Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made available for the first time complete data sets for all “as filed” XBRL data. The following is taken from the SEC’s accompanying announcement:
The following data sets provide information extracted from EX-101 attachments submitted to the Commission in a flattened data format to assist users in more easily consuming the data for analysis. The data is sourced from selected information found in the XBRL tagged financial statements submitted by filers to the Commission. These data sets currently include quarterly and annual numeric data appearing in the primary financial statements submitted by filers. Certain additional fields (e.g. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)) used in the Commission’s EDGAR system are also included to help in supporting the use of the data. The information has been taken directly from submissions created by each registrant, and the data is “as filed” by the registrant. The information will be updated quarterly. Data contained in documents filed after 5:30pm EST on the last business day of the quarter will be included in the next quarterly posting.In other words, the SEC has provided a quick and easy way to retrieve all relevant XBRL filed data pertaining to primary financial statements from 2009 onwards. This is important news for all companies filing XBRL data with the SEC because it makes several things you may be doing already much easier.
After Filing Activities Made Easier
Once a quarterly statement is filed, financial reporting teams undertake several tasks to ensure that the appropriate XBRL is being used. The tasks include examining peer company filings to compare XBRL treatments, looking at how other companies are reporting new accounting treatments, archiving your filings, creating a ready source of XBRL best practices, and providing data to the Investor Relations team for communicating financial results to investors.
Here’s how the new SEC XBRL data set can be useful in each scenario:
Each data set provides a unique view of the data and can be used to answer specific questions such as who has used a specific XBRL tag (TAG) or how has revenue recognition been presented (PRE).
Software Solutions for XBRL Data
According to PriceWaterhouseCooper’s XBRL Advocate Mike Willis, there are many applications that consume the current web-service/RSS data feeds including applications like: Arelle; Calcbench, XBRLAnalyst, XBRL US Consistency Suite, SECforhumans, to name a few. Many of these applications are already set up for analysis and some require a fee for usage.
Willis also points out that the newly available data sets are in tab-delimited TXT file format so almost any application can be used to create your own analysis such as Microsoft’s Excel. However, to create your own tool within Excel requires one to navigate through the formatting. Financial reporting team members with advanced Excel skills will have no difficulty assembling a time-saving tool that will contribute significantly to your XBRL activities.
DataTracks US is part of DataTracks Services Limited, leaders worldwide in preparation of financial statements in EDGAR HTML, XBRL and iXBRL formats for filing with regulators. With a track record of over 10 years, DataTracks prepares more than 12,000 XBRL statements annually for filing with regulators such as SEC in the United States, HMRC in the United Kingdom, Revenue in Ireland, ACRA in Singapore and MCA in India.
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