Quarterly XBRL-based Public Company Financial Report Quality Measurement
Friday, September 1, 2017 at 12:41PM
Charlie in Becoming an XBRL Master Craftsman, Digital Financial Reporting

The graphic below shows the results of my quarterly fundamental accounting concept relations continuity cross checks of XBRL-based financial reports of public companies which are submitted to the SEC.

I have been measuring specific fundamental accounting information of public company XBRL-based financial reports being submitted to the SEC for going on four years now.  The quality of the information reported continually increases each time measurements are taken, which is a good sign.

But now in addition; what I am seeing is a specific set of filing agents/software vendors which have repeatable processes which are beginning to consistently yield high quality results per my specific measurements.  In the graphic below you can see that Merrill, Thunderdome (RDG Filings), Donnelley Financial Solutions, and DataTracks each are creating 99% of the XBRL-based public company financial reports which are completely consistent with my full set of fundamental accounting concept relations continuity cross checks.

Those four filing agents/software vendors represent almost 30% of all public company filings to the SEC. Another four filing agents/software vendors are closing in on 99% of all their XBRL-based reports being consistent with these basic accounting relations.

This is NOT to say that entire reports are correct or that 99%, which is only approaching Sigma Level 4, is sufficient.  My view is that the appropriate quality target is Sigma Level 6 which equates to 99.99966%.  The important piece of information, I believe, is that reliable and repeatable processes are beginning to appear from multiple software vendors/filing agents.  That statement is verifiable using empirical evidence of 100% of the filer population.  This provides good information about what it takes to get XBRL-based reporting which uses the full power of extensibility offered by XBRL to work reliably and predictably.

People might want to reach out to these software vendors/filing agents to see how they achieve these results.

(Click image for larger view)

Beginning in one or two quarters I will be adding additional measurements to my battery of testing. Ultimately, the goal will be to measure an entire report so that defects can be reduced to that Sigma Level 6 target.

**********************PRIOR RESULTS**********************

Previous fundamental accounting concept relations consistency results reported: May 31, 2017March 31, 2017November 28, 2016August 31, 2016June 30, 2016March 31, 2016February 29, 2016January 31, 2016December 31, 3015November 30, 2015October 31, 2015September 30, 2015August 31, 2015July 31, 2015June 30, 2015May 29, 2015April 1, 2015November 29, 2014.

Information helpful to understanding errors

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (http://xbrl.squarespace.com/).
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