Financial Reporting Metadata
Friday, June 8, 2018 at 01:51PM
Charlie

I am taking another stab at reorganizing some things to make them more logical and simpler.  This is a work in progress, but I am using this page, Financial Reporting Metadata, to get organized.  I am concerning myself with both US GAAP financial reporting, IFRS financial reporting, and general business reporting as a way to get things properly organized.

People have a tendency to make this stuff harder than it really needs to be.  Here are some things that drive me crazy:

  1. Nonstandard document formats: Some regulators only publish taxonomies and reports in ZIP files.  That is fine for providing supplemental copies of things, but use standard XBRL which can be directly read into any XBRL processor without having to jump through extra hoops such as unzipping the ZIP file.  The US SEC does an excellent job of making things directly readable.  There are some issues with automatic redirection of "http" to "https". Some software does not read taxonomy files correctly as a result.
  2. Nonstandard documentation: Provide as much documentation as possible in standard XBRL.  The use of XBRL label linkbases for providing commentary and XBRL reference linkbases for referencing to external resources and even examples is good.  Publishing things in PDF, Excel, Word, and other formats that are (a) nonstandard and (b) not linked to other related and relevant information is not good.
  3. Unnecessary variability: Engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming defined quality as "predictability," and called variance "the enemy of quality." Different regulators doing things differently for no logical reason makes little sense, causes confusion, makes things more complicated unnecessarily, and really is sloppy and shows someone is not doing their homework.
  4. Insuffecient metadata: It blows my mind that public companies cannot even create XBRL-based financial reports and they still cannot get the high-level accounting concepts correct.  I have been measuring these reports for going on seven years.  Business rules prevent anarchy.

 

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (http://xbrl.squarespace.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.