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Moving from “any” to “Best” practice: The Future of Instance Creation Today. The Evolution of the Instance Track 1 - Interactive Data Creation Eric E. Cohen. Background.

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moving from any to best practice the future of instance creation today

Moving from “any” to “Best” practice: The Future of Instance Creation Today

The Evolution of the Instance

Track 1 - Interactive Data Creation

Eric E. Cohen

  • 11:00am - 11:30amMoving from "any" to "BEST" practice: The Future of Instance Creation, TodayEric E. Cohen, CPA, XBRL Global Technical Leader, PwC, Rochester, NYInstance documents are the vessel in which organizations express their business reporting facts with XBRL. From the time the first XBRL instance documents were lovingly hand-crafted to today's leading edge, fully automated and integrated solutions, the tools, processes and techniques necessary to efficiently create high-quality information expressed in XBRL have continually be on the advance. In this overview of the "state of the art" in instance document creation, you will learn:  - Foundational stages in the instance document creation process  - Bolt-on, built-in, embedded - benefits and compromises of various manual and automated approaches -The parties involved in best practices, improving data quality and otherwise improving the process and output of instance creation.
  • Instance Document
    • 1. Creation
    • 2. Collection
    • 3. Sharing
    • 6. Technology and Best Practices
welcome interactive data creation
Welcome: Interactive Data Creation
  • 1100: The Future of Instance Creation, Today
  • 1130: Lessons Learned from SEC Rollout and Impact on FASB UGFRT
  • 1200: How Preparers Should Apply the IFRS Taxonomy
  • 1400: Data Quality for XBRL
  • 1430: XBRL for Small Business Reporting in Italy
  • 1500: XBRL Detail Tagging by a European Company
  • 16:00: Inline XBRL in the UK
  • 16:30: XBRL US Csuite and Best Practices WG
  • 17:00: Data Quality Panel: Quality Absolutes and Relatives
business reporting supply chain
Business Reporting Supply Chain


Global Ledger



“Financial Reporting”












Economic Policymaking





and Data














Regulators and Administrators

Software Vendors and Service Providers

Leveraging standardization and collaboration to facilitate the evolution of business information creation, publication, collection, consumption and analysis.

from any to best
From “Any” to “Best”
  • XBRL was developed with our combined vision
    • From its first roots
      • to standardize financial statements , quickly morphing
      • to integrating business reporting data and streamlining all of the BRSC processes
  • Evolved into
    • Taxonomies: Shared understanding plus formalization of specialized understanding (extensions)
      • Filling in the missing gaps of XML Schema
      • Record oriented data and hypercube/OLAP
    • Instance documents: business information associated with connections to the taxonomies
  • As with any “model”, it is one of many ways of expressing the information – however, it is formalized
    • Other syntaxes may be relevant for lossless translation
    • Questionable whether other syntaxes are suitable for the full scope of XBRL

From faithful representation

To document of record

To incredibly granular fact set

How many facts?

many variables
Many Variables
  • Public vs private
    • Are instances available to third parties as-is?
  • Open vs closed
    • May taxonomies be extended/customized?
  • Fixed vs flexible
    • Is it a form? A report? Can it contain optional information? Can it contain information other than what is part of the reporting environment?
  • Document vs data
    • Is existing taxonomy a structure on which every should be built upon (oo – general-special) tightly or loosely
interactive data simplified
Interactive Data, simplified

Base Taxonomy





Instance document

(.xml, .xbrl)

Schema (.xsd)

Presentation (.xml)

Label (.xml)

Calculation (.xml)

Schema (.xsd)

Definition (.xml)

Presentation (.xml)

Reference (.xml)

Label (.xml)

Calculation (.xml)

Formula (.xml)

Definition (.xml)

Reference (.xml)

Formula (.xml)

TOO BIG TO TWEET: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<xbrli:xbrlxmlns:xbrli=""xmlns:xbrll="" …

many available tools
Many Available “Tools”
  • The Specification(s) provide a number of powerful tools, which taxonomy and instance creators can leverage to tell their own story
  • “Many tools” translates to many applicable choices
    • Line item vs domain members (what defines the “y” axis?)
    • Tuples vs. dimensions for groupings
    • Hard coded axes
      • Contexts vs. date elements (line items, domain members)
      • Context vs. entity elements (ditto)
    • Best laid plans vs. ad-hoc
      • cwa, similar-tuple, calculation linkbase
evolution context vs content
Evolution: Context vs. Content

Dimensions and the Context (segment/scenario)

You put chocolate in my peanut butter – no you put peanut butter in my chocolate!

