Archive for XBRL

Rivet Software Releases Dragon View 6.0

Rivet Software, the provider of XBRL financial reporting and analytics solutions, announced the release of Dragon View 6.0. Dragon View 6.0 empowers business users to review and verify XBRL information. Dragon View 6.0 supports all review procedures within SOP09-1, the AICPA’s Agreed-Upon Procedures for XBRL. Dragon View 6.0 gives both public companies and auditors the ability to conduct quality and assurance checks of XBRL data and create the necessary external review and verification documentation. The SEC released a Staff Observations report on June 15, 2011 detailing common issues found in XBRL filings. Dragon View 6.0 gives business users a way to automate the review of these issues and improve accuracy and consistency across the entire filing. Dragon View 6.0 is now available in two packaging options. For companies with an existing XBRL creation tool, Dragon View can be purchased as a stand-alone review and verification solution. Rivet Software’s full auditing package includes Dragon View and CoreFiling’s Magnify, the world’s leading independent XBRL validation tool. http://www.rivetsoftware.com/

Rhapsody Services launches XBRL Software and Filing Application

Rhapsody Accounting and Advisory Services launched i-file.in, the end to end XBRL software application as well as XBRL tagging services online tool. i-file.in is specially designed to take care of the XBRL filing requirements for— large enterprises; Practicing Chartered Accountant (CA) or Company Secretary (CS); or a BPO/ KPO or an outsourcing Accounting firm. The basic features of the XBRL software tool are— cloud computing technology for universal access; multiuser under single license software; Unrestricted multiple filings; User friendly interfaces; Tagging; Review reports; Audit module; Project management; and Role based logins. The output of the entire conversion to XBRL entails generation of Instance document in XML format (machine readable). The output from any Software needs to get validated by the MCA validation tool. The MCA validation tool is based on the Taxonomy specified by MCA (available on MCA website), MCA 21 Business rules (More than 700 in number including all dependencies), and technical specifications of XBRL international and MCA. http://www.rhapsody-services.com

CompSci’s XBRL Taxonomy Search Tool Now Available to the Public

CompSci Resources, LLC, a leading provider of XBRL software and services, reported that it is making available to the public its XBRL taxonomy search tool to assist issuers and mutual funds generate their XBRL submissions to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This free tool allows public companies and mutual funds to search for any concept within a selected taxonomy and display all applicable information associated for a selected concept. CompSci’s XBRL taxonomy search tool works with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s U.S. GAAP and Mutual Fund Risk/Return Taxonomies. http://www.compsciresources.com

Mark Logic Releases MarkLogic Toolkit for Excel

Mark Logic Corporation released the MarkLogic Toolkit for Excel. This new offering provides users a free way to integrate Microsoft Office Excel 2007 with MarkLogic Server. Earlier this year, Mark Logic  delivered a Toolkit for Word and a Connector for SharePoint. Together, these offerings allow users to extend the functionality of Microsoft Office products and build applications leveraging the native document format, Office Open XML (OOXML). Distributed under an open source model, MarkLogic Toolkit for Excel comes with an Excel add-in that allows users to deploy information applications into Excel, comprehensive libraries for managing and manipulating Excel data, and a sample application that leverages best practices. The MarkLogic Toolkit for Excel offers greater search functionality, allowing organizations to search across their Excel files for worksheets, cells, and formulas. Search results can be imported directly into the workbooks that users are actively authoring. Workbooks, worksheets, formulas, and cells can be exported directly from active Excel documents to MarkLogic Server for immediate use by queries and applications. The Toolkit for Excel allows customers to easily create new Excel workbooks from existing XML documents. Users can now manipulate and re-use workbooks stored in the repository with a built-in XQuery library. For instance, a financial services firm can replace the manual process of cutting-and-pasting information from XBRL documents to create reports in Excel with an automated system. Utilizing Toolkit for Excel, this streamlined process extracts relevant sections of XBRL reports, combines them, and saves them as an Excel file. The Toolkit also allows users to add and edit multiple custom metadata documents across workbooks. This improves the ability for users to discover and reuse information contained in Excel spreadsheets. To download MarkLogic Toolkit for Excel, visit the Mark Logic Developer Workshop located at http://developer.marklogic.com/code/, http://www.marklogic.com

Formatting XBRL for Presentation

XBRL is, in some ways, a funny kind of XML language. It doesn’t make much use
of the capabilities within XML Schema to express relationships such as
order, hierarchy, and so on. Viewed strictly as XML, XBRL looks pretty flat,
without a lot of contextual constraints.

