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iXBRL Reporting: Your 2018 strategy

iXBRL filing advice for your next returns

In 2017, we applied over 1,000,000 tags to our clients HMRC and Revenue returns. Having taken so many businesses through this process, we have some helpful tips and filing advice to help manage your end of year submissions in iXBRL format.

1) Accuracy – check your digits

It may sound obvious, but making sure your accounts are accurate before approaching the iXBRL tagging is vital for stress-free, timely reporting. Even something as simple as missing an ‘0’ from the start of your company house number can cause delays in tagging.

2) Expertise – know your taxonomy

iXBRL may be approaching its tenth year, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward. It’s important that your tagging team knows the latest taxonomy inside out, and can manage any queries. There’s as much intuition required as technical knowledge for tagging accounts, so total knowledge of the requirements is a must for accurate tagging

3) Minimum Tagging – no longer an option

In the past, HMRC accepted partially or ‘minimum’ tagged accounts, but as of November 1st, 2017 this was no longer be an option. If you outsource your filing, check that you’re not paying an additional charge for ‘full’ tagging. Tagging fully under FRS 101/102 or the EU IFRS guidance is mandatory, however some providers are charging a premium for this requirement

4) Visibility – at all stages

If you’re tagging on behalf of your clients or have a large number of entities, it’s likely you’ll be submitting to HMRC or Revenue across the year. Keeping track of what stage your accounts are at will give you control over your submission, and peace of mind that you can meet multiple deadlines. Make sure that when you send your reports in for tagging, you know where in the process they are, and when you can ask your tagging reviewer about their progress.

5) Support – a professional at hand

In addition to visibility over multiple files, you’re going to want a number to call with any questions. Need a document turned around in 24 hours instead of 5 days? Want to query why a tag has been chosen? Want to see a report showing your total filing history and identify ways to streamline your process? Check that you’ve got a reliable account manager in your time-zone at the other end of the phone.

6) Tagging – in numbers

We tagged over 4,000 documents last year, which gave us great insight into what an iXBRL return should look like. Whilst variations exist depending on business size and activity, we’ve found that on average, our team apply roughly 250 tags to each file. If your accounts are of a standard size and you are seeing significantly less tags applied, it’s a good idea to ask your tagging reviewer why.

7) Guarantees – outsourcing checks

With any form of reporting, the priority is to file error free, on-time. If you’re outsourcing your iXBRL tagging, be sure to ask these 2 key questions:

1. How many times are the files checked against the HMRC or Revenue gateway?
2. What does the document review process looks like?

It’s always best to have a review window in place in case you’d like any changes to your tags.

We hope these guidelines support you in creating an air-tight, robust strategy with your tagging partners for submitting in iXBRL format.

Coming up next, our checklist for success tagging.