Digital Financial Reporting Manifesto

The Digital Financial Reporting Manifesto proposes to the global community of professional accountants that an option can and ought to exist to express a general purpose financial report digitally.

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

--Albert Einstein

If you think that a digital version of a general purpose financial report should exist, please like this LinkedIn post. (Need for Digital Alternative to General Purpose Financial Report)

Digital Financial Report Working Prototype: This is a working prototype of an XBRL-based digital financial report that works reliably and predictably.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the answers to frequently asked questions about the Digital Financial Reporting Manifesto:

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Question: Will XBRL work as the technical format for the language that is necessary for digital financial reporting?

Answer: Yes, XBRL is perfectly adequate as the language which can be used for digital financial reporting.  Further, it has three key features that are critical which XBRL provides "out of the box". 

  • First, XBRL supports a multidimensional model via XBRL Dimensions. 
  • Second, XBRL supports mathematical computations via XBRL Formual. 
  • Third, XBRL provides for the ability to articulate new types of relations such as "part-of" via XBRL Dimensions and arcrole definition.  While XBRL already provides for the "class-subclass" type relation via the "general-special" arcrole and the "equivalent-class" relation via the "essence-alias" arcrole; new relations can be also be articulated. For example, I created these two sets of arcroles: Set 1, Set 2.  Those relations are described here.  For more information on this please see this blog post.

 I am currently using XBRL for everything that I am doing after experimenting with other formats such as RDF, OWL, and a few other languages.  I am converting things that are not currently XBRL conformate and making them 100% XBRL conformant.  For example, I am doing some things related to the fundamental accounting concept relations such as the impute rules in non-XBRL formats.  I am converting those to XBRL.

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Question: How do you build the business report processor/engine that is necessary to make sure XBRL-based digital financial reports are created correctly?

Answer: I don't know the exact answer as to how to build the necessary business report processor/engine; but I do understand the questions very well.  This blog post discusses the topic of the best way to implement that XBRL-based digital business report processor.  I also don't know if a specialized processor needs to be created for financial information or if the digital business report processor can handle what is needed for a digital financial report.  It could be the case that only the metadata changes, not the processor.

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