Bob Jensen's Overview and Timeline of OLAP, GML, SGML, HTML, XML, RDF, and XBRL

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Timeline Leading to XBRL

Click on Any Underlined Link in the Following Timeline

STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML, HTTP, WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML/SMIL --->RDF and OWL ---> OLAP ---> XBRL -
SEMANTIC WEB

http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic.html  and http://logicerror.com/semanticWeb-long
"Opening Search to Semantic Upstarts: Yahoo's new open-search platform is giving semantic search a helping hand," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, September 8, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/21342/?nlid=1322&a=f 

EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html
 

 

THE FUTURE OF SEARCH (or so says IBM) --- The Future of Search (or so says IBM) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#FutureOfSearch

 

From the National Science Foundation
 The Birth and Rise of the Internet --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/nsf-net/?govDel=USNSF_51

Also see Richard Jensen's (History, U of Illinois-Chicago) --- Scholars' Guide to WWW

Extended Overview of How to Publish Excel Documents as Dynamic Web Pages (Roundtripping) 

Extended Overview of OLAP

Extended Overview of HTML

Extended Overview of XML and SMIL

Extended Overview of RDF 

Extended Overview of  Metadata XBRL and Business Reporting on the Internet  (Including a tutorial on using the demos)

I created a video tutorial for XBRL.  You can download the
xbrldemos.wmv file from the following path
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/windowsmedia/

XBRL Update Threads 

VRXML for Stock Exchanges and Vendors 

Bob Jensen's threads on XML and RDF are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary (including links to accounting glossaries)  is at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm
 

Bob Jensen's Accounting Information Systems Course is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5342/index.htm 

Bob Jensen's Homepage is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ 


Timeline Leading Up to XBRL

STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

Hypertext= Pages of computer text that are authored in software allowing for non linear navigation based upon button controls, hotwords, or other controls that make sequencing of pages virtually irrelevant. Hypertext authoring packages typically differ from word processing packages that are intended primarily for preparing text for hard copy printing. Hypertext software may have options to print particular pages, but the intent is for computer use rather than printing. The key to hypertext is random access that allows lightning-fast non linear navigation based upon reader choice or other reader actions such as responses to questions. (See also Hypermedia and Timeline presentation.) Popular software terminology for hypertext early on included HyperCard "stacks," Authorware "network icons," and ToolBook "books."   The history of hypertext dates back to 1945 in the early days of computing and long before the invention of the PC by IBM.  Sun Microsystems provides a history of hypertext at http://www.sun.com/950523/columns/alertbox/history.html 

From the book Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond

1945 Vannevar Bush proposes Memex
1965 Ted Nelson coins the word "hypertext"
1967 The Hypertext Editing System and FRESS, Brown University, Andy van Dam
1968 Doug Engelbart demo of NLS system at FJCC
1975 ZOG (now KMS): CMU
1978 Aspen Movie Map, first hypermedia videodisk, Andy Lippman, MIT Architecture Machine Group (now Media Lab)
1984 Filevision from Telos; limited hypermedia database widely available for the Macintosh
1985 Symbolics Document Examiner, Janet Walker
1985 Intermedia, Brown University, Norman Meyrowitz
1986 OWL introduces Guide, first widely available hypertext
1987 Apple introduces HyperCard, Bill Atkinson
1987 Hypertext'87 first major conference on hypertext
1991 World Wide Web at CERN becomes first global hypertext, Tim Berners-Lee
1992 New York Times Book Review cover story on hypertext fiction
1993 Mosaic anointed Internet killer app, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
1993 A Hard Day's Night becomes the first full-length feature film in hypermedia
1993 Hypermedia encyclopedias sell more copies than print encyclopedias
1995 Netscape Corp. gains market value of almost $3G on first day of stock market trading

WWW Consortium's list of hypertext projects

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

PC= Personal Computer developed initially by IBM but not really appreciated for what it was worth by IBM executives who at the time believed that the future of computing would be in ever bigger and faster mainframe computers.  A short history of the PC is provided by GDS at http://www.highwaygds.net/gds/pchist.html.  Central to the PC was the development of the DOS operating system, invention of the BASIC computing language by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and later developments of GUI operating systems such as the Macintosh operating system from Apple Corporation and the Windows operating systems from Microsoft Corporation.  One of the most popular innovations was the development of laptop and notebook versions of the desktop computers.

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

GUI= An acronym for Graphical User Interface, this term refers to a software front-end meant to provide an attractive and easy to use interface between a computer user and application, which historically gave rise to the icon-based operating system of Apple Corporation computers. The GUI concept actually had its origins in the work of Alan Kay at Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the early 1969.   However, it was Apple Corporation who eventually exploited the technology that is now the fundamental basis of Mac, Windows, and other GUI operating systems that perform commands based upon bit-mapped graphics icons. This paved the way for object-oriented systems of the 1990s. 

Mouse= the first screen pointer and still the most popular GUI screen pointer that allows computer users to point, click, and drag on selected areas of a computer's screen image.  A history is provided at http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Engineering_Graphics/_EG2001/mouse/history.html 

The computer mouse has become a standard input device for modern computers. Its ease of use and the simplicity of pointing and clicking has made it as important as the keyboard.

Douge Englebert, a graduate student of electrical engineering at Berkely developed the modern mouse. Engelbat wanted to create a device that anybody could use to control a computer more naturally than a keyboard. His inspiration came from being a radar technician during World War II. In the war, he saw various types of computer input devices, some resembling the mouse. In 1959 he was granted the opportunity to pursue his goal of developing a new user interface for the computer. By 1968 Engelbat and a group of other computer scientists and electrical engineers presented their invention to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Fransisco. Amazingly, the mouse didn't catch on until the 1980s.

The mouse didn't catch on at first because even though it was an amazing innovation, there was no need for it in the early years of computing. Most computers were simple text-only telescreens with no cursor arrows. It wasn't until the graphical interfaces that became popular in the 1980s that the mouse became widely used.

The first computer to come equipped with a mouse was the Xerox Star, an office computer introduced in the early 1970s. However, the mouse became popular when it was included with the Apple Lisa in 1983. Since then, the mouse has become increasingly more advanced and complex. Additional buttons and track wheels have been added in addition to the original two buttons. The optical mouse is a revolutionary advance in mouse technology. Because it does not have any moving parts, dirt getting caught in the gears is no longer a problem. Instead of a ball and gears, it uses a beam of light to track location on a surface. Another advantage is that it can operate on any non-reflective surface.

Englehart also came up with a larger, foot-operated control called a rat, but it never caught on.

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

GML and SGML= acronyms for Generalized Markup Language and Standardized Generalize Markup Language.  GML text scripting was conceived in1969 IBM researchers depicting Generalized Markup Languages (and not-so-coincidentally the lead researchers were named Goldfarb, Mosher, and Lorie).   It had its roots in the development of "tags" that could describe blocks of computer code, especially code dealing with document formats. You can read the following historical account at http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/sgmlhist0.html 

Also in the late 1960s, a New York book designer named Stanley Rice proposed the idea of a universal catalog of parameterized 'editorial structure' tags. Norman Scharpf, director of the GCA, recognized the significance of these trends, and established a generic coding project in the Composition Committee.

The committee developed the 'GenCode(R) concept', recognizing that different generic codes were needed for different kinds of documents, and that smaller documents could be incorporated as elements of larger ones. The project evolved into the GenCode Committee, which later played an instrumental role in the development of the SGML standard.

2. GML and SGML: languages for generic coding

In 1969, Charles Goldfarb was leading an IBM research project on integrated law office information systems. Together with Edward Mosher and Raymond Lorie he invented the Generalized Markup Language (GML) as a means of allowing the text editing, formatting, and information retrieval subsystems to share documents.

GML (which, not coincidentally, comprises the initials of its three inventors) was based on the generic coding ideas of Rice and Tunnicliffe. Instead of a simple tagging scheme, however, GML introduced the concept of a formally-defined document type with an explicit nested element structure.

Major portions of GML were implemented in mainframe 'industrial strength' publishing systems by IBM and others and achieved substantial industry acceptance. IBM itself, reckoned to be the world's second largest publisher, adopted GML and now produces over 90% of its documents with it.

After the completion of GML, Goldfarb continued his research on document structures, creating additional concepts, such as short references, link processes, and concurrent document types, that were not part of GML but were later to be developed as part of SGML.

3. Development of SGML as an International Standard

In 1978, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee on Information Processing established the Computer Languages for the Processing of Text committee, chaired by Charles Card, then of Univac, with Norman Scharpf as a member. Goldfarb was asked to join the committee and eventually to lead a project for a text description language standard based on GML. The GCA GenCode committee supported the effort and provided a nucleus of dedicated people for the task of developing Goldfarb's basic language design for SGML into a standard.

The first working draft of the SGML standard was published in 1980. By 1983, the GCA was able to recommend the sixth working draft as an industry standard (GCA 101-1983). Major adopters included the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of Defense.

In 1984, with feedback from the GCA standard in hand, three more working drafts were produced. The project, which had been authorized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as well as ANSI, reorganized. It began regular international meetings as what is now called ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8, chaired by James Mason of the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Work also continued in the ANSI committee, now called X3V1.8, chaired by William Davis of SGML Associates, and supported by the GCA GenCode committee, chaired by Sharon Adler of IBM. Alignment between ISO and ANSI was maintained by Goldfarb continuing as technical leader, serving as project editor for both groups.

SGML is especially important in leading up to HTML, XML, and XBRL.  See http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/general.html 
One of my favorite SGML sites is at http://www.ucc.ie/xml/ 

A.3 What is SGML?

SGML is the Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879:1985), the international standard for defining descriptions of the structure of different types of electronic document. There is an SGML FAQ at http://www.infosys.utas.edu.au/info/sgmlfaq.txt which is posted every month to the comp.text.sgml newsgroup, and the SGML Web pages are at http://xml.coverpages.org/.

SGML is very large, powerful, and complex. It has been in heavy industrial and commercial use for over a decade, and there is a significant body of expertise and software to go with it. XML is a lightweight cut-down version of SGML which keeps enough of its functionality to make it useful but removes all the optional features which make SGML too complex to program for in a Web environment.

ISO standards like SGML are governed by the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva, Switzerland, and voted into or out of existence by representatives from every country's national standards body.

If you have a query about an international standard, you should contact your national standards body for the name of your country's representative on the relevant ISO committee or working group.

 

You can read more about SGML by clicking on the Extended Overview of XML

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

Internet= An international grouping of computer networks. The Internet started as a relatively tiny United States Department of Defense (DOD) Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) project in 1969. It commenced with the networking of four computers.  The Internet was not widely known between 1969 and 1991.  Its popularity exploded when HTML, HTTP, and the World Wide Web made it much easier to use the Internet.   For interactive computing between computers on the Internet, see Distributed Network Computing. For web browsers see Web browsers, Java, GINA, Gopher, Mosaic, and SLIP.

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

Hypermedia= Hypertext with added features for audio and video features. Hypermedia may also entail touch screen or remote control capabilities such that users can navigate by touching the computer screen or remote control devices. Eventually hypermedia will entail other senses such as smell. The key to hypermedia is random access that allows lightning-fast non linear navigation based upon reader choice or other reader actions such as responses to questions. The term "multimedia" is not totally synonymous with "hypermedia," because multimedia may not entail hypertext authoring.  Hypermedia is rooted in the early "intermedia" 1985-1991 developments for Apple computers by Norman Meyrowitz from Brown University.  For a brief history in intermedia, see http://www.iicm.edu/rp_feedback/n46 .

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

HTML= An acronym for a HyperText Markup Language DTD.  

HTML is the language used to tag various parts of a Web document so browsing software will know how to display that document's links, text, graphics and attached media. Your are viewing an HTML document at this moment. The popular HTML is a subset of the GML text scripting conceived in1969 IBM researchers depicting Generalized Markup Languages (and not-so-coincidentally the lead researchers were named Goldfarb, Mosher, and Lorie).   Between 1978 and 1987, Dr. Charles F. Goldfarb led the team that developed the SGML Standard GML that is became International Standard ISO 8879.  In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee led a team of particle physicists that invented the World Wide Web using a very small part of SGML that became the widely known and used scripting language known as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).  SGML is tremendously powerful but inefficient and complex.  HTML is marvelously simple but not very powerful.  

In 1990 there were less than 50 users of HTML.  Most of them were physicists connected in one way or the other to Tim Berners Lee.  In 2001, there were over 300 million users of HTML documents on the Web.  The World Wide Web (WWW) or the Web as it is popularly known commenced with HTML.  It would, however, not have taken off if the HTTP protocol for reading HTML documents had not been developed for Web browsers.  Credit for this goes to Mosaic invented in 1992 by a University of Illinois undergraduate student named Marc Andreessen.  The history of Mosaic is given at http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Jake/CubeArt/Descriptions/MosaicHistory.html .  Andreessen later founded Netscape and the famous Netscape browser that led to an explosion of users on the Web.

Continued at Extended Overview of HTML

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

CGI, Java, JavaScript, DHTML, ActiveX, ASP, and other developments came along to provide dynamic and/or computational computing to the Web.  Actually, Common Gateway Interface (CGI) coding that allows remote (client) computers to communicate with server (host) computers commenced in 1969 about the same time as the Internet.  Among other things, CGI was used in MAGI by IBM for television commercials.

Whereas CGI scripts reside on the server (host) computer and process data (e.g., search requests) from the remote users, other dynamic computing alternatives can be downloaded into the computers of the remote users such that the remote machines actually do the computing of such things as mathematical functions and data processing.  JavaScript and DHTML are popular scripting inserts into HTML that add dynamic computing to "dead" HTML scripts.

The Micrrosoft 2000 upgrades make use of HTML, DHTML, and XML.  For example, it is possible to save an interactive Excel workbook or an Excel chart as a dynamic D HTML document.  For an illustrations and a video summary, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dhtml/excel01.htm 

See      CGI,      Java,      JavaScript,      DHTML,      ActiveX,     ASP

Also see Round Tripping.

Also See CFML

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

XML= eXtensible Markup Language.  One of my favorite XML sites is at http://www.ucc.ie/xml/ 

A.1 What is XML?

XML is the Extensible Markup Language. It is designed to improve the functionality of the Web by providing more flexible and adaptable information identification.

It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format like HTML (a single, predefined markup language). Instead, XML is actually a `metalanguage' -- a language for describing other languages -- which lets you design your own customized markup languages for limitless different types of documents. XML can do this because it's written in SGML, the international standard metalanguage for text markup systems (ISO 8879).

 

A.2 What is XML for?

XML is intended `to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web: easy to define document types, easy to author and manage SGML-defined documents, and easy to transmit and share them across the Web.'

It defines `an extremely simple dialect of SGML which is completely described in the XML Specification. The goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML.'

`For this reason, XML has been designed for ease of implementation, and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML'

[Quotes are from the XML specification]. XML is not just for Web pages: it can be used to store any kind of structured information, and to enclose or encapsulate information in order to pass it between different computing systems which would otherwise be unable to communicate.

Continued at  Extended Overview of XML

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF and OWL ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

Resource Description Framework (RDF) = a framework for metadata and provides for interoperability for applications in "machine-understandable" information on the Web.  RDF draws upon several technologies such as XML (Extensible Markup Language).  RDF a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium currently headed by Tim Bermers-Lee, the creater of the HTML markup language and the http protocol that is the basis of the World Wide Web.  Over the long run, Berners-Lee envisions a time when Web sites can be devoid of most broken links and difficult-to-find information.

The first step to understanding RDF is to distinguish between data and metadata.   Metadata tags in documents and databases provide "data about data" like unseen genes provide data about body parts. One of the drawbacks of HTML is that HTML tags relate only symbols rather than attributes of what the symbols depict. For example, HTML tags tell us how to display the word "eyes" in a web document but there are no tags related to attributes such as eye color, eye size, vision quality, and susceptibility to various eye diseases.  

For example, HTML tags relate only to formatting and linking tags on words red and purple appearing in a document.  HTML tags do not disclose that both words depict colors, because HTML does not associate words with meanings.  Metadata, on the otherhand, attaches meanings to the data by attaching hidden attribute tags.  For example, attached to the word "petal" might be an invisible tag that records information that the petal has color having particular coded numbers for color hue and color saturation for rose petals.   When any petal's   invisible tags are read in a meta search engine, it would be possible to identify types of roses having a range of hue and saturation commonalities.   Poppies would be excluded because they do not have rose tags.   Red herrings (a term for false leads in a mystery) would be excluded because they do not have a tagged attribute for color.

In a sense, metadata is analogous to genetic code of a living organism.   Attributes in hidden tags become analogous to attributes coded into genes that determine the color of a flower's petals, degree of resistance to certain diseases, etc.   If we knew the genetic "metadata" code of all flowering plants, we could quickly isolate the subsets of all known flowering plants having red petals or resistance to a particular plant disease.  In botony and genetics, the problem lies is discovering the metadata codes that nature has already programmed into the genes.  In computer documents and databases, the problem is one of programming in the metadata codes that will conform to a world wide standard. That standard will most likely be the RDF standard that is currently being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) having Tim Berners-Lee as its current Director. 

Click Here for an Extended Overview of RDF

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL
EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

OLAP= Online Analytical Processing database design in which data can be analyzed from a multidimensional point of view.   The term was first used in 1993 by the father of relational database systems, an IBM mathematician named E.F. Codd.   Both OLAP and its history are briefly explained by Don Burleson at http://www.oreview.com/9602burl.htm 

Dr. E. F. Codd first used the term OLAP in a 1993 white paper sponsored by Arbor Software. In this same paper, Codd also created 12 rules for OLAP. (See the "OLAP Bibliography" for a summary of OLAP white papers and magazines articles, including Dr. Codd's white paper.) Despite Codd's claims of new technology, some offerings such as IRI Express, now called Oracle Express, date to the early 1970s. (For more information on OLAP and Oracle Express Objects, please see Dan Bulos' article, "OLAP Comes of Age: Oracle Express Objects.") There is a popular forum on the Internet that discusses OLAP issues at http://www.comp.database.olap .

The history and background of OLAP are also given in the OLAP Council Whitepaper at http://www.olapcouncil.org/research/whtpaply.htm

To read more about OLAP and view its demos, go to Extended Overview of OLAP 

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STATIC WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                 
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> XBRL
SEMANTIC WEB
http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic.html

EXTENSIVE COMPUTING TIMELINE
http://www.accad.ohio-state.edu/~waynec/history/timeline.html 

 

Get Your Sign Values Correct in XBRL Files ---
http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/FRC/AccountingFinancialReporting/XBRL/DownloadableDocuments/XBRL Update 2013 Final.pdf

ASC = Accounting Standard Codification of the FASB

January 8, 2013 message from Zane Swanson

Another faculty person created a video (link follows)
http://www.screencast.com/t/K8gruSHTv

which introduces the ASC.  This video has potential value at the beginning of the semester to acquaint students with the ASC.  I am thinking about posting the clip to AAA commons.  But, where should it be posted and does this type of thing get posted in multiple interest group areas?

 Any thoughts / suggestions?

Zane Swanson
www.askaref.com a handheld device source of ASC information

Jensen Comment
A disappointment for colleges and students is that access to the Codification database is not free. The FASB does offer deeply discounted prices to colleges but not to individual teachers or students.

There are other access routes that are not free such as the PwC Comperio ---
http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/comperio/index.jhtml

 




XBRL= eXtensible Business Reporting Language.   This is an extension of XML metatag technology key terminologies in business, accounting, and financial reporting.  The major purpose is to allow users to locate and analyze financial reports or portions of financial reports in a manner that is far more efficient and effective than using traditional search engines and EDGAR utilities. I also highly recommend the XBRL history and news site at XBRL headquarters at http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
Also see
http://www.w3.org/

A good site for current XBRL updates --- http://www.computercpa.com/

February 4, 2010 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Many on the list will know Eric Cohen of PwC, one of the founders of the XBRL community. There is a recent video interview with Eric on YouTube (http://tinyurl.com/ericcoheninterview) where he covers recent and coming developments on the SEC's interactive data mandate. 
 

Roger Debreceny
School of Accountancy
Shidler College of Business
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2404 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Google Voice: +1 (513) 393-9393

roger(at)debreceny.com rogersd(at)hawaii.edu
www.debreceny.com  www.twitter.com/debreceny
Sent from Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

 XBRL for Dummies (book) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/xbrl-for-dummies/  

 

XBRL for Dummies (book) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/xbrl-for-dummies/  

 

"Avoiding Common Errors of XBRL Implementation," by Jon Bartley, Y.S. Al Chen, and Eileen Taylor, Journal of Accountancy, February 2010 --- 
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2010/Feb/20092058.htm

 

Most of the posts I looked at for XBRL are quoted and linked at:

 

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#TimelineXBRL
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#HTMLextended

 

Many of these links are dated, but they do provide a history of XBRL.

 

"FASB Kicks Off XBRL Guidance Series," by Tammy Whitehouse, Compliance Week, February 11, 2013 ---
http://www.complianceweek.com/fasb-kicks-off-xbrl-guidance-series/article/279960/


Hi Bob,

I
have always found the links you posted at www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ super-helpful and it would be great if you could include Thinknum.

Thinknum is using XBRL to disrupt the billion dollar investment research market. We are developing a web platform that enables individuals to take on research analysts at giant investment banks. We have built a data platform with over 2,000 data sources and tools for modelling stocks using the best web technology.

We were recently featured by Jason Voss of the CFA institute.

Thinknum was founded by a former Goldman Sachs Strat and alumni of Princeton University.

 
Please let me know what you think.

 
All the best, 
Greg

 


SEC:  You should know how Inline XBRL (IXBRL) differs from plain old XBRL
"New XBRL Version May Answer SEC's Prayers:  With companies' lackluster use of XBRL and the SEC taking heat about its own low usage, a new Inline version could make it easier for filers as well as regulators." CFO.com, September 20, 2013 ---
http://www3.cfo.com/article/2013/9/gaap-ifrs_xbrl-inline-xbrl-financial-reporting-darrell-issa

Corporations have expressed their disdain for tagging financial data through eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and the Securities and Exchange Commission itself has been criticized for not using it enough internally. But a new version of XBRL could make the data-formatting language more popular.

Inline XBRL (iXBRL), which offers easier formatting than XBRL and can be viewed on Internet browsers instead of software, is being touted as an answer to much of the discord that has surfaced since CFOs and their staffs were required to use the language following an SEC mandate in 2009. The new Inline version eliminates the need to create separate XBRL and HTML attachments when filing their financial documents -- which bogs down current filers -- and allows filers to embed the XBRL tags in the financial documents.    

The SEC, for its part, is considering Inline XBRL and working closely with its staff to evaluate a possible implementation, Virginia Meany, assistant director of the Office of Risk Assessment and Interactive Data in the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, told CFO. “We believe that the use of Inline XBRL creates a good opportunity to improve both efficiency and quality,” she says.

That would eliminate the “double jeopardy” that Rob Blake, product director at Trintech, a provider of software solutions, and one who assisted with the early creation of XBRL, says comes about when having to use both XBRL and HTML when filing financial statements.

As Meany notes, Inline XBRL, which is already being used in the United Kingdom for corporate- reporting purposes, has “potential benefits to all stakeholders, including preparers, investors and regulators.”  

The SEC’s backing of the easier formatting language may not be enough, however, to soothe all of its critics. One of the more vocal ones, Rep Darrell Issa (R-Calif), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a comment letter last week to SEC Chair Mary Jo White asking for an explanation from the Commission on why it hasn’t embraced XBRL more internally and used the data it collects from companies that way.  

While Issa did not specifically address Inline XBRL in his comment letter, he believes by not using XBRL the SEC is not only wasting time and money, it is thwarting the enforcement of its original mandate to require the use of XBRL.

In his letter, he said the SEC “does not fully utilize the structured financial data it already collects, continues to buy-back from commercial databases the same data it collects from filers and has failed to address concerns about the quality of structured-data filings.” In contrast to XBRL, an automated language in which users employ interactive data tags to assign a unique identifier to each piece of financial data, Issa complains that SEC staff members continue to monitor the information manually.

So what’s the harm? The agency, according to Issa, continues to ask for more resources to pay for increased staff to check corporate data instead of integrating the XBRL data from the corporate filers.

The quality of the data itself, however, could be one reason for the perceived slowdown in the project. According to Issa, more than 1.4 million errors have been identified as stemming from corporate filers using XBRL. 

Improvements to XBRL can only come, he writes, as “the SEC integrates structured data into its existing review processes, enforces the quality of data submitted under the Interactive Data Rule, and articulates a vision for the transformation of its whole disclosure system from inaccessible documents into structured data.”

Continued in article


2014 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy (Pending
SEC Acceptance)


http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/Page/SectionPage&cid=1176163688345

Get Your Sign Values Correct in XBRL Files ---
http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/FRC/AccountingFinancialReporting/XBRL/DownloadableDocuments/XBRL Update 2013 Final.pdf


New Tools for Mining XBRL Data
These tools allow users to extract data from XBRL documents and organize them in, for example, Microsoft Excel

"A tour of five XBRL tools," by Mitchell R. Wenger, Journal of Accountancy, April 2013 ---
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2013/Apr/20126677.htm

Supporters of extensible business reporting language (XBRL) have long touted its potential to transform financial data mining and analysis. Now that potential is starting to become a reality, thanks to several new software applications.

These tools are designed to help accountants, investors, and analysts extract data from XBRL documents for use in familiar software applications such as Microsoft Excel. This is a major development in the evolution of XBRL, which to this point has focused on companies learning to apply XBRL “tags” to label the myriad pieces of information in financial reports.

The SEC spurred this process by instituting a requirement that all publicly traded companies in the United States file their financial reports using XBRL. The SEC phased in the requirement over several years. The complexity and sheer number of XBRL tags made the process laborious and resulted in a plethora of errors in early XBRL filings. Since completion of the SEC phase-in, companies continue to reduce the XBRL-tagging errors in their filings.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm

 


"FASB Rolls Out More XBRL Implementation Guidance," by Tammy Whitehouse, Compliance Week, March 22, 2013 ---
http://www.complianceweek.com/fasb-rolls-out-more-xbrl-implementation-guidance/article/285581/

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued some new guidance on XBRL intended to further refine how preparers use the U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy to submit their financial statements in the XBRL format.

FASB added three new pieces to its upstart series of implementation guides -- one focused on segment reporting and two more focused specifically on the insurance sector. The segment reporting guide demonstrates the modeling that FASB has in mind for disclosures related to segment reporting.

The modeling is completed using elements in the taxonomy, focusing on detail tagging only. It provides eight separate examples of common segment reporting disclosures, such as significant items of required segment information, reconciliation of segment revenue, and reconciliation of segment profit or loss. Further examples go into greater detail related to various common segment scenarios.

As with other guides in the series, FASB says the segment reporting examples are not intended to cover every possible modeling configuration or to dictate the appearance or structure of a company's extension taxonomy. The examples are only meant to help users of the taxonomy understand how the modeling for segment reporting is structured within the taxonomy, with the hope that it will drive more consistent use of the taxonomy to produce more consistent, comparable financial reporting data. The guide does not include elements for text blocks, policy text blocks, or table blocks. 

For the insurance sector, one guide focuses on the modeling of disclosures related to concentration of credit risk, as in ceded credit risk with a single credit rating, multiple credit ratings, and those that appear in more the one table. Another insurance guide focuses on disclosures related to reinsurance, providing a model for disclosing risk management objectives and retention policies, effects of reinsurance, and the supplemental schedule of reinsurance arrangements, although it does not cover concentrations of credit risk resulting from reinsurance.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There's a photograph of the AECM's Louis Matherne who is spearheading XBRL for the FASB. Thanks much Louis for greasing the wheels of implementation.


April 3, 2013 message from Neal Hannon

There is a wealth of accounting hidden just below the surface in XBRL.  In my latest article published today on the Hitachi blog http://bit.ly/10yJMLf  I explore how to use free XBRL online software tools to find answers to today's financial accounting questions.  Zane's ASKaRef tool is briefly reviewed in the article.  I also feature FASB's Louis Matherne talking about implementation guides. Enjoy!


Please don't shoot the messenger
"Not-So-Happy Anniversary, XBRL:  Four years after the Securities and Exchange Commission mandate, it turns out that not many people are using data provided by XBRL tagging. And those who have tried are not giving it rave reviews," by Taylor Provost CFO.com, January 25, 2013 ---
http://www3.cfo.com/article/2013/1/gaap-ifrs_xbrl-tagging-columbia-sec-investors-analysts-interest-

XBRL Tags to be Used on a SEC Accountancy Fraud RoboCop
From the CFO.com Morning Ledger Newsletter on February 14, 2014

SEC readies fraud ‘RoboCop.’ The FT’s Adam Jones warns CFOs that “accountancy’s answer to RoboCop will soon be watching you.” Jones examines the SEC’s plans to roll out an early warning system using XBRL tags this year. The data-mining software is partly based on a model the SEC developed to trawl through hedge fund returns for signs of Bernard Madoff-style “chicanery.” The accounting version will analyze whether a company “sticks out from the pack” in areas such as accruals. Craig Lewis, director of the SEC’s division of risk, strategy and financial innovation, said it would be about nine months before it was rolled out, although it could appear sooner.

"SEC to roll out ‘RoboCop’ against fraud," by Adam Jones, Financial Times, February 13, 2013 ---
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f446a8bc-75c9-11e2-9891-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2KrTO4g2h

 

 


Gartner: CFOs Continue to Focus on XBRL – Implement Disclosure Management Solution ---
http://www.cirrusbi.com/portfolio-view/gartner-may-2012-cfos-continue-to-focus-on-xbrl-implement-disclosure-mangement-solution/

Financial Executives International (FEI) conducted a survey in May 2012 together with Gartner unraveling the top priorities for the CFO’s office. Part of the study showed that XBRL and Disclosure Management is becoming an important focus for the CFO:

Although XBRL is currently a significant requirement, enterprises should consider solutions that can be used for many other reporting requirements, including board books and internal management reporting, and should take a broader view, rather than just focus on tactical XBRL approaches.

FEI Study – Key findings:

The FEI study main point is that time has come for the CFO to start optimizing Disclosure Management Solutions and supporting processes to save time and money. These processes are currently very manual and mostly outsourced with Financial Printers. (Merrill, RR Donnelly). These printers still has a role in the XBRL processes, but should not be part of the creation of the documents in any way. The data is way to sensitive.

Survey Insights

  • CFOs are focused on business analytics and business applications more than on technology
  • New applications in financial governance rank high on improving compliance and efficiency

CFO buying behavior is shifting:

When asked what the organization’s approach was to address XBRL reporting requirements, 41% plan on implementing a disclosure management solution. This is an increase of 36% from 2011.

Cirrus Filings offer a complete suite of Disclosure Management Solutions that includes:
 

  • Reconciliation and faster closing of the books
     
  • Collaboration in Microsoft Word
     
  • Change Management and version comparison
     
  • XBRL Taxonomy setup, XBRL Validation and XBRL Tagging in Microsoft Word
     
  • “No more pencils down”
     
  • A streamlined process from Closing to Filing with the SEC
     
  • Integrated process with SecureX Filings for easy filing and printing of the final documents
     

Contact us today for a demo. Email info@cirrusbi.com, or register for a demo you can watch at your desk.
 

Read the Trending Newsor – download the complete study.

 

 

November 24, 2012 reply from Rick Lillie

Hi Bob and AECM,

 

I teach a Seminar in Accounting Information Systems class for our Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program at Cal State San Bernardino.  XBRL is one of the topics explored during the course.  I worked with Skip White to develop the approach taken in the course and used Skip's XBRL workbook.

 

I partnered with I-Metrix, a product offered EDGR, to develop XBRL materials and research/analysis activities for the course.  I-Metrix allowed my students to use the "ActiveFinancials for Investors software to analyze XBRL-based financial reports as one of the XBRL activities.  I-Metrix was absolutely amazing to work with.

 

I-Metrix developed an Excel plug-in tool.  You can develop analysis models in Excel and then relate components of the analysis model to a company's financial statements found through I-Metrix/EDGR.  When a company's financial information updates, I-Metrix automatically updates the analysis model(s) in Excel.

 

From what I understand, the SEC is using something similar to this process to analyze quarterly reports submitted by publicly-traded companies.  The SEC's analysis process that used to take a significant amount of time is now completed much quicker, resulting in analysis information much more relevant and timely.

 

To acquaint students with XBRL-tagged financial information, I created a team-based "seek-and-find" XBRL project.  The exercise included three sections.

 

·       Section #1 included 20 things to find regarding Microsoft 2011 and 2012 financial information.

·       Section #2 included 5 additional pieces of information about Microsoft 2011 financial information.

·       Section #3 required a comparative analysis of selected items for Apple Inc. (Y/E 9/25/11) and Microsoft Inc. (Y/E 6/30/11).  Students were asked to build a "Selective Data Comparison Table" based on information found in XBRL filings by both companies.

 

By the time the XBRL project was completed, class members had a reasonable understanding regarding differences between traditional and XBRL-related financial information.  They also developed skills working with I-Metrix and the EDGR financial statement database.

 

Below are some of the resources students used to learn about XBRL.

 

·       Introduction to I-Metrix (ActiveFinancials for Investors)

·       Financial Analysis - Made Easy

·       Working with I-Metrix (EDGR Online)

·       XBRL Cloud:  Dashboard of EDGR SEC Filings

 

Students really liked learning how to use XBRL and I-Metrix.  I contacted I-Metrix about being able to use the software in my next ACCT 625 class.  Unfortunately, I-Metrix said "no" to my request.  They were disappointed that my department had not purchased a subscription to I-Metrix.

 

My department includes both Accounting and Finance.  I tried to get support for purchasing an I-Metrix subscription that could be used in both Accounting and Finance courses.  Unfortunately, faculty members in my department were more interested in archival databases that fit their research models than working with "live, interactive financial information."

 

I attended Skip White's XBRL workshop at the AAA Annual Meeting a couple of years ago.  The workshop was an intense three-day experience. 

 

After completing the workshop, I told Skip that I understood the benefit of XBRL-tagged financial information; however, I felt that "hand tagging" of data would be XBRL's "Achilles' heel" when it came to wide spread adoption in accounting practice.  I told Skip that in my opinion XBRL would not "really take off" until accounting software companies include the XBRL tagging process "behind the scenes" (i.e., tagging would happen automatically as transactions and reports were processed).  Once this can happen, any company (large or small) should be able to generate financial statements in both traditional and XBRL formats.

 

I hope my comments have added to the conversation.  I don't wear my heart on my sleeve.  I would appreciate your feedback comments regarding the XBRL "seek-and-find" project.

