Introduction to the Multidimensional Model for Professional Accountants
Friday, March 18, 2016 at 02:01PM
Charlie in Becoming an XBRL Master Craftsman

The law of conservation of complexity states:

"Every application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: Who will have to deal with it-the user, the application developer, or the platform developer?"

I put together a video and a slide deck that helps professional accountants understand the multidimensional model.  Understanding the multidimensional model is important if you want to correctly understand digital financial reports. Understanding the model also helps you understand how to look at software to see if the creators of that software chose to have you deal with complexity of if they dealt with complexity for you.

Just like an electronic spreadsheet has a model (workbook, spreadsheet, row, column, cell); a digital financial report has a model.  Here are the high-level pieces of a digital financial report:

Believe it or not, but 100% of XBRL-based public company financial reports fit into that rather simple model.  A handful of software vendors have implemented that model.  It is very easy to create something that is complicated.  It is a lot harder to create something that is simple.

I will continue to improve and otherwise tune this model.  If you have feedback or suggestions, please send them along. The next step is for me to improve the document Understanding Blocks, Slots, Templates, and Examplars. That explains the next layer of the model.

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (
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