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Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a summary of the most frequently asked questions about the XBRL Cloud Edgar Dashboard. Many of these questions refer you to the terminology page. It is generally very helpful to have a good understanding of the terminology before using the dashboard.

To see an answer, simply select the question below.
What does "Processing" mean in the EDGAR Dashboard?

Filings are received every day by the SEC EDGAR system. Toward the end of a filing period many, many filings are submitted in the same day. "Processing" means that the XBRL Cloud EDGAR Dashboard is working on the filing and that processing of that filing has not yet been completed.

What do the darker blue columns of the EDGAR Dashboard mean?

The darker blue columns indicate sets of business rules which are used to verify an SEC XBRL financial filing. The individual columns mean the following:

  • XBRL Technical Syntax Rules - Automated rules to test compliance with the XBRL technical syntax. For more information, see http://www.xbrl.org/SpecRecommendations.
  • Automatable EFM Rules - Edgar Filer Manual (EFM) rules imposed by the SEC which can be automated and tested using computer processes. Note that additional rules exist which cannot be automated and therefore must be checked using manual processes.
  • XBRL-US Consistency Suite Rules - A set of rules created by XBRL US. A subscription is required to make use of these rules. Contact XBRL Cloud if you are interested in these rules. For more information, see http://xbrl.us/research/pages/Csuite.aspx.
  • Model Structure Rules (US GAAP Taxonomy Architecture) - A set of rules which test the logical structure of the relations which make up a financial report. For example, the relation between a [Table] and an [Axis], the relationship between an [Axis] and a [Member], or the relationship between [Line Items] and their related concepts and abstracts.
  • US GAAP Domain Level Rules - Financial reporting related business rules which apply to all financial statements. For example, assets exists on the balance sheet, liabilities and equity exists on a balance sheet, and the balance sheet balances. (Only a sub set of rules are provided at this time.)
  • US GAAP Industry / Activity Specific Rules - Financial reporting related business which apply only to a specific industry or activity. For example, commercial and industrial companies are required to report current assets and liabilities whereas depository institutions are not. (Only a sub set of rules are provided at this time.)
  • Reporting Entity Specific Rules - Financial reporting related business rules which apply to the reporting entity. For example, verifying that a specific roll forward within a specific disclosure reconciles properly. SEC filers are not required to submit these business rules.
  • Reporting Entity Specific Roll Up Rules - Financial reporting related business rules which apply to the reporting entity which are expressed using XBRL calculations relations.
  • US GAAP Reportability Rules - Other financial reporting related business rules which apply to all reporting entities which are not mathematical computations. For example, the number of authorized common shares must be greater than or equal to the number of issued common shares.
What is a "Model Structure Rule"?

The model structure is explained in the terminology glossary, so please read that. The short answer to this question is that a model structure rule keeps you from creating illogical or ambiguous model pieces of your financial report. For example, a [Member] belongs as part of an [Axis], not within a set of [Line Items].

A longer explanation is this: The US GAAP Taxonomy Architecture specifies how to construct the model you use to represent your financial report. It uses [Table]s, [Axis], [Member]s, [Line Items], networks, concepts, and abstract report elements in specific and logical ways; see section 4.5 of the US GAAP Taxonomy Architecture for more information. Creating illogical structures creates confusion to those using that model. Further, inconsistencies between areas of technical syntax such illogical differences between what is expressed in the definition linkbase and presentation linkbase likewise cause confusion to those using your model. Software can easily verify that you are creating logical and semantically consistent rather than illogical and inconsistent models which can be misinterpreted by users.

What does an "OK" mean in a green cell of the XBRL Cloud Dashboard columns?

"OK" in a cell indicates that the SEC filing passes all automated verification rules for that set of business rules.

What does a number mean in a red cell of the XBRL Cloud Dashboard columns?

A red cell indicates that for that set of rules (indicated by the column heading); a violation of an automated rule has been detected. The number of automated rule violations is indicated by the number within the red cell.

What does "Not specified" or "-" mean in a light blue cell of the XBRL Cloud Dashboard columns?

"Not specified" or "-" in a cell indicates that either business rules are not provided or that you don't have access to a set of business rules. For example, if you do not subscribe to the XBRL US Consistency suite, then "-" will show up the XBRL US Consistency Suite Rules column. Likewise, if you do not provide reporting entity specific business rules, then there are no rules to run automated tests with so (a) the XBRL Cloud Dashboard must report "Not specified" and (b) you basically need to manually test to be sure things like roll forward computations are correct.

What is a "US GAAP Domain Level Rule" and how is that different that a "US GAAP Industry/Activity Rule" and a "Reporting Entity Specific Rule"?

Some business rules apply to every filer, other business rules apply to all filers within a specific industry or who have specific activities, and other business rules apply only to a reporting entity. For example, every 10-K and 10-Q filing is required to provide a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. There are some exceptions to this rule, but 99.9% of all filings follow this rule. As such, 10-K and 10-Q filings would be expected to report concepts such as "Assets", "Liabilities and Equity", "Equity", "Net Income (Loss)", and "Net Cash Flow". A domain level rule means that every filer would be expected to have each of these concepts. An example of an industry/activity specific rule is that "Current Assets" and "Current Liabilities" would be expected for a commercial and industrial type reporting entity but not for a financial institution or insurance company. Reporting entity specific rules are rules which apply only to a single reporting entity, such as the details of how some specific disclosure rolls up or rolls forward.

Why are you only testing "Automatable EFM Rules" and not all the EFM rules?

Computers can only be used to help verify what is automatable and not everything is automatable. For example, it is impossible for a computer to tell if the correct concept was selected to report a fact. Computers can help tell you if you picked the wrong concept, but only human judgment can tell if you selected the wrong concept. And so, only automatable EFM (Edgar Filer Manual) rules can be tested using automated processes. The same is true for all other categories of rules on the Edgar Dashboard; and clearly a rule must exist in order to automate some verification task.

Why should I use the XBRL Cloud Viewer when I can use the SEC Interactive Data Viewer?

The XBRL Cloud Viewer lets you see all information about a reported fact whereas the SEC Interactive Data Viewer only shows you partial information about reported facts. Also, the XBRL Cloud Viewer provides a complete view of the model structure and the raw fact table in addition to the rendering view. Subscribers are provided with additional features beyond what is provided within the free version of the XBRL Cloud Viewer.

What is the difference between the XBRL Cloud Viewer and the XBRL Cloud Evidence Package?

Both the XBRL Cloud Viewer and Evidence Package provide the same information. The advantage of the Viewer is that the application is dynamic; you can change the view of the rendering. Also, searching for information is significantly easier due to the nature of the application. The Evidence Package is a set of HTML files, not an application. The Evidence Package provides exactly the same information, but the views are not dynamic, you cannot change them. Finally, the Evidence Package can be archived and used without any application other than a commonly available web browser.