Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fermi Calculations for XBRL

CompSci Resources, LLC

Washington, DC – Recently, our team of engineers has been working on new ways to analyze and make eXtensible Business Markup Language (XBRL) even more accessible and useful for the common investor. During these brainstorming sessions, it occurred to us that the standard has a rather limiting attribute that can be expanded to vastly improve XBRL’s accessibility.

Currently, the XBRL standard itself permits precision to be specified in two ways: with significant figures, and with decimals. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires the use of decimals since this is the most intuitive of the two, and the most commonplace in practice.

To open the door to a more expansive interpretation of standard financial statements, a new way of specifying precision for XBRL Calculations is proposed here. This method is one that is likely to resonate with financial analysts, engineers, and accountants alike: Fermi.

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.