 

Best wishes,

 

Rick Lillie

 

Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA, CGMA
Associate Professor of Accounting
Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)
CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
5500 University Parkway, JB-547
San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397


Oh my!  Please don't shoot the messenger.
"Finance Execs Find XBRL Useless:  The SEC and other regulators had hoped for a wider use for XBRL than just financial reporting. But finance execs can't see past the cumbersome filing," by Kathleen Hoffelder CFO.com, November 21, 2012 ---
http://www3.cfo.com/article/2012/11/gaap-ifrs_sec-xbrl-general-motors-mccormick-company-johnson-johnson-financial-reporting

Jensen Comment
These are the clients that provide the XBRL markups. The survey will not be complete until we also here from financial analysts and investors.


Teaching Case on XBRL
"XBRL Tagging of Financial Statement Data Using XMLSpy:The Small Company Case," by  Rick Elam, Mitchell R. Wenger and Kelly L. Williams, Issues in Accounting Education, Vol. 27, No. 3, August 2012, pp. 76-782 ---
http://aaajournals.org/doi/abs/10.2308/iace-50162
This is not a free article.

Publicly traded companies in the U.S. are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file their financial statement data using XBRL tags. Other countries using international accounting standards have adopted similar XBRL filing requirements. This case provides a brief introduction to XBRL for business or accounting majors, and uses freely available software products (Altova XMLSpy) and training tools that help learners quickly progress through a basic introduction to XML (the foundation for XBRL), the XBRL taxonomy schema, and actual tagging of financial statement numbers. The basic skills learned in this case give accountants and other business professionals a working knowledge of how XBRL and other XML-based business documents are and can be used in practice. The case also raises awareness of the XBRL taxonomy development bodies, filing repositories, and development tools available in this domain for those interested in pursuing this technology in more detail.

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm


May 18, 2012 message from Roger Debreceny

Eric Cohen recently posted some interesting items on XBRL GL to the XBRL GL mailing list. 
 
Roger D
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Cohen <eric.e.cohen@us.pwc.com>
Date: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM
Subject: [INT-GL] XBRL GL in print and in use
To: INT-GL@xbrl.org


I wanted to make sure you were aware of two things:

1. Journal of Accountancy  has XBRL coverage, including XBRL GL, in its June 2012  issue

2. Revenue Administration of the Turkish Republic chooses XBRL GL as its data archival format for e-bookkeeping


1. Journal of Accountancy  has XBRL coverage, including XBRL GL

The Journal of Accountancy is highlighting XBRL in its June 2012 edition (1) and XBRL's Global Ledger Taxonomy Framework (XBRL GL) has played a major role in those highlights.

In the article "The future is now: XBRL emerges as career niche", both the work of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) and the efforts of Salisbury University in its collaboration with XBRL GL WG Chair Gianluca Garbellotto are described. (2)

The article "MACPA project serves as XBRL case study for private companies, nonprofits" (3)  then drills more deeply into the XBRL GL implementation at the MACPA.

You can read the issue at the links provided, or watch for your traditional hard copy in the mail.

= = =

2. Revenue Administration of the Turkish Republic chooses XBRL GL as its data archival format for e-bookkeeping

I hope to have more news for you soon, but I wanted to point you to the use of XBRL GL as a tax archival format in the country of Turkey (4). We understand that the catalyst was the need for telecommunications companies to maintain their audit trails for a decade - and ten years of paper records is a burden to maintain. In response, an electronic archival format - XBRL GL - has been chosen as the mandatory format for those choosing to go with electronic records. In conjunction with electronic signatures on the part of both the Filer and the Revenue Administration of the Turkish Republic, XBRL GL provides a standard format for the complete audit trail across the audit reporting supply chain across all ERP applications from first transaction to end report.

Representatives of the organization presented on XBRL GL and their plans at the 24th World Continuous Auditing Conference, held at İnönü University  in Malatya, Turkey. (5)

= = =

More about XBRL GL, of course, is available online ... (6)

<eccn />

References:


(1) http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2012/Jun/?WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished

(2)
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2012/Jun/20124962.htm?WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished

(3)
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2012/Jun/MACPA-XBRL-project.htm?WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished

(4)
http://www.edefter.gov.tr/web/guest/2

(5)
http://24wcars.inonu.edu.tr/en-index.html

(6)
http://www.xbrl.org/GLTaxonomy
http://wwww.xbrl.org/LFiles
http://gl.iphix.net
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jdg/journal/v6/n3/full/jdg20095a.html

 


 

Question
Do you want to teach XBRL in some of your courses?

Hi Bill,

I think many financial statement analysis courses around the world now have XBRL modules. These are not well documented and are probably more focused on how to use available XBRL-tagged financial statements than on how to do the tagging.

Universities in Singapore and South Korea are probably ahead of the U.S. in teaching XBRL. The South Korean stock exchange was certainly a wonderful leader in XBRL adoption which I demo on video ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/
Note that my videos may not work with Windows 7 since Microsoft dropped an audio codec that Camtasia used before Windows 7,.

Go to YouTube and search on XBRL ---
http://www.youtube.com/ 

Clinton (Skip) Whte at the University of Delaware has a book on XBRL and teaches XBRL
http://www.lerner.udel.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/clinton-white 
See The Guide & Workbook for Understanding XBRL (4th edition), SkipWhite.com, 2010

You might check
Zane Swanson's XBRL Blog --- http://blog.askaref.com/
 
I think Zane teaches some modules on XBRL.
 

Zane Swanson's Website --- www.askaref.com


Also go to the XBRL International home page at
http://www.xbrl.org/

 

A helpful list of contacts is provided at
http://www.xbrl.org/StandardsBoard 
Some of these people like Ray Lam may be able to suggest some college instructors to contact.

Some teachers to contact suggested by the SEC are listed at
http://www.sec.gov/news/otherwebcasts/2010/xbrlseminar032310-transcript.pdf

Our XBRL actives on the AECM may provide other suggestions. These include Neal Hannon, Saeed Roohani, Bill Richardson, Zane Swanson, and Glen Gray. I would also suggest Roger Debreceny, although Roger has been inactive on the AECM for a long time. Bill Richardson in Australia is a great foreign contact and technical expert.

You might check with Rivet Software for a listing of academic users of their product. My old contact in Rivet was Jaci Schneider Rivet Software jschneid@ischool.utexas.edu
I'm not certain that Jaci is still with Rivet.


Bob Jensen's threads on the history of XBRL are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm 

 

From Ernst & Young's Week in Review, March 3, 2011

For additional information on the SEC's rule regarding the use of XBRL, we encourage you to monitor the XBRL page on the SEC's website (http://xbrl.sec.gov) and to consider our publications and webcast, which are available on AccountingLink:

March 9, 2011 reply from Glen Gray

Another nice source of XBRL classroom material is available from Kelly Williams, Rick Elam, and Mitch Wenger. The contact person is Mitch at mrwenger@olemiss.edu 

They start with XML exercises and then move on to XBRL. They use XML and XBRL software from Altova at
www.altova.com  who provides free licensing of their products to educators.


Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems
College of Business & Economics
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff ST
Northridge, CA 91330-8372
818.677.3948

http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen
 


"Online Calculator for SEC Filings: A Killer App for CFOs? Tool grabs grand prize as "most inventive and useful" application in national XBRL contest," by David Rosenbaum, CFO.com, March 1, 2012 ---
http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/14621303?f=search
Thank you Glen Gray for the heads up.

Today at Baruch College of the City University in New York City, XBRL US, a nonprofit consortium for extensible business reporting language standards, awarded Calcbench, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based, two-person start-up, its $20,000 grand prize for the "most inventive and useful application" using XBRL-formatted data from the Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database. The app in question? A handy-dandy calculator.

The Calcbench application, which went live in December 2011 and has gone through several iterations since then, achieving its current level of functionality in late January, was designed and programmed by company founders Pranav Ghai and Alex Rapp. It is a browser-based, configurable calculator that enables users to click on any number in an XBRL-tagged SEC filing and automatically calculate changes in any category - cash and cash equivalents, inventory, accounts payable, whatever - over quarters or years, and also to compare those results between companies.

Today at Baruch College of the City University in New York City, XBRL US, a nonprofit consortium for extensible business reporting language standards, awarded Calcbench, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based, two-person start-up, its $20,000 grand prize for the "most inventive and useful application" using XBRL-formatted data from the Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database. The app in question? A handy-dandy calculator.

The Calcbench application, which went live in December 2011 and has gone through several iterations since then, achieving its current level of functionality in late January, was designed and programmed by company founders Pranav Ghai and Alex Rapp. It is a browser-based, configurable calculator that enables users to click on any number in an XBRL-tagged SEC filing and automatically calculate changes in any category - cash and cash equivalents, inventory, accounts payable, whatever - over quarters or years, and also to compare those results between companies.

Continued in article

CalcBench Home Page --- http://www.calcbench.com/

 


October 20, 2011 reply from Tom Hood

Bob,
 
Thanks for aggregating the great resources on XBRL.
 
Here is one more for your list on XBRL resources:
 
While our blog CPA Success is not dedicated to XBRL, Bill Sheridan and I have been writing extensively about the developments in XBRL and you can get all of our posts here:
 
 
Our most recent post may be of interest wit the advent of several pieces of federal legislation moving with XBRL and the interview Bill did with the Chief Counsel to the House Government Oversight Committee (Chairman Issa), Hudson Hollister. We think this is significant development in the use and adoption of XBRL and more specifically XBRL GL (Global Ledger). See Eric Cohen's resources from his earlier response.
 
You can view our presentation on XBRL for non-profits done by our CFO and accounting intern from Salisbury University and presented at the XBRL US Conference last month

 
Tom

Zane Swanson's XBRL Blog --- http://blog.askaref.com/

Zane Swanson's Website --- www.askaref.com

October 14, 2011 Message from Zane Swanson

I started a blog http://blog.askaref.com/ this week to support my website www.askaref.comFour user groups are targeted: professors, students, statement preparers and analysts.  www.askaref.com is designed for mobile devices with the intent to help broaden the usage of XBRL.  However, in order to do so I thought it necessary to address situations why the users will want XBRL information in mobile devices.  A blog is a great way of communicating that type of application solution.  For example, professors may want to give mini case examples to students to introduce XBRL.  Students may want to know the definitions of accounting terms and reference ASC standards wherever and whenever.  And so on.

  I will be including scenario situations on the blog using the mobile device applications with screen shot walkthroughs.  I encourage anyone to visit the blog and post requests for XBRL mobile device needs that can be used in the classroom, business meeting, financial analyst session, etc.

Zane Swanson

 


"Flex or Break? Extensions in XBRL Disclosures to the SEC," Roger S. Debreceny, Stephanie M. Farewell, Maciej Piechocki, Carsten Felden, Andre Gräning, and Alessandro d'Eri, Accounting Horizons,  December 2011, pp.631-658

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in a multi-year program to enhance the functionality of the Commission's EDGAR database. Filers tag their financial statements with elements from a taxonomy that defines the reporting concepts so that the XBRL files can be understood by information consumers. The U.S. GAAP taxonomy was designed to represent common reporting practices and support the disclosure requirements of U.S. GAAP. If taxonomy elements for each disclosure concept are not present, the filer creates an extension element. Extensions, when used appropriately, provide decision-relevant information. When used inappropriately, particularly when a semantically equivalent element already exists in the foundation taxonomy, extensions add no information content. This research analyzes extensions made in a subset of XBRL filings made to the SEC between April 2009 and June 2010. Forty percent of these extensions were unnecessary, as semantically equivalent elements were already in the U.S. GAAP taxonomy. Extensions that aggregated or disaggregated existing elements comprised 21 percent of the extensions. New concepts accounted for 30 percent of the extensions, although many were variants of existing elements, rather than significantly new concepts.

Continued in article

 


Probably the most important XBRL and IDEA links at the moment are as follows:

IDEA (destined to replace EDGAR) --- http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/idea.shtml

XBRL Home --- http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
www.xbrl.org is XBRL International. www.xbrl.us is the U.S. jurisdiction.

Financial Reporting Using XBRL (maintained by Charles Hoffman) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2

XBRL Canada Blog (maintained by Jerry Trites) --- http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

XBRL Networking --- http://xbrlnetwork.ning.com/

Hitachi interactive data blog on XBRL --- http://hitachidatainteractive.com/ 

TryXBRL --- http://www.tryxbrl.org/

Bryant University Resource Center --- http://www.xbrl.org/Home/

 

Rivet XBRL Markup Software (Proprietary) --- http://www.rivetsoftware.com/

 

UB Matrix Enterprise Applications Suite (Proprietary) --- http://www.ubmatrix.com/products/enterprise_application_suite.htm

 

"Make Sense of Financial Reporting with XBRL," Pennsylvania CPA Journal via SmartPros, April 4, 2009, ---
 
http://accounting.smartpros.com/x66163.xml

 

April 14, 2009 reply from Eric E. Cohen/RBJ [cybercpa@SPRYNET.COM]

A few more links:

FREE XBRL software for use by academics/consortium: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/software/interstage/xbrltools/ 
FREE (and royalty free) XBRL Validation engine and (not free) XML/XBRL tooling:
http://www.altova.com 

Important webcasts and learning resources for one of the NON-financial reporting sides of XBRL - the XBRL Global Ledger Framework (XBRL GL) - http://gl.iphix.net

 


XBRL
"Exposure Draft of the IFRS Taxonomy 2012," IAS Plus, January 18, 2012 ---
http://www.ifrs.org/Alerts/XBRL/Exposure+Draft++IFRS+Taxonomy+2012.htm 

The IFRS Foundation has published for public comment an exposure draft of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Taxonomy 2012. The proposed Taxonomy is a translation of IFRSs and interpretations as issued at 1 January 2012 into XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language).

The 2012 Taxonomy consolidates all IFRS Taxonomy interim releases that were published in 2011.

In addition, the proposed IFRS Taxonomy 2012 will be the first IFRS Taxonomy to include common practice extensions to the IFRS XBRL Taxonomy. These extensions were derived from an analysis of approximately 200 IFRS financial statements and will diminish the need for preparers to customize the taxonomy to fit their individual business when filing IFRS compliant financial statements online.

The exposure draft IFRS Taxonomy 2012 is open for comment until 17 March 2012. IFRSs issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) from 1 January 2012 onwards will be published as interim releases to the Taxonomy.

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm

 

 

 


XBRL in the News
"Staff Observations from the Review of Interactive Data Financial Statements, SEC, December 13, 2011---
http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl/staff-review-observations-121311.shtml

. . .

We continue to see the same issues around the topics of formatting of the financial statements, negative values, use of unnecessary extensions, and the completeness of the tagging (i.e., parentheticals and string values). Filers should continue to pay attention to these topics when submitting information to the Commission and should carefully review our previous Staff observations (http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl/staff-review-observations.shtml).

Continued in article (much more)

Bob Jensen's somewhat neglected threads on OLAP and XBRL ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm


From Deloitte's IAS Plus on June 3, 2011 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm

3 June 2011: IFRS Foundation publishes proposed IFRS Taxonomy 'common-practice' enhancements
 

The IFRS Foundation has published for public comment an exposure draft of the IFRS Taxonomy 2011 interim release: common-practice concepts.

The proposed interim release contains supplementary tags for the IFRS Taxonomy that reflect disclosures that are commonly reported by entities in their IFRS financial statements. The supplementary tags are intended to enhance the comparability of financial information, and are consistent with IFRSs and with the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) architecture of the IFRS Taxonomy 2011.

The supplementary tags result from the IFRS Foundation previously announced intention to extend the IFRS Taxonomy. This was partially a response to United Statements Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) concerns about the suitability of the existing IFRS Taxonomy 2011 for US filing purposes, together and the outcomes of an pilot XBRL study. The SEC has issued a 'no action' letter in which it states foreign private issuers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB are not required to submit XBRL information to the SEC until it endorses an IFRS Taxonomy it considers suitable.

The proposals are open for comment until 2 August 2011.
Click for IFRS Foundation announcement (link to IASB website). More information about XBRL is available on our XBRL page.

Bob Jensen's sadly neglected threads on XBRL are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm


"Key Insights for Companies With New XBRL Requirements," Ernst & Young's To the Point, April 21, 2011 --- Click Here
http://www.ey.com/global/assets.nsf/United%20Accounting/TothePoint_CC0321_XBRL_21April2011/%24file/TothePoint_CC0321_XBRL_21April2011.pdf


Did Microsoft drop its original plans to build XBRL analysis into Excel?
It will be a loss to colleges and students if XBRL financial statements cannot be analyzed in Excel!

July 7, 2011 message from Zane Swanson

The incorporation of XBRL in software packages is happening. See 2 copies of web site posts about XBRL and Microsoft’s GP2010.

The XBRL financial statement 1st tagging (with the exception of the footnote issue) could be a 1 time event (sort of like Y2K). This also is an issue that faculty only learn because someone asks … it just may not to be getting that much “air time” in the ais/accounting textbooks about your question.

Zane Swanson
www.askaref.com

 

Jensen Comment

The problem is the system and server requirements and cost of GP2010 for colleges and student licensing fees ---
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/using/gp-system-requirements.aspx
Accounting courses may have to rely on video to teach financial statement analysis of GP2010 rather than give students hands on learning.

I was hoping after the demo jointly developed years ago by Microsoft, PwC and NASDAQ that our main teaching software package for analyzing XBRL financial statements would be Excel. Did Microsoft drop its original plans to build XBRL analysis into Excel?

Bob Jensen's Old XBRL Video Tutorial called XBRLdemos.wmv
Years ago (I can't remember exactly when) I prepared a XBRL tutorial on how to use XBRL in financial statement analysis.  The tutorial itself was actually developed by NASDAQ, Microsoft, and PwC in a NMP partnership.  NASDAQ selected 20 companies and marked up their financial statements in XBRL.  Microsoft wrote a fancy Excel program to analyze those financial statements in Excel.  PwC served up the data on the Web.  This NMP tutorial was intended to have a short life since the plan was eventually to use XBRL directly in Web browsers without having to use Excel.  Indeed, PwC no longer serves up this tutorial.  Bob Jensen probably has the only recorded history of this NMP tutorial on video in the file XBRLdemos.wfm at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

Did Microsoft drop its original plans to build XBRL analysis into Excel?
It will be a loss to colleges and students if XBRL financial statements cannot be analyzed in Excel!

Analysis of XBRL Financial Statements Using Excel

July 8, 2011 message from Rick Lillie

Good morning Bob,

During Spring Quarter 2011, I taught the Seminar in AIS course in our MSA program.  Approximately one-third of the course focused on XBRL.  Skip White (University of Delaware) guided me through design of the XBRL part of the course.  I completed Skip's XBRL Workshop at AAA a couple of years ago.  This was my first attempt at incorporating XBRL into a course design.

 

We used Skip White's book, The Accountant's Guide to XBRL, 5th Edition (January 2011) as the text for the XBRL part of the course.  Additionally, we used I-Mextrix Professional (http://www.edgar-online.com/OnlineProducts/IMetrixProfessional.aspx), a software tool developed by EDGAR Online.  Through I-Metrix Professional, students got hands-on experience with accessing and researching company data through a web-hosted service.  Students accessed XBRL information submitted by public companies to regulators.

 

An exciting feature of I-Metrix Professional is an Excel plug-in.  The plug-in makes it possible to link data in I-Metrix Professional to Excel-based models.  As data updates in I-Metrix Professional, Excel linked models also update.  Students were able to see how the process works and understand benefits of interactive data transfer to enable financial analysis.  As I understand it, this interactive process is similar to what the SEC and other regulators are developing in order to make their work more efficient.

 

Students completed three XBRL-related, team-based projects during the course.  Two projects involved tagging information (i.e., one created a UBL document and the other tagged a balance sheet).  The two projects gave students hands-on experience with tagging and working with the US GAAP taxonomy.

 

The third project was designed as a "treasure hunt for information."  Students used web-based company financial information and I-Metrix Professional to search for answers to 50 questions.  One question involved analysis/comparison of key metrics for Microsoft and Apple.

 

Through the three projects, students journeyed from traditional financial information through the XBRL conversion process to web-based interactive financial information.  They learned where interactive information comes from and how XBRL financial information compares to traditional financial information.

 

I believe the three projects provided students with an experience similar to that of manually preparing a tax return before using tax software to prepare a tax return.  The tagging process provided a level of understanding similar to what is needed in order to properly check a box on a tax software screen.

 

Students were introduced to tagging software.  However, I wanted them to learn more than just tagging information.  Through the EDGAR Online website, I learned about I-Metrix.  I emailed I-Metrix and asked if they would be willing to allow my students to use the I-Metrix online service for course projects.  A company representative contacted me.  I-Metrix allowed students to use I-Metrix Professional throughout the XBRL part of the course.

 

I was satisfied with this first attempt at incorporating XBRL into a course.  Student feedback regarding the experience was very positive.  I am talking with I-Metrix about how we might work together in future courses.

 

If anyone has questions, please email me at rlillie@csusb.edu.  I'll be happy to share my experience with you.

 

Best wishes,

Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA
Assistant Professor of Accounting
Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy
CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
5500 University Parkway, JB-547
San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

 

Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu
Telephone:  (909) 537-5726
Skype (Username):  ricklillie


"Third Phase of XBRL Implementation Takes Effect June 15," Journal of Accountancy, June 7, 2011 ---
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20114207.htm

The third phase of the SEC’s XBRL implementation program takes effect June 15, with nearly all public companies using U.S. GAAP now required to submit data in the fully searchable, digital format.

 

Over the past two years, the largest SEC reporting companies have begun submitting financial information in XBRL. The first phase, which took effect in 2009, required companies with a worldwide public equity float of $5 billion to file in XBRL; the second phase, for the next-largest tier of public companies, took effect in 2010.

 

XBRL allows computers to read financial information and use it in analytical tools, much like barcodes applied to merchandise are used for computerized inventory controls. In order to create an XBRL submission, filers must select tags from the U.S. GAAP taxonomy that best represent their financial reporting concepts.

 

The selected tags are then attached to the filer’s financial information by software programs or third-party service providers to complete the XBRL submission. XBRL helps to provide investors access to financial information in a form that’s ready for analysis and can help companies automate checks on the data quality in their reports. In addition, XBRL has helped companies enhance and streamline their reporting process. More and more companies are realizing this benefit and, as a result, there is demand to adopt XBRL across other reporting streams. Two bills currently are pending in the U.S. Congress – S. 904 and H.R. 1745, the Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits and Services Act of 2011 – that designate data reporting standards such as XBRL be used for the reporting of certain information under the Social Security Act.

 

In a company’s first year of XBRL compliance, each amount in the primary financial statements is tagged in XBRL, and each note to the financial statements and certain financial schedules is individually tagged as a block of text. In the second year of compliance, more detailed information is required, including: each accounting policy, each table and each amount in the notes and financial schedules also must be tagged separately in XBRL.

 

The only companies the XBRL rules do not apply to are investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act, business development companies and other entities that report under the Exchange Act and prepare their financial statements in accordance with Article 6 of Regulation S-X, according to the SEC. In addition, since the SEC has not yet approved the taxonomy for foreign private issuers that report under IFRS, these companies will not be required to submit XBRL exhibits.

 

For new XBRL filers, the rules include two permissible grace periods: a 30-day grace period for a company’s initial, basic tagged submission and, in the following year, a 30-day grace period for a company’s initial, more detailed tagged submission. The rules also include modified liability provisions for the first two years a company is required to provide XBRL submissions. The modified liability provisions are eliminated on Oct. 31, 2014.

 

For more information on XBRL filing, see the final rule on the SEC’s website, visit xbrl.org/us or see the EDGAR Filer Manual.

 

For additional resources, visit the AICPA’s XBRL resource center. This site includes links to additional articles, webcasts, events and other helpful information.


Mach 7, 2011 message from Jim Richards

I can update you on Just Systems application.  It is called xfy Report and is part of MashIQ.

 

It is not moved across to MetaMoji – an offshoot of Just Systems with the same owners – and it is now free.  However you do have to register to get a key and to download it.  To the best of my knowledge this is not a 30-day trial; it is the full version with no expiry date.

 

There are a couple of online Flash tutorials and the latest produced shows a very simple example of how to do a comparison between two companies.

 

The web site is http://www.mashiq.com/community/.

 

Jim

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim Richards

Phone (Home): (08) 9249 6874

Phone (Mobile): 0419-172-100


Steve Hornik suggested Dipity ---
http://www.dipity.com/timeline/SEC-XBRL/#timeline


From Ernst & Young's Week in Review, March 3, 2011

For additional information on the SEC's rule regarding the use of XBRL, we encourage you to monitor the XBRL page on the SEC's website (http://xbrl.sec.gov) and to consider our publications and webcast, which are available on AccountingLink:

March 9, 2011 reply from Glen Gray

Another nice source of XBRL classroom material is available from Kelly Williams, Rick Elam, and Mitch Wenger. The contact person is Mitch at mrwenger@olemiss.edu 

They start with XML exercises and then move on to XBRL. They use XML and XBRL software from Altova at
www.altova.com  who provides free licensing of their products to educators.


Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems
College of Business & Economics
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff ST
Northridge, CA 91330-8372
818.677.3948

http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f

Question
What is your accounting program doing to upgrade faculty and the curriculum on the rapidly changing times for XBRL?

"XBRL US Expands Education Program to Meet Growing Public Company Filer Demand," XBRL US, February 11, 2011 ---
http://xbrl.us/News/Pages/20110211.aspx

XBRL US, the national consortium for XML standards in business reporting, has increased the number and coverage of educational programs offered in 2011 to meet rising demand from an estimated 8,000 public companies that will be filing XBRL-formatted financials in 2011 for the first time. A new monthly webinar 'Detailed Footnote Tagging in XBRL', a 60-minute program to help companies that are getting started on the second phase of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rollout, has been added. XBRL US SEC Filer Training Workshops have been expanded to include a 90-minute online preparatory session in addition to the full-day in-person training, and will now be offered eight times in 2011. Upcoming programs include:

Implementing XBRL for SEC Reporting, 2/16, 3pm ET – Free introductory program. No CPE available.
Covers the essentials of implementing XBRL for SEC reporting including organizing data – mapping, extending, tagging, creating the XBRL document; quality control and validation; updates on taxonomy development and findings from the XBRL data to date. Learn more and register at
http://xbrl.us/webinars.

Detailed Footnote Tagging in XBRL, 2/23, 3pm ET, 60 minutes. Earn 1 CPE.
Provides the skills to begin mapping and tagging detailed footnotes including handling tables and establishing the correct process. Covers review of SEC requirements and approach to timing for footnote tagging; differences between year one and year two tagging of footnotes; examples of simple and more complex detailed footnote tagging. Learn more and register at
http://xbrl.us/DFTwebinar.

In-Person Training: SEC Filer Training Workshop, 3/4 online session and 3/10 in-person training in New York, NY. Earn up to 10 CPE.
This interactive 2-part workshop explains how to use the US GAAP Taxonomy, convert primary financial statements and block tag footnotes in XBRL format. Learn more and register at
http://xbrl.us/training.

Who should attend: CFOs, Controllers, Assistant Controllers, External Reporting Managers, and finance staff members who have direct responsibility for implementing SEC XBRL filing requirements.

About XBRL US
XBRL US is the non-profit consortium for XML business reporting standards in the U.S. and it represents the business information supply chain. Its mission is to support the implementation of XML business reporting standards through the development of taxonomies for use by U.S. public and private sectors, with a goal of interoperability between sectors, and by promoting XBRL adoption through marketplace collaboration. XBRL US has developed taxonomies for U.S. GAAP, credit rating and mutual fund reporting under contract with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. XBRL US Labs, the research and development arm of XBRL US, leverages the XBRL US platform, methodologies and people to address the quality of taxonomies and the harmonization of XBRL with other XML standards. For more information, go to
xbrl.us.

 


Mike Willis himself called my attention to the excellent XBRL update article below that may be helpful to share with students and clients.

One thing I've noticed when comparing accounting professor conference programs with finance professor programs is that finance professors tend to ignore XBRL happenings relative to their accounting professor counterparts, and even among accounting professors interest in XBRL updates is highly variable. We all need to be more up to date on XBRL happenings!

And we really need to get more finance professors involved in XBRL. The following article by Mike would be excellent to share with your finance colleagues along with a warning that they should not be ignoring what is happening on the XBRL front. It's really not hard to explain why!

I also think that, as Chairman of XBRL International, Mike should make a concerted effort to have this organization involve finance professors in a variety of ways. Firstly, Mike should reach out to leading finance and investment textbook authors with an appeal to add chapters on XBRL and to provide these authors with videos and cases that are now available from XBRL International and its associates. Secondly, I think Mike should lean on his best XBRL experts to propose joint research projects with professors of finance and investments. Thirdly I think accounting professors themselves should suggest possible joint research and teaching projects with finance and investments professors. Where have finance professors been in the past 10 years of XBRL?

Both accounting and finance professors should make more of an effort to bring alumni up to speed on XBRL happenings. Efforts should be made to make CPE presentations about XBRL.

"Standardize to Streamline - The Implications of Supply Chain Standards for Accountants," by Mike Willis, Chesapeake System Solutions, October 15, 2010 ---
http://www.chessys.com/news_display.php?id=39

Question
What are the four main take aways from Mike's article?

"The XBRL Mandate: Opportunities, And Threats, For Non-Big 4 Auditors," by Daniel Roberts via Francine McKenna, re:TheAuditors, January 2, 2010 ---
http://retheauditors.com/2011/01/02/the-xbrl-mandate-opportunities-and-threats-for-non-big-4-auditors/

This is a guest post by Daniel Roberts, the past Chairman of the XBRL US Steering Committee, a voting member of the XBRL International Assurance working group, and a member of numerous XBRL working groups.

Daniel has more than 25 years of professional services experience helping clients with engagements in the areas of innovation, sustainability, internal audit, risk management, corporate governance, and implementation of technology to support these initiatives. Daniel participates actively in discussions on CSR & sustainability solutions for organizations. He wrote to the SEC to advocate for more effective disclosure and mandated improvements in MD&A reporting of climate related issues and risks. He believes CSR & sustainability are business issues and must be approached as such.

Daniel has been involved at all levels in the XBRL world since the beginning of 2003, included serving as Chairman of the XBRL US Steering Committee. He also chaired the XBRL International Accounting Supply Chain group. He is a voting member of the XBRL International Assurance Working Group, and was instrumental in supporting the SEC’s decision to mandate the use of XBRL for filings.

Daniel comes from a USAID family, was born in Libya, and has lived in Tanzania, Tunisia, Thailand, Syria, Greece, New Zealand, the United States, and most recently France and the UK. In 1985, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Behavior and Social Science at the University of Maryland.

Continued in article


This is neat:  Dynamic Multivariate Data Visualization and Filtering
World Bank Data Visualizer
--- http://devdata.worldbank.org/DataVisualizer/
Click on the arrow buttons to change variable selections
Check and uncheck nation selections
Remember to click the Play button when you change the variables and country selections

I found it fascinating to compare economic variables for the BRIC nations compared with the U.S.
You can choose from a variety of economic variates

Brazil, Russia, India and China, (the BRICs) sometimes lumped together as BRIC to represent fast-growing developing economies, are selling off their U.S. Treasury Bond holdings. Russia announced earlier this month it will sell U.S. Treasury Bonds, while China and Brazil have announced plans to cut the amount of U.S. Treasury Bonds in their foreign currency reserves and buy bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund instead. The BRICs are also soliciting public support for a "super currency" capable of replacing what they see as the ailing U.S. dollar. The four countries account for 22 percent of the global economy, and their defection could deal a severe blow to the greenback. If the BRICs sell their U.S. Treasury Bond holdings, the price will drop and yields rise, and that could prompt the central banks of other countries to start selling their holdings to avoid losses too. A sell-off on a grand scale could trigger a collapse in the value of the dollar, ending the appeal of both dollars and bonds as safe-haven assets. The moves are a challenge to the power of the dollar in international financial markets. Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday said the decision by the BRICs to buy IMF bonds should not be seen simply as a desire to diversify their foreign currency portfolios but as a show of muscle.
"BRICs Launch Assault on Dollar's Global Status," The Chosun IIbo, June 14, 2009 ---
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/06/12/2009061200855.html

 

 

This might be a great way to compare  selected XBRL subsets of corporate financial statements ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#TimelineXBRL

Multivariate data visualization has always fascinated me and has been a subject of my research and scholarship over the years ---
Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm 

 

 

 

 


October 22, 2010 message from Jaci Schneider Rivet Software jschneid@ischool.utexas.edu

Hi Dr. Jensen,

Hope your semester is going great. My name is Jaci Schneider, and I am an intern for Rivet Software, the leading XBRL compliance and financial reporting provider in the world.

Based on your experience in accounting and technology, we are hoping to get some advice from you about a new project. I promise to be brief.

As you know, the SEC mandated in 2008 that public companies use XBRL in their filing reports. Since we know that fitting new regulatory mandates into your syllabus isn?t always the most pleasant task, we?re developing a program to provide professors of accounting and finance with our newest software program, Crossfire, along with classroom tools to get your whole class on board with XBRL in an interactive and practical way. My assigned project is to learn as much I can from professors in your field so that we better understand how to expand our program.

Our XBRL software, Crossfire, provides easy-to-use tools and support for XBRL document creation, review and filing, and we are creating a network for students to explore and begin to understand all the uses of XBRL through our program. They will use real-world data and have the opportunity to discuss their questions and problems in an online environment, created just for students and their professors.

Our team is now working with students and professors to decide on the structure of the program to make sure it meets the needs of its users, and we would love your input. Here are the questions. Feel free to write as little or as much as you like.

1) Does your department use a specific XBRL curriculum or do you teach XBRL in any of your classes?

2) Where do you get your information about XBRL? Conferences, publications, other professors?

3) If we were to provide software and a workbook for you to use in class, what would make you more likely to include it in your syllabus? Cost, support, ease of use, etc.?

Knowing more about your needs and preferences will help us roll out the program efficiently and provide the needed support and coaching right from the start. So, let us know your questions and concerns, and we?ll be sure to take them into consideration as we put the final touches on the program?s roll-out.

Thanks for reading this email and please provide us with feedback, even if it?s just to say that this program sounds interesting or that it doesn?t fit your needs. We?ll respect your thoughts and promise not to pass on your information to anyone else.

Best regards,

Jaci Schneider
Rivet Software

jschneid@ischool.utexas.edu

 


Probably the most important XBRL and IDEA links at the moment are as follows:

IDEA (destined to replace EDGAR) --- http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/idea.shtml

XBRL Home --- http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
www.xbrl.org is XBRL International. www.xbrl.us is the U.S. jurisdiction.

Financial Reporting Using XBRL (maintained by Charles Hoffman) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2

XBRL Canada Blog (maintained by Jerry Trites) --- http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

XBRL Networking --- http://xbrlnetwork.ning.com/

Hitachi interactive data blog on XBRL --- http://hitachidatainteractive.com/ 

TryXBRL --- http://www.tryxbrl.org/

Bryant University Resource Center --- http://www.xbrl.org/Home/

 

Rivet XBRL Markup Software (Proprietary) --- http://www.rivetsoftware.com/

 

UB Matrix Enterprise Applications Suite (Proprietary) --- http://www.ubmatrix.com/products/enterprise_application_suite.htm

 

"Make Sense of Financial Reporting with XBRL," Pennsylvania CPA Journal via SmartPros, April 4, 2009, ---
 
http://accounting.smartpros.com/x66163.xml

 

April 14, 2009 reply from Eric E. Cohen/RBJ [cybercpa@SPRYNET.COM]

A few more links:

FREE XBRL software for use by academics/consortium: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/software/interstage/xbrltools/ 
FREE (and royalty free) XBRL Validation engine and (not free) XML/XBRL tooling:
http://www.altova.com 

Important webcasts and learning resources for one of the NON-financial reporting sides of XBRL - the XBRL Global Ledger Framework (XBRL GL) - http://gl.iphix.net

 

October 20, 2011 reply from Tom Hood

Bob,
 
Thanks for aggregating the great resources on XBRL.
 
Here is one more for your list on XBRL resources:
 
While our blog CPA Success is not dedicated to XBRL, Bill Sheridan and I have been writing extensively about the developments in XBRL and you can get all of our posts here:
 
 
Our most recent post may be of interest wit the advent of several pieces of federal legislation moving with XBRL and the interview Bill did with the Chief Counsel to the House Government Oversight Committee (Chairman Issa), Hudson Hollister. We think this is significant development in the use and adoption of XBRL and more specifically XBRL GL (Global Ledger). See Eric Cohen's resources from his earlier response.
 
You can view our presentation on XBRL for non-profits done by our CFO and accounting intern from Salisbury University and presented at the XBRL US Conference last month

 
Tom

Zane Swanson's XBRL Blog --- http://blog.askaref.com/

Zane Swanson's Website --- www.askaref.com

October 14, 2011 Message from Zane Swanson

I started a blog http://blog.askaref.com/ this week to support my website www.askaref.comFour user groups are targeted: professors, students, statement preparers and analysts.  www.askaref.com is designed for mobile devices with the intent to help broaden the usage of XBRL.  However, in order to do so I thought it necessary to address situations why the users will want XBRL information in mobile devices.  A blog is a great way of communicating that type of application solution.  For example, professors may want to give mini case examples to students to introduce XBRL.  Students may want to know the definitions of accounting terms and reference ASC standards wherever and whenever.  And so on.

  I will be including scenario situations on the blog using the mobile device applications with screen shot walkthroughs.  I encourage anyone to visit the blog and post requests for XBRL mobile device needs that can be used in the classroom, business meeting, financial analyst session, etc.

Zane Swanson


"What is the XBRL Cloud Report?" Rivet Blog, No Date ---
http://blog.rivetsoftware.com/2010/03/03/xbrl-cloud-report/

The Cloud Report is a validation tool created by a third party to assist with the XBRL filing process. In fact, some printers use this tool as their validation tool for their XBRL clients. Rivet currently uses its own proprietary tool to perform this function and does not rely on a third party for its validation. In addition, Rivet’s validation rules are based on official SEC guidelines, as are documented in the EDGAR manual. We work very closely with the SEC to ensure our interpretation of the SEC guidelines adhere to the EDGAR manual appropriately.

It is important to note that all filings submitted to the SEC pass EDGAR validations otherwise they would not have been accepted by the SEC. The Cloud is a third party’s interpretation of the SEC guidelines as are all the validation tools on the market. It is not an official validation tool of the SEC. When the Cloud was first created, there were concerns that the terminology used, specifically error, was interpreted as not being accepted by the SEC for filing. This was not the case. The Cloud’s term error includes both SEC Rule violations and SEC Warnings. For example, the Cloud lists Error LC3. This Cloud error is actually an SEC warning related to the fact that no numbers can be listed in the element name label. Yet the SEC Rule requires that the element name label exactly match the financial statement label including the numbers. The filer must meet the SEC Rule as they will not be able to submit through Edgar without following it. Yet because the filer is following the SEC Rule, they will get a SEC warning because the label includes numbers and therefore, an error LC3 in the Cloud.

The Cloud has always meant to be used as a collaborative tool to help vendors and filers interpret the SEC EDGAR Rules. If you have ever looked at these rules, you will agree that it is very difficult for a non-technical person to interpret. We have worked with the Cloud’s founder to offer guidance on how we interpret the rules and he has provided us with valuable feedback in our interpretation. This has led to conversations with the SEC and has helped everyone in interpreting the SEC Rules more accurately.

In summary,

  • The Cloud Report is not an SEC endorsed tool. It is a third party interpretation of the guidelines.
  • All filings run through the Cloud Report were successfully filed with the SEC. The Cloud errors do not mean SEC errors.
  • The Cloud Report was meant to be used as a validation tool, not to evaluate XBRL vendors.

The Cloud should not be used as a tool to rank XBRL vendors for several reasons:

  • First, all filers have passed the SEC Rules during the filing process otherwise they would not have been able to file. The errors listed on the Cloud Report are SEC warnings.
  • Second, XBRL vendors cannot necessarily control what the filer decides to do with regard to the SEC warnings. For example, if Rivet is providing our full service solution to a client, we change the terse element label to reflect the element name so that there is no SEC warning produced. If our client has taken the filing process in house, we cannot control if they make this change or not. Either way is accepted by the SEC, but without updating the terse element label, a warning is produced and on the Cloud, an error is produced. Since this has no bearing on their filing, they usually pass on performing this step.
  • Third, the Cloud was meant to be a collaborative tool to be used in the filing process to ensure accuracy. All XBRL vendors have Cloud errors. The Cloud is an interpretation of the SEC guidelines and is not an official SEC validation tool.

If you find that this tactic is being used by a XBRL vendor vying for your business, you may want to ask the following:

  • Please show me your percentage of overall errors compared to the other XBRL vendors for all filings to date. All vendors have some Cloud errors because Cloud errors are the same as SEC warnings and are accepted by the SEC for filing.
  • Drilldown into a particular filing and have the XBRL vendor show you the actual Cloud error and have them explain in detail how this error impacted the filing.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during your evaluation phase. I would be more than happy to work with you in evaluating your XBRL needs.

 


 

"IFRS XBRL taxonomy for 2010 is available," IAS Plus, May 1, 2010 ---
http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm

The IASC Foundation has released the IFRS XBRL Taxonomy 2010. The 2010 taxonomy is consistent with IFRSs and with the IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs), and for the first time both have been integrated into a single taxonomy. The IFRS Taxonomy 2010 is a translation of IFRSs as issued at 1 January 2010 into XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). XBRL facilitates simpler and faster electronic filing of financial information and comparison of IFRS financial data by companies, regulators, investors, analysts, and other users of financial information.

Click Here to access the IFRS Taxonomy files and accompanying materials on the Foundation's website.
http://www.iasb.org/XBRL/IFRS+Taxonomy/IFRS+Taxonomy+2010/IFRS+Taxonomy+2010.htm


 "23 Reasons Why Companies Choose Integrated XBRL," CFO.com, February 2010 ---
http://www.cfo.com/whitepapers/index.cfm/displaywhitepaper/14479744

With an Integrated XBRL Solution, the XBRL tagging process is embedded within the external reporting process. As such, XBRL tags can be applied and validated at any time within the external reporting process ý avoiding a "mad rush" to apply the XBRL tags just prior to filing with the SEC. Integrating XBRL into the external reporting process makes the tagging, validation and creation of XBRL documents dramatically more efficient and less error prone.

 


August 20, 2009 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Stephanie Farewell at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Skip White at the University of Delaware and Ernie Capozzoli at Kennesaw State University and myself are collaborating to bring eleven cases, class exercises and other learning resources on XBRL to the accounting and auditing curricula. These learning resources can be used in undergraduate introductory and intermediate accounting, auditing, information systems auditing and accounting information systems as well as graduate auditing and accounting information systems courses. The cases and class exercises are designed for both US and international adoption.

Much of this material was developed for the recent AAA XBRL bootcamp held prior to the AAA Annual Meeting. Some materials have been developed jointly, some individually,

We seek faculty who will be interested in adopting the cases and learning resources, particularly for the coming semester. We need input and feedback so that the cases can be further improved and enhanced. A description of each case or learning resource, together with contact information is at tinyurl.com/xbrlcases.

Aloha,
Roger D

August 19, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

In the meantime, I have two older videos that might be useful.

My Korean Stock Exchange video on the use of XBRL (2005) ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/XBRLdemos2005.wmv
Note that the Korean Stock Exchange illustration is in the latter part of the clip.

You can read about KOSDAQ and XBRL at http://www.xbrl.org/nmpxbrl.aspx?id=92

My video on a defunct demo that PwC, Microsoft, and NASDAQ cooperated in developing in 2001.
It illustrates the use of Excel software for XBRL applications  (note that the demo comes late in the video clip) ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/XBRLdemos.wmv
PS:  This video may be the only public record of this original XBRL demo. From that standpoint it is useful for history buffs.

Bob Jensen

 


500 Largest Corporations Registered by the SEC Must Markup Financial Statements with XBRL Tags

December 17, 2008 message from Neal Hannon [nhannon@GMAIL.COM]

Some of the largest U.S. companies will have to file their financial reports next year using technology designed to make it easier for investors to read and analyze the data under a rule adopted by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The SEC voted 4-1 to require 500 of the largest public companies to begin filing their financial reports using the technology known as XBRL, or extensible business reporting language, by mid-2009. The SEC voted, also by 4-1, in favor of requiring mutual funds to file their risk and return information using XBRL to make it easier for investors to analyze the performance, risk and fees of thousands of funds. Mutual funds will be required to file the data using the electronic tags by Jan. 1, 2011."

Pop the champange and throw the confetti! XBRL is finally mandatory for SEC filings starting with quarters and years ending after June 15, 2009. Although the final rule details will not be official until published in the Federal Register, we did learn today that XBRL filings will be required and that liability on the XBRL will be phased in over a two year period. In other words, the XBRL filing of G.E. for the second quarter of 2011, two years after the first filing in 2009, will carry "as filed" status. The one discenting vote, from commissioner Aguilar, was an objection to the push back on liability. Commissioner Aguilar wanted full liability on XBRL filings as of June 15, 2009.

"TryXBRL.org Launched," SmartPros, March 28, 2008 ---  http://accounting.smartpros.com/x61325.xml

A new Web site, TryXBRL.com, allows free access to view and analyze complete XBRL-tagged financial statements for over 12,000 publicly traded corporations.

After registering on the portal, TryXBRL.org, corporate finance professionals can educate themselves about the XBRL tagging process and view their own historical financial information in XBRL format. Investors and analysts can experience how XBRL reduces the complexity and costs associated with analyzing performance data.

The site is a collaboration of EDGAR Online Inc., a business and financial information provider, and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a print services company.

"Our goal has been to deliver solutions that do not require technical expertise or excessive time commitments by corporations wishing to take part in the SEC Voluntary Program or to familiarize themselves with XBRL," said Philip Moyer, President and CEO of EDGAR Online, Inc. "We are providing open access to our vast XBRL database through a solution that enables corporations to begin filing XBRL content with the SEC in as little as a few hours."

RR Donnelley and EDGAR Online have collaborated to deliver XBRL filing solutions to corporations since 2005.

Once again that site is at http://www.tryxbrl.org/

April 1, 2008 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

I just tried the site. Wow. Very powerful. I confirmed the numbers for one company to make sure I knew what I was seeing. It pulled the 2007 four quarter numbers for my selected company and then the 4th qtr numbers for the three peer companies and my selected company. I'm not sure where that 12,000 publicly traded corporations is coming from. They must mean filings, not corporations. I found the following table for March/June 2005 in Appendix F. http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/acspc/acspc-finalreport.pdf  If you include pink sheet companies, the data for which are not publicly available (at least to my knowledge), the total climbs to 13,094. Does anyone have a source for more recent numbers of publicly traded corporations?

Listing Venue Number of Companies Listed NYSE 2,553 AMEX 747 NASDAQ National Market 2,580 NASDAQ Capital Market1 593 OTC Bulletin Board 2,955 Total 9,428

The table (I only show part of it) has the following footnote explanation: Source: Public data includes 13,094 companies from the Center for Research in Securities Prices at the University of Chicago for NYSE and AMEX companies as of March 31, 2005 and from NASDAQ for NASDAQ and OTC Bulletin Board companies and from Datastream Advance for Pink Sheets companies as of June 10, 2005. This table was compiled by members of the staff of the SEC's Office of Economic Analysis and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission, the Commissioners, or other members of the Commission staff.

Amy Dunbar UConn


Transparency, Regulation, and XBRL

"Transparency Is More Powerful Than Regulation FDR sided with advisers who argued for disclosure," by L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123837223623167841.html

In 1933, newly elected president Franklin D. Roosevelt had to make a tough choice in dealing with the aftermath of the stock-market crash that wiped out much of the equity in American companies. Leading members of FDR's brain trust wanted federal regulators to get the power to make key decisions over markets, such as which companies deserved to be publicly traded. Today, many of President Barack Obama's advisers want unprecedented authority to oversee details of the credit markets, and how banks lend.

FDR decided instead to side with advisers who argued for disclosure as the key operating principle of our markets. Helping markets function better, they reasoned, was a sounder safeguard than trusting regulators to decide.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis had made the point that "sunlight is the best disinfectant," and the Securities Act of 1933 mandated the information that public companies would have to share. One indicator that disclosure was more important than regulatory power is that it wasn't until the following year that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created.

What worked to restore confidence in the equity markets then can help to restore confidence in the debt markets now: more disclosure, aimed at making the terms of debt such as mortgages more transparent. Unlike the case of stocks, under current law no one in the chain of making, insuring and rating debt is required to disclose full terms to regulators or to the market. Instead, debt markets function based on best estimates, with mathematical models determining probabilities of cash flows and defaults.

Ever since the models failed due to an unpredicted bubble, the market has been paralyzed with uncertainty. There is still a wide gap between what banks think their bad debt might be worth and what the Treasury or private investors are willing to pay.

It didn't get much attention, but earlier this month Congress got a lesson on the potential of better disclosure. "Today's financial crisis was driven in part by a lack of accurate, easily usable information to give investors what they need to make informed, responsible decisions," testified Mark Bolgiano, chief executive of a nonprofit technology and accounting consortium called XBRL US. "The value of toxic asset-backed securities remains a mystery because information on the underlying loans and ongoing viability of those loans and the securities themselves was not collected consistently and even if it had been, it would not have been in a usable, portable form."

XBRL sounds complicated, but eXtensible Business Reporting Language is simply a new technology language that allows data to be easily extracted, searched and analyzed. XBRL is already being used for some equity disclosures, tagging financial information into a globally consistent, computer-readable format.

Philip Moyer, who runs the Edgar Online service that distributes SEC data, studied more than 500 mortgage-backed securities priced between 2006 and mid-2008. He found there were only 600 relevant data points needed to assess the risk of a mortgage, which is many fewer than the tens of thousands of factors used to report on stocks. "This crisis has proven that lack of transparency ultimately destroys a market," Mr. Moyers said.

The good news is that with the innovation of XBRL, tracking debt instruments is no longer a technological challenge. Instead, it's a political challenge.

Regulators would need to define new disclosures robust enough that data can be collected and compared, even as credit instruments continue to be rolled into complex securities and their derivatives. Other factors would include tracking the institutions holding various positions and how much leverage is involved. Put another way: If bar codes can track down bad peanuts on store shelves, shouldn't we be able to use technology to track details of mortgages and other debt instruments?

Paul Wilkinson, a lawyer who worked with former SEC Chairman Chris Cox to support the development of XBRL, has set the goal of making debt markets as regularized as titling property or registering shares. "Thanks to XBRL, there is a means to achieve the goal of moving from pseudocapitalism based on speculation to real capitalism based on facts, and a world where willing buyers and sellers can make markets based on those facts," he said.

This is an encouraging vision during these anxious times. But even with the country's long tradition of relying on disclosure, the discussion in Washington has focused almost exclusively on new powers for regulatory agencies.

FDR was no Milton Friedman, and neither was Brandeis, but they grasped what we seem to be forgetting, which is that markets are too complex for even the most powerful regulators to dictate. Better transparency is the surest way to make markets more efficient and less volatile. Market wisdom results when more people access better information.

The global credit crisis was made possible by real-time markets powered by new technologies that enabled massive global trading and the creation of opaque securities. It would be fitting now to use another new technology, in the form of XBRL, to make the credit markets simpler, more transparent and better insulated against bubbles.

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm


August 19, 2008 message from Roger Debreceny

The SEC was much quicker than I had expected in getting up the archive of the webcast on IDEA .. it is now available at http://www.connectlive.com/events/secnews/  .. see Chairman Cox as the highest paid computer tutor in the USA!

The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC’s transition from collecting forms and documents to making the information itself freely available to investors to give them better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use.
 SEC Announces Successor to EDGAR Database, 2008-179 ---
http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-179.htm
Also see
http://www.accountingweb.com/blogs/fei_financial_reporting_blog.html


XBRL Video

"'XBRL in Plain English' on YouTube," SmartPros, May 23, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x61948.xml

YouTube Link --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F1E-2LkhW8

June 3, 2008 reply from James Richards [jdrozwa@IINET.NET.AU]

Hi,

Charlie Hoffman has another on his blog – http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2 .

Cheers.

Jim Richards 

Bob Jensen's older videos on XBRL --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/


"SEC unveils 'Financial Explorer' investor tool using XBRL," AccountingWeb, February 20, 2008 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=104665

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox has announced the launch of the "Financial Explorer" on the SEC Web site to help investors quickly and easily analyze the financial results of public companies. Financial Explorer paints the picture of corporate financial performance with diagrams and charts, using financial information provided to the SEC as "interactive data" in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

At the click of a mouse, Financial Explorer lets investors automatically generate financial ratios,

graphs, and charts depicting important information from financial statements. Information including earnings, expenses, cash flows, assets, and liabilities can be analyzed and compared across competing public companies. The software takes the work out of manipulating the data by entirely eliminating tasks such as copying and pasting rows of revenues and expenses into a spreadsheet. That frees investors to focus on their investments' financial results through visual representations that make the numbers easier to understand. Investors can use Financial Explorer by visiting www.sec.gov/xbrl .

"XBRL is fast becoming the universal language for the exchange of business information and it is the future of financial reporting," said Cox. "With Financial Explorer or another XBRL viewer, investors will be able to quickly make sense of financial statements. In the near future, potentially millions of people will be able to analyze and compare financial statements and make better-informed investment decisions. That's a big benefit to ordinary investors."

David Blaszkowsky, Director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, encouraged investors to try out the new software. "Financial Explorer will help investors analyze investment choices much quicker. I encourage both companies and investors to visit the SEC Web site, try the software, and get a first-hand glimpse of the future of financial analysis, especially for the retail investor."

Financial Explorer is open source, meaning that its source code is free to the public, and technology and financial experts can update and enhance the software. As interactive data becomes more commonplace, investors, analysts, and others working in the financial industry may develop hundreds of Web-based applications that help investors garner insights about financial results through creative ways of analyzing and presenting the information.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The Financial Explorer link ---
http://209.234.225.154/viewer/home/
Note the "Take a Tour" option.

Bob Jensen's videos (created before the SEC created the Financial Explorer) are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/
When I can find some time, I'll create a Financial Explorer update video.

 


XBRL Blogs and Networks

Financial Reporting Using XBRL (maintained by Charles Hoffman) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2

XBRL Canada Blog (maintained by Jerry Trites) --- http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

XBRL Networking --- http://xbrlnetwork.ning.com/


 

December 8, 2007 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

1-We now have: XBRL for Dummies – A Reference for the Rest of Us, ISBN: 978-0-470-22874-6 Published by Wiley. This is a quick course on XBRL without getting too technical.

2-US GAAP Taxonomy project is completed for public review http://xbrl.us/USGAAPreview/Pages/default.aspx Academics with any interest in financial accounting, auditing, or XBRL are strongly encouraged to go to the web site and evaluate this product. The use of archival data about public companies will be impacted by this US. GAAP taxonomy, most likely we all have a dog in this fight. Although a lot of tools and guidance provided by the website, you might need additional skills/training for this evaluation. Charlie Hoffman charles.hoffman@ubmatrix.com , also father of XBRL, has offered to provide such training for academics and I will be happy to coordinate it; please let me know.

Saeed Roohani
Bryant University


January 14, 2008 message from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]

Here's a link to a very interesting recent speech by SEC Chairman Chris Cox - http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2008/spch011008cc.htm

Among other things he says: "So to sum up, this is what you need to know from the SEC's standpoint: IFRS is coming. XBRL is coming. And mutual recognition is coming."

From this and many other recent activities at the SEC, FASB, Congress and elsewhere, it appears that both IFRS and XBRL are nearer than some might have imagined.  And educators should be taking these developments into consideration now, or may be left behind.

Denny Beresford

 

SEC releases new XBRL analytical tool
XBRL US, Inc., the nonprofit consortium dedicated to the adoption of XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), a technology standard for the reporting of financial and business information in the U.S., strongly supports the Securities and Exchange Commission's launch of an online, interactive tool that allows investors to instantly extract, compare, and analyze executive compensation for the largest 500 companies in the United States . . . This tool relies on the power of XBRL for the compensation data and underscores the flexibility and usefulness of "tagged" data. The SEC announcement comes a year after it adopted stricter rules on executive pay disclosure that now require more detail in annual shareholder proxy statements. The new application uses XBRL data created by the SEC and allows investors and researchers to immediately create reports showing salary, bonus, stock awards, option awards, non-equity incentive plan compensation, change in pension value, and other compensation figures for executives at the top 500 companies.
"SEC releases new XBRL analytical tool," AccountingWeb, January 10, 2008 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/item/104442

Bob Jensen's video demos of XBRL are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/


XBRL Video

"'XBRL in Plain English' on YouTube," SmartPros, May 23, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x61948.xml


 

Link forwarded by Roger Debreceny on April 9, 2007 on  posting by XBRL leader Charlie Hoffman ---
http://www.actgov.org/actiac/documents/pdfs/XBRLWhitePaper.pdf


XBRL: You Can't Ignore It Anymore
The SEC has poured $54 million into a new interactive reporting tool to replace the retiring Edgar. Now the Big Four say it is time to scrap quarterly reports in favor of real-time (read: daily) financial reporting. If the phrase "XBRL" put you to sleep in the past, it's time to wake up. And as momentum for improving the format of data reporting builds, the push for enriched information content is moving along, too. Indeed, the big audit firms are calling on corporations to report scads of non-financial data to buttress the financials.
"XBRL: You Can't Ignore It Anymore," CFO Magazine Special Report, Various Dates in 2006 ---
http://www.cfo.com/guides/guide.cfm/8310234?f=members_121406&x=1

THE INTERACTIVE DATA MOVEMENT

Q&A: Microsoft's Laux on Finance Reports The software giant's director of technical accounting and reporting thinks that once CFOs clear the Sarbox 404 hurdle, they'll show more enthusiasm for XBRL and the reporting of non-financial data.

Will the AICPA Take Over XBRL Standards? Companies could be filing XBRL-ready financial statements as soon as 2008. But some observers worry that the definitions corporations will have to follow will be written almost entirely by accountants.

The Good and Bad About XBRL's Future The setup costs for XBRL is relatively low, but without the proper user tools, regulatory filings can turn into "gibberish."

XBRL Will Keep Investors Wanting More The programming language will pique, not satiate, investors' appetite for more information.

SEC Hires a Company It's Investigating Hired on Monday to work on the commission's new filing system, BearingPoint earlier reported that it would file its financials late—and that it was under investigation by the SEC.

10-Ks, 8-Ks a Thing of the Past? In announcing that the SEC's XBRL project will be done within a year, Chairman Christopher Cox said investors will be able to assemble their own financial data, rather than rely on current regulatory documents.

XBR-What? Even as SEC chairman Cox champions "interactive data," few CFOs seem impressed. Is that because too few of the benefits accrue to them?

Another XBRL Nudge from the SEC The SEC issues a formal request to add an XBRL analysis tool to its online Edgar system. The move increases pressure on companies to voluntarily adopt the technology.

Will XBRL Improve Analyst Coverage? If more companies filed financial documents using XBRL, analysts would be able to spend less time on data collection and would be likely to ''expand buy- and sell-side coverage,'' according to one panelist at an SEC roundtable.

GE, Pepsi Join SEC Data Pilot More companies agree to provide the SEC with financial data in XBRL format, a program strongly backed by Chairman Christopher Cox.

Ready or Not, XBRL Is Coming The SEC and FASB are gearing up for XBRL, suggesting it's only a matter of time before its use becomes mandatory.

Tagged, But Not It Yet A small group of companies has signed up with the SEC to test Internet-tagging of financial data. Will this latest effort finally launch the long-predicted XBRL revolution?

XBRL: From Tags to Riches? The SEC is offering limited liability relief, the ability to file using Form 8-K, the freedom to tag just a portion of data, and other incentives to encourage companies to file financial data using XBRL.

What XBRL Means For You XBRL promises to bring a little context to numbers. And yes, that's a good thing.

THE SKINNY ON XBRL

For a more laid-back approach to our coverage of interactive data, check out the blog posts below, or click to go to the main blog page.

XBRL? No Thanks, Chaps

The Real-Time Reporting Conundrum

IDA? EVA? XENA?

Cue EDGAR's Fat Lady

Tiny XBRL

XBRL: Is it a TWR of BABL?

A Question of Terms

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm


The XBRL U.S. consortium completed its U.S. GAAP taxonomy, a key step necessary for the full implementation of interactive data technology for financial reporting. The Financial Accounting Foundation and critical stakeholder groups including analysts, public company preparers and software providers are reviewing the draft taxonomy before it is released for public review, said the SEC, which has contributed funding to the project. For more information, visit www.xbrl.org/us/taxonomies or www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl.htm. --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov2007/highlights.htm


From Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, October 2007 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/oct2007/smart_stops.htm
FEDERAL FOCUS
www.sec.gov/spotlight.shtml
Visit this site for a rundown of hot topics on the SEC’s radar—including internal control reporting divisions, XBRL initiatives and IFRS. You can access transcripts and webcasts of roundtable discussions on mutual recognition, the proxy process and hedge funds, as well as information on the SEC’s new Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (see “
Seeking Clarity,” page 30). You also can revisit older topics such as auditor independence and corporate officer statements that have been retired to the “Archive” page (www.sec.gov/spotlight/spotarchive.htm).

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are embedded in the file at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm

Bob Jensen's XBRL video tutorials are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/


XBRL and the SEC in December 2007

"SEC releases taxonomy for GAAP financial reports," AccountingWeb, December 6, 2007 --- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Interactive Disclosure is heralding the release for public comment of computer labels that will help companies make their financial disclosures more useful for investors. The labels are already supported by at least nine software companies whose products will enable public companies to make quarterly and annual financial reports available in interactive data form instead of text form. Interactive data concepts allow companies to present their financial information in an electronic format that investors, analysts, and others can use to more easily locate and analyze desired information. The interactive data is encoded in a format known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which allows companies to map their financial information to a set of computer codes that represent U.S. GAAP accounting standards. This standardized list of codes used to represent U.S. GAAP is known as a taxonomy.

The SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, created in October to lead the transformation to interactive financial reporting by public companies, encourages broad public review of the taxonomy and the corresponding instructions about how to create a financial statement in XBRL.

"We've been saying that interactive data is on the brink of transforming the review and analysis of financial information for the benefit of investors and public companies alike," said David Blaszkowsky, Director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure. "With the release of this taxonomy today, investors can now begin to visually see the progress being made, and so will every public company that uses GAAP. Interactive data is no longer merely an up-and-comer, it's becoming reality. We encourage both users and preparers of financial information to participate in this public review so we can advance interactive data to be recognized as, not only amazing technology, but a superior way of doing business and making faster, cheaper, and more informed investment decisions."

The SEC launched its interactive data filing initiative in April 2005 to make filings more accessible and understandable to the common investor. A test group of public companies have since been voluntarily submitting XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports and Investment Company Act filings. Through feedback from these voluntary XBRL filers and a global collaboration of technologists, the XBRL US project team created tags for a financial reporting taxonomy that covers every U.S. GAAP accounting concept — virtually every fact that a company might want to report on its financial statements and in its footnotes.

The SEC will use the initial financial statements prepared using the new taxonomy to help it update its electronic filing system to seamlessly accept and render the filings.

"We have gone a long way since we started this in 2005. The voluntary pilot program started out when there was nothing like the fully-fledged taxonomies that we are going to release to the public on Wednesday," SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told a media briefing in Vancouver earlier this week.

"That's really what got us from a slow jog to right now, a full gallop," he said following a presentation to the 16th annual XBRL International Conference.

A free taxonomy review tool is publicly available on the Internet at usgaap.xbrl.us along with other information, including the nine software companies whose products are compatible with the new draft taxonomy. The public comment period ends on April 5, 2008.

Once the testing period ends, regulators expect to be ready to propose that U.S. companies begin filing financial reports in XBRL format.

"A lot is going to depend on the acceptance phase that we are now entering for the U.S. GAAP taxonomies," Cox told Reuters news.

"If that all works the way it's supposed to then we'll have some opportunities to introduce it more broadly. If there are suggestions from people who are using it that are going to take time to meet, then that will influence our thinking."

Some U.S. companies, including General Electric, Microsoft, and United Technologies Corp., are already using XBRL voluntarily, and international acceptance has been strong, with several countries, including Japan, China, and the Netherlands, embracing the format.

Informative podcasts available

XBRL US, Inc., the nonprofit consortium dedicated to the adoption of XBRL, initiated its first two podcasts featuring important stakeholders. The programs featured Jeff Diermeier, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute, and Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Podcasts can be downloaded to a handheld device or simply listened to online at http://xbrl.us.

The series of 10-minute interviews will feature industry experts presenting their view on interactive data or covering a specific topic related to XBRL. The series is designed to address key stakeholder viewpoints but will also feature timely and sometimes controversial topics related to the use of interactive data in different reporting situations.

Diermeier kicked off the webcast series, reflecting the fact that Wall Street is the ultimate stakeholder in the XBRL movement. CFA Institute, a global professional association that is well known for its administration of the Chartered Financial Analyst(R) (CFA(R)) and Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) curriculum and exam programs, recently became a member of XBRL US and has been conducting a roadshow series to educate its members about interactive data. It has also surveyed its members about their awareness

Continued in article

December 8, 2007 message from Roger Debreceny [Roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

XBRL International has held its semi-annual meeting in Vancouver this week. Some key elements of the meeting were:

·         As many on AECM will know, the new (see what $5m will buy) US GAAP XBRL taxonomy is on its way. It has moved from internal review within the XBRL community to public review. See www.xbrl.us and http://usgaap.xbrl.us/ for the draft taxonomy. You can sign up to review the taxonomy, code financials etc. The quality of the taxonomy is central to the adoption of XBRL by the SEC.

·         An interesting set of ideas from Peter Wallison of the AEI on the role of XBRL in capital markets presented as a keynote at the meeting is at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.27191/pub_detail.asp

·         There are two new MP3 podcasts on XBRL at www.xbrl.us .. Mark Bolgiano, CEO of XBRL US, interviews AICPA President Barry Melancon and CFA Institute President Jeff Diermeier.

Later, all presentations will be available at http://archive.xbrl.org/. Presentations from earlier XBRL International conferences are available on the archive.

 

Roger

 

 

..................................................................

Roger Debreceny

Shidler College Distinguished Professor of Accounting

School of Accountancy

Shidler College of Business

University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

roger@debreceny.com
rogersd@hawaii.edu

Office: +1 808 956 8545 Cell: +1 808 393 1352

www.debreceny.com

 

Bob Jensen's video demos of XBRL are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/


"Interactive Data - Building XBRL into Accounting Information Systems," by Jerry Trites  --- http://www.cica.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/27401/la_id/1.htm


Question
How useful is XBRL for mutual funds?

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on August 31, 2007

Language of Love for Mutual Funds: XBRL
by Daisy Maxey
The Wall Street Journal

Aug 28, 2007
Page: C11
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118825363850710278.html?mod=djem_jiewr_ac
 

TOPICS: Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Financial Statement Analysis, Securities and Exchange Commission

SUMMARY: Maxey describes the usefulness of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for comparing mutual funds' reported results. "In April 2005, public companies began voluntarily submitting interactive-data documents as exhibits to reports and other filings with the SEC. The mutual-fund submissions are an extension of that program. "

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Reference in this review to a white paper from the SEC on XBRL and the SEC's involvement with this system allows for discussion of the system's use for all financial statements submitted to the SEC. Obtain access to the white paper at http://www.edgar-online.com/?contactID=55822111

QUESTIONS: 
1.) What is XBRL?

2.) How is the Securities and Exchange Commission introducing use of this system by financial statement filers and, now, mutual funds? Hint: in addition to the description in the article, you may find this information by searching the SEC's web site (www.sec.gov) for XBRL. Provide a proper citation of documents you use for this purpose. One document you may find is the transcript of remarks at the 15th International XBRL Conference by Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey in Munich, Germany on June 4, 2007 available at http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2007/spch060407klc.htm

3.) Why do you think companies volunteer to begin reporting under the XBRL system? Why do you think the SEC is beginning this system with voluntary reporting in this format?

4.) The SEC web site refers to an article in The Accounting Review investigating financial statement users' behaviors in accessing financial statement information. The location of the paper on the SEC's web site is http://www.sec.gov/news/press/4-515/4515-6art.pdf Read the summary of the paper. Draw an analogy from these research results to the impact of XBRL for mutual fund investors.
 

SMALL GROUP ASSIGNMENT: 
Follow the directions in the article to access the SEC web site tool for accessing interactive data. Select two companies in the same industry and prepare a comparison report of income statement data. Download the data to Excel and calculate a common-sized income statement (showing the top line of the income statement, sales, as 100% and all other elements as percentages of sales). Assess differences between the two companies. Identify other sources of data for financial statement analysis (for example, Yahoo! Finance). Compare and contrast the use of XBRL with other available sources of data. What is the advantage of having interactive data available in the financial statement filings themselves as opposed to the use of a system accessing electronic data presented in a traditional format? What are potential disadvantages - particularly with the current state of the system in relying on companies voluntarily providing optional information in the XBRL tagged format?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island
 

"Language of Love for Mutual Funds: XBRL Computer Code Simplifies Investors' Search for Data On Returns, Costs, Risks," by Daisy Maxey, The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2007; Page C11 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118825363850710278.html?mod=djem_jiewr_ac 

Mutual-fund investors whose eyes glaze over when they read the term "XBRL" may want to keep reading: The computer language may soon make it easier to compare funds' strategies, costs, risks and returns.

Mutual funds last week began providing information related to their risks and returns to the Securities and Exchange Commission using XBRL, a software language used to label filings with standard codes. These codes make it simple to pull specific bits of data out of long, hard-to-search filings. (XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language.)

Longer term, the effort may spur online-data providers to develop tools for investors to easily analyze and compare mutual funds, resulting in a more competitive investment-management industry.

Years in the Making

In April 2005, public companies began voluntarily submitting interactive-data documents as exhibits to reports and other filings with the SEC. The mutual-fund submissions are an extension of that program.

Among the first mutual funds to participate in the program are Allegiant Advantage Fund, American Funds' Europacific Growth Fund, Mulhenkamp Fund and Vanguard 500 Index Fund.

The coding pulls out data on funds' investment objectives, strategies, risks, costs and historical performance. "That's the kernel which we suspect most investors are interested in," said John Heine, a spokesman for the SEC.

To get an idea of what may soon be available, investors can see submissions from publicly traded companies through an interactive viewer available through the SEC's public Web site (www.sec.gov). Click on "interactive data," choose "Interactive Financial Report Viewer," and then go to "XBRL Web application."

More Tweaks to Come

Risk and return information on mutual funds can't be seen through the viewer, and there's no way to easily compare funds yet, but the SEC is considering integrating the fund information into a viewer.

"Millions of retail investors rely on mutual funds to finance their retirement, health care, education and other financial needs, so shopping for the right fund shouldn't be a needlessly time-consuming and frustrating exercise," SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said in a news release. With the new tools, "investors will be able to comparison-shop among thousands of funds at the click of a mouse. This is a potentially rich new source of investing information for retail investors who need it most."

Jack Kunkle, an analyst with Muhlenkamp & Co. in Wexford, Pa., said he envisions many uses for the newly coded data. For example, the firm's customer-service representatives now research other mutual funds for their shareholders.

"Instead of having to go through big, long documents, this can easily compare one fund to another," he said.

Among the nation's biggest mutual-fund companies, Vanguard, of Valley Forge, Pa., could make additional submissions for funds as the SEC pilot program continues, but the firm has no plans to do so now, said spokeswoman Amy Chain.

"We think it's a powerful tool for mutual-fund investors. More than 80% of our client interactions take place online," she said.

Fidelity Investments is actively looking at the XBRL voluntary program, but Sophie Launay, a spokeswoman for the Boston-based fund company, said "it's too early to discuss specific plans."

 

Bob Jensen's video tutorials on XBRL are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/


Question
Is a major overhaul of accounting standards on the way?

Hint
There may no longer be the tried and untrusted earnings per share number to report!
Comment
It would be interesting to see a documentation of the academic research, if any, that the FASB relied upon to commence this blockbuster initiative. I recommend that some astute researcher commence to probe into the thinking behind this proposal.

"Profit as We Know It Could Be Lost With New Accounting Statements," by David Reilly, The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2007; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117893520139500814.html?mod=DAT

Pretty soon the bottom line may not be, well, the bottom line.

In coming months, accounting-rule makers are planning to unveil a draft plan to rework financial statements, the bedrock data that millions of investors use every day when deciding whether to buy or sell stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. One possible result: the elimination of what today is known as net income or net profit, the bottom-line figure showing what is left after expenses have been met and taxes paid.

It is the item many investors look to as a key gauge of corporate performance and one measure used to determine executive compensation. In its place, investors might find a number of profit figures that correspond to different corporate activities such as business operations, financing and investing.

Another possible radical change in the works: assets and liabilities may no longer be separate categories on the balance sheet, or fall to the left and right side in the classic format taught in introductory accounting classes.

ACCOUNTING OVERHAUL

Get a glimpse of what new financial statements could look like, according to an early draft recently provided by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to one of its advisory groups.The overhaul could mark one of the most drastic changes to accounting and financial reporting since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, when companies began publishing financial information as they sought outside capital. The move is being undertaken by accounting-rule makers in the U.S. and internationally, and ultimately could affect companies and investors around the world.

The project is aimed at providing investors with more telling information and has come about as rule makers work to one day come up with a common, global set of accounting standards. If adopted, the changes will likely force every accounting textbook to be rewritten and anyone who uses accounting -- from clerks to chief executives -- to relearn how to compile and analyze information that shows what is happening in a business.

This is likely to come as a shock, even if many investors and executives acknowledge that net income has flaws. "If there was no bottom line, I'd want to have a sense of what other indicators I ought to be looking at to get a sense of the comprehensive health of the company," says Katrina Presti, a part-time independent health-care contractor and stay-at-home mom who is part of a 12-woman investment club in Pueblo, Colo. "Net income might be a false indicator, but what would I look at if it goes away?"

The effort to redo financial statements reflects changes in who uses them and for what purposes. Financial statements were originally crafted with bankers and lenders in mind. Their biggest question: Is the business solvent and what's left if it fails? Stock investors care more about a business's current and future profits, so the net-income line takes on added significance for them.

Indeed, that single profit number, particularly when it is divided by the number of shares outstanding, provides the most popular measure of a company's valuation: the price-to-earnings ratio. A company that trades at $10 a share, and which has net profit of $1 a share, has a P/E of 10.

But giving that much power to one number has long been a recipe for fraud and stock-market excesses. Many major accounting scandals earlier this decade centered on manipulation of net income. The stock-market bubble of the 1990s was largely based on investors' assumption that net profit for stocks would grow rapidly for years to come. And the game of beating a quarterly earnings number became a distraction or worse for companies' managers and investors. Obviously it isn't known whether the new format would cut down on attempts to game the numbers, but companies would have to give a more detailed breakdown of what is going on.

The goal of the accounting-rule makers is to better reflect how businesses are actually run and divert attention from the one number. "I know the world likes single bottom-line numbers and all of that, but complicated businesses are hard to translate into just one number," says Robert Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the U.S. rule-making body that is one of several groups working on the changes.

At the same time, public companies today are more global than local, and as likely to be involved in services or lines of business that involve intellectual property such as software rather than the plants and equipment that defined the manufacturing age. "The income statement today looks a lot like it did when I started out in this profession," says William Parrett, the retiring CEO of accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, who started as a junior accountant in 1967. "But the kind of information that goes into it is completely different."

Along the way, figures such as net income have become muddied. That is in part because more and more of the items used to calculate net profit are based on management estimates, such as the value of items that don't trade in active markets and the direction of interest rates. Also, over the years rule makers agreed to corporate demands to account for some things, such as day-to-day changes in the value of pension plans or financial instruments used to protect against changes in interest rates, in ways that keep them from causing swings in net income.

Rule makers hope reformatting financial statements will address some of these issues, while giving investors more information about what is happening in different parts of a business to better assess its value. The project is being managed jointly by the FASB in the U.S. and the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, and involves accounting bodies in Japan, other parts of Asia and individual European nations.

The entire process of adopting the revised approach could take a few years to play out, so much could yet change. Plus, once rule makers adopt the changes, they would have to be ratified by regulatory authorities, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. and the European Commission in Europe, before public companies would be required to follow them.

As a first step, rule makers expect later this year to publish a document outlining their preliminary views on what new form financial statements might take. But already they have given hints of what's in store. In March, the FASB provided draft, new financial statements at the end of a 32-page handout for members of an advisory group. (See an example.)

Although likely to change, this preview showed an income statement that has separate segments for the company's operating business, its financing activities, investing activities and tax payments. Each area has an income subtotal for that particular segment.

There is also a "total comprehensive income" category that is wider ranging than net profit as it is known today, and so wouldn't be directly comparable. That is because this total would likely include gains and losses now kept in other parts of the financial statements. These include some currency fluctuations and changes in the value of financial instruments used to hedge against other items.

Comprehensive income could also eventually include short-term changes in the value of corporate pension plans, which currently are smoothed out over a number of years. As a result, comprehensive income could be a lot more difficult to predict and could be volatile from quarter to quarter or year to year.

As for the balance sheet, the new version would group assets and liabilities together according to similar categories of operating, investing and financing activities, although it does provide a section for shareholders equity. Currently, a balance sheet is broken down between assets and liabilities, rather than by operating categories.

Such drastic change isn't likely to happen without a fight. Efforts to bring now-excluded figures into the income statement could prompt battles with companies that fear their profit will be subject to big swings. Companies may also balk at the expense involved.

"The cost of this change could be monumental," says Gary John Previts, an accounting professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "All the textbooks are going to have to change, every contract and every bank arrangement will have to change." Investors in Europe and Asia, meanwhile, have opposed the idea of dropping net profit as it appears today, David Tweedie, the IASB's chairman, said in an interview earlier this year.

Analysts in the London office of UBS AG recently published a report arguing this very point -- that even if net income is a "simplistic measure," that doesn't mean it isn't a valid "starting point in valuation" and that "its widespread use is justification enough for its retention."

Such opposition doesn't surprise many accounting experts. Net income is "the basis for bonuses and judgments about what a company's stock is worth," says Stephen A. Zeff, an accounting professor at Rice University. "I just don't know what the markets would do if companies stopped reporting a bottom line somewhere." In the U.S., professional investors and analysts have taken a more nuanced view, perhaps because the manipulation of numbers was more pronounced in U.S. markets.

That said, net profit has been around for some time. The income statement in use today, along with the balance sheet, generally dates to the 1940s when the SEC laid out regulations on financial disclosure. But many companies have included net profit in one form or another since the 1800s.

In its fourth annual report, General Electric Co. provided investors with a consolidated balance sheet and consolidated profit-and-loss account for the year ended Jan. 31, 1896. The company, whose board at the time included Thomas Edison, generated "profit of the year" -- what today would be called net income or net profit -- of $1,388,967.46.

For the moment, net profit will probably exist in some form, although its days are likely numbered. "We've decided in the interim to keep a net-income subtotal, but that's all up for discussion," the FASB's Mr. Herz says.

May 14, 2007 reply from Paul Polinski [paulp_is@YAHOO.COM]

Bob:
If XBRL is on its way to becoming mandatory in a couple of years, as Chairman Cox seems to indicate, this will not really matter.

As you likely know, one of the most important features of XBRL data is that it is presentation-independent. Although filed XBRL statements will specify a default rendering (display) format and set of measurements (which the FASB may mandate through this project), the analysis tools already under development will allow users to easily override this default. They may design whatever format, and specify whatever measures, they wish to perform their analyses. They could even choose to reformat the data into "legacy" financial statements.

The biggest impact the FASB's project may ultimately have is as a normative statement about how data across financial statements should be used.

May 15, 2007 reply from Zane Swanson [zswanson@EMPORIA.EDU]

Analysts currently reformat financial statement information to identify value investment or arbitrage opportunities. One advantage of XBRL is that it potentially can improve the comparability between alternative company investments because everyone will use the same common data dictionary (taxonomy). Another advantage is the minimization (elimination) of rekeying data to do analyses which frees up additional time to actually do evaluations. I would suggest the development of presentation formats should focus on improving the ability of uninformed investors to understand their investments ( a la the AICPA effort to improve financial literacy) because then the market will broaden, become more efficient and hopefully make better allocation of scare resources.

Zane Swanson

May 15, 2007 reply from James Richards [jdrozwa@IINET.NET.AU]

Possibly another advantage of XBRL is that you can create any presentation format you want by creating your own presentation and/or calculation linkbase(s). You do not have to use the relationships provided by the taxonomy author; you can create one for your own needs. What you cannot change is the underlying schema file where the concepts are defined.

Jim Richards


December 10, 2006 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

In his speech at the 14th XBRL International Conference, Chairman Cox talked about Global XBRL Academic Competition:

See below and the link for your information.

And I should point out that not only can XBRL help reduce errors in the first place, but it can also help detect them after they occur. Here's an interesting example of how that might work. Just this year, a group of students at Emporia State University in Kansas won the Sixth Global XBRL Academic Competition at Bryant University by creating a software application that continuously identifies tagged transactions which should come to the attention of internal or external auditors. It's not hard to imagine that in the very near future, companies of all kinds will be able to rely on interactive data to flag anomalous data and fix accounting errors in real time

Speech by SEC Chairman: The Promise of Interactive Data by Chairman Christopher Cox U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 14th International XBRL Conference Philadelphia, Pennsylvania December 5, 2006

http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2006/spch120506cc.htm 

Saeed Roohani
Bryant University


"AICPA Brings XBRL Closer to Reporting Improvement Effort," AccountingWeb, June 21, 2006 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=102277

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) merger of the management of its XBRL development and Enhanced Business Reporting (EBR) initiatives may be more than just a reshuffling of operational hierarchy. It has set the table for two formerly separate efforts to help each other accomplish their intertwined missions, which both involve bringing business reporting into the 21st Century.

The AICPA has moved the XBRL and EBR Consortium management efforts under a single assurance services management team, and appointed Amy Pawlicki, an assurance and advisory services director and its liaison to the EBR Consortium, to oversee the coordination of EBR and XBRL activities, and be the management team’s liaison to the institute’s Assurance Services Executive Committee.

The AICPA and several organizations whose operations are connected to financial reporting in 2004 founded an EBR Consortium to promote a business reporting model that combines a company’s current and past performance with an understanding of its future prospects versus the current reporting model'sreliance mainly on past performance records.

XBRL is a technology in which key elements of electronically-formatted business reports are tagged so that they can be immediately accessed and collated to meet the needs of the reports’ preparers and end users. The AICPA in 1998 organized a consortium of technology vendors and businesses that deal with financial reports to launch development of XBRL, and the effort has since blossomed into a worldwide movement with separate XBRL development consortia in the United States and more than a dozen other countries, and an XBRL International group.

The combined management appears to be a natural since the EBR Consortium and the XBRL development effort share some of the same founding members, the AICPA, Microsoft Corp. and PriceWaterhouse Coopers. And the business reporting company, PR Newswire is among those active in both efforts.

Moreover, the merger reflects the profession’s growing awareness that XBRL is needed to advance EBR’s ultimate mission of greater transparency in financial reports, and to meet current business realities. An Assurance Services Executive Committee draft white paper on reporting and assurance notes the current reporting model was adopted during the Industrial Age and is not designed “to complement the vast array of new business models that companies now follow in the Information/Knowledge Age.”

It further notes the current model “is limited by its focus on static, paper-based, summary-level reports, whereas technology has evolved” far beyond that. The paper makes a strong case that XBRL is in fact meeting all the demands of the new economy, such as making information available on demand, real-time and enabling users to “drill-down into underlying concepts, data and relevant resources.”

The research paper predicts that XBRL will someday become as ubiquitous in business reporting as bar coding is in product distribution. Separately, Peter J. Wallison, resident fellow in the American Enterprise Institute, writing in the "The New Republic" in December 2004, said the capabilities of XBRL can indeed help the EBR Consortium accomplish its mission.

Pawlicki says the combined management will make it easier for team members to recognize areas where XBRL and EBR overlap and move forward with development for both efforts. “We don’t need to keep two separate teams up to date and the one team can see the whole landscape and better respond.” she says.

Most immediately, Pawlicki says the combination could assist in the development of XBRL taxonomies (tagging systems) for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) reporting and for key annual report parts such as Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A).

Pawlicki will represent the AICPA at the XBRL consortium in the United States, and Arleen Thomas, senior vice president of member competency and development, will represent it at the XBRL International group. They take over for the AICPA’s former XBRL point person, Louis Matherne, who left the institute in April for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association

Pawlicki is also charged with making individual CPAs more aware of XBRL and how they can put it to use in their practices and for their clients. “That is one of the most important things I will do,” she says.

Still new to the position, she says a formal communications strategy for XBRL has not yet been developed. But she added that she expects XBRL to be featured more prominently at AICPA member meetings. Improvement there should not be hard, since the technology has been low-profile or invisible at most institute conferences and at state society conferences.

However, XBRL took center stage at the institute’s National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments late last year when Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox said that the technology “will shape the future” of business reporting. and "will do for business reporting what bar coding did for product distribution.”

XBRL has also been the subject of banking industry conferences since last October when regulators, led by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., began requiring banks to use XBRL in filing their periodic call reports into a national repository.

Still, market acceptance of XBRL is limited, which could be another issue for the AICPA’s EBR-XBRL management team. As of late May the SEC reported that just 20 companies had joined a voluntary XBRL reporting program it launched in January, and its first such voluntary program, begun in April, 2005, attracted only nine takers.


"SEC Chief Suggests Blogs for Disclosures," PhysOrg, November 7, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news82126753.html

In the first official communication posted to a blog by a chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox said he was intrigued by the idea of letting companies use Weblogs to disseminate important corporate information.

Cox has invited the chief executive of Sun Microsystems Inc., avid blogger Jonathan Schwartz, to talk to the agency about the idea of allowing companies to disclose significant financial information through blogs.

The SEC chief showed interest in Schwartz's recent request for blogs to be used as a way to expand investors' access to information. His response to Schwartz, posted on Sun's Web site on Friday, caught the attention of the online world and even sparked envy from a Wall Street Journal blog.

A growing number of major companies now publish corporate blogs or online diaries. The SEC position is that current regulations do allow for blogs, like news releases, regulatory filings, Web sites and Webcasts, to be used to disseminate companies' financial information, provided a particular blog reaches a broad audience.

A 2000 rule known as Regulation FD, for Fair Disclosure, ended a long-standing practice by forbidding companies from providing significant information to stock analysts and other Wall Street insiders ahead of the public. The rule requires the method or methods used to be "reasonably designed to provide broad, non-exclusionary distribution of the information to the public."

"The (SEC) encourages the use of Web sites as a source of information to the market and investors, and we welcome your offer to further discuss with us your views in this area," Cox told Schwartz in his posting on the CEO's blog. (He also sent Schwartz a letter by mail.)

Said Cox: "Assuming that the (SEC) were to embrace your suggestion that the 'widespread dissemination' requirement of Regulation FD can be satisfied through Web disclosure, among the questions that would need to be addressed is whether there exist effective means to guarantee that a corporation uses its Web site in ways that assure broad non-exclusionary access ..."

Cox has pushed several technology initiatives meant to give investors more useful and complete information about companies and mutual funds. His novel way of responding to Schwartz provoked jealousy on the part of The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog.

"We're jealous," lead writer Peter Lattman huffed Monday on the blog. "SEC Chairman Christopher Cox posted a comment on a blog. But not the Law Blog. ...

"Shameless plea to Chairman Cox: We've got a serious case of the Monday morning blues and it would turn our day around if you posted a comment on the Law Blog. Don't worry, we don't want your thoughts on Reg FD or hedge funds. Keep it light: Tell us about the last movie you saw. Your favorite book? Thanksgiving plans?"

In a Sept. 25 letter to Cox, Schwartz noted that Sun's Web site, which gets an average of nearly a million user hits a day, includes the blog that he writes as CEO and those of thousands of employees of the Silicon Valley server and software maker.

"My blog is syndicated across the Internet by use of RSS technology," Schwartz wrote. "Thus, its content is 'pushed' to subscribers. This Web site is a tremendous vehicle for the broad delivery of timely and robust information about our company. ...

"We encourage you to look to the Internet to achieve the (SEC's) objectives of greater investor access to information," he told Cox.

Schwartz's letter didn't specify how many people read his blog, as opposed to the Web site in general, so more data would be needed to determine whether it meets the criterion of broad distribution under the regulation, in the SEC's view.

Schwartz, who recently started publishing his blog in French and nine other languages, has said it attracts 50,000 viewers a month. For him, he says, it has become "the single most effective vehicle to communicate" with investors, journalists and analysts.

Thirty Fortune 500 companies are now publishing corporate blogs, nearly double the number in December 2005, according to the Fortune 500 Blogging Wiki, a collaborative tracking site. Technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. were early adopters, but senior executives at big industrial companies like Boeing Co. and General Motors Corp. also have embraced the trend.

In its unfiltered form, blogging allows CEOs to bypass the public relations department, journalists and industry analysts and speak directly to the public. Few company blogs are written by the chief executives, however.

Jensen Comment
No mention is made of XBRL, but this will one day be an opportunity for XBRL tagged disclosures. The FASB is undertaking a study for development of XBRL tags for qualitative disclosures.


The Accountant’s Guide to XBRL

Among the videotapes that I donated to the University of Mississippi accountancy archives are tapes of some of the excellent XBRL updates over the years in CEP sessions of the American Accounting Association that were conducted by Roger Debreceny, Glen Gray, and Skip White.

June 21, 2006 message from Clinton White [whitec@lerner.udel.edu]

Bob

The Accountant’s Guide to XBRL

Isbn: 0977952509

www.skipwhite.com

The Accountant’s Guide to XBRL is now ready for shipping and I’m publishing it myself. It is based on the way I teach XBRL to my senior Accounting and MIS majors at the University of Delaware. It is priced at $25.00 and can be purchased through my Web site www.skipwhite.com. It is designed to be a supplemental text for any accounting course in which you want to add a module on XBRL. I cannot give away free copies but if you adopt it for your class I will gladly refund your purchase and shipping costs. In addition, I am setting up a secure educator’s Web site with notes, exercise explanations, solutions, additional exercises, and ppt slides.

 Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

 Skip


November 10, 2006 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

This is a good demo to show application of continuous auditing

http://www.emporia.edu/business/newsdetail.php?newsID=26

The demo was the prize winner of 6th Global XBRL Academic Competition

2005-06 (www.XBRLeducation.com)

 

Other XBRL teaching cases/projects:

South America Unified Markets

http://www32.brinkster.com/xbrl2003/

user: SAUM

password : xbrl2003

InvestWise: Where investment forecasts are just a click away!

http://personal.bgsu.edu/~ilyak/xbrl

password is xbrl

Credit Analyzer

http://kelley.iu.edu/Norne/ (ID: admin, PASSWORD: xbrlpass)

Some related links:

http://www.kelley.iu.edu/sagp/news_items.cfm?newsid=15

http://www.iasb.org/xbrl/xbrl_team/profiles_where_are_they_now.html

http://www.lerner.udel.edu/accounting/FacultyPages/Geerts.HTML

http://www.rafware.it/ias/index.php?id=2489

=====================

Saeed Roohani
Bryant University


January 18, 2006 XBRL Updates sent by Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

The XBRL US meeting is currently on in San Jose. The Chairman of the SEC spoke by video at the meeting. His remarks are at http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/spch011806cc.htm  with the video at http://www.sec.gov/news/speech.shtml . There is much of interest in the speech that focuses on two important issues: resourcing taxonomy development ("... the development of taxonomies lacks resources. Believe it or not, the awesome global challenge of fashioning a new way for billions of people to exchange financial data is currently dependent on the success of one solitary man who labors in anonymity at XBRL-US: Brad Homer. Alone, except for volunteer help, he is writing the taxonomies upon which the entire interactive data enterprise will necessarily rely.") and mutual funds ("Almost immediately, I expect to see interactive data play a leading role in helping consumers analyze and compare mutual funds. The taxonomy development that is needed to make this a reality is well within our reach.")

Another relevant news item is at: http://tinyurl.com/d3yqx 

Roger D

-- Roger Debreceny School of Accountancy College of Business Administration University of Hawai'i at Manoa 2404 Maile Way Honolulu, HI 96822, USA Office phone: +1 (808) 956 8545 Cell phone: +1 (808) 393 1352 Fax: +1 (808) 956 9888 roger(at)debreceny.com  rogersd(at)hawaii.edu   www.debreceny.com


December 6, 2005 message from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@terry.uga.edu]

National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments. His talk is available at: http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/spch120505cc.htm 

He had three main messages:

1. Accounting rules need to be simplified. "The accounting scandals that our nation and the world have now mostly weathered were made possible in part by the sheer complexity of the rules." "The sheer accretion of detail has, in time, led to one of the system's weaknesses - its extreme complexity. Convolution is now reducing its usefulness."

2. The concentration of auditing services in the Big 4 "quadropoly" is bad for the securities markets. The SEC will try to do more to encourage the use of medium size and smaller firms that receive good inspection reports from the PCAOB.

3. The SEC will continue to push XBRL. "The interactive data that this initiative will create will lead to vast improvements in the quality, timeliness, and usefulness of information that investors get about the companies they're investing in."

A very interesting talk - one that seems to promise a high level of cooperation with the accounting profession.

Denny


Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.
Wayne Gretsky as quoted by Jerry Trites at
http://www.zorba.ca/

The above quotation is very important in financial reporting, because XBRL is where the puck is going.

October 2, 2006 message from Gerald Trites [gtrites@ZORBA.CA]

A new Blog for XBRL Canada is available at the following link: http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html. The blog is intended to provide a timely record of events relating to XBRL, particularly in Canada, and also other events of general interest. It also is a forum to enable  members to bring events to the attention of others. 

-------------------------
Gerald D Trites, FCA, CA*CISA/IT
Ph: 416-602-3931
Web Site:
www.zorba.ca
E-Business Blog:
www.zorba.ca/blog.html
XBRL Blog:
www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

 

Bob Jensen’s tutorials on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm
I want to thank Rivet Software for sending me a copy of Drag and Tag.  I haven't really learned how to use it yet, but I discovered that it puts a toolbar in your Excel spreadsheets such that you can import financial statements published in Excel (which some companies now provide online) and then proceed to add XBRL meta-tags under a chosen GAAP taxonomy such as International GAAP or U.S. GAAP.
 


Two Tutorial Videos (plus my older video) for Excel

XBRL is no longer something we only play with in academe.  It is now available to investors around the world, although it may take a while for some companies to add the XBRL tags to their financial statements.  Some things that are now being done in XBRL such as time graphs and ratio graphs can be done with things other than XBRL.  What XBRL does, however, is make it possible to:

(1) Compare different companies in a Web browser

(2) Perform customized analyses if the XBRL statements are downloaded into Excel

(3) Conduct easy searches that do not yield thousands of unwanted and extraneous hits

Bob Jensen's New Video Tutorial on XBRL (about 30 minutes)
It's the XBRLdemos2005.wmv file at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 
But first read the following and watch the KOSDAQ video before watching the above video.

Question
What are the two most significant events in the history of accounting, financial reporting, and financial statement analysis? 

Answers
Double Entry Bookkeeping and XBRL

The origins of double entry bookkeeping are unknown.  It goes back over 100 years before Luca Pacioli  made it famous by algebraically describing it in the world's first algebra book called Summa written in 1494.  Pacioli's basic equation A=L+E simply shows how recorded asset values in total equal the double-entry sum of creditor liabilities plus owner equities in those assets.  For over 500 years accounting disputes mainly lie in defining the A, L, and E concepts and measuring them in financial statements.  Pacioli gave us the algebra without the crucial and operational definitions of terms.  Bob Jensen's brief summary of the history of accounting is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language in XML that can now be interpreted by every Web browser such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer.  In the future, virtually every all academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics, and History will probably develop their own taxonomies for XML reporting on the Web.  Hence, we one day may have XCHEM, XPHYS, and XHIST eXtensible reporting languages

Whereas the famous HTML tags on data are not extensible and are more or less fixed in scope and time, XML extensible meta-tags will become the world's most popular way of creating customized "meta-tags" that attach to virtually every piece of Web data and describe attributes of each piece of data.  The history of data tags and meta-tags is briefly outlined at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm
I also highly recommend the XBRL history and news site at XBRL headquarters at
http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
Also see
http://www.w3.org/

I like to think of non-extensible tags that are pre-printed for the world to use.  In the case of HTML, these are largely tags for screen formatting and hyperlinking.  For example, when I add HTML tags to the number 212, the tags tell the browser how that number should appear on the screen.  I could even make it link to some other Web page or position on this Web page.  But the HTML tag alone cannot tell me the meaning of 212.  To tag the meaning of 212, I have to have extensible tags that let me (or us) add customized tags that add meaning to the number 212 itself in an intended context.  The development of a standard set of such tags in a given discipline is called taxonomy building.  For over a decade, an XBRL standards group has been developing an XBRL taxonomy such that I can tag the number 212 to convey that it is a $212 million Allowance for Doubtful Accounts.

XBRL is a taxonomy for XML meta-tags to be placed on virtually every number in a set of financial statements.  For over a decade, efforts have been made by huge companies and accounting firms to develop standardized XBRL tags for key taxonomies in accounting.  These taxonomies may vary as to a particular set of accounting generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) such as International GAAP or US GAAP.  Once a company or user selects which GAAP taxonomy to use, it's financial statements can be "marked up" with XBRL meta-tags that facilitate comparative financial statement analysis.  Users may also take any set of financial statements and add tags for a chosen set of GAAP tags.  For example, see Drag and Tag from Rivet Corporation --- http://www.rivetsoftware.com/
Also see
http://www.xbrl.org/eu/CEBS-3/Rivet_Industry Day_Brussels_14 Sept 2005.pdf

Because adding XBRL meta-tags to a given set of financial statements is time consuming, most large companies are in the process of adding these tags to their own financial data so that investors will not have to do their own tagging.  The major stock exchanges of the world are now urging companies to send in their financial reports marked up in XBRL.  Soon they will require all listed companies to submit XBRL-tagged financial statements.

Bob Jensen's Old XBRL Video Tutorial called XBRLdemos.wmv
About four years ago (I can't remember exactly when) I prepared a XBRL tutorial on how to use XBRL in financial statement analysis.  The tutorial itself was actually developed by NASDAQ, Microsoft, and PwC in a NMP partnership.  NASDAQ selected 20 companies and marked up their financial statements in XBRL.  Microsoft wrote a fancy Excel program to analyze those financial statements in Excel.  PwC served up the data on the Web.  This NMP tutorial was intended to have a short life since the plan was eventually to use XBRL directly in Web browsers without having to use Excel.  Indeed, PwC no longer serves up this tutorial.  Bob Jensen probably has the only recorded history of this NMP tutorial on video in the file XBRLdemos.wfm at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

Bob Jensen's New 2005 XBRL Video Tutorial called XBRLdemos2005.wmf
XBRL is now marked up on many financial statements on the Web and can be used for financial statement analysis in Web browsers.  I found a set of such statements for various (Star) companies on the Korean KOSDAQ stock exchange homepage. 

Before looking at my new video, I want you to first view the KOSDAQ Camtasia video at http://www.ubmatrix.com/solutions/WebHelp/KOSDAQDemo.html

After viewing this video, you can then go to my new Camtasia 2005 video XBRLdemos2005.wmf file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

My new video is mainly a tutorial about how I learned to use the XBRL financial statements made available by KOSDAQ for actual use by investors in companies listed on the KOSDAQ stock exchange.

In particular, my new video shows how to perform the following steps at the KOSDAQ site.

First
Watch the http://www.ubmatrix.com/solutions/WebHelp/KOSDAQDemo.html

Second
Watch my XBRLdemos2005.wmv file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

The KOSDAQ homepage is at http://www.ubmatrix.com/home/default.asp
           
Go to
http://km.krx.co.kr/
     You do not have to install the Korean language pack
     Note that it may take some time for the upper menu to appear
     Click on the English button in the upper right corner after the menu appears

Third
Go directly to
http://english.kosdaq.com/
     Click on the "XBRL Service" on the right side of the screen
     Click on a company's logo (ignore any pop ups to install a language pack)
     If you do not see a graph on the left side of a company's report,
             click on the button/instruction below the graph's border
     After you see a graph,
             click on the various financial statement line items to the right of the graph
            (Your mouse pointer will now be a small bar graph)

Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Ratios"
     If your pointer is still a small graph,
             click on the ratios that you want to see in the graph
    

Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Comparison"
     Options for comparisons are given (they are also demonstrated in my video)
    

Go to the bottom of the page and read about the Excel Analyzer
      See what you can download if you really get interested in the analysis options

 

October 30, 2005 reply from Deborah Johnson [Finance@WeFightFraud.com]

I followed the instructions you plan to give your students for Monday and found a few bugs you might want to know about.

The Demos link at XBRL.org  is not on the home page. They need to know that this site requires them to navigate to "Showcase" to find the Demo.

http://km.krx.co.kr/   selected English and then XBRL Services, then chose the company. The graph is only available if you agree to download and install additional software on your PC. If they do not have administrator rights, this is not going to be an option for your students. (say on college lab and classroom computers).

The company I selected, LG Micron, had an obvious defect in the financial data being presented for this demonstration. XBRL is clearly not going to minimize any human mistakes, and the printed financials will still have to be carefully scrutinized by management and the auditors. Do the math on the Trade Receivables at Net. Demerits for any student who doesn't find the error. If you go to the bottom of the table and select "Get these financials in XBRL" you may get an XML Parsing Error. This is probably a higher version of XMl required, and again the student would need administrator rights to upgrade the software or install patches and plug ins.

Regards,

Deborah Johnson

October 30, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Deborah,

I agree with all your points and thank you for providing some clarifications.  With respect to needing administrative rights to view the graphs (say on college lab computers and on classroom computers), it behooves faculty to ask administrators to install the software that can be downloaded free by clicking below the graph frame for any company in the demo.

If students do not have administrative rights on a college lab or classroom computer, I guess this makes my video tutorial even more valuable since students can see what will happen if they try this on their own computers where they automatically have administrative rights.

Thanks,

Bob


Speech by SEC Chairman:
Remarks at the 12th XBRL International Conference
by Chairman Christopher Cox
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Tokyo, Japan November 7, 2005
http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/spch110705cc.htm

At the SEC, our XBRL Voluntary Program was launched earlier this year as a tentative first step. The program was designed to encourage all of the participants to help us assess the potential for using interactive data both within and outside the Commission.

For our registrants, it's an opportunity to explore the costs and benefits of using interactive data. They're helping us understand the impact of using XBRL on their financial reporting systems, and on their internal financial controls and processes. We're also learning how XBRL can help companies communicate with their shareholders and the markets generally.

In the months ahead, I expect that investors and analysts will continue to pilot the use of interactive data applications. That will help us assess how this new flexible format might help them to improve their own analyses and decisions.

For software providers and other technology providers, this is an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of XBRL and interactive data and tangibly demonstrate the impact to the aforementioned parties. For the SEC, this is our opportunity to assess how the use of interactive data can help us improve our internal review of information, and how it can help us make it available in more useful form to the public.

It's fitting that this 12th XBRL International Conference is taking place in Japan. After all, XBRL has already received significant support from the Japanese government. In fact, as many of you know, the Bank of Japan plans to implement a voluntary XBRL filing program for over 500 regulated entities, possibly as early as next January. In addition, the counterpart of the SEC in Japan -- the Financial Services Agency -- has already formed a committee to accelerate the use of XBRL in financial disclosure. The FSA anticipates introducing an XBRL-based filing system for financial statements in the near future. The SEC and the FSA have a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding that permits us to partner on issues such as this, and so I expect that Japan's experiences using XBRL will form an important part of our dialogue in the months ahead.

As we progress with the SEC's own assessment of interactive data, we will continue to work closely with all of you. Because of the leadership that you've shown over the past 5 years, we now stand on the threshold of some truly breathtaking changes in our global financial markets.

Continued in article


December 14, 2005 message from Gerald Trites [gtrites@GMAIL.COM]

The CICA's Information Technology Advisory Committee has released a new updated version of its publication "Audit and Control Implications of XBRL. It's available at the following link. Just scroll down to the white papers. The new version takes into account advnaces in XBRL since the original paper and also assurance related events such as the release of the XBRL Assurance Q&A by the PCAOB. The link is www.cica.ca/itac  . It's also listed on the XBRL Blog noted below.

Jerry Trites

Gerald D Trites, CA*CISA/IT, FCA
PH 416-602-3931

Web Site:
www.zorba.ca 
E-Business Blog:
www.zorba.ca/blog.html 
XBRL Blog:
www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html




"XBRL GL: More Than Reporting," AccountingWeb, September 2, 2005 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101264

As powerful, and useful, as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is for sharing information between organizations, there is more to business, and accounting than just reporting. There is also more to XBRL than just financial reporting taxonomies. In July, XBRL International release the latest version of XBRL GL, the General Ledger taxonomy which allows for more efficient handling of financial and business information within an organization. The XBRL GL taxonomy represents any information found in a chart of accounts, journal entries or historical transactions. Because it does not require a standardized chart of accounts it can help unite legacy charts of accounts to accounting detail across disparate systems together to create a standard chart of accounts in a cost effective way.

XBRL GL is the language of improved and more efficient communication between accountants. It provides a holistic approach by creating a standardized vocabulary for expressing information from the business documents that flow into financial and business reports. XBRL GL offers a standardized format for moving information between spreadsheets, accounting systems, and service providers both inside and outside the organization.

It offers several advantages over existing solutions, including:

  • Reporting Independence – meaning the information can be collected and represented through flexible links to XBRL for reporting purposes.
  • System Independence – meaning accounting software developers can create a single import/export routine for converting information to XBRL GL.
  • Consolidation – meaning information can be moved between systems or combined easily.
  • Flexibility – meaning the limitations of other approaches can be overcome for enhanced information exchange and reporting.

“It has always been a goal of XBRL to involve the entire Business Reporting Supply Chain,” states Eric E. Cohen, XBRL Global Technical Leader and Founding Chair of XBRL GL. “To me, that has meant standardizing the data that flows in from transactions and business events, and bridging between transactions and reporting (financial, tax, operational, statutory, etc.). That is the role of XBRL GL.”


New XBRL Blog

October 9, 2005 message from Gerald Trites [gtrites@zorba.ca]

Hi Bob,

Since you've shown an interest in my blogging efforts, I thought I'd let you know I started a blog on XBRL. I know there are a few others out there, but I am doing a lot of research on XBRL right now, and thought I'd run across some sources of interest to researchers. Since I just started it, there's not much there right now, but it will grow quickly. the ref is at http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html.

Hope all is well. Sorry we didn't get to have a chat in SF.

Jerry
Gerald D Trites, CA*CISA/IT, FCA
PH 902-867-5410 Cell 416-602-3931

Web Site:
www.zorba.ca 
E-Business Blog:
www.zorba.ca/blog.html 
XBRL Blog:
www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html


New XBRL Products

November 7, 2005 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Here are two product announcements about XBRL (I have cut out much of the sales chatter from the releases. Go to the respective web sites for more details). These releases are timed for the XBRL International meeting in Tokyo which starts today. I would not normally dispatch product releases to AECM but these seem of particular interest to the AECM community.

Roger D

RIVET™ SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES FREE XBRL VIEWER

New Dragon View™ and Dragon Tag™ Forms Released to Promote XBRL Adoption Through Functionality and Ease of Use

XBRL International Conference, Tokyo—November 7

Rivet’s Dragon Tag Forms creates XBRL Web forms while Dragon View provides robust XBRL viewing functionality and the ability to export XBRL documents into Microsoft Excel®. These products complement Rivet’s flagship XBRL markup product, Dragon Tag, the industry’s first easy to use Microsoft Office® -based solution for creating industry-standard XBRL documents. Rivet’s suite of XBRL products is purpose-built for accounting and finance professionals to mask the underlying complexity sometimes associated with XBRL adoption.

Dragon View, Dragon Tag Forms Extend Personal Productivity Capabilities Adoption of XBRL by governments and regulators the world over has placed an emphasis on new products geared towards working with and collecting XBRL information. Rivet’s Dragon View allows users to view XBRL taxonomies and instance documents with the ability to export the information to applications such as Microsoft Excel. Dragon View’s focus on simplicity provides “on the fly” and intelligent display options that make viewing an XBRL instance document just like reviewing the original report. Dragon View will be available in both a free and licensable version.

Dragon Tag Forms, an extension of Rivet's popular Dragon Tag offering, allows users to create Web forms based on format/layout information easily designed within Microsoft Excel. Dragon Tag Forms is designed for companies and regulatory agencies that are looking for a way to deploy XBRL-enabled Web page(s) for collecting customer data with automatic creation of XBRL instance documents.

Pricing and Availability Rivet will be showcasing the Dragon View and Dragon Tag Forms applications to customers and partners during the XBRL International Conference in Tokyo this week (November 7-10, 2005). A Preview release of Dragon View is currently available for download from the Rivet Web site (http://www.rivetsoftware.com/products), with final pricing and availability set at $295/ €259/ Ł179 and March 2006, respectively.

About Rivet Software Rivet Software is an innovator in developing effective and easy-to-use Financial Integrity Management applications. Based in Denver, Colorado, USA, Rivet Software is focused on addressing new worldwide technology requirements for the business reporting and accounting community. All Rivet Software products adhere to the emerging XBRL global reporting standard and work with the de facto standard desktop software, Microsoft Excel and Word. The company’s management team includes industry veterans, founding members of the XBRL community and past advisors to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). For additional information, please visit www.rivetsoftware.com.

CoreFiling Releases ReportDirect at the 12th XBRL International Conference

12th XBRL International Conference

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2005--CoreFiling Limited:

-- New PDF-based data collection solution to enable simple, accurate and instantly accepted electronic data collection for periodic financial reports needed by bankers, regulators and government agencies.

-- ReportDirect combines the simplicity and familiarity of PDF with the full power of XBRL.

CoreFiling Limited today announced the ReportDirect platform for electronic data collection. ReportDirect makes the design, deployment and ongoing collection of sophisticated information a process that can largely be managed by business experts.

ReportDirect represents a new way of thinking about data collection. It returns control to the business users who set policy and analyse the information. It makes secure electronic data collection simple, reliable and easy to manage, while harnessing the power of XBRL to revolutionise the application of rules and analysis to business information. Data providers can enter data manually or can import the data directly into the familiar PDF document. Recipients can control who submits the data, when it should arrive, and what quality checks should be applied along the way.

Unique TagTips(TM) provide users with a fully-rendered view of the underlying, structured, XBRL data. CoreFiling's patent-pending data binding techniques ensures that what is displayed on the page is what is held in XBRL format within the PDF Intelligent Document.

This revolution in electronic data collection is the fruit of a development partnership between CoreFiling and Adobe Systems, Inc. ReportDirect leverages the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform to allow the creation of pre-populated forms for interactive data collection and the secure deployment of PDF forms.

Key features

ReportDirect offers a turn-key, next generation solution that allows the design of forms, their distribution to nominated data providers and the receipt, validation and follow up of that data. Key features include:

-- Automated form construction from definitions in XBRL

-- Validation at the client before submission

-- Sophisticated scheduling and data requirements management.

-- Rapid deployment

-- Simple integration into standard business intelligence tools.

About CoreFiling

CoreFiling is a joint venture formed in early 2005 by Business Wire, the global leader in financial news distribution, and UK-based DecisionSoft, the world's premier XBRL components vendor. CoreFiling provides XBRL consulting services, data validation and enhanced data management to filers, regulators, exchanges and the financial community.

www.corefiling.com


A Closer Look at the First Mandatory E-filing System Using XBRL
 The first mandatory e-filing system using XBRL will officially be launched on October 1. The system, known as the Call Report Modernization Project utilizes the Central Data Repository (CDR) a secure shared database containing the quarterly filings of the nation’s estimated 8,400 financial institutions. Call Reports collect the basic financial data from commercial banks in the form of balance sheets, income statements and supporting schedules. They are used to supervise and evaluate the financial condition of the institutions. The Call Report Modernization Project is intended to simplify and increase the transparency of the call report process. Currently, call report filings are comprised of 2,000 fields of data requiring 400 pages of instructions. Some 1,500 formulas are used to validate the data, which is used by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the public. The Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) estimates that more than 192,500 hours are spent compiling and filing call reports each year.
 "A Closer Look at the First Mandatory E-filing System Using XBRL," AccountingWeb, September 1, 2005 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101260


A great RSS feed on XBRL is at http://www.xbrlspy.com/


 A nice summary of XBRL --- http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=11168

Talking Points XBRL IS WINNING SUPPORTERS

XBRL is an XML-based standard for analysis, exchange and reporting of financially oriented business information. Its initial use will be to meet mandates for financial reporting and analysis. Any organization that is familiar with XML is already much of the way there. Everything that needs to be done can be done outside the ERP and GL systems in middleware. The SEC is fueling interest in XBRL, although its official position is pointedly neutral. Using XBRL is voluntary, but that may change soon.

Meet the new addition to the XML family, XBRL. eXensible Business Reporting Language represents another derivative of XML and promises to streamline the integration of business reports and automate the corresponding financial and business analysis. Although the initial uses of XBRL focus on financial reports that must be sent to the FDIC and SEC, it can be applied to almost any category of business reporting. XBRL also is being used in Europe to meet financial reporting mandates.

“XBRL represents a significant advance, but don’t expect it to change things overnight,” says Robert Kugel, VP and research director at Ventana Research. To start, XBRL “makes it easier to deal with financial numbers,” he explains. Therefore, the initial uses of XBRL for mandated financial reporting and the accompanying analysis of those reports represent only the beginning of what the technology can do.

Ultimately, “XBRL has the potential to unleash a lot of creativity,” Kugel says. For example, it would enable the business analysis of the parties in a supply chain or the state of particular markets. These types of analysis are not practical today, as data has to be culled manually, normalized and re-input into spreadsheets or other analytical applications.

Adopting XBRL, however, shouldn’t be a burden. Any organization that is familiar with XML is already much of the way there. All that’s needed is to pick up the appropriate industry-specific schema and adopt some simple maintenance tools. Companies don’t even have to change their existing financial applications. “Virtually everything that needs to be done can be done outside the ERP and GL systems in middleware,” says Walter Hamscher, vice chair, XBRL International. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. “How much you spend depends on how much value you want,” Hamscher continues.

It’s not only the data Simply put, XBRL is an XML-based standard for the analysis, exchange and reporting of financially oriented business information. XBRL International ( www.XBRL.org ) freely licenses the XBRL standard and framework as a specification for structuring and representing information in business reports so it may be extracted and processed automatically by XBRL-aware applications.

Specifically, XBRL defines data-formatting conventions and vocabularies for marking up and describing business report data, such as sales or net assets. Like XML, it is tag based. Descriptions in the form of tags or labels are attached to the various pieces of business data. These tags describe the particular piece of data in terms of an agreed-upon vocabulary. That vocabulary is referred to as an XBRL taxonomy, the specific schema tags. The taxonomy performs a function similar to the document type definition used with XML, although it is more detailed than the DTD.

XBRL then employs XML’s XML Linking Language (XLink) capability to further extend the taxonomy definitions. “XBRL is not just data but semantics—about what the data means. XLink is how you specify the semantics,” says Hugh Wallis, an independent consultant for XBRL International.

Once the organization has the appropriate taxonomy, it can enable its reports for XBRL. From there, organizations can more easily use and share data from the reports within the organization and between organizations. XBRL-aware applications can take advantage of the high level of specificity and self-describing nature of the tags to automatically process the information for purposes of reporting and analysis. XBRL is independent of any hardware platform, software operating system, programming language or accounting standard, as noted in a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled “XBRL: Improving Business Reporting Through Standardization.”




Proceed next to an Extended Overview of HTML




 Year 2005 American Accounting Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco August 5-10, 2005
The AAA meetings were very good this year except for the first plenary session. Bravo to Tracie, Dee, and their helpers for great logistics. The Hilton did a great job. Bravo to Jane and her helpers for a great program.

I think Katherine's plenary (Tuesday) session on disclosures will be posted by the AAA. Katherine made reference to quite a lot of academic research. She might also make her PowerPoint file available at the FASB.

I hope the AAA will also post Denny's terrific luncheon speech. If not, I think Denny will share it in some way with all of us on the AECM.

A highlight of the meetings for me was the XBRL workshop conducted by Glen, Roger, and Skip. Eric Cohen also participated with a great demo of Rivet Software's Dragon Tag software which finally makes it possible to teach XBRL hands on to students.

Another highlight was the great debate between Katherine Schipper (for fair value accounting) versus more negative positions taken by Ross Watts and Zoe-Vanna Palmrose. All three did a great (actually unforgettable) job on Monday afternoon.

This 2005 AAA meeting set a record with nearly 2,700 registrations plus over 500 registered guests. This topped the previous record which was also set in San Francisco some years ago. Such a registration number is very high considering that there are only about 8,000 worldwide members of the AAA --- http://aaahq.org/about/financials/KeyIndicators8_31_04.PDF

I returned to Trinity University from New Hampshire today. Trinity is still seeking somebody to fill my chair (the Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Chair) after I retire in May 2006. Anyone interested in applying should contact Dan Walz at 210-999-7289 or dwalz@trinity.edu I am very grateful to have had the privilege to fill it for 24 years.

Life is good!

August 13, 2005 reply from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

Gee, thanks for your kind words regarding our XBRL workshop.

For those who want to know more about XBRL, you should:

See XBRL cover story in August 2005 Journal of Accountancy at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/aug2005/tie.htm 

Visit http://www.xbrl.org  -- includes general and technical information about XBRL

Check out the 5-years of XBRL abstracts at http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~xbrl/index.html 

Review FAQs at http://xbrl.edgar-online.com/x/faqs/  , which cover a broad range of XBRL questions

Visit http://www.xbrlspy.org/  , a blog-like coverage of XBRL 

Check out the free XBRL teaching materials that will be available (Sept 1) at www.eycarat.ku.edu/XBRLClassMaterials

August 3, 2005 message from Saeed Roohani

Updated XBRL Abstracts as of May 2005, references to 750 published articles! Next update will be in September 2005. http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~xbrl/index.html 

ProQuest, Lexis-Nexis, and EBSCO Host are my sources for collecting XBRL articles. If I missed anything or you want me to include a specific article, please send me an e-mail.

-- Dr. Saeed Roohani
PricewaterhouseCoopers XBRL Fellow
PwC Accounting Careers Leadership Institute,
Co-director Global XBRL Academic Competition Program Chair
College of Business Bryant University
1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917


 Question
What/who is  FRAANK?

Answer
The following appears in the Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 19, Number 1, Spring 2005, pp. 1-18.

Financial Reporting and Auditing Agent
with Net Knowledge (FRAANK)
and eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)

Matthew Bovee
The University of Vermont

Alexander Kogan
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Kay Nelson
The Ohio State University

Rajendra P. Srivastava
The University of Kansas

Miklos A. Vasarhelyi
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

 

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the development and applications of FRAANK--Financial Reporting and Auditing Agent with New Knowledge.  The prototype of FRAANK presented here provides automated access to, and understanding and integration of, rapidly changing financial information available from various sources on the Internet.  In particular, FRAANK implements intelligent parsing to extract accounting numbers from natural-text financial statements available from the SEC EDGAR repository.  FRAANK develops an "understanding" of the accounting numbers by means of matching the line-item labels to synonyms of tags in an XBRL taxonomy.  As a result, FRAANK converts the consolidated balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows into XBRL-tagged format.  Based on FRAANK, we propose an empirical approach toward the evaluation and improvement of XBRL taxonomies and for identifying and justifying needs for specialized taxonomies by assessing a taxonomy fit to the historical data, i.e., the quarterly and annual EDGAR filings.  Using a test set of 10-K SEC filings, we evaluate FRAANK's performance by estimating its success rate in extracting and tagging the line items using the year 2000 C&I XBRL Taxonomy, Version 1.  The evaluation results show that FRAANK is an advanced research prototype that can be useful in various practical applications.  FRAANK also integrates the accounting numbers with other financial information publicly available on the Internet, such as timely stock quotes and analysts' forecasts of earnings, and calculates important financial ratios and other financial-analysis indicators.

 


 "EDGAR Online, Business Objects Provide XBRL-Enabled Solutions," AccountingWeb, June 3, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100968

AccountingWEB.com - Jun-3-2005 - EDGAR® Online®, Inc. and Business Objects announced on Wednesday, June 2, the signing of a new technology partnership in which the companies will conduct joint sales, marketing and development activities. The partnership provides an integrated solution enabling joint customers to easily and quickly obtain and use financial data. Customers of the new partnership will be able to access financial data in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), a royalty free, open specification using XML-based data tags to describe financial data in business reports and databases.

EDGAR Online’s I-Metrix suite of SXBRL products enables financial analysts, auditors and investors to analyze financial statement data of all companies reporting financials to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The partnership agreement with Business Objects allows EDGAR Online to market its I-Metrix suite of XBRL products to the more than 30,000 customers worldwide of Business Objects.

“We are extremely pleased that Business Objects has chosen to work with EDGAR Online. The combination of Business Objects’ business intelligence platform and the EDGAR Online I Metrix suite of XBRL products will help our joint customers benefit from the access to standards-based corporate financial data,” says Susan Strausberg, EDGAR Online President and CEO.

Jon Dorrington, Business Objects’ vice president of alliances agrees, stating “The ability to access financial information is very important to our customers. The integration of our industry-leading BI platform with EDGAR Online’s I-Metrix suite will enable joint customers to more easily access and analyze their financial data to improve performance.”

June 6, 2005 message from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

When I introduce students to XML, I always send them to www.w3schools.com , and ask them to read the XML tutorial and take the 20 question quiz at the end of the session. In a lab environment, I allow the students to continue to take the quiz until they achieve a score of 100%. The session introduces the basic concepts of XML such as looking at XML as a method of applying context to content. The lab also serves as the bridge for discussions about other XML family markup languages, including XBRL.

For a general overview of XML, try XML: A Manager's Guide (2nd Edition) by Kevin Dick, available at amazon.com starting at just over $5.00 for the book in used condition. Regarding XBRL, there will be new books published by the end of this year that will be focused on bringing XBRL to the classroom. Watch XBRL-Public, a free yahoo group listserv (groups.yahoo.com) for announcements of courseware offerings.

 


 XBRL Updates

May 3, 2005 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Many of the presentations from the 11th XBRL International Conference in Boston, Massachusetts have been uploaded to the XII website at http://www.xbrl.org/PastEvents/ 

 

"Lifting the Lid: Tech Seen Easing Financial Analysis," by Reuters, The New York Times, January 23, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-column-lifting.html  

The day when stock investors scan corporate results with computer software to make immediate buy-and-sell decisions may be close at hand.

After agonizingly slow progress, a computer language of business reporting called XBRL appears to be on the verge of wider adoption, its backers say. XBRL could have major implications on the speed at which hedge funds and other investors make trading decisions, making accounting shenanigans more readily apparent and potentially increasing stock price volatility.

XBRL, which stands for extensible business reporting language, is a language derived from the code of the World Wide Web. It consists of thousands of ``tags'' that correspond to items on financial reports, including balance sheets and income statements, making the filings understandable by a computer.

The technology has won support from major accounting firms and investor relations groups and has even gained a preliminary nod from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has proposed a voluntary program for XBRL.Yet after five years of pushing, only a handful of companies have committed to publishing their results in XBRL. One reason may be a lack of easy-to-use tools for creating the language.

On Thursday, PR Newswire, a major distribution agency for corporate news releases in the United States, will try to address that issue, announcing a plan to offer its clients a tool to turn press releases written with Microsoft Office into XBRL in a matter of hours. It will also send links to XBRL documents along with the press releases it sends.

BusinessWire, another major press release publisher, has also made strides with XBRL, turning to a partnership with Edgar Online, a Web site for SEC filings.

PR Newswire Chief Operating Officer Dave Armon said his clients are eager to explore XBRL. ``A lot of the companies are looking for a way to break out and show that they're more transparent, or willing to try new things,'' he said.

Investor relations departments, which handle financial reporting, still tend to be slower adopters of technology. They have also been occupied with other initiatives, such as complying with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, before taking on XBRL.

``This whole business reporting landscape is something that hasn't been touched technology-wise for decades,'' said Rob Blake, former XBRL manager for Microsoft Corp., which has been one of its biggest backers. ``All of us knew this wasn't going to happen overnight.''

Blake, now vice president of marketing for Rivet Software, the Denver-based software company partnering with PR Newswire, said he expects XBRL to be increasingly adopted over the next 12 to 18 months.

VOLUNTARY PROGRAM

Last September, the SEC proposed a voluntary plan to allow companies to submit financial filings using XBRL beginning with the 2004 calendar year-end reporting season.

The commission sought feedback on the proposal through Nov. 1. However, an SEC source said, ``approval of the plan is not imminent.'' A delay in approval would cast doubt on whether the original timeline for having the program in place for the 2004 annual report filing season will be met. For companies that close their books on Dec. 31, the deadline for filing an annual report, or Form 10-K, is mid-March.

The SEC has said it hopes the new format will enhance users' ability to search the filings database, extract and analyze data, perform financial comparisons within industries and speed up the commission's review of filings.

The new tagged data format also allows for the automatic exchange of financial information across various software platforms, including Web services, the SEC said in its September announcement.

Using a tagged financial filing, an analyst could easily transfer the data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, for example, rather than having to read the data in text form or retype the information, according to XBRL advocates Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, PR Newswire and Reuters, which have joined together to promote the new technology.

KPMG International recommends that its clients adopt the new format, saying it benefits not just regulators but the reporting companies as well. In a 2004 report, the Big Four accounting firm said XBRL is becoming relatively simple and its use will allow companies to save time and money at the end of each reporting period.

In addition to KPMG, Ernst & Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP submitted comments to the SEC in support of the voluntary XBRL filing plan.

The commission first began accepting filings regarding insider stock transactions in extensible markup language, from which XBRL is derived, in 2003.


 

November 23, 2004 message from Liv Watson [lwatson@EDGAR-ONLINE.COM]

My name is Liv Watson and the Vice President of XBRL Strategies here at EDGAR Online. Microsoft has chosen selective partners to develop the XBRL Add-in for Office. For more information please see announcement below.

On 17 November, during the 10th XBRL International Conference, Microsoft announced the intentions of several partners to build Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) solutions based on the Microsoft® Office System. Microsoft customers have long used Microsoft Office to create and consume documents as part of the business reporting process. XBRL, as a promising standard in this process, can help increase these customers’ productivity. Therefore Microsoft is pleased to work with these partners that recognize the value of building XBRL solutions on top of the Microsoft Office System.

These partners include Business Wire, Corporate Planning AG, EDGAR Online Inc., eReport, and Semansys Technologies B.V.

This announcement was published in a set of Frequently Asked Questions on www.microsoft.com - http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/office/factsheets/11-17XBRLFAQ.asp

EDGAR Online announced last week the launch of their Add-in. (see below for more information). If you have any further questions I can be reached at 203 852 5703. Best regards,

Liv


November 3, 2004 message from neal hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

If anyone would like a very current update on the status of XBRL, a visit to the SEC’s website will be enlightening. The SEC recently asked several probing questions about the health and stability of XBRL to the public. The comments from PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Microsoft, IMA, FEI and the AAA are now posted on their website at http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s73504.shtml  . Reading the comments will give readers a most current view of the XBRL from the eyes of organizations poised to help companies voluntarily file with the SEC in XBRL. The SEC’s voluntary XBRL filing program will most likely begin with first quarter 2005 SEC filings. Stay Tuned!

Neal

Neal J. Hannon, CMA
University
of Hartford; Barney School of Business
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine

July 9, 2004 message from neal hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

Here is an excerpt from a newsletter interview (see below for URL) published today featuring XBRL International’s president Louis Matherne.

Matherne: One of the smartest things we did when XBRL was first established was to go international. The adoption rate for any innovation can vary dramatically from country to country depending on the current infrastructure the innovation impacts, the condition of the economy, the regulatory environment, the culture and any number of other factors. In the case of XBRL, several markets have been more receptive to early adoption than others because of one or more of these factors.

In Europe we are seeing accelerated XBRL adoption in large measure because of convergence around international accounting standards and other initiatives driven by the European Commission. As evidence of this strong support, the European Commission just signed a €1 million contract with the XBRL in Europe Consortium, an affiliate of XBRL International, to accelerate the development and adoption of XBRL in the European Union. This grant will be used to help increasing awareness for XBRL in Europe and assist EU member state countries in starting local XBRL jurisdictions.

In the Asia/Pacific region, XBRL growth has been nothing short of exceptional. Culturally, standards such as XBRL find a very receptive audience in this region. Additionally, many of the current financial reporting system are several generations old and XBRL provides an opportunity to leapfrog to a modern reporting system.

XBRL adoption in the USA is a different matter. The USA has a significant investment in current generation financial reporting systems putting a drag on XBRL adoption relative to these other markets. Additionally, adoption of technology standards in the USA are more of a market driven idea than regulatory, which can take more time to gain acceptance. However, given the recent corporate scandals, XBRL is being recognized by USA companies as a powerful tool to improve business reporting. As more financial software vendors incorporate XBRL into their products, the use of XBRL in the USA will grow exponentially.

Another key lesson in the growth of the XBRL community is that adoption will be different in different markets around the world. An organization such as XBRL International cannot prescribe the "right way" for a country to adopt XBRL. This must come from within the country itself, driven by either regulatory or market forces.

To see the rest of the article, visit http://xbrl.edgar-online.com/x/newsletter/  and signup for the EDGAR-Online XBRL Newsletter.

Neal J. Hannon, CMA
Barney School of Business,
University of Hartford
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine
Chief Correspondent, EDGAR-Online XBRL Newsletter


Microsoft has a Solution Showcase and Video at http://www.microsoft.com/office/showcase/xbrl/default.msp

Extended Overview and Tutorial on Metadata and XBRL
 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#XBRLexten


This is a Great Article on How We Can All Author and Use XBRL:  The Future of Financial Reporting!
It is filled with references and links to applications.

"Tap Into XBRL’s Power the Easy Way," by Jeffrey W. Naumann, The Journal of Accountancy, May 3004, pp. 32-45 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may2004/naumann.htm  

XBRL—a specialized form of XML (extensible markup language)—is becoming more familiar to creators and users of electronic financial statements, but few people have actual hands-on experience with it. So, to bring XBRL to a wider business audience, Microsoft Corp. has released the Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL—a free, but important, enhancement—for the 2003 versions of Excel and Word. Along with the AICPA and more than 200 other organizations, Microsoft is a member of XBRL International Inc. (www.xbrl.org), a nonprofit group that promotes use of the extensible business reporting language to improve financial reporting.

This article explains how to obtain, install and use the tool to create an XBRL-compliant Microsoft Office file. It also explains what XBRL is and why it’s important to CPAs, their clients and employers (see “XBRL: A Business Reporting Standard” and “Why XBRL Matters”).

XBRL: A Business Reporting Standard To appreciate the tool’s usefulness, it’s important to have some understanding of XBRL, which is the XML-based standard for identifying—and improving the accuracy and electronic communication of—complex financial information. XBRL is a computer programming add-on that tags each segment of business information with an identification code or marker. XBRL International Inc., a nonprofit global consortium of more than 200 companies, associations—including the AICPA—and government agencies, has developed XBRL as a royalty-free, open software specification (www.xbrl.org/whatisxbrl). Version 2.1—the most current specification, or full description, of XBRL—is available for review and comment at the organization’s Web site, which also contains information on the different roles XBRL can play in various business contexts.

Users can download the enhancement from the Microsoft Web site (www.microsoft.com/office/solutions/xbrl) at no charge and easily install it. Immediately afterward, they can create or use worksheets and documents that employ XBRL to speed data input, ensure accuracy, eliminate ambiguity by specifying the precise nature of each data element and thus simplify the exchange of financial information. The tool benefits not just CPAs but all participants in the financial reporting process, including reporting entities, regulators, financial institutions, rating agencies and individual and institutional investors, and improves data sharing among the various systems—financial, tax and other—they use.

An example of the growing support for XBRL was the 10-year, $39 million contract the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. awarded in 2003 to Unisys Corp., which, with the assistance of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Microsoft Corp., EDGAR Online Inc. and other technology companies, will use XBRL and other tools to modernize and streamline federal bank regulators’ collection, processing and distribution of banks’ quarterly financial reports.

 

Why XBRL Matters
There are several reasons why CPAs—who often must follow relatively inflexible processes—could benefit from a new means of working with financial data. Among these motivations are their need for greater

Accuracy. Imprecise, inconsistent and unreliable values are common results of transferring data in ambiguous formats, such as those in which values are separated by commas or other characters. Because XBRL transcends the limitations of such data formats, it eliminates errors that occur during data re-entry and it minimizes the risk of losing “metadata,” or verbal descriptions of individual data elements.

Efficiency. Because XBRL data contained in one document or system can be easily shared with another without being rekeyed, exchanging information is swift, easy and error-free, resulting in immediate productivity improvements for all involved parties. In addition, XBRL can be used with software and data on any computer operating system or hardware equipment.

Transparency. Due to the consistency of their formatting and identification, XBRL data do not vary from the time and place of their creation to their eventual destination and use—whether it be public record or another purpose. XBRL therefore can help CPAs play a strong role in helping public companies satisfy the strict financial reporting obligations the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has imposed on them. Section 409 of the act requires companies to “disclose to the public on a rapid and current basis…information concerning material changes in the financial condition or operations of the issuer.” CPAs can provide a valuable service to their clients or employers by helping them implement XBRL-based reporting capabilities that automatically facilitate compliance by aggregating such information for review and distribution.

 

 

BE A CREATOR, A USER OR BOTH 
The Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL enables users to both create and use documents formatted in XBRL. Many participants in the financial reporting process likely will employ one of these functions more often than the other. For example, producers of quarterly earnings reports will benefit from the tool’s creation functions, such as those used to characterize earnings data by “tagging” them with a contextual format—known as a taxonomy—that corresponds to a series of principles or definitions, such as U.S. GAAP. On the other hand, analysts of existing financial information will find it advantageous to use the tool to, for example, compare several of a company’s earnings statements. Of course, both capabilities are available to everyone using the tool.

Exhibit 1 depicts the current way—without XBRL—electronic financial information flows from an organization’s finance department to regulators, analysts, investors and other interested parties. Companies first submit plain-text financial reports to the SEC. They then convert those documents’ data into hypertext markup language (HTML) format and post them on the Web for public viewing. Finally, companies reconvert those data into various formats that enable investors and financial analysts to scrutinize key performance indicators and other criteria. This fragmented process is both labor-intensive and error-prone.

Continued at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may2004/naumann.htm


October 26, 2004 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

For reference to XBRL Articles from 01/01/00 to 04/30/2004, please visit: http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~xbrl/XBRL_Articles.pdf  There are four categories of articles in above site, I am currently updating references to XBRL articles for November 1, 2004, please let me know if you wish to have another category/information added to the list. In addition, if you think I missed something, please let me know too.

Also, please note that Intent to Submit Form deadline is November 5, 2004 for the Fifth Global XBRL Academic Competition 2004-05, http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~xbrl/index.html

Saeed Roohani
Bryant University


May 3, 2004 message from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET

This just in from Microsoft.  I have the tool on my PC and will be writing a short tutorial for upcoming seminars in Mass, RI, Florida and Chicago over the next few months. 

 

The use of XBRL is taking off in three areas.  First, governmental regulators around the globe are looking to the business reporting markup language.  Projects are underway in the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands.  Projects are proposed for Canada, South Africa, Singapore, Korea, Germany and a few others.  Second, XBRL is very prominent in the adoption of International Accounting Standards, scheduled for over 90 countries in 2005.  XBRL has the power to automatically translate language and currency.  Third, internal projects are underway to convert corporate data into XML to feed business performance reporting into balanced scorecards and strategy maps.  See the web sites of Cognos.com and ipedo.com for verification.  In addition, the 4th quarter will see mandatory XBRL reporting for banks sending Call Report information to the FDIC.  (for more information on this project, visit http://www.ffiec.gov/find/ for more information.

 

In short, XBRL will soon be a major part of our thinking about all financial reporting, both externally and internally

for companies around the globe.

 

See http://nerc.imanet.org for information on the May 21 seminar in Worcester.

 

Neal J. Hannon, CMA 

XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine

University of Hartford   (860) 768-5810

(401) 769-3802 (Home Office)

 


From: Rob Blake [mailto:robblake@microsoft.com]
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 3:33 PM
To: xbrl-int@yahoogroups.com; XBRL-US@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Jon Clemens
Subject: [XBRL-US] Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL Prototype Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce the availability of the Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL Prototype, an update to the XBR  add-in for Microsoft Office that we released to the XBRL community in November 2003 at the XBRL International Conference in Seattle . The primary site for learning more about the application can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/office/solutions/xbrl/default.mspx. This site also contains instructions on how to access and download the application, which can be found freely available on Microsoft’s BetaPlace site at http://beta.microsoft.com.

The Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL can be used with Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, specifically Microsoft Office Word 2003 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003, to create and analyze documents in XBRL format. It builds upon the November release by adding new and enhanced functionality including more complete Context support as well as new support for label roles and multiple languages.  The prototype is an application that Microsoft hopes will facilitate feedback from customers and partners about the XBRL needs in the market.  Upon hearing that feedback, Microsoft will make a determination on how best to deliver any follow-on to the prototype to most closely match the market’s needs.

Any questions or comments on the Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL should be directed to Jon Clemens (jclemens@microsoft.com), Planning Manager for the Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL, and me.  Thanks in advance for your interest in the software, and I look forward to seeing more than a few of you next week in New Zealand .

Cheers!
Rob Blake
Director, Emerging Technologies
Microsoft Corporation


Wow Technology (forwarded by Neil Hannon)

From Accounting Today, Volume 17 No. 3 Feb 10-23 2003

Software Coup for XBRL:  Microsoft Adds it to Office

"XBRL ......, could get the biggest marketing boost of its four-year life when Microsoft Corp. releases a new version of its Office desktop software suite with new XBRL import and export capabilities."

"Office 11 will not be XBRL-specific, but instead will work with all codes, including XBRL, that are built off the XML programming framework."

"In XBRL's case, Office 11's spreadsheet tool, Excel, will be able to accept data in XBRL format, or work with non-XBRL data to output spreadsheets that are XBRL-formatted."


"XBRL: A case study in complexity A noble attempt to help expose financial dealings via XML asks too much of developers," by Jon Udell, InforWorld, April 30, 2004 --- http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/04/30/18OPstrategic_1.html 

Accounting isn't my strong suit. So I read Following the Moneyto learn what a team of financial academicians think really happened with Enron and WorldCom, and what should be done about it.

Subtitled TheEnron Failure and the State of Corporate Disclosure,the book introduced me to a realm of standards wonkery that's way outside my comfort zone. Will the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) merge U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) with the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB's) IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), or will IFRS instead supersede GAAP? Beats me. Web services has nothing on these guys when it comes to slinging acronyms.

I reached more familiar ground when I read the authors’ recommendation that XBRL(eXtensible Business Reporting Language) should play a crucial role in future reform. Their proposed regulatory initiatives include “encouraging, possibly requiring, public firms to file their financial statements, prospectuses, and other relevant information in XBRL formats in order to accelerate the use of XBRL by companies, investors, and analysts.”

Speedier information flow, transparency — what’s not to like? I wonder, though, if the authors have actually read the 151-page XBRL spec. Here's a taste:

"4.10 Equality predicates relevant to detecting duplicate items and tuples. There are several different senses that are relevant to detection of duplicates in XBRL instances: Identical, Structure equal (s-equal), Parent equal (p-equal), Value equal (v-equal), [XPath]-equal (x-equal), Context equal (c-equal) and Unit equal (u-equal). These different equality predicates are polymorphic and formally defined in a recursive fashion. They are all symmetric predicates, i.e. the result of X (predicate) Y = the result of Y (predicate) X."

Uh-oh. I thought BPEL4WS(Business Process Execution Language for Web Services) was a brain exploder, but it's a walk in the park compared to this stuff. The XBRL spec describes how the parts of an XBRL instance interrelate, using state-of-the-art XML technologies such as XLink and XPointer. And it talks at length about the syntax and semantics of “taxonomies” that abstractly define chunks of financial reports. No sign of any actual financial data, though. And the link to a sample page at xbrl.org, returned a “404 Not Found.” I’m not surprised. The poor bloke whose job it was to produce that sample must have suffered a polymorphic recursive brain meltdown.

This isn’t what the authors had in mind when they endorsed XBRL. They’re right to point out that financial data published on the Web today in HTML and PDF formats resists transformation and analysis. And they’re right to say that “XML permits the tagging of individual data elements, and thus allows the users to rearrange or manipulate them.” But you can’t get from the Model T of today’s HTML and PDF reports to the intergalactic cruiser of XBRL in one turn of the evolutionary crank.

Consider RSS. In 1999 I published my first RSS feed. It was (and is) an XML format so simple that I could (and sometimes still do) write it by hand. Five years later, RSS is wildly popular, as XML formats go. But hordes of people who should be using it have yet to figure it out. If the RSS spec looked like the XBRL spec, nobody ever would — except vendors who regard Sarbanes-Oxley compliance as a growth industry. If we really want transparent data flow, let’s keep it simple.

May 8, 2004 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM
Accounting data is complex -- and needs a complex standard (specification) or other guidance (eg FRTA) to represent it. But users will be hidden from the complexity by the tools. Don't expect to see "accounting data" explicitly stated in the XBRL spec .. it is the eXtensible Business Reporting Language that is designed to allow the representation of information including, but not limited to, accounting data.

It is always easy to be critical of standards .. But the test of standards is not the complexity of the standards themselves, but the ability of the standards to be turned into useable products. Here is part of ETSI TS 151 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 2 (downloaded at random)

 

6.3.1 Administration of the SGSN - MSC/VLR Association

The SGSN - MSC/VLR association is created at the following occasions:

 

- Combined IMSI / GPRS attach.

- GPRS attach when the MS is already IMSI-attached.

- Combined RA / LA update when the MS performs IMSI attach and is already GPRS-attached.

 

Combined RA / LA update when an IMSI and GPRS-attached MS changes from an area of network operation mode II or III to an area of network operation mode I.

The association is initiated by the SGSN. The SGSN creates an association by sending a BSSAP+ message concerning a particular MS to the VLR. To get the VLR number, the SGSN translates the current RAI to a VLR number via a translation table. During a CS connection, an MS in class-B mode of operation cannot perform GPRS attach nor routeing area updates, only MSs in class-A mode of operation can perform these procedures. If a GPRS attach was made during a CS connection, the association shall be initiated by a combined RA / LA update after the CS connection has been released.

 

The association is updated on the following occasions:

- When an MS changes VLR.

- When an MS changes SGSN.

 

The association is not updated during a CS connection.

 

When the MS is in idle mode (see GSM 03.22), the association is updated with the combined RA / LA updates procedure.

 

In relation with a CS connection, the association is managed in the following way:

 

MS in class-A mode of operation:

An MS in class-A mode of operation makes RA updates but no combined RA / LA updates during the CS connection. In

the case when the MS changes SGSN, the SGSN (according to normal RA update procedures, see subclause "Inter SGSN Routeing Area Update") updates the HLR and the GGSN, but not the VLR, about the new SGSN number.

 

In the case when the MS changes MSC during the CS connection, the subscriber data still remains in the old VLR until the CS connection is released and a combined RA / LA update or LA update is made. The association is also not updated during the CS connection.

 

After the CS connection has been released, a combined RA / LA update is performed (if there has been a change of RA, or if a GPRS attach was performed and the new cell indicates network operation mode I), and the association is updated according to combined RA / LA update procedures, see subclause "Combined RA / LA Update Procedure". If the new cell indicates network operation mode II or III, then the MS performs an LA update.

 

I am pretty confident that the number of AECM subscribers that can provide a clear (or even unclear <g>) interpretation of this part of TS 151 or any other part of the standard is a null set. But I can buy a phone in Singapore that will effortlessly stream GRPS data and do that seamlessly in seventy or more countries world wide. The technology is complex -- the interface is not. 

 

Accounting data is complex -- and needs a complex standard (specification) or other guidance (eg FRTA) to represent it. But users will be hidden from the complexity by the tools. Don't expect to see "accounting data" explicitly stated in the XBRL spec .. it is the eXtensible Business Reporting Language that is designed to allow the representation of information including, but not limited to, accounting data.

 

Mr. Udell is just plain wrong in his analysis.

 

Roger 

May 8, 2004 reply from Paul Polinski [pwp3@CASE.EDU]

Roger: I'm not sure that the argument is that simple. There are two transparencies at issue here - accounting transparency (which seeks to make more plentiful and representative disclosures to stakeholders) and data/information (d/i) transparency (which seeks to hide the complexity of the information system storing data and generating information, for the ease of use of end users).

Your point is well taken that in order to provide accounting transparency, the financial reporting system and its components must necessarily be complex. However, writing a standard in a way that fully reflects this complexity, and defending it in the name of data/information transparency, may not be the best way to win converts and encourage adoption.

The Internet and its related apps have been designed to largely incorporate d/i transparency for users. With this transparency indeed has come ease of use for many tasks. However, it has also created a lot of mistrust of the Internet and various apps because users are forced to, relatively blindly, rely on the programming skills and intentions of individuals and corporations. Some choose not to trust at all, and many others have found their trust misplaced, sometimes by presumably reputable individuals or companies. The latest controversy with electronic voting machines serves as a timely example.

I think the point the author wanted to make was that it appeared that the complexity of the standard appeared to 'fly in the face' of the notion of accounting transparency. Financial statement users, not being able to grasp in any way the reporting mechanism being used, would be put in yet another position of 'blind trust' of the developers of the standard and interfaces (who are adding another layer or two to the reporting process). They would have to trust that the data and information are tagged reliably and properly, and that the back-end applications that provide context for the numbers for analysis are also reliable. I'm not sure that this is an 'easy sell.'

May 10, 2004 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Paul: I agree that there are the two issues you describe .. As you point out, I was addressing the latter issue. I think the key point here is that XBRL has been, appropriately in my view, designed as a general purpose standard that can be applied to a wide variety of reporting contexts. We see that this general purpose functionality has been a major factor in the adoption of XBRL in a variety of regulatory environments around the world. XBRL is, however, software and developers require standards from which they can build and then test their applications. The XBRL 2.1 Conformance Suite, for example, has nothing to do with accounting transparency and everything to do with building applications with which users can employ to report information precisely and unambiguously.

 

Your point on technology weaknesses is well taken .. But in the final analysis users will make a decision as to whether the risks of a particular technology are outweighed by the benefits. Several million people turn over $12b of goods on eBay (including 1m cars!) despite all of the published problems of the Internet in general and eBay in particular. The risks are clearly outweighed by the benefits.

 

Having said this, a new users guide to the 2.1 Spec is in the works. We'll also need such a guide for the FRTA (Financial Reporting Taxonomy Architecture).

Roger

May 10, 2004 reply from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

XBRL is an information communication technology (ICT) standard and not an accounting standard; MIS Q will have a special issue on ICT standards soon. I remember in early days, we thought everyone should learn HTML, we had a number of CPEs on this topic at AAA conferences (not any more!). Later, we realized that the software can take care of most HTML coding for the user, for example, simply saving the document as HTML.

 

I think the point Roger is making is that complexity of software should be left to developers and tool makers; users should not be concerned with such issues.. The InfoWorld article assumes XBRL users will have to know complex XML coding, this is a wrong assumption. Many small banks soon will file their XBRL Call Reports with the FDIC without even knowing that they are dealing with XBRL or complex XML codings.

 

Obviously, if the software is not properly tested prior to it issuance, the user may experience wrong results and subsequently the software developer has to deal with the image of unreliable product in the markets.

 

Saeed Roohani

Bryant College

May 10, 2004 reply from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

I'd like to back up Saeed's point. The FDIC is asking all banks to begin reporting quarterly information (call reports) in XBRL starting in the third quarter of 2004. Are the banks worried? No. They are using Call Report vendors to submit their information in XBRL. The Call report vendors are gearing up to understand the FDIC's version of XBRL in the form of a special taxonomy. The Call Report vendors, not the banks, will become the experts in transforming bank data into XBRL. BTW, all reports indicate that the $39 million project is on track.

Neal

Neal J. Hannon, CMA
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine
University
of Hartford


TheEnron Failure and the State of Corporate Disclosure, by Robert E. Litan, The Brookings Institute, April 2002 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#Professionalism


February 5, 2003 reply from Dee (Dawn) Davidson [dgd@MARSHALL.USC.EDU]

Neal Hannon's article on EDGAR's use of XBRL is now reprinted in AccountantsWorld. Nice Job, Neal! Transparent reporting is part of management's fiduciary responsibility, and it's the best protection against the loss of shareholder confidence. Transparency is composed of two main tenants: (1) clear, straightforward financial reporting and (2) making the financial data quickly and easily available to all interested parties. Though XBRL can't address the condition of underlying financial information, it can have a major impact on the delivery of this information to the financial community.

Starting this month, the U.S. investor community will receive a major boost to financial data accessibility. EDGAR Analyst LLC, a joint venture of EDGAR-Online and UBmatrix Corporation, is making a financial database filled with 75 data elements derived from the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filings of all companies since 1994 available in a digital format. In addition, EDGAR Analyst is promising to make available newly filed SEC 10-Q and 10-K information within 48 hours of the material being posted on the SEC's EDGAR system.

http://www.accountantsworld.com/news/currnewsyb.asp?q1=36429683

dee davidson
Accounting Systems Specialist
Marshall School of Business Leventhal School of Accounting
 University of Southern California
dee.davidson@marshall.usc.edu


The main starting point in understanding XBRL is the XBRL Home Page at http://www.xbrl.org/

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.

XBRL is:

·         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.

·         Licensed royalty-free worldwide by XBRL International, a non-profit consortium consisting of over 140 leading companies, associations, and government agencies around the world.

·         Permits the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information across all software formats and technologies, including the Internet.

·         Benefits all users of the financial information supply chain: public and private companies, the accounting profession, regulators, analysts, the investment community, capital markets and lenders, as well as key third parties such as software developers and data aggregators.

·         Does not require a company to disclose any additional information beyond that which they normally disclose under existing accounting standards. Does not require a change to existing accounting standards.

·         Improves access to financial information by improving the form of the information and making it more appropriate for the Internet.

·         Reduces the need to enter financial information more than one time, reducing the risk of data entry error and eliminating the need to manually key information for various formats, (printed financial statement, an HTML document for a company's Web site, an EDGAR filing document, a raw XML file or other specialized reporting formats such as credit reports and loan documents) thereby lowering a company's cost to prepare and distribute its financial statements while improving investor or analyst access to information.

·         Leverages efficiencies of the Internet as today's primary source of financial information. More than 80% of major US public companies provide some type of financial disclosure on the Internet, and the majority of information that investors use to make decisions comes to them via the Internet.

·         XBRL meets the needs of today's investors and other users of financial information by providing accurate and reliable information to help them make informed financial decisions.

Popular Links:
 
Overview
 
FAQ
 
Resources
 
Events
 
Demos
 
Briefing Room
 
Press Room
 
Public Discussion
 
Joining XBRL
 Leadership
 
History of XBRL
 
Mailing list
 
Legal
 
 
Technical  Information:
 Technical Overview
 
Specification
 
Schema
 
Taxonomy
 
Sample
 
Tools

Audit and tax firm KPMG LLP announced Tuesday that it has placed a representative from the company to an inaugural XBRL fellowship at the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
SmartPros, November 10, 2003 ---
http://www.smartpros.com/x41241.xml

Demos

The following are demos which show the capabilities of XBRL:

·        NASDAQ-Microsoft-PwC Demo: Excel Investor Assistant with 21 Public Companies' Financial Statements. Requires IE6 and Excel 2000 or Excel 2002. 

Bob Jensen’s
Tutorial on the Above Demos
 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#XBRLexten

 

 

Neil Hannon provides the following introduction to XBRL at 

From the XBRL.org Web Page:

What are we doing?  XBRL.ORG is developing the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for the preparation and exchange of business reports and data.  The initial goal of XBRL is to provide an XML-based framework that the global business information supply chain will use to create, exchange, and analyze financial reporting information including, but not limited to, regulatory filings such as annual and quarterly financial statements, general ledger information, and audit schedules.

XBRL is freely licensed and facilitates the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information among various software applications anywhere in the world.

The XBRL Specification and the first taxonomy for financial reporting of commercial and industrial companies under US GAAP was released on July 31, 2000.  This was a major milestone for the XBRL framework.

This release will allow for the creation of XML-based financial statements using XBRL.(Source: www.xbrl.org , visited August 10, 2000)

Organizations and corporations world-wide are committed to support XBRL. Countries are also excited about having their participants in capital markets report accounting information against a single chart of accounts and in XML. The International Standards for Accounting Consortium is very excited about the project and will sign on all countries who use ISA for accounting. This means that thousands of companies world-wide will be clamering for useful tools.

Articles for further Study:

Looking at Business Reports Through XBRL-Tinted Glasses, September, 2000, By Liv A. Watson; Brian L. McGuire, CMA, CPA; and Eric E. Cohen, CPA.  The article introduces XBRL and XML and explains how XBRL will be used for business reporting.  The description of how XBRL fits into the XML family is very helpful.  Sample quote, "Why Use XBRL? 
Standardize on a common taxonomy (shared vocabulary) and you reap the benefits of interoperability and integration. In the long run, standardization improves access and lowers distribution costs because fewer technologies are involved."

XBRL Will Transform Financial Reporting  Date: Jun 19, 2000 , Publication: WST
By: Ivy Schmerken

Companies Backing XML Business Specification  Date:  April 10, 2000, Computeruser.com, by Steven Bonisteel.

Inside the 1.0 Specification, is a guide to reading the W3C recommendation. 

XML, The Next Big Thing, Published on the IBM developer's Web Site, provides insight into how XML is used in business and what role IBM is playing in the development of XML.

March 2002
XBRL Statements Make Their Internet Debut Microsoft Corporation has announced that it is the first technology company to publish its financial statements on the Internet using Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).
http://www.accountingweb.com/item/74412 

To read more about XBRL history and demos, go to 
Extended Overview of XBRL and Business Reporting on the Internet 

XBRL Express --- http://www.edgar-online.com/xbrl/ 

The XBRL Express web site is intended to function as a market place for companies and organizations wishing to display their XBRL statements and where XBRL developers can demonstrate their applications and tools. If you have XBRL compliant statements or created an application or a demo and wish to have it demonstrated on this page, please click here for more information.

 

What is XBRL?
Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), formerly code-named XFRML, is an open specification which uses XML-based data tags to describe financial statements for both public and private companies. XBRL benefits all members of the financial information supply chain... [
more]

Access Raw XBRL Files
Access company financials by industry, generated in XBRL format, as well as the source documents, and taxonomies used...[
more]

Submit XBRL Files
If your company has generated your own financials in XBRL format, you can have them added to the repository. For more information email
xbrl@edgar-online.com.

XBRL Resources

 

 

I thank Neil Hannon for the lead on this article.
"Can XBRL Lessen Accounting Scandals?," SmartPros, August 26, 2002 ---
http://www.smartpros.com/x35109.xml 

XBRL, the eXtensible Business Reporting Language, an electronic method for companies to report financial information in accordance with GAAP, may be the answer to the accounting scandal crisis, according to a recent article in Strategic Finance Magazine.

While XBRL cannot remedy fraudulent accounting, author Neal Hannon argues it will make data crunching faster and easier for organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, so corporate filings stand a greater chance of a thorough review.

States Hannon: "With XBRL, all 14,000 corporate submissions could be read by analytical software, creating an increased probability that anomalies in financial reporting could be discovered much earlier. Industry data analysis could be performed on 100% of the filings ... Submission of SEC requirements in XBRL could go directly into a computer program for screening and further processing."

Recent milestones in XBRL include a pilot program launched by Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers that provides investors with remote access to XBRL financial data from five years of financial reports for 21 Nasdaq-listed companies.

The link to Strategic Finance Magazine is at http://www.strategicfinancemag.org/ 

Extended Overview and Tutorial on Metadata and XBRL
 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#XBRLexten

 

Return to Top of Document




 

 

 

 

OLAP = Online Analytical Processing database design in which data can be analyzed from a multidimensional point of view.   The term was first used in 1993 by the father of relational database systems, an IBM mathematician named E.F. Codd.   Both OLAP and its history are briefly explained by Don Burleson at http://www.oreview.com/9602burl.htm 

Dr. E. F. Codd first used the term OLAP in a 1993 white paper sponsored by Arbor Software. In this same paper, Codd also created 12 rules for OLAP. (See the "OLAP Bibliography" for a summary of OLAP white papers and magazines articles, including Dr. Codd's white paper.) Despite Codd's claims of new technology, some offerings such as IRI Express, now called Oracle Express, date to the early 1970s. (For more information on OLAP and Oracle Express Objects, please see Dan Bulos' article, "OLAP Comes of Age: Oracle Express Objects.") There is a popular forum on the Internet that discusses OLAP issues at http://www.comp.database.olap .

The history and background of OLAP are also given in the OLAP Council Whitepaper at http://www.olapcouncil.org/research/whtpaply.htm 

Introduction

The purpose of the paper that follows is to define On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP), who uses it and why, and to review the key features required for OLAP software as referenced in the OLAP Council benchmark specification.

What Is OLAP?

During the last ten years, a significant percentage of corporate data has migrated to relational databases. Relational databases have been used heavily in the areas of operations and control, with a particular emphasis on transaction processing (for example, manufacturing process control, brokerage trading). To be successful in this arena, relational database vendors place a premium on the highly efficient execution of a large number of small transactions and near fault tolerant availability of data.

More recently, relational database vendors have also sold their databases as tools for building Data Warehouses. A Data Warehouse stores tactical information that answers "who?" and "what?" questions about past events. A typical query submitted to a Data Warehouse is: "What was the total revenue for the eastern region in the third quarter?"

It is important to distinguish the capabilities of a Data Warehouse from those of an OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) system. In contrast to a Data Warehouse, which is usually based on relational technology, OLAP uses a multidimensional view of aggregate data to provide quick access to strategic information for further analysis.

OLAP enables analysts, managers, and executives to gain insight into data through fast, consistent, interactive access to a wide variety of possible views of information. OLAP transforms raw data so that it reflects the real dimensionality of the enterprise as understood by the user.

While OLAP systems have the ability to answer "who?" and "what?" questions, it is their ability to answer "what if?" and "why?" that sets them apart from Data Warehouses. OLAP enables decision-making about future actions. A typical OLAP calculation is more complex than simply summing data, for example: "What would be the effect on soft drink costs to distributors if syrup prices went up by $.10/gallon and transportation costs went down by $.05/mile?"

OLAP and Data Warehouses are complementary. A Data Warehouse stores and manages data. OLAP transforms Data Warehouse data into strategic information. OLAP ranges from basic navigation and browsing (often known as "slice and dice"), to calculations, to more serious analyses such as time series and complex modeling. As decision-makers exercise more advanced OLAP capabilities, they move from data access to information to knowledge.

Who Uses OLAP and Why?

OLAP applications span a variety of organizational functions. Finance departments use OLAP for applications such as budgeting, activity-based costing (allocations), financial performance analysis, and financial modeling. Sales analysis and forecasting are two of the OLAP applications found in sales departments. Among other applications, marketing departments use OLAP for market research analysis, sales forecasting, promotions analysis, customer analysis, and market/customer segmentation. Typical manufacturing OLAP applications include production planning and defect analysis.

Important to all of the above applications is the ability to provide managers with the information they need to make effective decisions about an organization's strategic directions. The key indicator of a successful OLAP application is its ability to provide information as needed, i.e., its ability to provide "just-in-time" information for effective decision-making. This requires more than a base level of detailed data.

Continued at http://www.olapcouncil.org/research/whtpaply.htm 

For a listing of OLAP terms and definitions, go to http://www.moulton.com/olap/olap.glossary.html 

OLAP
On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a category of software technology that enables analysts, managers and executives to gain insight into data through fast, consistent, interactive access to a wide variety of possible views of information that has been transformed from raw data to reflect the real dimensionality of the enterprise as understood by the user.

OLAP functionality is characterized by dynamic multi-dimensional analysis of consolidated enterprise data supporting end user analytical and navigational activities including:

  • calculations and modeling applied across dimensions, through hierarchies and/or across members
  • trend analysis over sequential time periods
  • slicing subsets for on-screen viewing
  • drill-down to deeper levels of consolidation
  • reach-through to underlying detail data
  • rotation to new dimensional comparisons in the viewing area

OLAP is implemented in a multi-user client/server mode and offers consistently rapid response to queries, regardless of database size and complexity. OLAP helps the user synthesize enterprise information through comparative, personalized viewing, as well as through analysis of historical and projected data in various "what-if" data model scenarios. This is achieved through use of an OLAP Server.

OLAP SERVER

An OLAP server is a high-capacity, multi-user data manipulation engine specifically designed to support and operate on multi-dimensional data structures. A multi-dimensional structure is arranged so that every data item is located and accessed based on the intersection of the dimension members which define that item. The design of the server and the structure of the data are optimized for rapid ad-hoc information retrieval in any orientation, as well as for fast, flexible calculation and transformation of raw data based on formulaic relationships. The OLAP Server may either physically stage the processed multi-dimensional information to deliver consistent and rapid response times to end users, or it may populate its data structures in real-time from relational or other databases, or offer a choice of both. Given the current state of technology and the end user requirement for consistent and rapid response times, staging the multi-dimensional data in the OLAP Server is often the preferred method.

Continued at http://www.moulton.com/olap/olap.glossary.html 

FEDScope --- A GREAT ILLUSTRATION

I stumbled upon a rather unique website that organizes data in a way that may interest some of you. It has possibilities for online training and education site designs. The site is called FedScope from the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Government --- http://www.fedscope.opm.gov/index.htm 

FedScope is an On Line Analytic Processing tool which provides a free and easy way to access and analyze a large array of Federal employment data on your own.  

FedScope uses multidimensional data sources called "Cubes".  A FedScope cube brings together 13 key dimensions (data elements) on the Federal workforce and lets you explore any combination of the data: up, down, and across the dimensions.

You can easily

·         use our shortcut canned reports that we've provided in this application.

·         free-style with our OLAP tool to create your own reports.

·         export data to your favorite software (i.e. Excel Spreadsheet) for analysis and presentation.

·         export reports to Adobe Acrobat PDF for printing.

Online Glossary of Online Terms from the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Government --- http://www.fedscope.opm.gov/glossary/index.htm
(This glossary has a somewhat unique design for online users.)

OLAP and PIVOT TABLES

The cube approach is briefly explained at the Multimart site at http://www.reportingtools.com/Present/Present_files/frame.htm 

OLAP Multi-Dimensional Cubes • 
Several tools, such as Cognos PowerPlay, Microsoft Analysis Services and Hyperion Essbase, all generate “cube” data schemas designed for On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP). One of the limits of using these tools, without the MultiMart Enterprise Data Warehouse creating a star-schema for which they can load data from, is the lack of complex reporting capabilities they have. Such that, the ability to process multi-currency, relative time periods and drill-down to transaction details are limited.

Features of the Cognos PowerPlay CUBE are explained as follows at http://www.cognos.com/products/powerplay/pp_fabs_cubes.html 

Powerful, Flexible OLAP Cube Creation The Cognos PowerPlay OLAP tool delivers advanced data analysis capabilities for enterprise data marts, and integrates with the comprehensive Cognos business intelligence solution.

Cognos PowerPlay's Transformation server delivers OLAP cube designers an advanced environment for creating highly compact, fast, robust PowerCubes.

Powerful OLAP Modeling Environment

Drag and drop user interface. Define your multidimensional data structures visually, using standard Windows drag and drop actions. Define dimensions, levels, categories (members), or measures by dragging and dropping data items appropriately. This applies to advanced features like alternate drill downs, calculated measures, measure allocations, and calculated categories.

Powerful Time Dimensions. Easily define date periods to analyze data across time, from years down to individual days. Designers can define their own custom time periods as required, and easily create relative time period definitions.

Integrated with the Cognos Platform. Transformer can readily access star schema data marts built using Cognos DecisionStream, as well as enterprise metadata models generated using Cognos Architect.

Secure Data Within and Across PowerCubes

Dimension and User Class Views. Use any combination of security both within cubes and among groups of cubes. Restrict what portions of any dimension users can see based on User Class Views. In conjunction, create cubes for specific users by applying Dimension Views.

Cube Groups. Quickly and easily build entire groups of PowerCubes based on user requirements. For example, build cubes with data for each branch office or reporting group.

Robust Cube Building

Build Cubes Fast, on Any Platform, from Any Source. Transformer's native support for all data sources allows cubes to integrate data from disparate databases, and ensures fast access while building large cubes of up to 50 million rows of consolidated data, and 500,000 categories. Automatic partitioning optimizes the way data is written to PowerCubes, and platform independence lets you leverage your existing environment.

Comprehensive Logging and Check Points. Designers can define the level of logging that occurs during PowerCube builds, and easily monitor cube build status. PowerCube administrators can also configure check points, so that cube builds can be efficiently restarted in the event of hardware problems.

Automated Cube Builds. Using Transformer's Model Definition Language, Designers can automate cube updates with a fully documented, open API. On Windows, Designers can build cubes using OLE Automation.

I really like the Armstrong Lang "Step-by-Step Guide for analyzing a cube.  The link is at http://www.armstronglaing.com/content/services/cubedetails.asp 

This cube is a light-hearted view of Father Christmas's distribution business. We have gathered together information about the whole Christmas present chain from production at the Elf Workshops, through delivery by the reindeer teams, to their eventual destinations in the major cities of Europe.

The cube offers you the opportunity to analyze the logistics of Santa's operation to determine how efficient his delivery methods are; to establish whether his elves are working productively; and to uncover some intriguing information about what the children of Europe want for Christmas this year..

Another OLAP-type approach entails pivot table analysis in Excel spreadsheets.  You can download sample pivot table illustrations from Microsoft Corporation's financial statement Website at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA010346331033.aspx .  To slice and dice these pivot table reports, the Excel spreadsheets containing the data must be downloaded into an Excel program (which in reality makes this no longer an "online analytical process."  Plus users have to write most of their own analysis routines.  After downloading into Excel, the pivot tables can be manipulated and users can prepare their own custom charts, other pivot tables, etc.  This is very useful, but is not as neat and tidy as the truly online Cube OLAP approach available at the Fedscope site note above.

Microsoft Corporation offers discussion of OLAP in the context of pivot tables at 
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/off2000/html/xlconaboutolapdatas.asp
 

About OLAP data sources for PivotTable and PivotChart reports

Microsoft Excel includes client software that allows you to work with data from On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) databases by creating and interacting with PivotTable and PivotChart reports. This topic explains what you need to do to set up data sources, which are stored sets of information that Excel uses to access the OLAP source data for your reports.

This topic provides reference information about:

Software and components you need

Creating a data source

Creating your own OLAP cube

Software and components you need

Microsoft Query   To set up OLAP data sources for Excel, you use Microsoft Query, a general-purpose tool for setting up connections to external databases and creating queries to retrieve data. Microsoft Query is an optional Microsoft Office component.

An OLAP provider   You also need one of the following OLAP providers:

  • Microsoft OLAP provider   Excel includes the data source driver and client software you need to access databases that were created by using the Microsoft OLAP product, Microsoft SQL Server OLAP Services.
  • Third-party OLAP providers   For other products that provide OLAP data and services, you need to install additional drivers and client software. To use the Excel PivotTable and PivotChart report features for working with OLAP data, the third-party product must conform to the OLE-DB for OLAP standard and be Office compatible. For information about installing and using a third-party OLAP provider, consult your system administrator or the vendor for your OLAP product

Server databases and cube files   The Excel OLAP client software supports connections to two types of OLAP data sources. If a database on an OLAP server is available on your network, you can retrieve source data from it directly. If you have an offline cube file containing OLAP data or a cube definition file, you can connect to that file and retrieve source data from it.

 

Creating a data source

To connect to OLAP data, you create a data source in Microsoft Query. A data source supplies the information necessary for Excel to connect to the OLAP database or file, including its name and location, the driver to use, and any additional information the database requires.

How an OLAP data source works   A data source gives you access to all data in the OLAP database or offline cube file, and as a result, you do not have to construct a query in Microsoft Query to select the data. After you have created an OLAP data source, you can base reports on it, but you can only return the OLAP data to Excel in the form of a PivotTable or PivotChart report, not as an external data range on a worksheet.

Ways to create one   You can create a data source while you are using the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard, or you can create a data source in Microsoft Query and then use the data source when you create reports in Excel. You can specify a server database or an offline cube file when you create the data source. If you create a data source to connect directly to an offline cube file, this data source might not give you access to the original server database from which the offline cube file was created. Contact the person who supplied you with the offline cube file for information about the original source and the data it contains.

To run Microsoft Query so that you can create a data source, point to Get External Data on the Data menu, and then click New Database Query. For the procedure to create an OLAP data source, see Microsoft Query Help.

 

Creating your own OLAP cube

For users who are familiar with database management and access, Excel provides several ways to create and work with your own OLAP cubes. To create your own cubes, you must have an OLAP provider, such as Microsoft SQL Server OLAP Services, that supports this capability.

Offline cube files from OLAP data   From a PivotTable or PivotChart report that gets its external data from an OLAP server database, you can create your own offline cube (.cub) file containing a subset of the data from the server (or all of the data, if your disk space is sufficient). When stored on your local disk, a .cub file allows you to continue working with data when you're disconnected from the network or the server is unavailable. After you create the .cub file, you can update it when the server database changes, and you can switch the report between connection to the file and the server database.

You don't have to create a separate data source to use the offline cube file, but if you save it on a shared network location, other users can create data sources to access the file and base reports on it. Some third-party OLAP providers might not support creating offline cube files, and in that case, the commands to create the files are unavailable.

Cubes created from relational databases   You can also create your own OLAP cube or offline cube file from data that you query from a relational database, such as Microsoft SQL Server. Creating an OLAP cube can make access to large amounts of relational data more efficient and can help organize the data for use in reports. You do not need an OLAP server product to create and use this type of cube.

To create this type of cube, you first set up a data source for the relational database, create a query in Microsoft Query to retrieve the data, and then run the OLAP Cube Wizard in Microsoft Query to define a structure for the data and, optionally, save an offline cube (.cub) file. After you finish this process, you have a cube definition (.oqy) file that you can open in Microsoft Excel to create a PivotTable report. You do not have to set up a separate data source for the OLAP cube.

 

The following article briefly explains how pivot tables are used in more SQL servers.
"Mastering OLAP: Local Cube Files:  Take a slice of cube data on the road, SQL Server Magazine, ---
http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=7842 

Microsoft has been evangelizing lately about its support for a variety of computer user profiles, including profiles for users who work connected to a network or on a non-networked computer, and for road warriors who sometimes connect and sometimes work non-networked while they're traveling. Microsoft software such as Windows 2000 (Win2K) has many features targeting such user profiles. A feature called Offline Files lets you access networked folders and files without a network connection. With Offline Files, users can mark network folders or files as available offline, work offline, then synchronize the contents when they connect to the network again.

SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services also handles road-warrior requirements, particularly if you use OLAP Services with Excel 2000 or another OLAP client tool that supports local cube files. Almost any OLAP client that can connect to OLAP Services can also connect to a local cube file.

Let's examine how to use OLAP Services and Excel 2000 to create a local cube file from an OLAP cube slice to work with while you're traveling. Also, let's look at how to implement this functionality with multidimensional ADO (ADO MD), for those of you who've created your own OLAP client application. (For the answers to the January MDX Puzzle, see "January MDX Puzzle Solution Revealed," page 59. For this month's puzzle, see "MDX Puzzle," page 60.)

