Home Forums The XBRL API Signs for AccRec Change and Inventories Change are reversed

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    • #120361
      Tim Bui

      I just noticed that the sign for concepts “IncreaseDecreaseInAccountsReceivable” and
      “IncreaseDecreaseInInventories” are actually reversed. In case someone didn’t notice, I am alerting this fact so that these numbers can be used properly.

      The issue is not a problem with XBRL.US’s API, but it seems to be that is the way companies are reporting these two items.

      If AccRec increased and Inventories increased, the API calls return a positive AccRec number and a positive Inventories number. However, the cash flow statements would report a negative change in AccRec (use of cash) and a negative change in Inventories (use of cash). I think this is the reason for the reversed sign. The strange thing is all other items such as Change in AccPayable, Change in Other Working Capital or Change in Accrued Liabilities
      have the same directional signs on both the API calls and the 10Ks.

      For example:
      Merck (MCK, CIK 310158), the API returned a negative $297MM and positive $145MM.
      us-gaap IncreaseDecreaseInAccountsReceivable (297,000,000)
      us-gaap IncreaseDecreaseInInventories 145,000,000
      However, on the 10K, the change in AccRec is a positive $297MM and change in Inventories is a negative ($145)

      I saw the same situation reported at Air Products (APD, CIK 2969 ) and Apple (AAPL, CIK 320193)

    • #201498
      Timur Mirzaev

      Hi Tim,

      Thank you for noticing this, as I have missed that completely. I have not seen any response on this thread, so I decided to share my take on this.

      From my perspective, there might a valid reason for this discrepancy. It seems, as the tag itself says (increase/decrease), that the ‘.fact’ simply shows the sign as per the “math’s” calculation, than the accounting interpretation.
      So, in the case of inventory, an increase is math’s positive, while in accounting it is negative (use of cash). The same logic goes to receivables.

      For payables, an increase happens to be the same simply because the accounting effect is net cash positive (the increase in payables implies less is paid).

      I hope that helps, but please let me know your thoughts.



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