« Analysis of Second Quarter of SEC XBRL Filings | Main | Seeing the Benefit of XBRL »

Seeing the Benefits of XBRL: Demo of Cross Company Comparisons

Here is a little demonstration of what one can do with XBRL. Take a look at this link.  The link is to an interface which I created which lets you do cross company comparisons of information filed by a set of 403 SEC XBRL filers. Here I am focusing on text blocks used to report policies or disclosures.

What I did was look through the filed data, found text blocks which were reported a lot by filers, and then picked a set of them to show in this demo.  I had to be a little selective to get the demo to work right.  Some of the comparisons resulted in rather large files (22 MEG, for example with 332 filers reporting "us-gaap:SegmentReportingDisclosureTextBlock", so I did not use those large files). Rather than try and make this demo scale to work with large files, I simply did not use the large files.  Again, this is a demonstration.

Using the XBRL in this way is not limited to analysis of the SEC filings by investors.  Consider this the following other use case.

If you are an accountant, you have probably heard of the AICPA Publication Accounting Trends and Techniques. If you are not familiar with that publication, it is basically a survey of the reporting practices of about 600 filers, created by grabbing SEC filings and reorganizing the information to compare companies.  Basically this is a form of best practices in financial reporting.  I worked at Price Waterhouse years ago and we had an internal publication which was similar.

Leveraging XBRL, imagine being able to build an interface into the SEC XBRL filings and be able to automatically pull information from the filings.  Imagine being able to organize this by industry (i.e. SIC code maybe).  Imagine not being limited to the 600 companies selected for the AICPA publication due to the manual nature of that process. Both attorneys and accountants who create SEC filings use this information to help figure out how to create disclosures.

Further, this process is not unique to SEC filings.  There are many, many other forms of reports and filings where a similar workflow occurs.  Being able to slice and dice this filing information allows for all sorts of interesting possibilities.


* This is the list of text blocks I am using in my demo.

us-gaap:InventoryDisclosureTextBlock (138 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfSubsequentEventsTextBlock (138 Filers)
us-gaap:SignificantAccountingPoliciesTextBlock (111 Filers)
us-gaap:BusinessCombinationDisclosureTextBlock (104 Filers)
us-gaap:DisposalGroupsIncludingDiscontinuedOperationsDisclosureTextBlock (89 Filers)
us-gaap:LongTermDebtTextBlock (66 Filers)
us-gaap:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentDisclosureTextBlock (65 Filers)
us-gaap:RelatedPartyTransactionsDisclosureTextBlock (53 Filers)
us-gaap:CashFlowSupplementalDisclosuresTextBlock (51 Filers)
us-gaap:DisclosureOfShareBasedCompensationArrangementsByShareBasedPaymentAwardTextBlock (49 Filers)
us-gaap:EquityMethodInvestmentsDisclosureTextBlock (43 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfVariableInterestEntitiesTextBlock (41 Filers)
us-gaap:OtherIncomeAndOtherExpenseDisclosureTextBlock (39 Filers)
us-gaap:LoansNotesTradeAndOtherReceivablesDisclosureTextBlock (35 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfGuaranteeObligationsTextBlock (32 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfGoodwillTextBlock (30 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfLossContingenciesByContingencyTextBlock (26 Filers)
us-gaap:AvailableForSaleSecuritiesTextBlock (25 Filers)
us-gaap:AssetRetirementObligationDisclosureTextBlock (23 Filers)
us-gaap:MinorityInterestDisclosureTextBlock (21 Filers)
us-gaap:AccountsPayableAndAccruedLiabilitiesDisclosureTextBlock (20 Filers)
us-gaap:IntangibleAssetsDisclosureTextBlock (20 Filers)
us-gaap:ProductWarrantyDisclosureTextBlock (19 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfLineOfCreditFacilitiesTextBlock (18 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfAccountsNotesLoansAndFinancingReceivableTextBlock (17 Filers)
us-gaap:FairValueByBalanceSheetGroupingTextBlock (16 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfBusinessAcquisitionsByAcquisitionTextBlock (16 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfSegmentReportingInformationBySegmentTextBlock (16 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfTreasuryStockByClassTextBlock (16 Filers)
us-gaap:TransfersAndServicingOfFinancialAssetsTextBlock (16 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfStockByClassTextBlock (15 Filers)
us-gaap:ShortTermDebtTextBlock (14 Filers)
us-gaap:OtherLiabilitiesDisclosureTextBlock (13 Filers)
us-gaap:MarketableSecuritiesTextBlock (12 Filers)
us-gaap:CollaborativeArrangementDisclosureTextBlock (11 Filers)
us-gaap:PublicUtilitiesDisclosureTextBlock (11 Filers)
us-gaap:InterestIncomeAndInterestExpenseDisclosureTextBlock (10 Filers)
us-gaap:PostemploymentBenefitsDisclosureTextBlock (10 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfRestructuringAndRelatedCostsTextBlock (10 Filers)
us-gaap:CommitmentsDisclosureTextBlock (9 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfDefinedBenefitPlansDisclosuresTextBlock (9 Filers)
us-gaap:ConcentrationRiskDisclosureTextBlock (8 Filers)
us-gaap:DetailsOfImpairmentOfLongLivedAssetsHeldAndUsedByAssetTextBlock (8 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfDerivativeInstrumentsTextBlock (8 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfOtherAssetsNoncurrentTextBlock (8 Filers)
us-gaap:AccountingChangesAndErrorCorrectionsTextBlock (7 Filers)
us-gaap:DeferredCostsCapitalizedPrepaidAndOtherAssetsDisclosureTextBlock (7 Filers)
us-gaap:EnvironmentalLossContingencyDisclosureTextBlock (7 Filers)
us-gaap:PartnersCapitalNotesDisclosureTextBlock (7 Filers)
us-gaap:UnusualOrInfrequentItemsDisclosureTextBlock (7 Filers)
us-gaap:DisclosureOfLongLivedAssetsHeldForSaleTextBlock (6 Filers)
us-gaap:FullCostMethodOfAccountingForInvestmentsInOilAndGasPropertiesDisclosureTextBlock (6 Filers)
us-gaap:RealEstateDisclosureTextBlock (6 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfRestrictedCashAndCashEquivalentsTextBlock (6 Filers)
us-gaap:CashAndCashEquivalentsDisclosureTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:DiscontinuedOperationsPolicyTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:EarningsPerSharePolicyTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:EquityMethodInvestmentsTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:FairValueOptionTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:PropertyPlantAndEquipmentTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:QuarterlyFinancialInformationTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfDividendsPayableTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfEarningsPerShareDilutedByCommonClassTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfFinancialInstrumentsOwnedAndPledgedAsCollateralTextBlock (5 Filers)
us-gaap:ScheduleOfOtherNonoperatingIncomeByComponentTextBlock (5 Filers)

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

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.