« Watch Out for SEC's Fraud Fighting, XBRL-based RoboCop | Main | Financial Reporting Trends, Tool for Accounting Analysis »

Hitachi Interactive Data: Persistent Errors Inhibit Consumers from Using XBRL Data

The Hitachi Interactive Data blog has an article by Tammy Whitehouse who interviewed Mike Willis of PWC, Persistent Errors Inhibit Consumers from Using XBRL Data. The article discusses errors in SEC XBRL financial filings.  Here is an example of one of those errors, balance sheets which do not balance.

So, of about 8,000 SEC XBRL filings I looked at, 7,973 (99.67%) had balance sheets where "assets" and "liabilities and equity" are equal. This is what one would expect.

But, 27 of those filers (.33%) had balance sheets which did NOT balance.  Granted, a handful of these (I think it was 7) were off by $1 or $2.  But, how hard would it have been to round those numbers so that the balance sheets did balance?  I speculate that this is what many of the 7,973 did.

The list below provides links to the filings so you can view them in the free XBRL Cloud Viewer.  The link takes you directly to the balance sheet and in most cases directly to either assets or liabilities and equity.  You can see for yourself that the balance sheet does not balance. Look at the graphic below, it helps you understand where to look in the viewer. 

Note the green circles which indicates balance sheet periods which balance and the red which indicates that they do not balance (the screen shot is of this specific filing):

SEC XBRL financial filings which had a balance sheet which does not balance:

Don't think that this is perhaps the only error in these filings or other filings.  A balance sheet which does not balance is likely indicative of other errors.

Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:12AM by Registered CommenterCharlie | CommentsPost a Comment

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.