A Compliance Week, Even With SEC XBRL Guidance, Problems Persist, has some pretty strong statements:
“XBRL has been a failure since the beginning,” says Dave Frankel, an independent consultant with SlingStone Group, formerly with EDGAR Online. “The SEC had the right idea but didn’t commit to it fully. This latest guidance is kind of a weak attempt to get things moving in the right direction. Most in the industry are skeptical whether it will have any effect.”
“The way data quality is being managed around this whole initiative has been terrible,” he [Campbell Pryde] says. “I don’t think it could be any worse. There’s been very little communication from the SEC, so there hasn’t been a strong incentive for folks to get it correct. It’s a cycle, and hopefully the SEC attention to this should start to break the cycle.”
“I think the data is pretty useful even as it is,” Ghai says [Pranav Ghai, co-founder of Calcbench]. “Obviously changes need to be made, but we can make great use of the data, and we do.”
While the data quality situation is certainly not great, it is far, far from a failure. Currently 19% of all SEC XBRL financial filings I analyzed satisfy a set of 7 minimum criteria for making basic use of the information and 95% of all filers are 5 or fewer errors from meeting that criteria.
It will be interesting to see how many "All stars" I find for the 2014 SEC XBRL financial filings.