Study on providing financial information in a structured format

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Sep 08, 2017

In September 2017, the CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals, published "The Cost of Structured Data: Myth vs. Reality".

The study notes that the potential benefits of using structured data have not been realized yet, even though the use of such data can potentially improve the way financial information can be consumed by investors, regulators, and other users. The authors argue that this is primarily the case because companies mainly see structured data and reporting as a cost burden.

Therefore, the study looks first at what companies are saying about the costs associated with their XBRL filings and then goes through several case studies to demonstrate how, with proper implementation, companies can benefit from structured data. The authors conclude that if companies:

  • bring structured reporting in-house instead of using outside vendors to prepare their regulatory filings,
  • implement inline XBRL so that the data is both human and machine readable, and
  • curtail the use of company-specific tags

they can reduce costs, allowing both companies and users to benefit from structured reporting.

Review the full study on the CFA Institute's website.

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