I through together a quick and dirty accounting policy viewer prototype using the SECXBRL.info web service API. There are two interfaces, both of which are HTML based. This one is HTML5 and uses iFrames. If that does not work for you, try this alternative interface which does not use iFrames (which I could have goofed up).
- Total time to create: about 2 hours. (Of course, I spent 3+ years working to understand SEC XBRL financial filings)
- Skills required: Accounting knowledge, Microsoft Access, XPath, Microsoft XML Parser, HTML (i.e. no XBRL knowledge required
- Number of filings searched: S&P 500 only
- Queries used: total of 2. Step one was to find the filings which had the disclosure I was looking for, I picked us-gaap:AdvertisingCostsPolicyTextBlock. Step two was to use the information returned from the step one query to get the actual policy for each of the companies which reported that policy.
- Number of text blocks available to query: Lots. See here in HTML and here in XML.
- Value of XBRL-based information: Priceless.
Next step is to do more policies and create my first iPad/iPhone application! (Maybe)