Thursday, December 15, 2011

The XBRL World in 2012

Every year, the British news magazine The Economist publishes their annual "The World in xxxx" edition, where the 'xxxx' represents the coming year.  In this publication, they make predictions about the economic and political situations in the world in the short-term future.  Many times these predictions are decently accurate, though at times they are completely off the mark.  Nonetheless, they are entertaining to read as they combine academic reviews and strong hypotheses that allow readers to think critically about the present and the future.

Unfortunately, the "World in 2012" edition failed to make any predictions about eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).  But don't fret!  Here at CompSci, we have provided our opinions on some of the hottest topics in the industry today, and in the coming year.  Read on to see what two CompSci employees predict the new year will bring for the XBRL industry:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Response to FEI's Open Letter to the SEC

By: Nathan Summers, Software Engineer
CompSci Resources, LLC

By now you've probably heard that the Committee on Corporate Reporting of Financial Executives International (FEI) has sent a high-profile letter to the SEC requesting that certain detailed tagging requirements be eliminated. It seems to me like the letter focuses on the pain of compliance as opposed to the benefits and increased transparency that can be gained through the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). XBRL is still in its infancy and may not be as useful today as it will be when the body of XBRL data increases.  We should give the standard time to develop and grow before it is dismissed as simply a compliance burden.  

As I was reading through FEI's letter, I thought certain counterpoints ought to be considered in order to tell the full story of how detailed tagging can benefit investors (and therefore the companies they invest in).

Monday, November 28, 2011

How XBRL is like the NFL

CompSci Resources, LLC

Every so often the SEC issues a report on how filers are complying with the EDGAR Filer Manual (EFM). For the most part, compliance with the XBRL standard has been commendable. With that said, it is understandable that as this process gets underway, there are some recurring errors being made as filers learn about the nuances and terminology of XBRL. Perhaps one way to look at the XBRL standard is to compare it with a very recognizable part of American life: Football. At first glance, football doesn’t seem to have too much in common with financial reporting. However, one way I have explained XBRL to some of our clients is to draw an analogy between the unofficial rules that govern the creation of the widely used and understood “game report” with the guidelines outlined by the EFM. Below, I have detailed some of the XBRL filing issues which the SEC has noted as being particularly problematic for some filers against the backdrop of America’s most popular sport. Here goes: