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ACG 4401. Introduction to XBRL. What is a Supply Chain?. Financial Reporting Supply Chain. Financial Reporting Supply Chain. Who’s in the Supply Chain? all stages of the preparation, approval, audit, analysis, and use of financial reports.

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acg 4401

ACG 4401

Introduction to XBRL

financial reporting supply chain1
Financial Reporting Supply Chain
  • Who’s in the Supply Chain?
    • all stages of the preparation, approval, audit, analysis, and use of financial reports.
    • Participants in the financial reporting supply chain include:
      • accountants working within organizations, company management, boards of directors, audit committees, outside auditors, standard setters, regulators, investment bankers, lawyers, credit rating agencies, investors, and others.
the international federation of accountants financial reporting supply chain survey results 2007
The International Federation of Accountants Financial Reporting Supply Chain Survey Results (2007)
  • Financial Reports have become less useful
    • Complexity
    • Burdens of Compliance
      • cause "the essence of the business" to be overlooked.
    • Similar results were found in the 2008 follow-up survey
the international federation of accountants financial supply chain survey 2008
The International Federation of Accountants Financial Supply Chain Survey 2008
  • “despite improvements to the financial reporting process, the usefulness of financial reports has not improved much. The reliability of financial reports has certainly increased and so has the relevance of the information that they provide, but not their understandability.”
  • “Examples of improvements include easier access to financial information (due to progress in web-based information and in XBRL)…”
so what is xbrl
So what is XBRL?
  • A tool to create efficiency in the Financial Reporting Supply Chain
  • But First......
networks and connectivity
Networks and Connectivity
  • What is the primary problem with networking/connectivity?
    • Software applications that do not understand each other … therefore special interfaces must be designed & maintained, etc.
    • And humans have different understandings and views of data and information produced by the applications
electronic data interchange edi
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Computer-Computer Exchange of Data
  • Business Data
  • Direct processing
  • Standardized
    • ANSI X12
      • US and Canada
      • International
xml in business
XML in Business
  • What if you need to move information from one business application to another within your organization?
  • What if you have data in a number of different databases that you frequently need to integrate, compare, share internally?
  • What if you need to share information with trading partners & others outside your organization?
  • XML provides the necessary rules, syntax & structure to make it possible!
  • How can you appropriately structure information exchanges so that they can be seamless & efficient?
    • There are 2 parts to the solution:
    • 1) Metadata – adding data about the data … data that gives the data more meaning
      • “Tags” give meaning to the Data
    • 2) Agreement on structure of the data being shared … an agreed upon vocabulary defining the rules the metadata must follow
      • Taxonomies create this structure
      • In addition, the solution must be general enough to be able to be applied universally!
tags give meaning to the data
Tags give meaning to the Data
  • <?xml version="1.0" ?>
  • <transactions>
  • <transaction_794144497>
  • <id>794144497</id>
  • <type>Object Sale</type>
  • <description>GazeboGiver</description>
  • <deposit>200</deposit>
  • <time>2008-03-13 23:14:32</time>
  • <resident>Jumphere Carver</resident>
  • <end_balance>17201</end_balance>
  • </transaction_794144497>
  • <transaction_789465371>
  • <id>789465371</id>
  • <type>Stipend Base</type>
  • <description></description>
  • <deposit>400</deposit>
  • <time>2008-03-11 02:54:20</time>
  • <resident>SYSTEM</resident>
  • <end_balance>17001</end_balance>
  • </transaction_789465371>
  • Extensible Markup Language
  • Markup?
    • Data being exchanged
      • Sent from computer-to-computer (intra and inter-organizationally)
    • Defining the data
      • Enclosing the data with descriptions of what the data is
        • <> Tags used to enclose data
  • Used to create Vocabularies
    • Standardized sets of tags (kind of like EDI)
    • XBRL is one such vocabulary
    • UBL is another
xbrl what is it
XBRL: What is it?

XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a royalty-free, open specification for software that uses XML data tags to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. XBRL benefits all members of the financial information supply chain by utilizing a standards-based method with which users can prepare, publish in a variety of formats, exchange and analyze financial statements and the information they contain.  The world's leading accounting, financial, government and software organizations are involved in the adoption and use of XBRL in the U.S.

xbrl defined
XBRL Defined
  • A Vocabulary
  • Adds Meaning and Context to:
    • Accounting
    • Financial
    • Business Performance
  • Turns data into Information
    • Understandable
      • Humans and Computer applications
    • Reusable
interactive data
Interactive Data
  • XBRL
    • Liberates financial data from financial documents
    • How do we validate the data?
      • Huge opportunity for CPA’s
  • adds meaning and context to accounting, financial, and other business performance data, making it understandable, reusable, and precisely interpretable by computer applications.
  • is used to tag each piece of data in a standard way so that it becomes a piece of information that can be validated, stored, and processed by computerized applications.
  • is an XML-based tool box to make computerized accounting and financial and business reporting more effective and efficient.
  • enhances the value of accounting and financial reporting by specifying a standard way to tag “facts” reported by a specific entity, at a specific time, in a specific currency, and under identifiable accounting guidelines (e.g. US GAAP, IFRS).
  • facts can be identified, addressed individually, analyzed in relation to other facts, and reused for other purposes.


