« Ten Years Ago, the XBRL Journey Began | Main | Battle of the Bands: Investors and CFOs »

Some Great Examples of XBRL

I wanted to point you to some great examples for learning or teaching XBRL.  For those of you who were (are) fans of "the patterns document" I have created a new set of "patterns".  These are organized differently and broken down into three things.  So, what was "patterns" is now:

  • Meta patterns.  These are the real patterns.  These are small things from which bigger things are built.
  • Business Use Cases.  This is what I thought of when I started using the word "pattern" several years ago.  Over the years I learned that I was mixing up two things.  So, I broke them out in the current iteration.  The business use cases are what business users would be most interested in.  I tried to make these as small as possible, but also as real as possible.  These are great learning tools.
  • Comprehensive example.  One of the down sides of breaking things into little pieces is that they are isolated and you miss issues you would run across.   To solve this problem, I took all the patterns and combined them into one bigger use case (and my favorite), a financial statement.  This is not US GAAP or IFRS, it is an imaginary GAAP which is simple, but has 100% of the characteristics of the US GAAP Taxonomy, the IFRS-GP taxonomy, and any other taxonomy I have come across which provided clues as to what people might run across.

Each of these examples has:

  1. A taxonomy.
  2. XBRL Formulas examples for each place where a formula can be used to test a relation.  (Please note that as the XBRL Formulas conformance suite is still being worked through, there could be some errors in this…but I think I got these right, I had a lot of guidance from Herm Fischer (thanks Herm, and thanks to the Formulas Working Group in general…this is a great piece of work!).  I built these not for efficiency of formulas, but for easy "reverse engineering".  All the formulas are heavily commented.
  3. An instance document.
  4. A style sheet which turns the instance document into rendered PDF.
  5. The rendered PDF which is very, very readable to a business user.  THIS IS WHERE TO START TO UNDERSTAND THE USE CASES, the PDF.
  6. Validation reports.   An interesting addition is the use of Cliff Binstock's validation dashboard.  He build special rules which help detect errors and correct them once they are detected.  There are a wide range of errors and all of these are ABOVE AND BEYOND XBRL validation.
  7. Something that I call a "neutral format table" which is a way for a business user to read an instance document.

These are great for learning XBRL by reverse engineering something, for teaching others, for testing software to see if it can handle common use cases which will be thrown at you, and they make great Christmas stocking stuffers!

Here are three links to the ZIP files which contain these "patterns" things:

These will evolve over the months as I add new patterns, correct any errors I detect, etc.  You should keep looking for updates as they become available.

Feedback is always appreciated.  If you have a business use case which is not modeled, I would love to know about it and add it to this collection.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

Charlie, I'm searching for examples of formula linkbases.
I downloaded the Business Use Cases .zip
I checked the SimpleHierarchy directory;
I could not find any files which appeared to be formula resources;
indeed the schema SimpleHierarchy.xsd did not reference formula.

Ah, now I see some other Business Use Case directories contain -formula.xml
And the Comprehensive case contains -formula.xml

I will inspect those.
Thanks for providing these! It will help novices to climb the learning curve!
September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate Anderson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.