So, you’ve finished tagging your iXBRL accounts, but what happens if others need to review them off-line prior to sign-off? Till now that hasn’t always been easy if senior management doesn’t have access to your tagging service. With Seahorse, it’s a problem solved.
Seahorse lets you export an Excel spreadsheet detailing every line item in your iXBRL document, showing the line item description, who tagged it, the concept label, the confidence level of the chosen tag, the suggestion ranking and whether the tag belongs within the Minimum Tagging Set. It’s particularly useful for reviewing the consistency of your work and providing an explicit audit log for your filers.
iXBRL has been a reality since April, but post-mandate it’s clear that companies are still struggling to cope with HMRC’s requirement for iXBRL filing. During a series of recent iXBRL webinars we questioned delegates about their filing plans. Many had filed early to avoid the issue – for this year at least – and others had outsourced the problem, but a significant percentage claim little understanding of iXBRL and remain ill-prepared to meet the new filing obligations. Most expressed concern about the amount of additional time they would need to spend on the conversion process.
Mindful of this prevalent view, we have been constantly evolving our Seahorse tagging tool to cut the conversion time.
From the beginning Seahorse included a unique autotagging facility, suggesting tags for each concept in the financial tables and letting you then review and confirm the appropriate tag. This process has always been quicker than traditional ‘drag and drop’ methods, but the new Bulk Review facility in the latest Seahorse release has made it even faster. No longer do you have to review suggestions line by line, you now have the option to confirm all ‘high confidence’ items – or even all items in the table. Three clicks are all you need. Seahorse also now interprets simple column headers containing only a year (e.g. ‘2011’) and expands these to the correct reporting period, saving you even more time.
To speed up the process still further, Seahorse now immediately alerts you if a tag you are about to create has already been used elsewhere to report a different number.
Are you prepared for iXBRL?
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If you’re not an HMRC Filer, you might be interested to explore other similar pages dedicated to Regulators, SEC Filers and SBR Projects, where we’ve described the issues currently facing these groups and offered some perspective on the solutions now available.
 The downside, of course, is that we don’t have a lot of time to blog 😉
Interesting take on XBRL for small caps and microcaps on the SEC’s Government-Business
Forum on Small Business Capital Formation being held today.
According to speakers including Malcolm C. Persen, CFO at Radyne Corporation, Chris
Whalen from Institutional Risk Analytics and Greg Adams from EDGAR Online, Interactive
Data will help new investment vehicles such as hedge funds, and the buy-side
generally, to access small and micro-cap companies as a hitherto-ignored asset
class. Fund managers are looking for a competitive edge, and the small-cap
world is believed to offer that. Investors like the Virginia Retirement System
would feel that they are better able to cover those types of stocks if a lot of
the labour-intensive work can be avoided. XBRL offers a way for them to gain a
better understanding of the business, without incurring a lot of the complexity
and expense that they encounter today.
In fact, all the points from Assoc. Prof. Deborah
Allen-Hewitt, who sits on the Investment Committee of the Virginia
Retirement System, were well made. From her perspective (backed up by Chris
Whalen) the problem is not too few analysts on the sell side. The sell side is
likely to continue to focus on the big end of town. The entire investment world
will become their own analysts, and Interactive Data will make the financials
more pervasive, facilitating that analysis and investment. This is a new
business model for financial analysis. According to Prof. Hewitt, XBRL could
mark a watershed in the speed, accuracy and availability of information. That
said, investors want something new. Broader, deeper data about companies is
what investors really want to see, and XBRL provides a great way to provide it.
There are 15,000 odd companies that are outside of the Russell 3000. According
to the panel, Interactive Data will help small companies make their story
because the information will be better, more believable and more transparent.
It will help investors sift this information, which is why there is a real
advantage in being an early adopter. The first group of small companies to get
involved will be the first to be identified.
Unsurprisingly, there was a uniform call for improvements to tools that the
user community can take advantage of. We’ll see if we can do our bit 😉