A firm’s ticker is an identifier of the stock trading symbol which researchers use in sample selection of archival research. One of the financial statement research data challenges is getting the ticker from SEC data because the SEC focus is the CIK for use in filings. Alternatives include commercial data base coding and computer sort/merge from stock market exchange lists. However it is now possible to get XBRL financial statements from the SEC (see http://www.sec.gov/dera/data/financial-statement-data-sets.html#.VOJiWC5x2Fs) which has the ticker in the data. See an 8 step EXCEL spreadsheet walkthrough at

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ASC Video Introduction Using Askaref

GAAP codification is the authority for financial statements. For an introduction to GAAP codification using www.askaref.com go to this link http://www.screencast.com/t/K8gruSHTv

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XBRL Footnote Assignment

Footnotes are essential to the understanding of financial line items. Students can learn about the real world context of line items by having them research a company’s line item and associated footnote. See the following example for General Motor’s inventory.
General Motors Balance Sheet December 31, 2012 10K files are at

Current Assets

Inventories 14,714 14,324

Go to the XML file and use control F to search on InventoryPolicy.
Market, which represents selling price less cost to sell, considers general market and economic conditions, periodic reviews of current profitability of vehicles, product warranty costs and the effect of current incentive offers at the balance sheet date. Market for off-lease and other vehicles is current auction sales proceeds less disposal and warranty costs. Productive material, work in process, supplies and service parts are reviewed to determine if inventory quantities are in excess of forecasted usage, or if they have become obsolete.


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Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Overview

The Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) code for a line item is one of the search outputs of www.askaref.com the mobile device resource. The ASC code is required by the SEC in accounting working papers. It is also making appearances in accounting textbooks. There is an overview of the ASC code in the September/October 2012 OSCPA magazine see web address http://www.oscpa.com/Content/Files/InTheNews/CPAFocus/focus-2012-septoct.pdf on page 14.

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XBRL Background LInks

Askaref  is a reference dictionary permitting quick (mobile device) identification of XBRL information (including tags,ASC reference links, etc.). There are other sites that are better suited to provide background for XBRL. In an effort to facilitate that education of XBRL; here are a few sites to review:

1.Wikipedia basic definition of XBRL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBRL

2.Organization that created US taxonomy  http://xbrl.us/Pages/default.aspx

3.2017 US Commercial and industry taxonomy viewer (On Right, see All Taxonomies ) https://xbrl.us/xbrl-taxonomy/2017-us-gaap/

4.XBRL Global ledger http://www.xbrl.org/

5.XBRL Canada (by Jerry Trites)http://xbrlca.blogspot.com/

6.FREE XBRL software for use by academics http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/software/interstage/xbrltools/

7. FREE (and royalty free) XBRL Validation engine http://www.altova.com

8. SEC XBRL Compliance / Information http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl.shtml

9. Find Actual Financial Statement Numerical Data of XBRL Terms http://ask9w.com/

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XBRL Taxonomy Short List

On the Professor Applications of this blog, there is an XBRL Taxonomy short list of line items that is a good start for covering the line items used in Introductory and Intermediate Accounting textbooks.  This short list can be used on textbook financial statements (e.g. see Cash and AccountsPayableCurrent ).  Rather than having students get lost in the forest for the trees of +15,000 items in the XBRL taxonomy, here is a means of introducing a small set of XBRL tags to textbook material.

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Executive Compensation and XBRL

Executive compensation is one of the most frequently discussed topics in the popular press, and yet where is it in the XBRL taxonomy?  The first choice of the income statement doesn’t have it as a separate line item, probably because most companies do not report it there.

The footnotes have the executive compensation information.  In www.askaref.com select search terms like “share-based” or “stock compensation” and then choose the Other(e.g., footnotes) tab as the XBRL Tag Search Options. If you need that GAAP codification reference, it is under Topic 718 Subtopic 10 Section 50


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1.What is EBIT and why do financial statement users care?  EBIT is a firm’s earnings before interest and taxes.  Financial statement users care about what decisions management makes within the context of the firm’s value chain.  Separating off the debt financing and tax management figures focuses attention on the basic firm earning activity.

2.What does XBRL have to do with EBIT?  XBRL primary function is tagged data of financial statement line items and footnotes.  EBIT is not an XBRL tagged a line item by that name and thus a problem may occur in getting the number you want for interpretation’s purposes.  The most equivalent XBRL tag for EBIT is us-gaap:OperatingIncomeLoss.  An example of $86,530,000 from the 2011 Barnes Group Inc’s 10K report on www.sec.gov  (the ticker symbol is B) is

<us-gaap:OperatingIncomeLoss contextRef=”Duration_1_1_2010_To_12_31_2010″ unitRef=”Unit1″ decimals=”-3″>86530000</us-gaap:OperatingIncomeLoss>

But, what if the previously referenced XBRL tag is not available or you want to cross-check the number whether it was specified appropriately for your ratio analysis?  Then, a calculation may be performed utilizing several XBRL tagged line items.  Take the Income/Loss from Continuing Operations and add back the Income Tax and Interest Expense.  In the case of the Barnes Group the result above does not match because there is an Other Expense line item below the Operating Income/Loss number.  See the tags and calculations below

<us-gaap:IncomeLossFromContinuingOperations contextRef=”Duration_1_1_2010_To_12_31_2010″ unitRef=”Unit1″ decimals=”-3″>53278000</us-gaap:IncomeLossFromContinuingOperations>

<us-gaap:IncomeTaxExpenseBenefit contextRef=”Duration_1_1_2010_To_12_31_2010″ unitRef=”Unit1″ decimals=”-3″>10758000</us-gaap:IncomeTaxExpenseBenefit>

<us-gaap:InterestExpense contextRef=”Duration_1_1_2010_To_12_31_2010″ unitRef=”Unit1″ decimals=”-3″>20014000</us-gaap:InterestExpense>

The sum of the above three figures is $84,050,000 which is not the previously mentioned number.  Users of financial statements are advised to cross-check XBRL information for EBIT and other financial terms which are not line items.

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ASKAREF’s Mission

  • Providing Professors the mini case studies for the lesson plan
  • Providing Financial Analysts and Accountants that mobile device reference to financial statement line item / footnote  definitions,  and links to GAAP codifications.
  • Providing Programmers the link from the General Accounting Categories to the corresponding XBRL Meta Data Tag
  • Providing the Student and User, Real world examples and the ability to find the XBRL Meta tag that is needed.
  • Be a XBRL reference tool for mobile devices
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Students: Quick XBRL / ASC Reference

-Introduction: Advantages of using this site (time saving/learning by using)

1.One of the key XBRL tasks that students need to know is how to XBRL “tag” financial line items and footnote references.  The following material shows how to find XBRL tags using www.askaref.com.

2.Once you know how to access www.askaref.com then you can use it on your mobile devices (like IPAD) anywhere at the college and anytime that you have a wireless internet connection.  If you know the line item name, then you can link through to a definition and out to an Accounting Standard Codification(ASC) reference number with the regulations on recognition, measurement and disclosure.

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