUST be used after

    each item including the penultimate item.

    Use a comma in series of three or more items, including before the final and. For example: Always capitalize the words Topics, Subtopics, Sections, and Subsections. 3.2.10 The use of and/or MUST not be used.

    Do not use the combination and/or. Use ―and‖ to express ―and/or‖.

    3.2.11 The gender specific term His/Her MUST not be used. Avoid gender-specific terms such as his and her.

    3.2.12 Numbers MUST be expressed as text when less than 10 or

    fractions.

    Use the following rules for numbers:

    ; Exact numbers one through nine should be spelled out, except for percentages and

    numbers referring to parts of a book (for example, 5 percent, page 2).

    ; Numbers of 10 or more should be expressed in figures.

    ; Numbers should be treated alike throughout a label; do not use figures for some and

    spell out others. If the largest number is 10 or more, use figures for all numbers (for

    example, a 5-year credit with 10 percent interest).

    ; At the beginning of a sentence, a number that would ordinarily be written in figures

    should be spelled out; regardless of the inconsistency this may create.

    ; Labels should not start with a number as a numeric or written out.

    It is not necessary to spell out numbers in Examples.

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