How Structured Data Helps Issuers and Investors
Regulatory authorities around the world have adopted rules requiring companies to provide financial information in an interactive, machine-readable (i.e., structured) format. One such format is eXtensible business reporting language (XBRL).
The idea behind the adoption of XBRL was that the format would enable investors—including CFA Institute members—to capture and analyze information more effectively, as well as help companies automate their regulatory filings and business information processing. Eventually, both preparer and investor costs would be reduced through the use of XBRL. Unfortunately, XBRL has not achieved its true potential for either investors or companies.
CFA Institute addressed the challenges faced by XBRL users in its 2016 report, “Data and Technology: Transforming the Financial Information Landscape.” We continue to address these challenges in various forums and through our participation on the XBRL US Data Quality Committee .
Companies face impediments as well as they continue to see structured data as a compliance burden and a cost center. In a 10 January 2018 webinar , Mohini Singh, ACA, director of financial reporting policy at CFA Institute, presented the findings of a study that examined—through case studies—the costs that companies of all sizes bear in preparing and filing their financial information in a structured format. The webinar addressed what can be done to mitigate those costs so that all parties—preparers, regulators, and users—can avail themselves of the benefits of structured data. In addition, the webinar examined how investors can use and adapt to new technologies that can enhance the analytical process, and how technology and data standards can be used to improve financial reporting and analysis for both issuers and investors.
Access webinar here.
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