Excel 2000 uses local cube files in Excel Pivot-Table reports when you don't have access to OLAP Services software on a networked PC. A local cube file is a self-contained OLAP cube without any stored aggregations. Typically, you use a local cube file as a subset of a server-based OLAP cube to take on the road. Local cube files have a .cub extension.

Let's create a PivotTable based on an OLAP cube, then create a local cube file. First, in Excel 2000, pull down the Data menu, and select PivotTable and PivotChart Report to start the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard. On the first page of the wizard, select External Data Source, as Screen 1 shows. On the second page, click Get Data, which leads you to Microsoft Query if you have it installed; otherwise, Excel prompts you to insert an Office 2000 CD to install Microsoft Query.

Creating an OLAP Data Source
After you install Microsoft Query, you'll see the Choose Data Source window. Select the OLAP Cubes tab and you'll see the view
Screen 2 shows. Then select New Data Source, and click OK to open the Create New Data Source window, as Screen 3, page 58, shows. You need to fill in the first two fields in this window to create a New Data Source called FoodMart Sales, which connects to the FoodMart Sales cube. Then go to option 3, and click Connect. Select OLAP Server in this window, and type your OLAP server's machine name. If your OLAP Server is on your local machine, type local host. Then click Next, select the FoodMart database, and click Finish, which returns you to the Create New Data Source window. Finish the steps in this window by selecting Sales in the last combo box. Click OK to return to the Choose Data Source window, select FoodMart Sales in the OLAP Cubes list, and click OK. Now you have an OLAP Data Source connected to a server-based cube with which to create your local cube file. Click Finish to skip the last page of the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard. For now, you don't need to do anything with the placement of the PivotTable or other PivotTable options. The result is an empty PivotTable on your spreadsheet with a floating toolbar that has the names of the cube's dimensions and measures.

Making an Interactive PivotTable Report
To make the PivotTable report interactive, you must drag at least one dimension name to the report's column or rows. For this example, drag the Product dimension name from the floating toolbar to where the PivotTable says Drop row fields here, and drag the Time dimension to the Drop column fields here area. Then to complete your PivotTable report, drag the Unit Sales measure to the center of the report and release the mouse. You might need to use the scroll arrow on the right side of the floating toolbar to find the Unit Sales measure. The report will respond by filling in numbers. You now have an interactive PivotTable report that's connected to your OLAP Server. The next step is to create a local cube file with Excel 2000 so you can browse the PivotTable report when you're not connected to your OLAP Server PC.

Visual OLAP for Excel is explained at http://www.visualolap.com/prodsum.pdf 

OVERVIEW

Visual OLAP 2000 for Excel is an OLAP based Business Reporting and Analysis Tool. 

Visual OLAP provides the missing link between MS Excel, the defacto client side business Reporting and Analysis Tool for many organisations, and Microsoft’s OLAP server engines, OLAP Services and Analysis Services.

Visual OLAP runs from within MS Excel. A set of Wizards takes users through a guided process of choosing the data they want from an OLAP cube or cubes. Visual OLAP then returns the values to the spreadsheet in a cell or cells nominated by the user.

Data may be returned to single cells or multiple cells as a table.  Unlike pivot tables Visual OLAP unlocks the data and gives the user control over presentation or further data enhancements.  Visual OLAP is ideal for creating high quality, business reports.  Visual OLAP also provides ways to browse cube data and facilitate analysis, through simple to use drilling and slicing techniques.

Visual OLAP tools satisfy the demand for organizations to have fast, production quality business reporting and fast, meaningful data snapshots suitable for quick answers and practical analysis.  The solution is geared for widespread deployment to all classes of users within an organization and offers significant price/performance benefits over the competitors. For customers wanting improved reporting coupled with practical analysis capabilities a Visual OLAP solution can offer a total cost of ownership differential of between 30-60 times cheaper.

BENEFITS

Visual OLAP can return single values and tables to cells on an Excel spreadsheet. Unlike Pivot Tables the data is unlocked and free to be changed or added to using the full power of Excel. Visual OLAP is ideal for reports, allowing multiple data point from multiple cubes or data sources to be returned to a spreadsheet as directed by the user. The user has control not the software.

Price and cost of ownership (includes implementation, cost of training, software upgrades, operational maintenance etc). is significantly lower than the competition.

User Interface – the Visual OLAP interface is wizard driven, intuitive and has design features in keeping with the principles of simplicity, usability and practicality. The design has significant advances in common OLAP cube viewing techniques including a more user friendly and more functional drill and slice technique. The creation of MDX (OLAP queries) is hidden from the casual user. Power users can write MDX expressions directly in Visual OLAP.

Solid Architecture - Visual OLAP is client/server from the ground up. It is a high performance and robust solution capable of dealing with the reporting needs of large and small organisations.

Training – the software requires minimal training and users familiar with Excel can be productively using Visual OLAP in a matter of minutes.


"Access to Intelligence The New OLAP APIs," by George Spofford, Intelligent Enterprise, September 17, 2002, pp. 46-51 --- http://www.intelligententerprise.com/020917/515feat2_1.shtml 

Historically data mining and online analytic processing (OLAP) have been solely human activities. In other words, it is humans who specify analytic models, build them, and then consume the results. But with the emergence of the Web services computing model, which involves the creation of new, lightweight plumbing for connecting disparate systems, the landscape is changing: Analytics can now be more easily interwoven with other computing interactions. (See the sidebar, "Not Just for Humans Anymore.") In other words, humans are no longer the sole specifiers or consumers of analytic services. The possibilities, as you might imagine, are fascinating.

Until recently, the options for connecting analytic engines have been limited. Developers have been able to use a variety of vendor APIs, or Microsoft's OLE DB for OLAP (or ODBO), which is supported by some servers besides Microsoft's. But ODBO is only available on Win32, rendering it less than universally accepted for Web services or enterprise mid-tier applications. The Java version of the OLAP Council's MD-API was never accepted by server or client vendors, so non-Win32 application servers haven't had any multivendor APIs at all.

However, new choices are emerging. In this article, I'll discuss two up-and-coming APIs for accessing OLAP-related information. One, XML for Analysis (XML/A), is already at version 1.0 and will be entering version 1.1 in the near future. The other, Java OLAP Interface (JOLAP), is currently working its way through the Java Community Process, having been in public review stage from June 20 to July 19, 2002.

One benefit of each of these APIs that deserves mentioning up front is their support for non-Win32-based mid-tier applications, whether you wish to consider such apps "Web services" or not; however, they are both suitable for other purposes. For client-side applications, each API also provides at least the benefit of enabling access to a previously unavailable choice of server types. Along the way, I'll discuss what the APIs provide, and how a range of vendors view the APIs with regard to their own interests.

The XML for Analysis Approach

XML/A is a simple object access protocol (SOAP)-based API derived from, and encompassing, Microsoft's ODBO. It includes SOAP and the entirety of ODBO as its main related specifications and adds SOAP actions and XML schemas for the ODBO data structures, with a few enhancements.

Continued at http://www.intelligententerprise.com/020917/515feat2_1.shtml 


HOW MICROSOFT ADDS IT UP:  Accounting the Digital Way by Scott M. Boggs, Journal of Accountancy, May 1999 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may1999/boggs.htm 
(Although this Microsoft site relies heavily on pivot tables, OLAP is also used.)


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

TECHNOLOGY IS dramatically changing the role of the financial professional from that of information recorder to business strategist—making the financial manager much more critical to the success of an enterprise.

TO KEEP PACE WITH these changes, the financial professional is expected to provide accurate and timely financial information that can be accessed and analyzed quickly and easily. While digital technology may make it easier to collect information and move it from one place to another, it also has led to an incredible proliferation of data. Filtering, sorting, compiling, analyzing and disseminating financial data in ways that add real value to a corporation has become a daunting challenge.

MICROSOFT CORP.—with 54 financial groups charged with providing financial support to more than 85 global subsidiary operations—has struggled with these challenges. Its answer is the financial “digital nervous system,” an intranet-based environment that links all of the company’s financial groups into a single, coherent system and provides its employees with real-time access to information and financial reports through the Internet.

FIVE YEARS AGO, it took Microsoft two weeks to close the books. Now it takes four days. The company used to print and distribute 350,000 hard-copy management reports each year. Today, none. Through FinWeb, a network of intranet sites, its employees can submit travel-expense reports and be reimbursed, purchase goods and services and transfer capital assets—all from their desktops. They’ve reduced paperwork, transaction time and publishing and distribution costs.

IT’S POSSIBLE for any of its employees who need financial information for decision making to access detailed reports that are updated daily. The financial system lets people drill down through layers of information to get answers—quickly, easily and without computer programming skills. None of the technology used to achieve the objectives is beyond the reach of any organization—large or small.

AS A RESULT, the company is able to achieve something finance organizations strive for: the ability to add more value at the strategic end of the business and spend less time processing transactions.

SCOTT M. BOGGS, CPA, is Microsoft’s corporate controller. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent eight years with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as a manager in the emerging business services group.

 

 

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Extended Overview of HTML

HTML is an acronym for a HyperText Markup Language DTD.  

HTML is the language used to tag various parts of a Web document so browsing software will know how to display that document's links, text, graphics and attached media. Your are viewing an HTML document at this moment. The popular HTML is a subset of the GML text scripting conceived in1969 IBM researchers depicting Generalized Markup Languages (and not-so-coincidentally the lead researchers were named Goldfarb, Mosher, and Lorie).   Between 1978 and 1987, Dr. Charles F. Goldfarb led the team that developed the SGML Standard GML that is became International Standard ISO 8879.  In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee led a team of particle physicists that invented the World Wide Web using a very small part of SGML that became the widely known and used scripting language known as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).  SGML is tremendously powerful but inefficient and complex.  HTML is marvelously simple but not very powerful.  

.In 1990 there were less than 50 users of HTML.  Most of them were physicists connected in one way or the other to Tim Berners Lee.  In 2001, there were over 300 million users of HTML documents on the Web.  The World Wide Web (WWW) or the Web as it is popularly known commenced with HTML.  It would, however, not have taken off if the HTTP protocol for reading HTML documents had not been developed for Web browsers.  Credit for this goes to Mosaic invented in 1992 by a University of Illinois undergraduate student named Marc Andreessen.  The history of Mosaic is given at http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Jake/CubeArt/Descriptions/MosaicHistory.html .  Andreessen later founded Netscape and the famous Netscape browser that led to an explosion of users on the Web.

The responsibility for the development of HTML standards lies with the W3C which is explained as follows at http://hostingworks.com/support/dict.phtml?foldoc=World+Wide+Web+Consortium 

The main standards body for the World-Wide Web. W3C works with the global community to establish international standards for client and server protocols that enable on-line commerce and communications on the Internet. It also produces reference software.

W3C was created by the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 25 October 1994. Netscape Communications Corporation was a founding member. The Consortium is run by MIT LCS and INRIA, in collaboration with CERN where the web originated. W3C is funded by industrial members but its products are freely available to all. The director is Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World-Wide Web at the Center
for European Particle Research (CERN).

Advantages of HTML

·         Easy to use with low-cost software (ranging from zero to $150 in most cases for HTML converters/editors). The latest word processing upgrades have limited HTML converters and editors included in the upgrade.

·         Both HTML authors and users can be trained easily and inexpensively.

·         HTML documents can be stored in cache such that the server is not tied up every time the client user wants to return to an HTML file (files can be stored in the browser's cache for short periods of time even if the user does not formally download and save the HTML file in a designated directory).

·         HTML documents can be easily printed using browser menu choices (linked graphics appear on pages as if they were pasted onto the document itself).

·         It is very easy to modify sizes of graphics images. A stored gif or jpg file can be viewed in a wide range of sizes (although increasing the size beyond the stored image size may result in pixelization).

·         HTML documents are easy to search and have given rise to popular web search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Altavista, Lycos, HotBot, etc.).

·         An HTML document can be viewed on multiple platforms (Windows, Macintosh, UNIX work stations, etc.).

·         HTML on the web can be networked across existing Internet networks.

·         HTML documents can contain links to graphics, audio, video, and animation files.

·         HTML documents are easy to access with modern browsers and save to client machines with minimal or no virus risks (relative to say virus risks of downloading word processor documents such as DOC files).  (Browsers, however, are no longer risk free.  See ActiveX.

·         HTML source codes are easy to view and modify --- usually with the menu choice (View, Source) in a browser.

Disadvantages of HTML

·         HTML is "document" rather than "data" centered and does not facilitate distributed network computing or relational database management utilities.

·         HTML is static and cannot make arithmetic calculations, date/time operations, perform Boolean logic, or revise data on the client or host computers. You cannot add 2+2 in HTML code.

·         HTML cannot be coded to conduct searches (although other software can be programmed to search HTML documents).

·         HTML cannot be made to tabulate survey responses (even though surveys can be conducted using forms in HTML documents).

·         HTML cannot perform security operations (authorize password clearances, authenticate servers or clients, encode and decode transmissions, etc.).

·         HTML cannot be made to react to signals such as the reaction of replying to messages.

·         HTML on the web requires connectivity to the web which, in turn, requires monthly or annual fees and frustrations of delays caused by clogged networks having insufficient bandwidth (especially for users that must use slow modem connections).

·         HTML generally leads to too many hits when using search engines.  The XML and RDF solutions to this problem are on the way.  See RDF.

For more on the WWW Consortium dealing with such issues, see http://www.w3.org/
See also
CGI, Resource Description Framework, World Wide Web, and HTTP.

For a review of HTML and network databases, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/260wp/260wp.htm.

October 18, 2003 message from Dan [dan@htmlcodetutorial.com]

I emailed you some months ago about our site www.HTMLCodeTutorial.com  that gets over 6000 visitors per day. We now have a new Webmaster Resource Directory where you can add your site for free if you want to exchange links with us. There is a link to "Submit your site" on the home page.

Email me if you have any questions.

Thanks, Dan

HTTP= The abbreviation for HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP is used to link and transfer hypertext documents. The secured socket extension is HTTPs for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (has SSL underneath HTTP). Another extension is HTTPd standing for Hypertext transfer protocol Daemon. This protocol can be used to customize web searches and handle response forms on web documents.

HTTP= The abbreviation for HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP is used to link and transfer hypertext documents. The secured socket extension is HTTPs for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (has SSL underneath HTTP). Another extension is HTTPd standing for Hypertext transfer protocol Daemon. This protocol can be used to customize web searches and handle response forms on web documents.

For more on XML RDF, VoiceXML, XLink, XForm,  XSLT, RDF and Semantic Web Watch, go to  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

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Extended Summary of XML and SMIL

XBRL= eXtensible Business Reporting Language.   This is an extension of XML metatag technology key terminologies in business, accounting, and financial reporting.  The major purpose is to allow users to locate and analyze financial reports or portions of financial reports in a manner that is far more efficient and effective than using traditional search engines and EDGAR utilities. I also highly recommend the XBRL history and news site at XBRL headquarters at http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
Also see
http://www.w3.org/

XBRL Glossaries

http://web.bryant.edu/~xbrl/xbrl/terms.htm

http://www.xbrl.ca/news/ca-gaap-pfs-2004-11-20.htm

http://www.ubmatrix.com/Resources/resources_xbrl_glossary.asp

 


Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.
Wayne Gretsky as quoted by Jerry Trites at
http://www.zorba.ca/

The above quotation is very important in financial reporting, because XBRL is where the puck is going.

Jerry Trites has an XBRL Blog --- http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

Bob Jensen’s tutorials on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm
I want to thank Rivet Software for sending me a copy of Drag and Tag.  I haven't really learned how to use it yet, but I discovered that it puts a toolbar in your Excel spreadsheets such that you can import financial statements published in Excel (which some companies now provide online) and then proceed to add XBRL meta-tags under a chosen GAAP taxonomy such as International GAAP or U.S. GAAP.
 


Two Tutorial Videos (plus my older video) for Excel

XBRL is no longer something we only play with in academe.  It is now available to investors around the world, although it may take a while for some companies to add the XBRL tags to their financial statements.  Some things that are now being done in XBRL such as time graphs and ratio graphs can be done with things other than XBRL.  What XBRL does, however, is make it possible to:

(1) Compare different companies in a Web browser

(2) Perform customized analyses if the XBRL statements are downloaded into Excel

(3) Conduct easy searches that do not yield thousands of unwanted and extraneous hits

Bob Jensen's New Video Tutorial on XBRL (about 30 minutes)
It's the XBRLdemos2005.wmv file at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 
But first read the following and watch the KOSDAQ video before watching the above video.

Question
What are the two most significant events in the history of accounting, financial reporting, and financial statement analysis? 

Answers
Double Entry Bookkeeping and XBRL

The origins of double entry bookkeeping are unknown.  It goes back over 100 years before Luca Pacioli  made it famous by algebraically describing it in the world's first algebra book called Summa written in 1494.  Pacioli's basic equation A=L+E simply shows how recorded asset values in total equal the double-entry sum of creditor liabilities plus owner equities in those assets.  For over 500 years accounting disputes mainly lie in defining the A, L, and E concepts and measuring them in financial statements.  Pacioli gave us the algebra without the crucial and operational definitions of terms.  Bob Jensen's brief summary of the history of accounting is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language in XML that can now be interpreted by every Web browser such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer.  In the future, virtually every all academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics, and History will probably develop their own taxonomies for XML reporting on the Web.  Hence, we one day may have XCHEM, XPHYS, and XHIST eXtensible reporting languages

Whereas the famous HTML tags on data are not extensible and are more or less fixed in scope and time, XML extensible meta-tags will become the world's most popular way of creating customized "meta-tags" that attach to virtually every piece of Web data and describe attributes of each piece of data.  The history of data tags and meta-tags is briefly outlined at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm
I also highly recommend the XBRL history and news site at XBRL headquarters at
http://www.xbrl.org/Home/
Also see
http://www.w3.org/

I like to think of non-extensible tags that are pre-printed for the world to use.  In the case of HTML, these are largely tags for screen formatting and hyperlinking.  For example, when I add HTML tags to the number 212, the tags tell the browser how that number should appear on the screen.  I could even make it link to some other Web page or position on this Web page.  But the HTML tag alone cannot tell me the meaning of 212.  To tag the meaning of 212, I have to have extensible tags that let me (or us) add customized tags that add meaning to the number 212 itself in an intended context.  The development of a standard set of such tags in a given discipline is called taxonomy building.  For over a decade, an XBRL standards group has been developing an XBRL taxonomy such that I can tag the number 212 to convey that it is a $212 million Allowance for Doubtful Accounts.

XBRL is a taxonomy for XML meta-tags to be placed on virtually every number in a set of financial statements.  For over a decade, efforts have been made by huge companies and accounting firms to develop standardized XBRL tags for key taxonomies in accounting.  These taxonomies may vary as to a particular set of accounting generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) such as International GAAP or US GAAP.  Once a company or user selects which GAAP taxonomy to use, it's financial statements can be "marked up" with XBRL meta-tags that facilitate comparative financial statement analysis.  Users may also take any set of financial statements and add tags for a chosen set of GAAP tags.  For example, see Drag and Tag from Rivet Corporation --- http://www.rivetsoftware.com/
Also see
http://www.xbrl.org/eu/CEBS-3/Rivet_Industry Day_Brussels_14 Sept 2005.pdf

Because adding XBRL meta-tags to a given set of financial statements is time consuming, most large companies are in the process of adding these tags to their own financial data so that investors will not have to do their own tagging.  The major stock exchanges of the world are now urging companies to send in their financial reports marked up in XBRL.  Soon they will require all listed companies to submit XBRL-tagged financial statements.

Bob Jensen's Old XBRL Video Tutorial called XBRLdemos.wmv
About four years ago (I can't remember exactly when) I prepared a XBRL tutorial on how to use XBRL in financial statement analysis.  The tutorial itself was actually developed by NASDAQ, Microsoft, and PwC in a NMP partnership.  NASDAQ selected 20 companies and marked up their financial statements in XBRL.  Microsoft wrote a fancy Excel program to analyze those financial statements in Excel.  PwC served up the data on the Web.  This NMP tutorial was intended to have a short life since the plan was eventually to use XBRL directly in Web browsers without having to use Excel.  Indeed, PwC no longer serves up this tutorial.  Bob Jensen probably has the only recorded history of this NMP tutorial on video in the file XBRLdemos.wfm at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

Bob Jensen's New 2005 XBRL Video Tutorial called XBRLdemos2005.wmf
XBRL is now marked up on many financial statements on the Web and can be used for financial statement analysis in Web browsers.  I found a set of such statements for various (Star) companies on the Korean KOSDAQ stock exchange homepage. 

Before looking at my new video, I want you to first view the KOSDAQ Camtasia video at http://www.ubmatrix.com/solutions/WebHelp/KOSDAQDemo.html

After viewing this video, you can then go to my new Camtasia 2005 video XBRLdemos2005.wmf file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

My new video is mainly a tutorial about how I learned to use the XBRL financial statements made available by KOSDAQ for actual use by investors in companies listed on the KOSDAQ stock exchange.

In particular, my new video shows how to perform the following steps at the KOSDAQ site.

First
Watch the http://www.ubmatrix.com/solutions/WebHelp/KOSDAQDemo.html

Second
Watch my XBRLdemos2005.wmv file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

The KOSDAQ homepage is at http://www.ubmatrix.com/home/default.asp
           
Go to
http://km.krx.co.kr/
     You do not have to install the Korean language pack
     Note that it may take some time for the upper menu to appear
     Click on the English button in the upper right corner after the menu appears

Third
Go directly to
http://english.kosdaq.com/
     Click on the "XBRL Service" on the right side of the screen
     Click on a company's logo (ignore any pop ups to install a language pack)
     If you do not see a graph on the left side of a company's report,
             click on the button/instruction below the graph's border
     After you see a graph,
             click on the various financial statement line items to the right of the graph
            (Your mouse pointer will now be a small bar graph)

Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Ratios"
     If your pointer is still a small graph,
             click on the ratios that you want to see in the graph
    

Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Comparison"
     Options for comparisons are given (they are also demonstrated in my video)
    

Go to the bottom of the page and read about the Excel Analyzer
      See what you can download if you really get interested in the analysis options

 

October 30, 2005 reply from Deborah Johnson [Finance@WeFightFraud.com]

I followed the instructions you plan to give your students for Monday and found a few bugs you might want to know about.

The Demos link at XBRL.org  is not on the home page. They need to know that this site requires them to navigate to "Showcase" to find the Demo.

http://km.krx.co.kr/   selected English and then XBRL Services, then chose the company. The graph is only available if you agree to download and install additional software on your PC. If they do not have administrator rights, this is not going to be an option for your students. (say on college lab and classroom computers).

The company I selected, LG Micron, had an obvious defect in the financial data being presented for this demonstration. XBRL is clearly not going to minimize any human mistakes, and the printed financials will still have to be carefully scrutinized by management and the auditors. Do the math on the Trade Receivables at Net. Demerits for any student who doesn't find the error. If you go to the bottom of the table and select "Get these financials in XBRL" you may get an XML Parsing Error. This is probably a higher version of XMl required, and again the student would need administrator rights to upgrade the software or install patches and plug ins.

Regards,

Deborah Johnson

October 30, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Deborah,

I agree with all your points and thank you for providing some clarifications.  With respect to needing administrative rights to view the graphs (say on college lab computers and on classroom computers), it behooves faculty to ask administrators to install the software that can be downloaded free by clicking below the graph frame for any company in the demo.

If students do not have administrative rights on a college lab or classroom computer, I guess this makes my video tutorial even more valuable since students can see what will happen if they try this on their own computers where they automatically have administrative rights.

Thanks,

Bob

 

Microsoft’s MS Word is Now in XML

If you can type in MS Word, you can put your course materials on the Web.  Microsoft has some new tutorials to show you how to do it effortlessly.

The MS Word to Web Page: An Academic's Guide to Quick Web Page Construction http://www.archiva.net/mstutorial3web.htm

MS Word can create very nice web pages entirely from within the program. (This mini-site, for example, is an MS Word product.) Because MS Word writes its web pages in XML, historians and other practitioners have much more control over the appearance of the text than they might have using an HTML editor. They are, moreover, working in a familiar environment, albeit with a few tools that they might not use on a regular basis. All is not “beer and skittles,” however. Older browsers will not be able to cope with Microsoft’s XML, so instructors should advise their clientele to use IE 5+ and NN 6+. A MS Word syllabus will display in older browsers but may not be very attractive and contain strange characters. Microsoft’s XML implementation also adds a good deal of proprietary code to the web page, resulting in a larger page, a bit longer download time, and purists’s disdain. With these constraints in mind, the goal of this tutorial is to provide the steps toward creating a well-designed, visually interesting, web-based syllabus entirely within MS Word.

XML= eXtensible Markup Language.  One of my favorite XML sites is at http://www.ucc.ie/xml/ 

A.1 What is XML?

XML is the Extensible Markup Language. It is designed to improve the functionality of the Web by providing more flexible and adaptable information identification.

It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format like HTML (a single, predefined markup language). Instead, XML is actually a `metalanguage' -- a language for describing other languages -- which lets you design your own customized markup languages for limitless different types of documents. XML can do this because it's written in SGML, the international standard metalanguage for text markup systems (ISO 8879).

 

A.2 What is XML for?

XML is intended `to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web: easy to define document types, easy to author and manage SGML-defined documents, and easy to transmit and share them across the Web.'

It defines `an extremely simple dialect of SGML which is completely described in the XML Specification. The goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML.'

`For this reason, XML has been designed for ease of implementation, and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML'

[Quotes are from the XML specification]. XML is not just for Web pages: it can be used to store any kind of structured information, and to enclose or encapsulate information in order to pass it between different computing systems which would otherwise be unable to communicate.

A.5 Aren't XML, SGML, and HTML all the same thing?

Not quite; SGML is the mother tongue, and has been used for describing thousands of different document types in many fields of human activity, from transcriptions of ancient Irish manuscripts to the technical documentation for stealth bombers, and from patients' clinical records to musical notation. SGML is very large and complex, however, and probably overkill for most common applications.

XML is an abbreviated version of SGML, to make it easier for you to define your own document types, and to make it easier for programmers to write programs to handle them. It omits all the options, and most of the more complex and less-used parts of SGML in return for the benefits of being easier to write applications for, easier to understand, and more suited to delivery and interoperability over the Web. But it is still SGML, and XML files may still be processed in the same way as any other SGML file (see the question on XML software).

HTML is just one of the SGML or XML applications, the one most frequently used in the Web.

Technical readers may find it more useful to think of XML as being SGML-- rather than HTML++.

 

Why is XML such an important development?

It removes two constraints which were holding back Web developments:

  1. dependence on a single, inflexible document type (HTML);
  2. the complexity of full SGML, whose syntax allows many powerful but hard-to-program options.

XML simplifies the levels of optionality in SGML, and allows the development of user-defined document types on the Web.

 

A.8 Why not just carry on extending HTML?

HTML is already overburdened with dozens of interesting but incompatible inventions from different manufacturers, because it provides only one way of describing your information.

XML allows groups of people or organizations to create their own customized markup applications for exchanging information in their domain (music, chemistry, electronics, hill-walking, finance, surfing, petroleum geology, linguistics, cooking, knitting, stellar cartography, history, engineering, rabbit-keeping, mathematics, genealogy, etc).

HTML is at the limit of its usefulness as a way of describing information, and while it will continue to play an important role for the content it currently represents, many new applications require a more robust and flexible infrastructure.

April 22, 2004 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

1- Test drive the XBRL Int. Academic Competition 2003-04 winner project

 

2- Check out an index of all XBRL articles as of 12/30/2003 – next update will be May 1st 2004

 

3- Invitation to join us in beautiful spring season in Rhode Island for 4th Bryant College XBRL Conference: XBRL in Action: Meeting Expectations.

 

All at: http://web.bryant.edu/~xbrl/index.html

 

Saeed Roohani

Bryant College

 

"XML in Higher Education," by Frank Coyle, Syllabus, March 2003, pp. 22-25 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7361 

 SMIL: (pronounced ‘smile”) Multimedia Rides the XML Wave

SMIL (pronounced "smile") is an acronym for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, an XML-based dialect for describing the layout and synchronization of multimedia applications.

For educators, SMIL opens the door to sophisticated multimedia development. With minimal effort, SMIL makes it possible for authors to:

·         Add audio commentary to images and text

·         Animate slide presentations that dynamically change as different elements become the focus of attention

·         Add on-screen controls that allow users to stop and start a presentation

·         Create courseware that integrates audio, video, animation, and text

As illustrated in the figure below, individual multimedia components can be stored either on a user's PC or delivered from a Web server. SMIL presentations may play in a browser with a SMIL plug-in or in a standalone player such as RealOne or QuickTime that reside on consumer devices and are independent of browsers. Because SMIL documents are text files, SMIL files can be customized on a server manually with a text editor or by using a script, such as AppleScript or PERL, or through the use of XML transformation tools such as XSLT. What's exciting for the aspiring multimedia author is that anything that can generate text can create a SMIL document.

Continued in the article.

 

A.11 Where can I discuss implementation and development of XML?

The two principal online media are the Usenet newsgroups and the mailing lists. The newsgroups are comp.text.xml and to a certain extent comp.text.sgml. Ask your Internet Provider how to access these, or use a Web interface like Google.

  • The general-purpose mailing list for public discussion is XML-L: to subscribe, visit the Web site and click on the link to join. You can also access the XML-L archives from the same URL.
  • For those developing components for XML there is an xml-dev mailing list. You can subscribe by sending a 1-line mail message to xml-dev-request@lists.xml.org saying just SUBSCRIBE. The xml-dev archives are at OASIS http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/. Note that this list is for those people actively involved in developing resources for XML. It is not for general information about XML (see this FAQ and other sources) or for general discussion about XML implementation and resources (see below).
  • There is a list for discussing XSL, the stylesheet language: XSL-List. For details of how to subscribe, see http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list.
  • Andrew Watt writes that there is a mailing list specifically for XSL-FO only, on eGroups.com. You can subscribe by sending a message to XSL-FO-subscribe@egroups.com.

When you join a mailing list you will be sent details of how to use it. Please Read The Fine Documentation because it contains important information, particularly about what to do if your company or ISP changes your email address.

Please note that there is a lot of inaccurate and misleading information published in print and on the Web about subscribing to mailing lists. Don't guess: read the documentation.

·  Mailing lists in other languages

·  Gianni Rubagotti writes: A new Italian mailing list about XML is born: to subscribe, send a mail message without a subject line but with text saying subscribe XML-IT to majordomo@ananas.usr.dsi.unimi.it. Everyone, Italian or not, who wants to debate about XML in our tongue is welcome.

·  JP Theberge writes: A French mailing list about XML has been created. To subscribe, send subscribe to xml-request@trisome.com.

·  Jarno Elovirta writes: a Finnish mailing list about XML has been set up. To subscribe, send an email to majordomo@evitech.fi with subscribe XML-Fin in the message body. The list is also hypermailed for online reference at http://users.evitech.fi/lists/xml-fin/.

Back to Index

A.12 What is the difference between XML and C or C++?

C and C++ (and other languages like FORTRAN, or Pascal, or BASIC, or Java or dozens more) are programming languages with which you specify calculations, actions, and decisions to be carried out in order:

mod curconfig[if left(date,6) = "01-Apr", t.put "April Fool!", 
    f.put days('31102001','DDMMYYYY')-days(sdate,'DDMMYYYY')
           " shopping days to Samhain"];

XML is a markup specification language with which you can design ways of describing information (text or data), usually for storage, transmission, or processing by a program: it says nothing about what you should do with the data (although your choice of element names may hint at what they are for):

<part num="DA42" models="LS AR DF HG KJ" update="2001-11-22">
  <name>Camshaft end bearing retention circlip</name>
  <image drawing="RR98-dh37" type="SVG" x="476" y="226"/>
  <maker id="RQ778">Ringtown Fasteners Ltd</maker>
  <notes>Angle-nosed insertion tool <tool id="GH25"/> is
  required for the removal and replacement of this item.</notes>
</part>

On its own, an SGML or XML file (and HTML) doesn't do anything. It's a data format which just sits there until you run a program which does something with it. See also the question about how to run or execute XML files.

 

A history of XML is provided at http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~adam/papers/xml/ascent-of-xml.html#Abstract   In 1996, Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems to spearheaded the development of the XML standard to lend power, efficiency, cross-platform standards, and simplicity to the networking of databases on the Internet.  

The responsibility for the development of XML standards lies with the W3C which is explained as follows at http://hostingworks.com/support/dict.phtml?foldoc=World+Wide+Web+Consortium 

The main standards body for the World-Wide Web. W3C works with the global community to establish international standards for client and server protocols that enable on-line commerce and communications on the Internet. It also produces reference software.

W3C was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 25 October 1994. Netscape Communications Corporation was a founding member. The Consortium is run by MIT LCS and INRIA, in collaboration with CERN where the web originated. W3C is funded by industrial members but its products are freely available to all. The director is Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World-Wide Web at the Center
for European Particle Research (CERN).

Some key terms for XML:

  • Document Object Model (DOM) = a platform-independent and language-independent API that compiles an XML document into an internal tree structure and provides access to components and underlying data.
  • Document Type Definition (DTD) = a template that defines allowable structures in XML.  DTD serves for checking validity in terms of XML.
  • eXtensible Style Languate (XSL) = pre-definined XML tags that define the XML data templates and formatting information for XML.  XSL contains rules for transforming XML documents into other formats.
  • XML parser = a program that parses an XML document.  A parser is a program that receives input from sequential source program instructions, interactive online commands, markup tags, or some other defined interface and breaks them up into parts (for example, the nouns (objects), verbs (methods), and their attributes or options) that can then be managed by other programming (for example, other components in a compiler). A parser may also check to see that all input has been provided that is necessary.

You can download the Microsoft msxml3 parser from http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml 
(It's located on the XML Core menu.)

Bob Jensen's threads on XML and RDF are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 



Extended Summary of RDF

Resource Description Format (RDF) = a framework for metadata and provides for interoperability for applications in "machine-understandable" information on the Web.  RDF draws upon several technologies such as XML (Extensible Markup Language).  RDF a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium currently headed by Tim Bermers-Lee, the creater of the HTML markup language and the http protocol that is the basis of the World Wide Web.  Over the long run, Berners-Lee envisions a time when Web sites can be devoid of most broken links and difficult-to-find information.

The first step to understanding RDF is to distinguish between data and metadata.   Metadata tags in documents and databases provide "data about data" like unseen genes provide data about body parts. One of the drawbacks of HTML is that HTML tags relate only symbols rather than attributes of what the symbols depict. For example, HTML tags tell us how to display the word "eyes" in a web document but there are no tags related to attributes such as eye color, eye size, vision quality, and susceptibility to various eye diseases.  

