Archive for the ‘XBRL’ Category

SEC To Accept Inline XBRL?

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

SEC commits to human- and machine-readable format that could fix agency’s open data problems by Justin Duncan.

The gist of the story is that the SEC has, unfortunately, been accepting both plain text and XBRL filings since 2009. Since XBRL results in open data, you can imagine the effort put into that data by filers.

At the urging of Congress, the SEC has stated in writing:

SEC staff is currently developing recommendations for the Commission’s consideration to allow filers to submit XBRL data inline as part of their core filings, rather than filing XBRL data in an exhibit.

Before you celebrate too much, note that the SEC didn’t offer any dates for acceptance of inline XBRL filings.

Still, better an empty promise than no promise at all.

If you are interested in making sure that inline XBRL data does result in meaningful disclosure, if and when it is used for SEC filings, consult the following:

Inline XBRL 1.1 (standard)

An Integrator’s Guide to Inline XBRL

Plus you may want to consider how you would use XQuery to harvest and combine XBRL data with other data sources. It’s not too early be thinking about “enhanced” results.

SEC Bite?

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

SEC Starts Enforcing XBRL Mandate by Michael Cohn.

From the post:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun sending letters to public companies that fail to file their financials with all the necessary data using Extensible Business Reporting Language technology.

The SEC began requiring the largest public companies to file their financial statements using XBRL in 2009 and phased in the requirements for smaller issuers over the next two years. XBRL technology uses a data-tagging format that is supposed to make it easier for investors and analysts to compare financial information across companies and industries. Problems with the technology and the inconsistency of the tags used by companies have limited XBRL’s usefulness to many investors, however.

Nevertheless, the SEC has continued to work with vendors and companies on refining the tags and with the Financial Accounting Standards Board on regularly updating the XBRL taxonomy to adjust for any changes in U.S. GAAP. This month, the IRS’s Division of Corporate Finance started sending letters to corporations that have not been meeting the mandate.

As they say, “…it’s an ill wind indeed that doesn’t blow anyone some good.” 😉

Assuming that the SEC becomes persistent with its letters and one presumes some threats of enforcement action, those late to the XBRL party will be adapting their information systems to produce the required reports.

As I pointed out in 2012, topic maps are relevant to the transition to XBRL because:

  1. Some organizations will have legacy accounting systems that require mapping to XBRL.
  2. Even organizations that have transitioned to XBRL will have legacy data that has not.
  3. Transitions to XBRL by different organizations may not reflect the same underlying semantics.

See for details on XBRL.

I first saw this in a tweet by Open Data 500.

Show Me The Money!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

I need to talk to Tommie Usdin about marketing the Balisage conference.

The final program came out today and here is what Tommie had to say:

When the regular (peer-reviewed) part of the Balisage 2012 program was scheduled, a few slots were reserved for presentation of “Late breaking” material. These presentations have now been selected and added to the program.

Topics added include:

  • making robust and multi-platform ebooks
  • creating representative documents from large document collections
  • validating RESTful services using XProc, XSLT, and XSD
  • XML for design-based (e.g. magazine) publishing
  • provenance in XSLT transformation (tracking what XSLT does to documents)
  • literate programming
  • managing the many XML-related standards and specifications
  • leveraging XML for web applications

The program already included talks about adding RDF to TEI documents, compression of XML documents, exploring large XML collections, Schematron, relation of XML to JSON, overlap, higher-order functions in XSLT, the balance between XML and non-XML notations, and many other topics. Now it is a real must for anyone who thinks deeply about markup.

Balisage is the XML Geek-fest; the annual gathering of people who design markup and markup-based applications; who develop XML specifications, standards, and tools; the people who read and write, books about publishing technologies in general and XML in particular; and super-users of XML and related technologies. You can read about the Balisage 2011 conference at

Yawn. Are we there yet? 😉

Why you should care about XML and Balisage:

  • US government and others are publishing laws and regulations and soon to be legislative material in XML
  • Securities are increasingly using XML for required government reports
  • Texts and online data sets are being made available in XML
  • All the major document formats are based in XML

A $billion here, a $billion there and pretty soon you are talking about real business opportunity.

Your un-Balisaged XML developers have $1,000 bills blowing overhead.

Be smart, make your XML developers imaginative and productive.

Send your XML developers to Balisage.


…such as the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Now there is a shout-out! Better than Steve Cobert or Jon Steward? Possibly, possibly. 😉

Where? The DATA act, recently passed by the House of Representatives (US), reads in part:

EXISTING DATA REPORTING STANDARDS.—In designating reporting standards under this subsection, the Commission shall, to the extent practicable, incorporate existing nonproprietary standards, such as the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). [Title 31, Section 3611(b)(3). Doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it?]

No guarantees but what do you think the odds are that XBRL will be used by the commission? (That’s what I thought.)

With that in mind:


Homepage for and apparently the starting point for all things XBRL. You will find the specifications, taxonomies, best practices and other materials on XBRL.

Enough reading material to keep you busy while waiting for organizations to adopt or to be required to adopt XBRL.

Topic maps are relevant to this transition for several reasons, among others:

  1. Some organizations will have legacy accounting systems that require mapping to XBRL.
  2. Even organizations that have transitioned to XBRL will have legacy data that has not.
  3. Transitions to XBRL by different organizations may not reflect the same underlying semantics.

XBRL Challenge ($20K Prize)

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

XBRL Challenge ($20K Prize)

OK, I admit that after the US budget debate, $20K doesn’t sound like a lot of money. 😉 But, think of the prestige, groupies, etc., that would go along with winning first place.

From the website:

Over 1770 companies have already filed XBRL-formatted financial statements to the SEC and by year-end 2011, all public companies will be doing so. While several XBRL-enabled tools are available on the marketplace today, we’ve created the XBRL Challenge to encourage the development of more tools and build awareness among analysts about the wealth of data available to them.

The XBRL Challenge is a contest that invites participants to contribute open source analytical applications for investors that leverage corporate XBRL data.

Here is the short description of what they are looking for:

Tools that rely on XBRL data, e.g., tool that extracts data for multi-company comparison via desktop application; or one that creates real-time valuation measures and delivers to mobile devices.

I am going to check out the rules and existing apps.

See you near the winner’s circle?