Retrieving HTML and XBRL Data With Microsoft Excel 2010

Retrieving HTML and XBRL Data With Microsoft Excel 2010

Jianing Fang (Marist College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3616-1.ch004
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Abstract

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has upgraded the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, to the Interactive Data Electronic Applications (IDEA) platform, or the Next-Generation EDGAR (New EDGAR). The SEC issued its final mandate for XBRL adoption and the conversion target dates for all firms in January 2009. With this conversion, users can retrieve the financial statement information of listed companies at both the document level and data element level. This chapter reviews the fundamental concepts of XBRL and reports on the current compliance status of the SEC XBRL conversion mandate. The main task is to demonstrate how to retrieve data from the New EDGAR and how to process the data with Microsoft Excel 2010.
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Background

One of the most significant legacies of the G. W. Bush Administration for US corporations occurred on January 30, 2009: the SEC issued the final mandate for XBRL adoption with firm conversion target dates (SEC, 2009). The mandate required the largest domestic and foreign public companies using U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to file their financial statements in XBRL format by June 15, 2009. Medium-sized filers had to switch to XBRL by June 15, 2010, and the rest of the filers, either using U.S. GAAP or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), needed to convert by June 15, 2011 (Aguilar, 2009; Fang, 2011; Harris & Morsfield, 2012).

The new rules aimed to render financial information into easier formats for investors to analyze and to assist in automating regulatory filings and business information processing. The New EDGAR system provides information at both the document level, such as the entire set of financial statements for a given firm, and at the data element level, such as a firm’s Inventory or Net Income. Data tagged at data element level in XBRL format can function across multiple platforms or application programs. Thus, XBRL has the potential to increase the speed, accuracy, and usability of financial disclosure, eventually reducing costs for financial reporting and business transaction processing (Fang, 2009; Bizarro & Garcia, 2010; Harris & Morsfield, 2012).

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