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Comparison Utility Tool

I mentioned this comparison utility tool in a prior blog post, but it is worth elaborating on a bit more.

This comparison utility tool was created by me in collaboration with Cirrus and XBRL Cloud.  I use the XML infosets of an SEC XBRL financial report provided by XBRL Cloud and ideas from Cirrus and wrote an Excel application which generates the comparison that you see below (click on the image to see a bigger image, click here to download the Excel spreasheet):

Comparison of Costco and Wal Mart Income StatementsOn the left you see the Costco income statement.  On the right you see the Wal Mart income statement.  Between the two you see red cells and green cells.  The green cells have the row number of the matching report element within the other financial report component being compared.  Yellow highlighting indicates no matching report element, white rows indicate that there was a match. Downloading the Excel spreadsheet and looking at it makes it more clear how this works.

The Excel spreadsheet has the income statement and balance sheet comparisons.  But, you can compare any two components from any SEC XBRL financial filing.  While this is helpful for looking at the primary financial statements, it is even more helpful in analyzing the many disclosures. You can also use this comparison tool to look at changes between the 2012 and 2013 US GAAP Taxonomy.

This comparison is useful because how other reporting entities model a component of a financial report is good information which can be used to be sure you are modeling your financial report appropriately.  This is particularly true if the other reporting entity is in your peer group.

If you are interested in using this comparison utility please contact Cirrus, XBRL Cloud, or send me an email.

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 06:49AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in , | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)


It seems to me based on a look at what you've provided this could be applicable to risk/return data as well. Items such as ExpenseExampleYear01, ExpenseExampleYear03 which are monetary if that's a requirement. Or, items such Annual Fund Operating Expense or Average Annual Total Returns which are generally pure.

Does "...from any SEC XBRL financial filing..." imply that this is for GAAP data only or is that just a function of that being what XC currenly reports on?

I'm sure the design and thinking was for GAAP data as you've shown but I'd be interested in applying some risk/return data to this if possible.

Kind Regards,
Mike Boyle
January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Boyle

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