Digital financial reporting will change accounting work practices over the coming years.  Accountants can adapt to this change proactively or reactively, that is a choice.  But this change is not only inevitable, it is imminent. 

This site is intended to be a resource for professional accountants, software vendors, analysts, and other business users who wish to make use of XBRL to enable digital financial reporting and digital business reporting.

Digital financial reporting is a guidance-based, model-driven, semantic-oriented structured authoring approach to financial reporting. Digital isn't software, it is a mindset. Digital financial reporting is a new paradigm of financial reporting for the information age. Professional accountants are knowledge workers

This site promotes these ideas, provides information and resources to that end, and helps others who likewise embrace that goal.

 

 

CPAs, CAs, and other accountants who are trying to use or using XBRL for model-based digital financial reporting will find this web site useful. Whether you are an external financial reporting manager, internal accountant, internal auditor, third-party auditor, or are in some other accounting role; this information can help you move into the era of digital financial reporting. Accountants will find lots of examples they can use to help them figure out how to best employ this new technology tool. Resources are provided to help understand this new digital approach to financial reporting and employ it appropriately.

Programmers and others developing software will find this site useful in creating and designing a user experience which works for the business users they serve.  It is the software which programmers create which will help business users harness the power of the XBRL technical syntax, the internet, semantic web technologies, and other enables which facilitate better, faster, and cheaper business reporting.

This site is also useful to educators, students, and others who desire to learn to use XBRL for the exchange of financial and non-financial information.  Additionally, this site may be useful to technical people who are trying to understand what business users are trying to get from XBRL.

This site will evolve.  If you want to provide feedback or have questions or comments, please contact:  CharlesHoffman@olywa.net.  You can follow me on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/CharlesHoffman.

The blog archive has a lot of information helpful to people trying to understand how to make XBRL work for to meet your needs.  If you want a more organized view of this information, get a copy of XBRL for Dummies which builds upon many thoughts started on this blog.

What's Hot! Links To Most Used Information 

The following are several hot blog posts and other information which is currently very relevant, that people are finding interesting or extremely useful:

  • Financial Disclosure Research Tool Prototype: This working prototype application allows accountants to research financial disclosures from high-quality disclosures provided by public companies to the SEC.  This tool was created leveraging XBRL [Text Block] information. (Another Version, Yet another version, Web Application Version)
  • Tableau Visualizations: A collection of interesting and useful Tableau visualizations which I have created.
  • US Public Company Financial Information Repository: Repository of financial information created from SEC XBRL financial filings submitted to the US SEC.  One of the best examples of the possibilities of digital financial reporting.
  • Digital Financial Reporting: Summary of the most current versions of documents which explain digital financial reporting: Financial Report Semantics and Dynamics Theory, Guide to Verification of an SEC XBRL Financial Report, Modeling Business Information Using XBRL.
  • Reporting templates: A set of high-quality examples and templates which can be imported directly into a software application which makes creating an SEC XBRL financial filing easier.  Think Visio templates.
  • Financial Report Semantics and Dynamics Theory: An expository paper which explains the semantics and dynamics of a financial report in terms both a business user and software engineers/architects can understand.
  • XBRL for Dummies: Learn about XBRL using this resource which has summarized the best and most relevant information for business people.  The book also helps technical people understand what business users are trying to achieve with XBRL. See the books landing page here.
  • Mastering XBRL:  Believe that XBRL is important for your career? Here is a path to learning what you need about XBRL. See this blog post.

Understanding XBRL

The following are several different sources for understanding digital financial reporting is and how XBRL enables it.

  • How XBRL Works.This is a 6 minute video which shows you how XBRL works.
  • XBRL for Dummies. Chapter 1 of this book (about 25 pages) provides a comprehensive explanation of what XBRL is. The rest of the chapters in the book drill into additional details.
  • Differentiating Important Terminology. If you don't know the difference between syntax and semantics or you don't understand the difference between unstructured and structured information it can be challenging to understand XBRL. This resource helps you understand important terminology.

Learning about XBRL-based Digital Financial Reporting (Self Study) 

XBRL-based digital financial reporting will highly likely be in your future. You can get started learning right now.  The following steps will get you started down the right path:

  1. Watch the six minute video, How XBRL Works. This is a quick way to get your head around digital financial reporting.
  2. Read XBRL for Dummies.  Chapter 1 is a must, it provides in about 20 pages a comprehensive explanation of XBRL.  Chapter 4 provides an XBRL Primer.  There is a lot there for both business readers and technical readers.
  3. Read Digital Financial Reporting. This is the best summary of information you need which exists.  This is an investment, but your investment will pay dividends.
  4. Follow this blog.  While the resource Digital Financial Reporting is updated periodically, between updates this blog will fill in gaps.  This blog is a source for the most current information, ideas, understanding issues, working around problems, etc.