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Business Use Cases Overview

I have updated the documentation for the meta patterns, business use cases, and the document which contains everything together, Modeling Financial Information Using XBRL (DRAFT). These are the same documents which are provide here. Things are more built out, there are more cross references to the sample/example files, etc.  Still more to do, but this draft will stand for a while because I need to move on to other things for a bit.

Here is a summary of the business use cases which have been distilled down to the small set of meta patterns. One additional thing which I have done is to break down these business use cases into categories: an accounting use case, a variation of another use case, or an alternative technical approach. This is not perfect yet, but it is making it easier to talk about these use cases.

My next step is to map my meta patterns to the US GAAP Taxonomy and to create examples of SEC XBRL filing pieces for each of the business use cases. That will likely help people see the breaking the pieces of the US GAAP Taxonomy down into meta patterns makes the taxonomy easier to understand and that the meta patterns can be leveraged to help make working with these business use cases easier for business users. This will also help to create a more consistent US GAAP Taxonomy.

  • BUC01 Simple Hierarchy. Accounting use case. One level hierarchy.  No calculation relations.
  • BUC02 Hierarchy. Variation of Hierarchy. Multi-level nested hierarchy.
  • BUC03 Simple Roll Up. Accounting use case. Computation where A + B + n = C. Simple roll up.  No nesting of calculations.
  • BUC04 Nested Roll Up. Variation of Roll Up. Nesting one calculation inside another calculation.
  • BUC05 Inverted Roll Up. Variation of Roll Up. Multi-level nested calculations.
  • BUC06 Multiple Roll Ups. Variation of Roll Up. One concept calculated in more than one way forcing calculations to be separated by extended links.
  • BUC07 Simple Roll Forward. Accounting use case. Computation where beginning balance + changes = ending balance. Simple roll forward analysis. Also known as movement analysis.
  • BUC08 Complex Roll Forward. Variation of Roll Forward. Movement of more than one concept modelled using items.
  • BUC09 Simple Compound Fact. Accounting use case. Concepts which make up a set which must go together. This is actually another pattern with at least one more measure (dimension).
  • BUC10 Repeating Concept. Variation of Compound Fact. Simple compound concept which repeats.
  • BUC11 Multiple Periods Compound Concept. Variation of Compound Fact. Simple compound concept which has more than one period disclosed within the compound concept.
  • BUC12 Roll Forward in Compound Concept.  Variation of Roll Forward. Variation of Compound Fact. Roll Forward within a compound concept.
  • BUC13 Nested Compound. Concept Variation of Compound Fact. Compound concept within another compound concept.
  • BUC14 Reconciliation of Balance. Accounting use case. Reconciliation of one instant to another instant.  (This is NOT a roll forward as the reconciling items are instants, not durations, and the balance concepts are different concepts, not the same.)
  • BUC15 Text Block. Accounting use case. Many Facts modelled as a block of text.
  • BUC16 Restatement. Accounting use case. Restatement of income.
  • BUC17 Reissue Report. Accounting use case. Reissuance of an entire report.
  • BUC18 Reclassification. Accounting use case. Reclassification of prior balances on a report to conform to current period classifications.
  • BUC19 Prose. Accounting use case. Information containing multiple paragraphs, tables, lists, etc. which must appear in a particular order to be meaningful.
  • BUC20 General Comment. Accounting use case. Using XBRL Footnotes to express general comments. Shows the difference between using standard roles and custom roles.
  • BUC21 Pivot Table. Accounting use case. One concept used in a number of axis.  Common for a segment breakdown.  Data is similar to a pivot table. Multiple business segments.
  • BUC22 Reason Not Reported. Accounting use case. Explaining why a piece of information has not been reported.
  • BUC23 Simple Roll Forward Using Measure. Alternate technical approach to Roll Forward. Simple movement analysis modelled by Barry Smith's approach.  (This is the approach the IFRS is pushing)
  • BUC24 Complex Roll Forward Measure. Alternate technical approach to Roll Forward. Movement of more than one concept modelled using axis.
  • BUC25 Escaped XHTML. Alternative technical approach to Text Block. Same as the Simple Compound Fact, but expressed as one table in HTML for better formatting control.
  • BUC26 Using JSON. Alternative technical approach to Text Block. Same as the Simple Compound Fact, but expressing the compound fact using the JSON syntax.
  • BUC27 Flow. Accounting use case. Shows the notion of flow within a business report and how the ordering or sequencing is important and can be achieved.
  • BUC28 Other Relations. Accounting use case.  Other more complex computations not covered by Roll Up, Roll Forward, Adjustment, or Variance. Other relations, usually complex computations
  • BUC29 Variance. Accounting use case. Variance between actual and budgeted.
  • BUC30 Classes. Alternate technical approach to Roll Up. Shows the notion of class.  Compare and contrast this to the Simple Roll Up.
  • BUC31 Add Members Without Extension. Alternate technical approach to creating Measures. Show how extension can be achieve without the need to extend an XBRL taxonomy.
  • BUC34 Adjustment. Accounting use case. Adjustment of a balance between two report dates. Calendar time remains constant.
  • BUC35 Grouped Report. Variation of Compound Fact. Fact Group which contains multiple Measures unique to the Fact Group.
  • BUC99 Non Financial Information. Variation of Compound Fact. Non financial information can be expressed in XBRL as well as financial information.

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