Smaller Companies Spending Less on XBRL Filings

September 4, 2018

According to a recent survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), filing financial data in an interactive format has become less of a financial burden on small public companies. Last year, average eXtensible Business Reporting Language (“XBRL”) costs for smaller reporting companies were $5,476. The 2017 figure is a 45-percent drop from 2014, when average XBRL costs totaled $10,000.

About 68.6 percent of the smaller reporting companies surveyed (1,032 companies) paid less than $5,500 last year for their XBRL filing. Compared to 2014, only 29.9 percent of companies spent that amount. Also last year, 581 companies spent in the range of $2,000 and $4,000 on XBRL filings, and 11.8 percent of the small companies paid in the range of $5,500 to $8,000 for a vendor’s full services. Another 13.1 percent spent over $10,000 in 2017, which is a decrease from 2014 (31 percent).

AICPA director Ami Beers said the survey affirms that using XBRL for filing corporate disclosures is not too demanding on small companies. She also noted that increased filing efficiency and competitive vendor pricing indicate that the advantages to using XBRL surpass the costs. Such benefits include companies increasing their investor outreach and analysts having easier access to detailed financial disclosures.