I realized this weekend that I was looking at something incorrectly. Fact its, I have been looking for a more detailed way to break apart the US GAAP Taxonomy and it had been there all the time, I was not looking at it correctly. What I did this weekend on my little Exemplars and XBRL Techniques and Trends project helped me realize my mistake.
This link will take you directly to a specific page in my Exemplar viewer. It is the same viewer, just a short cut to a specific contents page.
The piece I had been looking at incorrectly is what I now call the "Component". I used to look at this as an "information model", but an information model is a characteristic of a component. Let me define "Component" in the context of the other pieces in the US GAAP Taxonomy:
- Network: Networks are over rated right now because the SEC interactive data viewer uses them to put pieces of an SEC XBRL filing in certain places using networks. In reality, networks are more syntax than semantics. Networks are needed to separate conflicts which would otherwise occur should they not exist. People will realize that it is best to ignore this syntax and use other ways to organize the pieces of an XBRL taxonomy. (Note below how the frame work organizes a flow of the Tables.)
- Table: A Table is an organization of components or concepts which go together in some way for some purpose and share the same [Axis]. What the Table contains or needs to contain defines the table. Every table should be unique.
- Component: A component is a piece of a Table. A component has an information model, a component is modeled in a specific way. It could be a [Roll Forward], a [Roll Up], a [Hierarchy], an [Adjustment], a [Grid], a [Text Block]. Maybe more information models will be discovered, but I could model all relations by one of these models as the US GAAP Taxonomy stands today. (Note that [Abstract] is NOT an information model. My viewer shows two of these, but they are errors and shown to make a point.)
- Concept: A component is made up of concepts. A concept is the lowest building block of a taxonomy. Concepts are organized into components. Components are expressed within a Table.
There is one more term I am using, I really don't particularly care for the term, I am looking for a better term. But as it stands now, the term I use is "Framework". A framework some sort of organization of the pieces of the taxonomy, the Tables, Components, Concepts.
In my example, the framework I used is based on the Accounting Standards Codification(ASC). But I modified those "Topics" to suit my needs a little better. This is a rendering of that framework with the Tables of the US GAAP Taxonomy "mapped" to each topic. There are other organizations of the information. A "pure" ASC organization, by the Accounting Trends and Techniques table of contents, by the Wiley US GAAP Guide table of concepts, by some industry specific organization, by some disclosure checklist, or by a company's preferred organization.
If you look at the HTML rendering of the framework (the link above), you will notice that it looks a lot like the XBRL taxonomy renderings. That is becuase it is expressed as an XBRL taxonomy. Here are the relationships expressed as an XML info set of the business reporting logical model. I have this expressed in RDF also. What is the point? The XML and RDF is readable by a computer application. You can read all this stuff into a software application. Changing the configuration is as easy as creating presentation relations in an XBRL taxonomy. This is better done using an XBRL definition linkbase because you can assign roles to better explain the relations.
All this is there. If the US GAAP Taxonomy were organized in this manner in the first place and if it were more consistent, no one would have to go through all the work I am having to go through to make it consistent and organized in a more reusable form.
If you don't see the difference between my organiztion of select sections of the US GAAP taxonomy and the official "as published" version, compare the two. The differences will become evident. Here is an HTML rendering of most of the commercial and industrial companies entry pointof the 2011 US GAAP Taxonomy you can use to come my reorgnaized version with the origional version.