But that’s nonsense, of course. Financial documents are highly constrained
and contain intricate interrelationships. XBRL expresses these relationships
within "taxonomies"–special XBRL constructs that define business
"concepts" and that relate these concepts to each other. The
relationships can, in fact, be really complex …more so than would be possible
within a strict XML Schema definition.

Once consequence of this decision to define the bulk of XBRL semantics
outside the range of standard XML semantics is that XSLT (XML Stylesheet
Language Translator) doesn’t work very well
as a way to transform XBRL documents into something that humans can read. Since
XSLT cannot
"understand" the information in the XBRL taxonomy, XSLT does not have
the information that it needs to present the "facts" in an XBRL instance
in a way that reflects the taxonomy relationships. 

So, how do people produce formatted output from XBRL today? In a Wednesday morning session at the 11th
International XBRL Conference, Raymond Lam of BlastRadius
explained that the usual solution is to hard-wire all
the necessary contextual information into the XSLT rules.  The result is an XSLT
stylesheet that contains nearly as many separate template rules as there are
separate facts to be presented.  Bummer.

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My Favorite Presentation

The 11th International XBRL Conference–the happening thing at the Westin in
Boston for the past two days–was full of first-rate presentations. But I did
have a favorite. It was by Elmer Huh, Executive Director, Global Valuation
Services at Morgan Stanley.  Huh’s job is to look behind and beyond the
numbers that companies present in their income statements and balance sheets to
assess their REAL state of financial health. Putting his job in terms of used
cars, he is professionally trained to look beyond that fresh coat of paint and
new chrome to see the rust, body filler, and worn engine that is
underneath.  He showed the conference audience how they might use XBRL to
do this with spectacular effect on a good number of companies.

To understand the full import of what Huh is saying, it helps to understand
something about accounting. It is something that you have probably suspected all
along:  Accounting is not about THE TRUTH. (See? You knew that …)

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The Matter of Assurance

One of the interesting things about the XBRL application space is the way
that it takes some of the problems that have been around since the birth of SGML
and XML and brings them into sharp focus. One of the "foundation"
ideas behind XML — and, before that, SGML — is that the tagged file is the
reference object–its the part you keep–and the printed output is, well …
just output. You can always make another one of those. The idea, as everyone
knows, that you save the document in one form, and then publish and deliver in
many forms.

Now, suppose that what you are saving–in XBRL–is your firm’s financial
statements.  Here is the question: When the auditors show up to offer their
opinion as to whether your financials fairly represent the state of your
company, which form of financials do they offer their opinion on?  The XBRL? 
Or some kind of printed version?

It’s an important question. It is also something of a trick question. If you
don’t answer "the XBRL version," then it is pretty clear that XBRL is
not really the version that matters. Oops.  So much for plans to really
submit financial statements in XBRL to the SEC on anything but a test basis …
Right? But, if you DO answer "XBRL," you quickly come face-to-face
with the fact that nobody has any clear idea of just how you would do that.

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XBRL Conference – Tuesday Morning – Market Maturity

XBRL is a business
standard. The immediate users include financial executives, accountants,
analysts, and financial regulators, as well as investors of all sizes. All the
suits and ties in the audience fit the picture of this user community–this sure
does not look like the same crowd that I see at web publishing conferences. 

But, scratch the surface, and there is a lot that’s the same. The audience at
this conference is mostly people who are building things. They are early
adopters and vendors and integrators serving early adopters.

One of the most interesting talks in the first set of the Tuesday morning
sessions came from Peter Derby, whose job is to make the SEC more effective and efficient.
His title is Managing Executive for Operations and
Management, Office the Chairman, US. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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