A wide range of organizations deal with corporate information for consolidation and re-publication or dissemination in some other form, including:
- stock exchanges, securities regulators and corporate registrars, which accept company filings for dissemination to the marketplace and for use in their own analysis
- bank credit departments, which use the analysis of corporate client financial statements to manage risk
- corporate 'infomediaries' and ratings agencies, which re-publish company filings, usually in electronic form, with or without analysis.
XBRL, with its system of tags that identify context with the content of corporate reports, introduces numerous possibilities for improving business processes.
For most organizations, XBRL represents a substantial shift, offering benefits such as:
- reduced cost and improved accuracy in data handling
- improved analysis
- new kinds of value-added opportunities.
Information in electronic form provides data intermediaries with a number of advantages. Where information is already scanned and manually collected or keyed into credit-spreading tools and other analysis packages, the need to re-key is eliminated.
XBRL provides new ways of checking filings and following up with report providers. It can automatically identify exceptions through rules built into the XBRL dictionaries used by receiving organizations.
For many market-conduct regulators and stock exchanges, analyzing company filings involves reviewing just a fraction of the information available. Business information appears on paper, as PDF documents, or in semi-structured filing arrangements such as the U.S. EDGAR system. As a result, the best-case scenario is a template analysis and the worst-case is manual review by highly experienced staff. Filings in XBRL format allow automated analysis of a wide range of information, with only a few exceptions requiring review and further investigation.
Infomediaries manage a tremendous volume of paper. XBRL can help markets benefit from new analytical tools that enable much finer, more specific analysis. Better benchmarking and greater control over analytical tools are possible because more time can be spent analyzing information and developing value-added opportunities in place of simply managing it.
For a better understanding of the ways XBRL will impact regulators and the regulated, read the report.
For more examples of the effects dgital business reporting have on the enterprise, explore the Corporation part of this site.
For a better understanding of how XBRL functions, read about how XBRL is transforming data exchange.