I tend to be a big picture person. I have to understand the big picture in order to be sure I am considering the right details. Rene van Egmond and I created the Financial Report Semantics and Dynamics Theory back in 2012 to get our heads around digital financial reporting.
But I can be incredibly detailed oriented also. Rene and I came up with what was included in the first version of the Financial Report Semantics and Dynamics Theory based on years of analyzing what we called "patterns". I then backed into the axioms and theorems that made up the theory based on observations made of every XBRL-based financial filing of public companies for fiscal year 2011. I used a combination of commercial software and tools that I built, but I mainly had to rely on my tools because the commercially available software did not do the trick.
I repeated that process for fiscal year 2012 XBRL-based filings and then again for 2013 XBRL-based filings. This lead to an understanding of what I called "the minimum criteria", the fundamental accounting concepts and relations between concepts, report frames, and classes and relations between classes.
I repeated the process again for 2013 a couple of times using incrementally improving commercially available software and relying less on the limited software that I could create. That ultimately led to a prototype which incorporated all of these ideas using mostly commercially available software and some HTML pages I created to summarize results the way I wanted to see them.
All that testing lead to significantly improved knowledge which I have incorporated into an improved version of the Financial Report Semantics and Dynamics Theory. You can go read the document, all changes can be seen as I left track changes on for now. Both the additional testing and software implementations contributed to tuning the axioms and theorems which literally explain the semantics and dynamics of a digital financial report. This document is proving very helpful in contributing to getting software created which is useful to business professionals. The document is basically a communications tool.
The next step is to incorporate all of this information into the Digital Financial Reporting Principles document and then the Digital Financial Reporting book. Eventually, all this information will be organized and synthesized into one resource for professional accountant. But to do that, I need some software which hides the unimportant technical details from business professionals. That software is slowly making its way into the market.
Why go through all of this effort? Here is a reading list that will help you understand.
- Disclosure Checklist: This is one goal, automating as much of this disclosure checklist as possible. This provides additional details.
- Relation between expressiveness and reasoning capacity: This helps you understand what is necessary to achieve automation.
- Digital financial reporting harnesses computers for speed, accuracy: This helps you understand the sorts of things that can be automated.
- Digital financial reporting will change accounting work practices: This helps you understand the sorts of things that can be automated.
- Understanding Digital Financial Reporting: This provides additional details.