Using XBRL files

More and more companies publish company results not only in quarterly and annual reports but also in the XBRL format. This makes it easier to view the filings and export reporting figures to other prorams like Excel for comparisons and further analysis. Specific features are built into accounting programs to allow for the production of XBRL filings. Some free software programs to view and use these filings have also been made. Two examples that are (mostly) targeted towards US company filings are:

Calcbench.com is an excellent free web-based program that allows you to view US company filings in XBRL and even allows for an easy comparison for more than one year. The program has an easy export option (after registration) for Microsoft Excel. Calcbench was named the 2012 winner of the XBRL Challenge, a contest for developers to build applications leveraging XBRL-formatted data from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database. A sample screen is shown below:

Dragon View (version 6.1) is a program from Rivet Software. It is a good tool that is easy to use and allows you to export the reported data to Microsoft Excel and HTML formats. The Excel export option is only available in the a licensed version of the program. A sample screen is shown below.

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