Year two tagging – how fast can you go?

We again return to the subject of year two tagging.    We’ve talked in the past about how Seahorse can re-apply the tagging decisions already selected and confirmed in previous years’ tables and text.  The issue today is speed of tagging –  making the process as fast and painless as possible.

Seahorse has extended the ‘roll-forward’ process still further to make tagging even faster.

Both comments and footnotes can now be carried forward and reapplied in a similar way, simplifying the task further.  Comments are transferred without the need for any user input, and footnotes can be confirmed in the same way as other tags.

Accelerating the process still further, there’s now an automatic confirmation option.  So, where there are exact matches between table rows and columns in both previous and current documents, Seahorse can reapply the tags automatically without the need for manual intervention.

Just in case you were wondering, discretionary use of this facility is available, so you still retain full control over whether or not to deploy automatic confirmation of identical data.  However, we think that many users are likely to opt for this extra time saving measure.

How long will it take to tag your year two accounts?

Reviewing financials with Magnify and Sphinx

Charlie Hoffman has added an interesting post to his blog about using Magnify to verify the integrity of a financial report.

Our Magnify XBRL review tool comes built in with a range of generally applicable XBRL quality checks, as well as some jurisdiction-specific filing rules, such as the Edgar Filer Manual and HMRC’s Joint Filing Common Validation Critieria rules, but as Charlie demonstrates, the real power of Magnify comes from the ability to drop in custom rules.

Magnify’s checklist view allows users to build a custom, structured review based on checks that can be implemented in a range of technologies. The fastest way to build rules that operate on the XBRL semantics of a report is Sphinx. We do also support the XBRL International Formula standard, but as Charlie notes, “creating Sphinx rules is much, much easier”.

Charlie’s published the source to the rules that he’s using. Although readable, they look a little bland in this plain text format. Sphinx rules are most easily developed using SpiderMonkey which provides a rules development environment with syntax highlighting, concept drag-and-drop, and on-the-fly syntax validation.

There are a few neat features to note in the rulebase. The first one is these few lines:

transform
namespace "http://xbrl.us/us-gaap/2009-01-31"
       to "http://fasb.org/us-gaap/2011-01-31"

transform
namespace "http://xbrl.us/dei/2009-01-31"
       to "http://xbrl.sec.gov/dei/2011-01-31"

These two “transform” statements make all of the rules in the rulebase, which are written against the 2011 US GAAP taxonomy, also work with the 2009 US GAAP taxonomy. Once it’s published, two more lines will extended them to work with the 2012 taxonomy. Obviously this depends on the relevant concepts existing in both versions of the taxonomy, but where they don’t you can add some additional, more granular, transform statements to provide the necessary mappings. What’s more, if you happen to have an XBRL Versioning Report, you can easily generate the necessary transform statements.

Another thing to note about the rules is that they contain everything needed to generate the checklist that Charlie includes in the screenshot. Our validation platform is about more than just defining and executing validation rules. It’s about building a powerful and intuitive review environment:

Magnify screenshot

Did you file early to avoid the April 2011 iXBRL filing deadline?

Perhaps you successfully circumvented the original HMRC iXBRL filing mandate by submitting last year’s Corporation Tax returns early to avoid the April deadline.  If so, converting your accounts documents to iXBRL must now be on the agenda.  What are the options? Well, if you’ve a number of accounts that you are already producing in Word or Excel, why change your process?  Take a look at the advantages of Seahorse.

First of all, there’s help in choosing the appropriate iXBRL tags. Seahorse automatically tags the tables in your Word or Excel document and proposes the most appropriate tag to use.  Its intelligent tagging engine harnesses the accumulated learning from all the filings put through the Seahorse system, so its suggestions continue to become more and more refined over time.  There’s no need to trawl through the underlying taxonomy to find the tag you need.

If you have a number of accounts to tag within the same group company you can re-use your initial tagging decisions to swiftly create iXBRL documents for additional sets of accounts.

And if you have a formal review and sign-off process for your accounts, Seahorse lets you easily create a spreadsheet that automatically captures all the tagging decisions made and allows comments to be inserted, for example to explain why particular concepts have not been tagged.

Finally, Seahorse is provided over the internet, so you can use it straight from your browser, avoiding the expense of new infrastructure or purchasing a full-blown accounts preparation package and, because the whole process remains under your control, you don’t have to risk sending your data to third parties.

Seahorse remains one of the very few solutions to have experienced no problems passing the HMRC gateway first time.  Why? Because not only does it incorporate validation against the Joint Filing Common Validation Checks imposed by HMRC and Companies House, but the underlying XBRL and iXBRL is fully verified during the Seahorse conversion process.

Seahorse takes away the pain of iXBRL conversion of Word and Excel accounts.

What could be simpler?