Board Releases Guidance for Attest Engagements Regarding XBRL

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today released staff questions and answers related to attest engagements regarding XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) data furnished under the SEC's XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program on the EDGAR System.

The questions and answers provide guidance for auditors who are engaged to report on whether the XBRL data accurately reflects the corresponding information in the official EDGAR filings. The guidance addresses both performance and reporting matters relating to applying the Board's attestation standards to these engagements.

The XBRL voluntary financial reporting program, which began in April 2005, allows public companies to voluntarily furnish XBRL data in an exhibit to specified EDGAR filings. The voluntary program is designed to help the SEC assess the ability of public companies to tag their financial information using XBRL technology and the overall benefits of using tagged data for end-users.

Although the voluntary program does not require companies to obtain auditor attestations to XBRL data, the questions and answers provide guidance to auditors which are engaged to perform such attestations at the election of companies that want to obtain such assurance.

The guidance is available under Standards, Staff Questions and Answers at www.pcaobus.org.