Beyond original intended use

Extended by End User

Tags extend use



Financial Statement Reporting







Vocabulary based on XML

Extensible Markup Language

Rules for describing data

xbrl specification 2 1 november 2005
XBRL Specification 2.1 (November 2005)
  • Defines rules and syntax for XBRL documents
    • Taxonomies
      • Dictionaries of standard tags
    • Instance
      • Contain “facts” and meta-data
instances and taxonomies
Instances and Taxonomies
  • Instance Document
    • An instance of a companies financial reporting
      • What company
      • What period
      • What currency
      • What purpose
      • What information
  • Taxonomy
    • Dictionary of what tags can be used to mark-up data
xbrl information
XBRL Information
  • Once in tagged format does NOT need to be re-entered
    • So HTML statement for SEC
    • Glossy Printed Annual report for investors
    • HTML for investor section of web page
  • Eliminate human error
who is behind xbrl
Who is behind XBRL
  • Securities Exchange Commission
    • Public filings are currently voluntarily filed in XBRL format
    • Mandatory public filings coming soon...
    • Interactive Data!
    • Efficiencies to the accounting profession
    • Re-use of data without manual re-entering
  • XBRL International
    • Non-profit Organization
    • Creates Standards
  • XBRL U.S.
    • Charged with creating US GAAP taxonomy
xbrl milestones
XBRL Milestones
  • XBRL Timeline
sec rule 33 9002
SEC Rule 33-9002
  • Mandates the 3-year phase-in of XBRL for corporations
  • beginning with the financial statements and block-tagged note disclosures for the 10-Q filings of large accelerated filers for periods ending on or after June 15, 2009.
  • Includes a lower bar on liability for the XBRL filings than for those in HTML or text format.
  • The rule prescribes that interactive filings are ‘‘deemed not filed for purposes of specified liability provisions”
    • The XBRL filings are ‘‘furnished” as an exhibit and not necessarily ‘‘filed.”
  • When the instance document is furnished in the second year, filers are required to detail tag the notes and explanatory disclosures
    • in addition to providing the block-tagged notes.
  • Other filers will phase-in by 2011
    • including foreign filers that will use the IFRS XBRL taxonomy.
the xbrl structure
The XBRL Structure
  • Tags
    • Description of what data is
      • <Assets>1000</Assets>
      • Meta-data converts data to information
  • Attributes
    • Meta-data (data describing data)
      • <Assets bType = “debit”>1000</Assets>
  • Relationships
    • Is something described as <Inventory> related to <Assets> ?
xbrl lets put it all together
XBRL – Lets put it all together
  • Instance Document
    • Contain tags describing data
    • ICU Medical
  • Schema
    • Contains the definition of the tags
  • LinkBases
    • Contains relationships between tags
  • Taxonomy
    • Combination of Schemas (defining elements) and LinkBases (relating elements)
    • XBRL US
types of linkbases
Types of LinkBases
  • Presentation
    • How to organize output
      • E.g. what tags make up Current Assets
  • Calculation
    • How related tags are summed (+ or -)
  • Definition
    • Different tag names are related for the same thing
      • Inventory and Merchandise Inventory
  • Reference
    • A tag element and the standard reference (FASB) for an element
  • Label
    • Machine Readable to Human Readable
      • CashAndCashEquivalents = Cash and Cash Equivalents
columbia business school s center for excellence in accounting and security analysis
Columbia Business School’s Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis
  • “An Evaluation of the current state and future of XBRL and interactive data for investors and analysts” (Dec. 2012)
  • Interviews and surveys with:
    • preparers; regulators; analysts; investors; XBRL developers; data aggregators; XBRL filing and consumption tool developers
  • Findings:
    • “In our view, XBRL has succeeded in so far as the objective of providing users with free, interactively-available numerical data from portions of published financial statements and footnotes, as soon as they are filed with the SEC. Most of the analysts and investors we spoke with are interested in and tried to use the footnote data that are XBRL-tagged.”
    • “We have no doubt that analysis of companies will continue to be based off increasing amounts of data that are structured and delivered to users in an interactive format.”
    • “However …”