Ever since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) instituted its 2008 ruling that requires all public company filings to be submitted in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), more companies are hiring CPAs and financial pros who know XBLR. And if you have experience in SEC reporting, all the better.
By all accounts, there is a serious deficiency of XBRL-knowledgeable professionals, making XBRL a big opportunity for both CPAs and even accounting students.
The potential for data standardization to dramatically improve government efficiency and transparency has spurred a number of bills in Congress designed to mandate the use of data standards such as XBRL.
With those new standards come new jobs.
"Financial professionals who have XBRL experience have a competitive advantage when seeking jobs at public companies", said Camille Kearns Rudy, Director of the SEC Professionals Group. She sees first-hand how knowledge of data-tagging language is providing an edge in today’s job market.
"All companies that file financial statements with the SEC are mandated to perform XBRL tagging, and these companies are eager to find candidates who list XBRL knowledge or experience," said Rudy.
XBRL tagging is a complex process and, while there are tools to help with the tagging, a proper process requires knowledge of accounting standards, particularly GAAP, as well as being skilled in XBRL.
Most companies are embracing XBLR and how it is revolutionizing the way data is interpreted and shared, they have taken the expected path and outsourced these skills to a large degree just as when new regulations were imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Today, a group of businesses known as filing agents handle most of the outsourced XBRL tagging and filing. But many companies have begun choosing to bring those outsourced services in-house these days and the SEC mandate has created a lot of extra work for public companies.
It’s difficult to find qualified professionals, creating opportunities for CPAs with XBRL skills, so if you work for a company that already does its own XBRL filings, you may find job security if you volunteer to help the XBRL team with researching new tags or reviewing existing tags.