Thursday, October 30, 2014

#XBRL at Work

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

In the past year, Congress has tried on three occasions to pass legislation that would reduce the “XBRL burden” that some speculate is especially onerous for small business. The “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act” (H.R. 5405) includes language that would put the requirement to file XBRL on hold for all filers that make less than $250 million dollars each year (businesses that Congress considers to be “small”). This would effectively eliminate the requirement for about sixty percent of U.S. filers, rendering years of learning curve and the potential data set analysis useless as the data would be vastly incomplete.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 10 XBRL Stories: Summer 2014, Part 2

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

This past summer has been full of big headlines for those in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) community. This article concludes a quick synopsis of the biggest stories of the these past few months, discussing the final five. (Part 1 can be found here)

Can you guess which headline took the top spot?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Top 10 XBRL Stories: Summer 2014, Part 1

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

It has been a summer of big headlines for those that work with or are affected by eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The most common theme is “the data continues to improve”, whether it be through stepped-up enforcement of quality, or through the proliferation of watchdog organizations and analysis tools.

Accordingly, as the end of summer draws near, we wanted to provide a quick synopsis to get you caught up on this busy season, just in case you missed something. Here is one list of the Top 10 XBRL stories from the summer of 2014:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Some Thoughts on EFM 27, US GAAP 2014

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released version 27 of the EDGAR Filer Manual (EFM) on Monday, June 17, 2014. This latest version does not contain too many surprises, but there are some notable updates that affect your eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filings.

First, you may not create extension concepts that have an instant periodType and non-numeric data type. Since filers are rarely required to file non-numeric facts – aside from a few pretty big exceptions like your name and big blocks of text, neither of which are instants – this new rule is likely an attempt by the SEC to reduce the number of extension concepts by eliminating those that are not required anyway. And for filers that wish to report the optional items that are non-numeric instant concepts, a simple work-around would involve creating a period that is one day in length.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The AQM, Part 2: What does it mean to filers?


In the first part of this two-part discussion, we reviewed what the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Accounting Quality Model (AQM, or "RoboCop") is using to evaluate public filings. The AQM was designed to help automate and streamline the review process of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) instance document, the machine-readable version of a filer's quarterly report.

Additionally, we looked a little deeper at how discretionary accruals are typically used to assess the probability of "earnings management". This can be problematic as it can lead to false positives, so the SEC is trying to shore-up this process by further by parsing discretionary accrual factors. They do so by categorizing them for deeper analysis as either factors that indicate earnings management and those that induce earnings management.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The AQM, Part 1: What is it looking at?


We would like to take a deeper look at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Comission’s Accounting Quality Model, informally known as RoboCop. We will do this in two parts, assessing what the AQM is using for its analysis, and then we will offer some thoughts on what it means for your company's filing.

There has been a lot of talk in the past year about the Accounting Quality Model (AQM)—nicknamed RoboCop—the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) tool designed to evaluate and analyze eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filings from public filers. More specifically, the AQM has been designed to flag questionable or fraudulent filings based upon SEC-designed algorithms, including an evaluation of a company’s filing against its industry peer group. We thought it might be useful to dig a bit deeper into what the AQM actually is, along with its potential impact on the filing landscape.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

XBRL for Other Forms

by: Michael Castro, XBRL Production Manager
CompSci Resources, LLC

The introduction of XBRL has not only improved transparency, but also provided a way for investors to more efficiently process and use corporate information. While it has been extremely useful, more information should be provided in the specification so that investors have even more transparency and information. Companies file a lot more than just their quarterly statements to communicate their earnings to potential investors. In order to more fully realize the benefits of XBRL, more United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) forms should be included in the mandate. Below, I outline three examples of commonly filed financial forms that companies should tag in XBRL to provide more complete information to investors:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DATA Act, Part 4: Unanimous House passage

by: Cindy MacPherson, Analyst;

Yesterday, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) was unanimously passed in the first vote of the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2014 Spring Session. This follows unanimous passage by the Senate earlier this month, and now the landmark legislation is on its way to President Barack Obama.