For example, HTML tags relate only to formatting and linking tags on words red and purple appearing in a document.  HTML tags do not disclose that both words depict colors, because HTML does not associate words with meanings.  Metadata, on the otherhand, attaches meanings to the data by attaching hidden attribute tags.  For example, attached to the word "petal" might be an invisible tag that records information that the petal has color having particular coded numbers for color hue and color saturation for rose petals.   When any petal's   invisible tags are read in a meta search engine, it would be possible to identify types of roses having a range of hue and saturation commonalities.   Poppies would be excluded because they do not have rose tags.   Red herrings (a term for false leads in a mystery) would be excluded because they do not have a tagged attribute for color.

In a sense, metadata is analogous to genetic code of a living organism.   Attributes in hidden tags become analogous to attributes coded into genes that determine the color of a flower's petals, degree of resistance to certain diseases, etc.   If we knew the genetic "metadata" code of all flowering plants, we could quickly isolate the subsets of all known flowering plants having red petals or resistance to a particular plant disease.  In botony and genetics, the problem lies is discovering the metadata codes that nature has already programmed into the genes.  In computer documents and databases, the problem is one of programming in the metadata codes that will conform to a world wide standard. That standard will most likely be the RDF standard that is currently being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) having Tim Berners-Lee as its current Director. 

The examples given by me above are gross simplifications of text tagging that will actually take place under RDF.  RDF works in a more complicated fashion that will be much more efficient for meta searches.  The core of RDF will be its "RDF Schema" briefly described below:

This specification will be followed by other documents that will complete the framework. Most importantly, to facilitate the definition of metadata, RDF will have a class system much like many object-oriented programming and modeling systems. A collection of classes (typically authored for a specific purpose or domain) is called a schema. Classes are organized in a hierarchy, and offer extensibility through subclass refinement. This way, in order to create a schema slightly different from an existing one it is not necessary to "reinvent the wheel" but one can just provide incremental modifications to the base schema. Through the sharability of schemas RDF will support the reusability of metadata definitions. Due to RDF's incremental extensibility, agents processing metadata will be able to trace the origins of schemata they are unfamiliar with back to known schemata and perform meaningful actions on metadata they weren't originally designed to process. The sharability and extensibility of RDF also allows metadata authors to use multiple inheritance to "mix" definitions, to provide multiple views to their data, leveraging work done by others. In addition, it is possible to create RDF instance data based on multiple schemata from multiple sources (i.e., "interleaving" different types of metadata). Schemas may themselves be written in RDF; a companion document to this specification, [RDF Schema], describes one set of properties and classes for describing RDF schemas.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
http://web1.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/

The term "metadata" is not synonymous with RDF.  There were various metadata systems before RDF was on the drawing boards.  Microsoft's Channel Definition Format (CDF) used in "Web Push Channels" and Netscape's Meta Content Framework (MCF) preceeded RDF.  These technologies describe information resources in a manner somewhat similar to RDF and can be used to filter web sites and web documents such as filtering pornography and violence from viewing.  Metadata systems can be used to channel inflows of desired or undesired web information.  CDF, for example, carries information not read on computer screens that perform metadata tasks.

RDF resources are built upon a foundation of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that are described at http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-fielding-uri-syntax-04.txt .  The metadata structure for in RDF has the following components described on Page 4 of http://web1.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/

Resources
All things being described by RDF expressions are called resources. A resource may be an entire
Web page; such as the HTML document "http://www.w3.org/Overview.html" for example. A
resource may be a part of a Web page; e.g. a specific HTML or XML element within the
document source. A resource may also be a whole collection of pages; e.g. an entire Web site. A
resource may also be an object that is not directly accessible via the Web; e.g. a printed book.
Resources are always named by URIs plus optional anchor ids. Anything can have a
URI; the extensibility of URIs allows the introduction of identifiers for any entity imaginable.


Properties
A property is a specific aspect, characteristic, attribute, or relation used to describe a resource.
Each property has a specific meaning, defines its permitted values, the types of resources it can
describe, and its relationship with other properties. This document does not address how the
characteristics of properties are expressed; for such information, refer to the RDF Schema
specification).

Statements
A specific resource together with a named property plus the value of that property for that resource
is an RDF statement. These three individual parts of a statement are called, respectively, the
subject, the predicate, and the object. The object of a statement (i.e., the property value) can be
another resource or it can be a literal; i.e., a resource (specified by a URI) or a simple string or
other primitive datatype defined by XML. In RDF terms, a literal may have content that is XML
markup but is not further evaluated by the RDF processor.

I received the following message from one of my graduate students (Dan Price) that led me to two very helpful web sites:

Hi Dr. J,
I asked my wife about
XML and RDF, and she gave me some good information about how they work in relation to HTML.
XML is a metalanguage based on the same foundation as HTML. RDF works within XML as a foundation for processing metadata. In a way, the two will work together like OO databases do. USAA’s web page uses some XML.

Two good sites on the topic are:

(XML for the Absolute Beginner) www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-04-1999/jw-04-xml.html

(A good RDF web site) http://web1.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/

Dan Price

To my graduate student's  message above, I might add the following online article entitled "XML Gains Ground:  Vendors pledge support as XML stands poised to become a universal format for data exchange" at http://www.informationweek.com/725/xml.htm .

The most likely scipting codes will be XML, although RDF can be used in other scripting systems.  The popular HTML and the emerging HTML are subsets of the GML text scripting conceived in1969 IBM researchers depicting Generalized Markup Languages (and not-so-coincidentally the lead researchers were named Goldfarb, Mosher, and Lorie).  Between 1978 and 1987, Dr. Charles F. Goldfarb led the team that developed the SGML Standard GML that is became International Standard ISO 8879.  In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee led a team of particle physicists that invented the World Wide Web rooted in the rule-based text scripting markup innovations of SGML.  The World Wide Web is comprised of all web documents marked up in scripts known as  Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) scripts.  SGML is tremendously powerful but inefficient and complex.  HTML is marvelously simple but not very powerful.  In 1996, Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems to spearheaded the development of the XML standard to lend power, efficiency, cross-platform standards, and simplicity to the networking of databases on the Internet.   At the time of this writing, the world is converging upon an important standard known as RDF (Resource Description Framework) rooted in XML that will be the biggest 21st Century thing to hit the Internet since HTML hit the Internet in 1991.

For more discussion of RDF and XML http://www.dstc.edu.au/Research/Projects/rdf/ 

SEMANTIC WEB
http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic.html  and
http://logicerror.com/semanticWeb-long

One of my favorite XML sites notes how metadata is used in RDF at http://www.ucc.ie/xml/ 

C.18 How does XML handle metadata?

Because XML lets you define your own markup language, you can make full use of the extended hypertext features (see the question on Links) of XML to store or link to metadata in any format (eg ISO 11179, Dublin Core, Warwick Framework, Resource Description Framework (RDF), and Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)).

There are no predefined elements in XML, because it is an architecture, not an application, so it is not part of XML's job to specify how or if authors should or should not implement metadata. You are therefore free to use any suitable method from simple attributes to the embedding of entire Dublin Core/Warwick Framework metadata records. Browser makers may also have their own architectural recommendations or methods to propose.

March 31, 2004 message from Jagdish Gangolly [ JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU ] 

Actually a bunch of new technologies have been under development: RDF, OWL (Web Ontology Language), KIF (Knowledge Interchange Format) ... Their collective objective is to make "knowledge", whatever it means, processible by computers so that we can all be a bit more lazy, I guess.

 

I don't think the problem is a lack of funding (even though a lot of initial funding came from the defense sources, and those sources, especially for this kind of research, may be more arid today than they were a few years ago. Those who are interested in this general area may like to refer to two outstanding books that I have used as texts in my courses

 

1. Knowledge Representation, by John Sowa

2. Finding Out About, by Richard Belew

 

Of course, one can also google (one of the latest verbs in the English language) the keywords above.

 

Jagdish

 

Web Ontology Language (OWL)

The main link for Web Ontology is at http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/WebOnt/

The OWL Web Ontology Language is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans. OWL facilitates greater machine interpretability of Web content than that supported by XML, RDF, and RDF Schema (RDF-S) by providing additional vocabulary along with a formal semantics. OWL has three increasingly-expressive sublanguages: OWL Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full.

This document is written for readers who want a first impression of the capabilities of OWL. It provides an introduction to OWL by informally describing the features of each of the sublanguages of OWL. Some knowledge of RDF Schema is useful for understanding this document, but not essential. After this document, interested readers may turn to the OWL Guide for more detailed descriptions and extensive examples on the features of OWL. The normative formal definition of OWL can be found in the OWL Semantics and Abstract Syntax.

March 31, 2004 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU]

Bob,

 

There are a few other sources for metadata that the readers of your pages might be interested.

 

1. www.oclc.org, which developed the so-called Dublin CORE metadata initiative

 

2. http://www.uc-council.net/ that develops stuff for businesses

 

3. http://www.rosettanet.org/ that also develops metadata stuff for businesses (a subsidiary of ucc)

 

4. http://www.uddi.org/

 

They also may like to google "content based routing", CGML, CKML,...

 

Jagdish

 

Bob Jensen's threads on XML and RDF are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 


Extended Summary of XBRL = eXtensible Business Reporting Language.   

The main XBRL site is at http://www.xbrl.org/

I created a video tutorial for XBRL.  You can download the xbrldemos.wmv file from the following path
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/windowsmedia/

Trinity University students may access the XBRL demos at
J:\XBRL\Excel_Investors-Assistant.xls

 


XBRL  Articles Index  2000- January 31, 2005

http://bryant2.bryant.edu/~xbrl/XBRL_Articles.pdf


August 19, 2008 message from Roger Debreceny

The SEC was much quicker than I had expected in getting up the archive of the webcast on IDEA .. it is now available at http://www.connectlive.com/events/secnews/  .. see Chairman Cox as the highest paid computer tutor in the USA!

The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC’s transition from collecting forms and documents to making the information itself freely available to investors to give them better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use.
 SEC Announces Successor to EDGAR Database, 2008-179 --- http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-179.htm
Also see http://www.accountingweb.com/blogs/fei_financial_reporting_blog.html


March 9, 2011 message from Neal Hannon

Recently, Mike Willis, Former XBRL International chairman and PWC partner posted (long) the following to the Yahoo XBRL Public listserv and I thought the AECM group might like to read it as well:

 
Who is using XBRL?

'Who is using XBRL?' is a very common question. To answer the question concisely; allot of people and many of them may not even know it as they are just using data and the source and/or format is largely transparent ant thereby irrelevant to them. However, the question of 'Who is Using XBRL' may not really be the proper question (What is using XBRL?); but before we go there; here are some examples of current users: 

>EDGAR-Online's IMetrix platform 
http://www.edgar-online.com/OnlineProducts/IMetrixProfessional.aspx enables collaboration by retail analysts on modeling concepts. XBRL not only standardizes the data but it also standardizes formulas or collections of formulas (e.g. models). Last time I asked, over 50k retail analysts were using IMetrix and the XBRL it consumes and the XBRL formulas it enables. 


>Morgan Stanley's Modelware platform 
http://www.morganstanleyiq.ch/DE/binaer_view.asp?BinaerNr=141 does the same thing as IMetrix and is used by Morgan Stanley analysts around the world since it was launched over 4 years ago. The problems analysts have around analysis is: 1. timely, complete, accurate, relevant data and 2. the usefulness of the model or formulas to analyze the data. XBRL helps with both the data and the formulas. 


>PwC's iDP platform on KCurve 
http://idp.pwcinternal.com does the same thing as IMetrix and Modelware and we have 65k monthly internal users. 


>There are also a very broad range of data aggregators who are consuming (directly and indirectly) the freely available SEC EDGAR RSS XBRL Data feeds 
http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl/filings-and-feeds.shtml 


>The SEC Staff are using IMetrix and other XBRL enabled tools to analyze companies and enable collaboration across analyst groups and individuals within the Commission. 


>Some companies with built-in implementations who are consuming XBRL from the EDGAR RSS Feeds directly into their reporting process for peer group risk assessments and benchmarking of both numeric and narrative concepts. An example is available via this Webinar: "Automating the Last Mile: The Role of XBRL in Streamlining Financial Reporting"
https://www302.livemeeting.com/cc/pwclivemeetingroom/view?id=4FQZP6 Just enter your name. 


>There are banks (ABN AMRO and Rabobank) using XBRL for credit risk assessments.
http://xbrlplanet.org/wp/?page_id=395 


>There are institutional analysts not only using XBRL but blogging about the quality of the company reports; here is one example: a blog by an institutional analyst who suggests just that companies should pay close attention to their use of company specific extensions: 
http://institutionalrisk.blogspot.com/2011/02/xbrl-usability-part-2-checking.html 


>Here are more generic examples of XBRL use:
 
http://xbrl.us/research/pages/data.htm 

There is more to this than 'Who is using XBRL'........ as the more relevant question may be 'What is using XBRL?'. As part of the background, it may be useful to read: "Algorithms Take Control of Wall Street" http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_ai_flashtrading/all/1 on the current level of automated processes found in today's trading environment. It is very interesting and thought provoking article and a few comments may bet your my attention include: 
* "But many of the professional investors subscribing to Lexicon aren’t human - they’re algorithms"
* "They just want data - the hard, actionable information"

In forming the question: 'Who is using XBRL?' is there an inherent conclusion often reached by executives asking: 
* if anyone has accessed the company XBRL instance on the company website; and/or
* analysts if they are using XBRL; and/or
* corporate webmaster about the traffic hits on the company XBRL instance on the company website.

Should financial executives have an expectation that: 
* they can detect an application automatically consuming the XBRL instances from the SEC RSS feeds; and/or
* analysts actually know where the data comes from that populates their models; and/or
* human beings will surf company websites looking to download XBRL instances (a machine readable format) rather than automatically accessing the XBRL instances via RSS or WebService from EDGAR.

A more appropriate question may possibly be something along the lines of: 'WHAT is using XBRL?' 
* What types of applications are accessing and automatically reusing the XBRL instances? (e.g. Modeling applications)
* How should companies expose their XBRL reports to maximize the capabilities of consuming applications? (e.g. Website posting and/or RSS Feed?)

Given the level of automation outlined in the article above; should companies be paying more attention to the quality of their XBRL reports? The institutional analyst blog provided above suggests just that: http://institutionalrisk.blogspot.com/2011/02/xbrl-usability-part-2-checking.html 


In considering this topic, here are a couple of questions for companies to ask their analysts on this topic: 
- Do you know how the data gets into your analytical models? If the answer is no; then they may not know if they are using XBRL or not. If the answer is yes; ask them how the data gets from company report into their analytical models? 


- Have you ever compared the disclosures in your analytical models with those that in our company reports? [[This question will reveal if analysts are using data aggregators to populate their models. Most analysts models are populated by data purchased from data aggregators. Their parsing processes typically include an approximately 25% error rate for financial statement table disclosures and a much higher omission rate for note disclosures. You can prove this out by going to any of the major search sites (Google Finance, MSN, Yahoo Finance) who also use data aggregator data and compare their data to what is actually on company reports. Best to do this with an adult beverage nearby as many of the company specific disclosures are either normalized or omitted.]] 


- How quickly are your models updated for our company disclosures? If the answer is anything other than immediately, then they are using data aggregator data which typically takes hours or days to reach their models. If may be useful to suggest that they subscribe to the EDGAR RSS feeds for your company reported disclosures.


- How do you incorporate company press release information within your analytical models? It may be useful to consider using the XBRL Corporate Actions Taxonomy to structure these disclosures so that they can be accurately, completely and automatically consumed by analyst models. 

Hope that these are useful. 
 

Mike Willis

 


XBRL Video

"'XBRL in Plain English' on YouTube," SmartPros, May 23, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x61948.xml

YouTube Link --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F1E-2LkhW8

June 3, 2008 reply from James Richards [jdrozwa@IINET.NET.AU]

Hi,

Charlie Hoffman has another on his blog – http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2 .

Cheers.

Jim Richards 


August 20, 2009 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Stephanie Farewell at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Skip White at the University of Delaware and Ernie Capozzoli at Kennesaw State University and myself are collaborating to bring eleven cases, class exercises and other learning resources on XBRL to the accounting and auditing curricula. These learning resources can be used in undergraduate introductory and intermediate accounting, auditing, information systems auditing and accounting information systems as well as graduate auditing and accounting information systems courses. The cases and class exercises are designed for both US and international adoption.

Much of this material was developed for the recent AAA XBRL bootcamp held prior to the AAA Annual Meeting. Some materials have been developed jointly, some individually,

We seek faculty who will be interested in adopting the cases and learning resources, particularly for the coming semester. We need input and feedback so that the cases can be further improved and enhanced. A description of each case or learning resource, together with contact information is at tinyurl.com/xbrlcases.

Aloha,
Roger D

August 19, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

In the meantime, I have two older videos that might be useful.

My Korean Stock Exchange video on the use of XBRL (2005) ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/XBRLdemos2005.wmv
Note that the Korean Stock Exchange illustration is in the latter part of the clip.

 

You can read about KOSDAQ and XBRL at http://www.xbrl.org/nmpxbrl.aspx?id=92

 

My video on a defunct demo that PwC, Microsoft, and NASDAQ cooperated in developing in 2001.
It illustrates the use of Excel software for XBRL applications  (note that the demo comes late in the video clip) ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/XBRLdemos.wmv
PS:  This video may be the only public record of this original XBRL demo. From that standpoint it is useful for history buffs.

Bob Jensen

 


"SEC unveils 'Financial Explorer' investor tool using XBRL," AccountingWeb, February 20, 2008 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=104665

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox has announced the launch of the "Financial Explorer" on the SEC Web site to help investors quickly and easily analyze the financial results of public companies. Financial Explorer paints the picture of corporate financial performance with diagrams and charts, using financial information provided to the SEC as "interactive data" in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

At the click of a mouse, Financial Explorer lets investors automatically generate financial ratios,

graphs, and charts depicting important information from financial statements. Information including earnings, expenses, cash flows, assets, and liabilities can be analyzed and compared across competing public companies. The software takes the work out of manipulating the data by entirely eliminating tasks such as copying and pasting rows of revenues and expenses into a spreadsheet. That frees investors to focus on their investments' financial results through visual representations that make the numbers easier to understand. Investors can use Financial Explorer by visiting www.sec.gov/xbrl .

"XBRL is fast becoming the universal language for the exchange of business information and it is the future of financial reporting," said Cox. "With Financial Explorer or another XBRL viewer, investors will be able to quickly make sense of financial statements. In the near future, potentially millions of people will be able to analyze and compare financial statements and make better-informed investment decisions. That's a big benefit to ordinary investors."

David Blaszkowsky, Director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, encouraged investors to try out the new software. "Financial Explorer will help investors analyze investment choices much quicker. I encourage both companies and investors to visit the SEC Web site, try the software, and get a first-hand glimpse of the future of financial analysis, especially for the retail investor."

Financial Explorer is open source, meaning that its source code is free to the public, and technology and financial experts can update and enhance the software. As interactive data becomes more commonplace, investors, analysts, and others working in the financial industry may develop hundreds of Web-based applications that help investors garner insights about financial results through creative ways of analyzing and presenting the information.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The Financial Explorer link --- http://209.234.225.154/viewer/home/
Note the "Take a Tour" option.

Bob Jensen's videos (created before the SEC created the Financial Explorer) are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/
When I can find some time, I'll create a Financial Explorer update video.

 


XBRL Blogs and Networks

Financial Reporting Using XBRL (maintained by Charles Hoffman) --- http://xbrl.squarespace.com/journal/?currentPage=2

XBRL Canada Blog (maintained by Jerry Trites) --- http://www.zorba.ca/xbrlblog.html

XBRL Networking --- http://xbrlnetwork.ning.com/


 

 

"TryXBRL.org Launched," SmartPros, March 28, 2008 ---  http://accounting.smartpros.com/x61325.xml

A new Web site, TryXBRL.com, allows free access to view and analyze complete XBRL-tagged financial statements for over 12,000 publicly traded corporations.

After registering on the portal, TryXBRL.org, corporate finance professionals can educate themselves about the XBRL tagging process and view their own historical financial information in XBRL format. Investors and analysts can experience how XBRL reduces the complexity and costs associated with analyzing performance data.

The site is a collaboration of EDGAR Online Inc., a business and financial information provider, and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a print services company.

"Our goal has been to deliver solutions that do not require technical expertise or excessive time commitments by corporations wishing to take part in the SEC Voluntary Program or to familiarize themselves with XBRL," said Philip Moyer, President and CEO of EDGAR Online, Inc. "We are providing open access to our vast XBRL database through a solution that enables corporations to begin filing XBRL content with the SEC in as little as a few hours."

RR Donnelley and EDGAR Online have collaborated to deliver XBRL filing solutions to corporations since 2005.

Once again that site is at http://www.tryxbrl.org/

April 1, 2008 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

I just tried the site. Wow. Very powerful. I confirmed the numbers for one company to make sure I knew what I was seeing. It pulled the 2007 four quarter numbers for my selected company and then the 4th qtr numbers for the three peer companies and my selected company. I'm not sure where that 12,000 publicly traded corporations is coming from. They must mean filings, not corporations. I found the following table for March/June 2005 in Appendix F. http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/acspc/acspc-finalreport.pdf  If you include pink sheet companies, the data for which are not publicly available (at least to my knowledge), the total climbs to 13,094. Does anyone have a source for more recent numbers of publicly traded corporations?

Listing Venue Number of Companies Listed NYSE 2,553 AMEX 747 NASDAQ National Market 2,580 NASDAQ Capital Market1 593 OTC Bulletin Board 2,955 Total 9,428

The table (I only show part of it) has the following footnote explanation: Source: Public data includes 13,094 companies from the Center for Research in Securities Prices at the University of Chicago for NYSE and AMEX companies as of March 31, 2005 and from NASDAQ for NASDAQ and OTC Bulletin Board companies and from Datastream Advance for Pink Sheets companies as of June 10, 2005. This table was compiled by members of the staff of the SEC's Office of Economic Analysis and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission, the Commissioners, or other members of the Commission staff.

Amy Dunbar UConn

April 10 message from Zane Swanson [zswanson@EMPORIA.EDU]

Askaref Press Release   April 11, 2008

 

Need account reference information in business meetings or classroom?

 

Askaref is the answer for handheld devices (Blackberry, Palm, Windows CE, etc.).

Askaref has a search engine to match “account names” with references

Askaref provides “FREE” account REFERENCE INFORMATION about:

…Definition of account

…Purpose of applicable rules

…Key accounting treatment of applicable rules

…Disclosure features appropriate to an account

…XBRL account tags

…Links to summaries of applicable FASB regulations

 

If you are interested try it

URL www.askaref.com

 

A tutorial walkthrough is available by selecting “About”.

 

Professor Zane Swanson
Department of ACIS
Emporia State University

1200 Commercial St.
Emporia, KS 66801

(620)-341-5087

 


XBRL and the SEC in December 2007

"SEC releases taxonomy for GAAP financial reports," AccountingWeb, December 6, 2007 --- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Interactive Disclosure is heralding the release for public comment of computer labels that will help companies make their financial disclosures more useful for investors. The labels are already supported by at least nine software companies whose products will enable public companies to make quarterly and annual financial reports available in interactive data form instead of text form. Interactive data concepts allow companies to present their financial information in an electronic format that investors, analysts, and others can use to more easily locate and analyze desired information. The interactive data is encoded in a format known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which allows companies to map their financial information to a set of computer codes that represent U.S. GAAP accounting standards. This standardized list of codes used to represent U.S. GAAP is known as a taxonomy.

The SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, created in October to lead the transformation to interactive financial reporting by public companies, encourages broad public review of the taxonomy and the corresponding instructions about how to create a financial statement in XBRL.

"We've been saying that interactive data is on the brink of transforming the review and analysis of financial information for the benefit of investors and public companies alike," said David Blaszkowsky, Director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure. "With the release of this taxonomy today, investors can now begin to visually see the progress being made, and so will every public company that uses GAAP. Interactive data is no longer merely an up-and-comer, it's becoming reality. We encourage both users and preparers of financial information to participate in this public review so we can advance interactive data to be recognized as, not only amazing technology, but a superior way of doing business and making faster, cheaper, and more informed investment decisions."

The SEC launched its interactive data filing initiative in April 2005 to make filings more accessible and understandable to the common investor. A test group of public companies have since been voluntarily submitting XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports and Investment Company Act filings. Through feedback from these voluntary XBRL filers and a global collaboration of technologists, the XBRL US project team created tags for a financial reporting taxonomy that covers every U.S. GAAP accounting concept — virtually every fact that a company might want to report on its financial statements and in its footnotes.

The SEC will use the initial financial statements prepared using the new taxonomy to help it update its electronic filing system to seamlessly accept and render the filings.

"We have gone a long way since we started this in 2005. The voluntary pilot program started out when there was nothing like the fully-fledged taxonomies that we are going to release to the public on Wednesday," SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told a media briefing in Vancouver earlier this week.

"That's really what got us from a slow jog to right now, a full gallop," he said following a presentation to the 16th annual XBRL International Conference.

A free taxonomy review tool is publicly available on the Internet at usgaap.xbrl.us along with other information, including the nine software companies whose products are compatible with the new draft taxonomy. The public comment period ends on April 5, 2008.

Once the testing period ends, regulators expect to be ready to propose that U.S. companies begin filing financial reports in XBRL format.

"A lot is going to depend on the acceptance phase that we are now entering for the U.S. GAAP taxonomies," Cox told Reuters news.

"If that all works the way it's supposed to then we'll have some opportunities to introduce it more broadly. If there are suggestions from people who are using it that are going to take time to meet, then that will influence our thinking."

Some U.S. companies, including General Electric, Microsoft, and United Technologies Corp., are already using XBRL voluntarily, and international acceptance has been strong, with several countries, including Japan, China, and the Netherlands, embracing the format.

Informative podcasts available

XBRL US, Inc., the nonprofit consortium dedicated to the adoption of XBRL, initiated its first two podcasts featuring important stakeholders. The programs featured Jeff Diermeier, CFA, president and CEO of CFA Institute, and Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Podcasts can be downloaded to a handheld device or simply listened to online at http://xbrl.us.

The series of 10-minute interviews will feature industry experts presenting their view on interactive data or covering a specific topic related to XBRL. The series is designed to address key stakeholder viewpoints but will also feature timely and sometimes controversial topics related to the use of interactive data in different reporting situations.

Diermeier kicked off the webcast series, reflecting the fact that Wall Street is the ultimate stakeholder in the XBRL movement. CFA Institute, a global professional association that is well known for its administration of the Chartered Financial Analyst(R) (CFA(R)) and Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) curriculum and exam programs, recently became a member of XBRL US and has been conducting a roadshow series to educate its members about interactive data. It has also surveyed its members about their awareness

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's video demos of XBRL are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

 


What's the “meta” mean? 

"Taxonomy Today, ROI Tomorrow," by David Berlind, ZD Net, April 11, 2004 --- http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/Taxonomy_today,_ROI_tomorrow.html

Among the top ten strategic technologies for 2005 that Gartner analysts are advising enterprises to act on as soon as possible are those that address the thorny problem of enterprise taxonomies.

According to Gartner analyst Rita Knox, wrapping data and knowledge in metadata-based frameworks reduces the time needed to retrieve that information, thereby freeing up enterprises' most precious resource -- time -- for allocation to tasks that deliver real value, such as creating, servicing, and selling.

Mining legacy data presents three challenges: determining where those bits are stored, what stored them there (for example, e-mail clients and servers and their largely proprietary repositories), and how (format, security, etc) they're stored. The amount of corporate data and knowledge that is resting on PC's hard drives (where it's virtually undiscoverable and inaccessible) and that could be beneficial to other users, accounts for the vast majority of an organization's information assets. The remaining information, which is found on servers, may be more accessible, but is still just as difficult to relate and mine.

So difficult is relating, mining, and even replicating existing information to other repositories that Microsoft is creating a new file system (WinFS) for Windows that promises not only to divorce data from the applications that create it, but also provides a metadata framework for speeding the information's discovery, retrieval, and marriage to other related information. WinFS, which is based on Microsoft's next version of SQL Server (code-named Yukon), is expected to make its appearance in the next version of Windows (code-named Longhorn), which isn't do until 2006 at the earliest. So far, metadata functionality is not a part of the public roadmap for any competing operating systems -- including Linux.

Continued in the article

What's the meta, data?

Metadata is widely known as data about data. For example, the title of a document, who created it, when it was created, and the language it is written in are all forms of metadata. Even corporate data, such as the data generated in the course of a transaction, may have some metadata attached to it. A call center, for example, may generate a lot of transactional data relating to incoming calls, but attaching an operator's name (or code) to each of the transactions qualifies as metadata much as an author's name that is attached to a document.

Another form of metadata that could be assigned to document or a transaction is its category or classification. This is where taxonomy comes into play. Taxonomies are generally hierarchical and come in handy for assigning knowledge and data to categories. They involve the selection of the standard vocabulary that represents categories, sub-categories, sub-sub categories, and so on. Taxonomies also are thesauri because they also map synonyms to that terminology. As more data, documents, and knowledge are categorized according to any given organization's taxonomy, rich connections can be made between dissimilar data types that were previously related, but impossible to connect technologically because there wasn't a taxonomical superstructure sitting across or between the various stove-pipes for making those connections.


April 13, 2004 reply from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

Bob and all,

In a recent Strategic Finance magazine article, I presented evidence that the year 2005 will truly be a breakout year for XBRL implementations.  What started as a trickle, is now a stream.  See below:

"Consider the momentum XBRL will gain from a brief sampling of announcements from the 8th XBRL International conference in Seattle, Washington last November:



•       EDGAR Online and Microsoft jointly announced a service to provide SEC Filing information via Web Services; Microsoft distributed copies of a pre-release version of a Microsoft Office 2003 Solution Accelerator for XBRL, and PRNewswire previewed XBRL for Earnings Releases.

 
•       The FASB and IASB announced that they had created XBRL Fellows positions in recognition of the significant impact that XBRL will have on the adoption of accounting standards.  The 8th XBRL International conference attracted 284 attendees from 19 countries including 50 participants from Asian countries.  Over 120 people attended the tutorial sessions, and the 10 conference sponsors were DecisionSoft, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hyperion, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Software AG, and UBmatrix. 


•       The Dutch Water Boards are the first to go live with XBRL for financial reporting under new EMU guidelines, with a mandate for electronic reporting now in place in Holland.


•       Exchanges are leading the way in developing taxonomies and stimulating public companies to produce XBRL; whetting the appetite of investors worldwide for financial information in XBRL.  This movement was reinforced by the launch of the KOSDAQ investor information service in XBRL and presentations from the Shenzhen and New Zealand exchanges.


•       Strong technical advancements in the XBRL specification were announced with XBRL International members collaborating on a new XBRL Primer from XBRL Japan, along with public working drafts of the XBRL GL Version 1.1 Taxonomy, the Financial Reporting Taxonomies Architecture 1.0, and XBRL Specification 2.1 Candidate Recommendation 2.  



Major government sector projects are already underway including the $39 million Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) effort for modernization of quarterly bank financial reports. On the international taxation front, consider Inland Revenue of Great Britain’s project for filing of corporation tax, Japan’s National Tax Agency, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), and the Netherlands Belastingdienst (tax authority) who have all committed to use XBRL.

Worldwide, XBRL jurisdictions are established in Australia, Canada, Germany, the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.  Provisional jurisdictions include Ireland, Korea, and Spain; the Shenzhen exchange in China has begun developing an XBRL based filing system.  Preliminary activity has been noted in India, Singapore, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Columbia, Argentina, and Brazil.

Over 16 companies are listed as either XBRL software developers or XBRL solution providers in the latest listing of XBRL vendors, and recent counts of XBRL products are approaching 50.  This support will certainly help fuel the upcoming growth.  [Note:  XBRL is currently playing a prominent role in the conversion of accounting into International Accounting Standards, especially in the European Union, which will move to IAS in 2005.]

Bottom line is this.  Although XBRL may seem like something that has taken longer than you may think it should to develop and mature, the promise of XBRL will soon be fulfilled.  The year 2004 will see many exciting developments in the world of XBRL, but just wait until you see what happens in 2005."   


Resources:
SmartPros XBRL Resource Center:  http://finance.pro2net.com/x41232.xml
XBRL.org Press Releases:  http://www.xbrl.org/newsandevents/index.asp?sid=4
XBRL Frequently Asked Questions:  http://www.xbrl.org/whatisxbrl/index.asp?sid=14
XBRL Survey with Major Accounting Software Vendors:  www.xbrl.org/whitepapers.asp?sid=21

Neal

Neal J. Hannon, CMA 
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine
University of Hartford   (860) 768-5810
(401) 769-3802 (Home Office)


One of my students complained about the resolution of my XBRL Demo video wmf file that is intended to play back on Windows Media Player.  The XBRL Demo file is at  http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/windowsmedia/

I explained that with compressed files of any kind, some resolution is lost relative to a non-compressed avi file.  However, I explained that wfm resolution can be improved somewhat by going to a “Full Screen” view in Windows Media Player by clicking on the menu path (View, Full Screen).  You can get out of the Full Screen view by hitting the Esc key on your keyboard.

Most of you probably know this, but many of you probably forget it when you are using Windows Media Player or some other playback software.

One purpose of compressing avi files is both to save on disk storage space and to greatly speed up downloading speed on the Internet.  In Camtasia you first generate an avi file in Camtasia Recorder, edit it in any way you like in Camtasia Producer (e.g., increase the audio), and then use Camtasia Producer to generate compressed video versions in wmf Windows Media, rm Real Media, and swf Flash Video.  I no longer recommend rm Real Media, because rm playback generally entails having to endure delays while Real Media tries to sell you an upgrade.  

In case you’ve forgotten about the XBRL demo, take a look at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/windowsmedia/

Bob Jensen's other video tutorials are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

 

November 9, 2003 reply from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET]

Hi Bob,

 

Thanks for making your XBRL presentation available.  In my experience, students and business professionals alike finally "get it" when they see the quickness and power of XBRL at work.  One thing you might add to the instructions, however.  The demo requires the use of macros.  Most student labs have set their Microsoft Office products to the highest level of protection against macros.  The NASDAQ demo will only run if the macro security level is set to either medium or low.  Go to Excel/Tools/Options/Macro Security/Click on Medium or Low.  This action should precede the installing of the Investor Assistant file from the www.nasdaq.com/xbrl web site.

 

You might also want to add the following press release (see below) concerning Microsoft and Edgar-onl