The XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) data interoperability standard has been adopted by regulators worldwide, improving the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of financial reporting systems. But XBRL also aims to support analysis by standardizing terminology and format across platforms. While XBRL clearly stores financial statements formatting instructions, it may or may not be well suited for analysis. Our Accounting Flow Visualizer (AFV) organizes selected XBRL data integrating profitability, liquidity, financing, and market value data from balance sheets, income statements, and cash flows using animated rectangles, circles, and wedges. This article includes initial analysis of XBRL filings (newly required in 2009) and describes an experiment designed to verify the AFV’s components. If key financial analysis data are readily available in XBRL and if the AFV’s visualization model effectively displays them, new analysis paradigms for investors and educators could emerge, demonstrating the value of XBRL and XMLbased representational standards in general.
Marshall, Byron; Mortenson, Kristian; Bourne, Amy; Price, Kevin; and Marshall, Andrew, "Delivering Value Beyond Efficiency with Visualized XBRL" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 114.