According to E Pluribus Unum, “an administration official at the White House Office of Management and Budget confirmed that [the President] will sign the bill into law.” This is expected, as the mandate this legislation puts into law is consistent with the Administration’s Open Government Policy. You can read more from Alexander Howard’s article here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rank and Filed | SEC Filings for Humans

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

The new website Rank and Filed was published a few weeks ago by Maris Jensen. This site was built to make the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) EDGAR data usable “for humans”. The website aggregates all twenty-five million documents that are publicly available on the EDGAR database.

Rank and Filed currently “collects, links and presents data from different SEC filings” and makes it easy to access and understand. As such, it illustrates that eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data can be presented in a way that is understandable to the average person.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DATA Act, Part 3: Senate passage update

by: Cindy MacPherson, Analyst;
This afternoon, a significant stride towards data transparency was made when the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve S.994, more commonly known as the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). This bill would require all federal government agencies to report and publish their financials using a common data format on USASpending.gov. By making all spending information readily available to taxpayers anywhere, at any time, and in one location, those agencies would realize a new and higher level of accountability for their use or misuse of appropriated funds.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top 10 Other Industries (Bonus Round)

CompSci Resources, LLC

We recently published a series on the Top 10 industries that XBRL could impact. We thought that we would throw-in a bonus idea for you to consider:

XBRL-Gclef

CompSci software engineers propose revolutionizing the music industry with XBRL-Gclef, an innovative taxonomy for music notation. Having undergone years of development, standard features include using durations to specify the exact moment in time that a note should occur, and note lengths that can last years.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 10 Other Industries XBRL Can Impact, Pt 2

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

In part 1 of this series we discussed environmental disclosure, private finance, construction, federal transparency, and MuniXBRL. Now let us now consider the next five industries that XBRL could impact.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top 10 Other Industries XBRL Can Impact, Pt 1

by: Paul C. Bevins, Account Executive

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has mandated that public companies file their quarterly 10-Q and annual 10-K reports in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) since 2009. The SEC has also mandated the same from mutual fund managers for their risk/return summaries. And while there have been growing pains as the standard has evolved and the taxonomies have matured, many would agree that XBRL has powerful potential, especially as accuracy, usage, software solutions, and analysis become more integrated into everyday business practices.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Medical Coding and XBRL

by: Michael Castro, XBRL Production Manager
CompSci Resources, LLC

The world of healthcare has many complexities and nuances. At the center of much of this is information, and more information than most industries combined. In part, medical professionals collect and analyze data as it pertains to diagnosing symptoms; sharing new discoveries, progress with methodologies, developing trends; and costs.

In practice, healthcare relies largely on the efficient storage, tracking, and accessibility of information and data. That begs the question of why the collection, dissemination and analysis of health-related information is so cumbersome.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DATA Act, Part 2: Will it help? XBRL?

CompSci Resources, LLC

Lately, there has been quite a bit of news about the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). I have recapped the highlights from the last several months; we also provided a summary of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) comments on and suggested amendments to the DATA Act (including responses from public and private leaders that have been promoting the legislation).

However, we have two compelling questions to answer here:
  • Will the DATA Act improve reporting?
  • What will the DATA Act mean for the XBRL community?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DATA Act, Part 1b: OMB mark-ups


This past Monday, a version of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) that had been marked up by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was leaked. The proposed changes would remove key sections of the bill and undermine the goal of original DATA Act. The Data Transparency Coalition (DTC) website also provides an original copy of the bill.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, Part 1

CompSci Resources, LLC

With new information coming out every day about the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) it can be difficult to keep up with its details and current status. Here’s a recap.

What is the DATA Act?

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), a bill introduced to the House and Senate in 2013, calls for the U.S. government to use a common data format to report and publish their financial activities. One potential data format is eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which is being used by public companies to file their yearly and quarterly financials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Standardizing the government’s financials would lead to better transparency, more effective federal management, and cheaper compliance, according to the Data Transparency Coalition (DTC).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Challenge With Young Investors, Part 2

by: Michael Castro, XBRL Production Manager
CompSci Resources, LLC

In part 1 of this blog post, I outlined a number of challenges I felt fund managers faced when targeting young investors. In this installation, I quickly take a look at some of the solutions to this problem.