This blog is basically my lab notebook. This blog relates to figuring out how to effectively leverage XBRL formatted structured information for accounting, reporting, auditing, and analysis in a digital environment. The two most important documents here are the logical theory of a financial report and logical theory of a business report. If you don't understand why those two documents are key, you probably need to read this document.

This blog post makes the case for and summarizes benefits of XBRL-based general purpose financial reporting on one slide.

The Open Source Framework for Implementing XBRL-based Digital Financial Reporting is a proven effective best practices method of implementing XBRL-based reporting.

Trying to get your head around XBRL-based digital financial reporting?  Download Pesseract and experience it first hand. Pesseract is, I believe, the world's first expert system for creating financial reports using any financial reporting scheme.

* * *

For a list of all blog posts, click here. For resources to learn about XBRL, click here. Examples, samples, and metadata on GitHub, click here.  Watch the popular video, How XBRL Works. To get the background to understand the changes that are occuring, read Computer Empathy. If you want to get everything in on place, see Intelligent XBRL-based Digital Financial Reporting. 

Software engineers might like Open Source Framework for Implementing XBRL-based Digital Financial ReportingAccounting Process Automation XBRL Application Profile, and Method for Implemeting a Standard Digital Financial Report Using the XBRL Syntax.

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

--- George Bernard Shaw

Digital financial reporting is the future of financial reporting. Just like blueprints went digital, maps went digital, and many other things have gone digital; so to are financial reports are going digital.  A recent AICPA News Update stated the following:

Technology has undoubtedly been the catalyst for change throughout history. But today, this change is happening faster than ever before. The world will look very different in a few years - and the accounting profession is no exception. Artificial intelligence, blockchain and other technologies are poised to reshape the accounting landscape, and we need to be ready.

The AICPA says, "The world will look very different in a few years" and " ready". So, how can you be ready?  This blog can help you be ready.  The July 2017 Journal of Accountancy published an article, Real talk about artificial intelligence and blockchain, which stated:

Technology is poised to transform the accounting profession. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and blockchain are on the verge of automating many traditional core CPA tasks. The profession is at a critical moment, one from which it will emerge in a far different form.

What traditional core tasks will be automated?  What will be the new "form" the profession will take?

"Where there is no order there is confusion." Luca Pacioli

Programmers and others developing software will find this site useful in creating and designing a user experience which works for the business professionals they serve.  It is the software which programmers create which will help business professionals harness the power enabled by the XBRL technical syntax.

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:  You can follow me on Twitter here:

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

Intelligent XBRL-based digital financial reporting will highly likely be in your future. This information will help you become a master craftsmen if you are self-motivated and self-directed.  You can get started learning right now.  The following steps will get you started down the right path:

  1. Start here. Everything you Need to Know to have an Intelligent Conversation about Digital Financial Reporting. That will provide you with a solid overview of the big picture.
  2. Watch the six minute video, How XBRL Works. This is a quick way to get your head around the notion of structured information which is what makes digital financial reporting possible.
    Read the document Computer Empathy in order to get the background you need to understand the changes that are occurring. Without this foundational information you cannot effectively understand the changes that are occurring.
  3. Read the blog post Case for XBRL-based General Purpose Financial Report on One Slide.  That articulates the benefits of XBRL-based reports.
  4. Want more details about XBRL? 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 readers who are business professionals and information technology professionals.
  5. Read the XBRL-based Digital Financial Reporting General Principles. This helps you understand WHAT you need to learn.
  6. Read the Conceptual Overview of an XBRL-based, Structured Digital Financial Reporting. This helps you understand what an intelligent XBRL-based digital financial report is and how it works.
  7. Need even more details? Read Intelligent Digital Financial Reporting. This is the best summary of information you need which exists.  This is an investment, but your investment will pay dividends.
  8. Follow this blog.  The blog is basically my "lab notes".  While the resources that this blog are updated, reorganized, synthesized, and otherwise simplified periodically; the blog itself generally contains the most current information if things are changing.
  9. Take the Mastering Intelligent Digital Financial Reporting or one of my other training sessions.  Contact me for more details.
  10. Use the open source framework for implementing XBRL-based digital financial reporting.

Feedback and comments welcomed.

Trying to wrap your head around the impact of artificial intelligence?  I would suggest Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Engineering Basics in a Nutshell.