But opposition to the requirement hinges heavily on the apparent lack of readiness of software vendors to support Inline XBRL. Mary T. Hoeltzel, vice president and chief accounting ­officer at Cigna, says the company’s software partner doesn’t currently have the capability to generate Inline XBRL filings. Switching to another software vendor would be costly in a number of ways, including jeopardizing current accounting solutions that have been recently developed and implemented.

Richard Levy, chairman of the Committee on Corporate Reporting at Financial Executives International (FEI), acknowledges that Inline XBRL could improve the efficiency of the filing. But he notes that unprecedented accounting changes are in the works over the next three years, with major new standards due to be implemented for revenue recognition, leasing, and financial instruments. “As our member companies are significantly affected by the implementation of new accounting standards, the current time frame is not conducive to making a change of this nature,” Levy states, referring to requiring use of Inline XBRL.

About the Authors