2021 Data Amplified Conference

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission retires venerable Visual Fox Pro reporting system in favor of XBRL.

Speaking at the 2021 Data Amplified conference Robert Hudson (FERC) and Campbell Pryde (XBRL US) presented the FERC project for modernizing large reporting environments. The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the transmission and sale of electricity and gas in interstate commerce and also the transportation of oil by pipeline, with Forms 6 and 6Q for annual and quarterly reports of pipeline companies. FERC’s scope covers the continental US (except Texas).

FERC require regulated entities to file financial and performance information electronically. Up till now, this has been done using a Visual Fox Pro*-based filing system to report financial and performance data. In 2021-2022 this is being transitioned to XBRL. The move is intended to improve data accuracy and transparency and enable an evolving, publicly available data model.

Reporting will now be through the FERC’s e-Forms submission portal. The new reporting taxonomy is also available. Behind the scenes, FERC uses SpiderMonkey to create and edit its taxonomy which is published though Corefiling’s TMS taxonomy management system.

Filer interaction via the submission portal is through a graphical application that is driven by the taxonomy. The app supports test data filing and validation before the final submission. Filers submit a standard XBRL (XML) file that is validated against the FERC’s rules. Filings can be rendered using a publicly available rendering template. Both rules and rendering code are available on the FERC website and on Github.

*The final version of Visual Fox Pro was released in 2009.

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