XBRL Techniques and Trends Helps You See Possibilities
Monday, March 21, 2011 at 06:44AM
Charlie in Demonstrations of Using XBRL

XBRL Techniques and Trends is a working, useful prototype I have created which helps you see some of the possibilities XBRL enables. What XBRL Techniques and Trends currently does is provide an interface which allows you to look at the XBRL taxonomies used by SEC XBRL filers. This prototype uses a set of 1474 SEC XBRL filings which I analyzed to see what the XBRL was looking like.

You can sort the list of filings by company name, form type, SIC code/description and the one I find most interesting by accounting topic. The way the accounting topic sort works is that I look at the filings by network and put similar networks together on one web page.  This is quite easy to do.

If you have ever used the popular AICPA publication Accounting Trends and Techniques, you can probably use your imagination and see what might be possible here. My first prototype of what XBRL could bring to something like Accounting Trends and Techniques was over ten years ago and contributed to selling the idea of what was to become XBRL to others. I show the XBRL taxonomy because it is easy and because I am not a programmer. Think of not the XBRL taxonomy being shown, rather imagine the actual piece of the XBRL filing rendered to look just like in the financial statement. All the XBRL information is in structured form easily readable by computer software applications.

While Accounting Trends and Techniques uses only 600 filings because the process of putting that resource together is highly manual in nature, XBRL Techniques and Trends could make available every SEC XBRL filing creating a "long tail" of useful information. One specific example would be industry specific examples of disclosures for every industry and every type of disclosure. Another example of the possibilities is research.

What ideas do you have?

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (http://xbrl.squarespace.com/).
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