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CFOs take note: the triple bottom line is the future

For people, a sustainable life is all about reducing clutter, lessening your carbon footprint, recycling, conserving energy and water, and the like. For corporations, the quest for sustainability usually starts with a business transformation that not only will benefit the planet but also can reduce costs and improve competitiveness and reputation. Indeed, studies such as […]


Why is a 3-way match important in XBRL?

While speaking at the 2011 Year-End SEC Conference in Phoenix earlier this month, and this week at the same program here in Silicon Valley, an interesting question came up. Despite filers’ efforts to match their HTML financial submission to the rendered version (vendor’s viewer or reviewers’ guide), the SEC and XBRL US continue to report […]


Will you be ready when XBRL limited liability expires?

The SEC XBRL mandate provides for a period of limited liability of either two years following a filer’s initial XBRL filing date or October 31, 2014, whichever comes first. During this time, XBRL exhibits are deemed as “furnished” instead of “filed.” Under this modified-liability safe harbor provision, the company is protected as long as its […]

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Sizing up material XBRL errors using a 4-D hypercube

When I was presenting at the Silicon Valley Accountants’ Mastering Financial Reporting’s Last Mile conference, this question was raised: “What constitutes a material error in XBRL if the HTML document can be relied upon?” According to the SEC, even if the HTML financial statements are error-free but the corresponding XBRL exhibit has a material error, […]


Less is more: the art of XBRL

It’s been observed that detailed tagging can create up to 10 times more tagging concepts than block tagging. Does it mean 10 times the work? It depends. There’s no doubt that detailed tagging creates more complexity, but the workload doesn’t have to grow exponentially. Why? You can’t simplify XBRL itself, but you can simplify your […]


Do auditors care about XBRL?

When I talk with finance executives about implementing XBRL, nearly everyone asks, “What will auditors be looking for? Do they care about XBRL?” The answer is no, they don’t. But they do care about your controls, and that relates directly to how you design and document your due diligence in XBRL creation process. Ultimately, as […]