foundational stages in the instance document creation process
Foundational stages in the instance document creation process 
  • Identification of population to be tagged
  • Mapping
    • Association of dynamic or static content to the primary item/axis/domain member
  • Creation: bring the …
    • Document to taxonomy
    • Taxonomy to document
    • Taxonomy to information
bolt on built in embedded
Bolt-on, built-in, embedded
  • Bolt-on
    • After-the-fact: do what you are doing now, plus more
    • It may involve software within the reporting organization or entry into a web site or other tool
  • Built-in
    • Parallel process of traditionally formatted and XBRL formatted
      • Parallel process of instance “only”
      • Parallel process of instance plus schema
      • Parallel process of instance, schema and linkbases
  • Embedded
    • XBRL (and potentially) XBRL GL used to facilitate the data getting to the finish line
tool and rule evolution
“Tool and Rule” Evolution
  • Creation, well-formedness
    • Visual N++, vi plus Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Creation, well-formedness, XML validity
    • XML Editor
  • Creation, well-formedness, XBRL validity
    • XBRL Instance Creator
      • After the fact
        • Spreadsheet, word processor, starting with the document)
        • Template, based on taxonomy or other design
        • Smart Parsers
      • Parallel and Before the fact
        • Database mapping tools
        • Dynamic document editors that pull changing data from databases
        • Integration to ERP GL and Financial Reporter

XML … XML DTD … XML Schema (schemaLocation) … XBRL (schemaRef) … Rules* … Formula**

* e.g., Schematron, Relax NG, Consistency Suite **Including benchmarking

benefits and compromises of various manual and automated approaches
Benefits and compromises of various manual and automated approaches
  • Manual
    • Low impact
    • Low internal benefit
  • Built-in
    • Low to Medium impact
    • Last mile advantages
  • Embedded
    • High impact
    • High risk
    • High potential benefit
the parties involved
The Parties Involved
  • Defining the requirements
    • From FRTA (1.0, 1.5) and FRIS to EFM, GFM
    • GLTFTA
  • Developing best practices
    • Bringing additional consistency where mandates didn’t make sense
  • Promoting and improving data quality
    • Overseers, reviewers and consumers
    • e.g., SOP 09-1, AUPs
  • Improving the process and output of instance creation
  • Creators
    • Move from ULLMM to covered under corporate governance
    • In/Out House/Source
  • Developer Community

How does management quality and controls evolve? How does assurance evolve?

How does discover and usage evolve? How does information management evolve?

inline xbrl
Inline XBRL
  • Going “Backward” to Go Forward?
    • Inline - what, why, how driven
    • Alternative or Complement?
    • Fixed presentation - focus on the document, not the data; use when someone needs to put a stamp on it; presentation linkbase is one way to view; Inline XBRL is one way to view 

Session TR305: iXBRL in Denmark

Session TR208: Inline XBRL … in the UK

background on ixbrl
Background on iXBRL

If <bold>700</bold> was good, and <sales>700</sales> is better, isn’t <bold><sales>700</sales></bold> even better?

adding metadata inline
Adding Metadata … Inline








Property, Plant and Equipment 2010

in millions of British pounds



<b> £

<ix:nonFraction name="pt:TangibleFixedAssets" contextRef="e2010" id="s2-1" precision="4" scale=“6” unitRef="GBP">







the ixbrl document set
The iXBRL Document Set

one or more Inline XBRL Documents

one or more Target Documents


XBRL Instance 1

Transformation through standard mapping rules


XBRL Instance 2

XBRL Instance m



<ix:nonNumericxmlns:gl-cor="" contextRef="now" name="gl-cor:documentType" order="3" tupleRef="tuple.10">invoice</ix:nonNumeric>


<ix:nonNumericxmlns:gl-bus="" contextRef="now" name="gl-bus:measurableID" order="1" tupleRef="tuple.22.2">MSX1288</ix:nonNumeric></td><td>

<ix:nonNumericxmlns:gl-bus="" contextRef="now" name="gl-bus:measurableDescription" order="2" tupleRef="tuple.22.2">Gold tone foot measurer</ix:nonNumeric> </td><td>

<ix:nonFractionxmlns:gl-bus="" contextRef="now" format="ixt:numcomma" decimals="-3" order="3" name="gl-bus:measurableQuantity" tupleRef="tuple.22.2" unitRef="na">9,780</ix:nonFraction></td><td>

<ix:nonFractionxmlns:gl-bus="" contextRef="now" decimals="-3" order="4" name="gl-bus:measurableCostPerUnit"tupleRef="tuple.22.2" unitRef="EUR">590</ix:nonFraction>


evolution continued
Evolution - Continued
  • Open Source
    • Arelle (
    • Others
  • Additional support
    • Data type registry
    • Unit registry
      • Will shortly be revealed

Les moulessont arrivés?