Revenge of the XBRL Fallen at the SEC in 2014?

Given Michael Bay’s on-stage implosion Monday at CES in Las Vegas, a shout out to his forgettable second Transformers-based movie and its potential similarity to XBRL in 2014 at the SEC.  While the Autobots assumed the Decepticons threat was put to rest only to have them rise again in Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen, XBRL at the SEC could see its shares of ups-and-downs in the coming year.

People:  The new year starts off with a key personnel departure, as Mr. Robocop himself, Chief Economist Craig Lewis, is rumored to be a short-timer at the SEC as he looks to head back Vanderbilt University in the Spring.  Is it just me or does it seem like every time someone at the SEC gets their XBRL groove on, they bail (see Cox, Starr, Yount; Hamscher’s the anti-bail…=).  It will be interesting to see what impact his departure has on the advancement of his Accounting Quality Model (AQM) but more importantly execution on his “….XBRL database available to the public by the end of the year/early 2014” comment (Deloitte summary PDF, top of p.14) made at the recent AICPA conference just a few weeks back in Washington DC.

Taxonomies:  You can’t talk about the new year without talking taxonomies.  While the final release of the 2014 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy should land and be ready for official use in late calendar Q1/early Q2, the open taxonomy question revolves around IFRS support.  Does the listing of the 2013 IFRS Exposure draft on both the primary and secondary SEC Draft Taxonomies pages mean IFRS tagging is the real deal in 2014?

EFM:  The equivalent of Sam touching the AllSpark is picking up the latest copy of the SEC’s EDGAR Filer Manual (EFM) and pressing it against one’s forehead on Chapter 6.  Not wanting to disappoint thrill-seekers, the SEC rolled out Draft EFM Volume II Version 26 on January 2nd.  Validation rules strengthened?  More XBRL tagging requirements?  Support for Inline XBRL?

Blake’s Take:  2014 will be a tactical rebirth for XBRL at the SEC.  While Lewis’ departure is a big hit, just as Shai LaBeouf is being replaced by Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4 , someone at the SEC will step in and take Lewis’ public facing XBRL role.  It’s happened before, it’ll happen again.  And just like the inevitability of Transformers 4, even though the latest EFM Draft reads like more of the same, one or two more Drafts away we’ll see some changes in the SEC’s XBRL submission landscape.

The wildcard in all of this?  The antagonist.  A good story always has a viable antagonist that makes the status quo more interesting; someone that stirs things up and changes the established.  Rep. Darrell Issa in the role of Megatron?  Yeah…I can totally see that.  His follow-up XBRL shot-across-the-SEC bow has to be coming soon, don’t you think?