Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

XBRL US makes technical expertise, XBRL database and high-level normalization available to contestants

XBRL US announced today the kickoff of the 2nd annual XBRL Challenge, a contest to discover the top open source analytical tools that can mine XBRL-formatted corporate financial data from the SEC’s EDGAR database.The contest will award a $20,000 Grand Prize to the top two teams, individuals or organizations that submit the most useful and user-friendly application that conducts innovative analysis of public companies. The XBRL Challenge is sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the CFA Institute, and WRDS (Wharton Research Data Service).

Today, over 8,800 public companies file XBRL-formatted financial statements down to the detailed level which makes rich content more available and functional than ever before.Legislation is pending that would require the use of XBRL-formatted data for reporting on all government program expenditures which could make XBRL-enabledtools for processing, reporting and analysis even more critical for investors, analysts, regulators, businesses, watchdogs, economists and academics.

“The AICPA is pleased to sponsor the XBRL Challenge to encourage the development of more tools that will consume corporate data in XBRL format, which significantly improves transparency and investor access to business information,” said Barry Melancon, President and CEO, AICPA.

Last year’s XBRL Challenge was won by Calcbench, a web-based application that allows users to extract, analyze and share XBRL-formatted company financial data – see

“This is our second year supporting the XBRL Challenge,” said Paul Ratnaraj, Director Advanced Initiatives, WRDS, “Last year’s winner was a highly functional online tool that set the bar high for this year’s applicants. We look forward to the 2012 contest and some great analytical applications. ”

XBRL US, the nonprofit consortium for XBRL business reporting, will accept submissions through February 28, 2013, with final judging and awarding of prizes to take place in late March 2013.As with last year’s contest, contestants will be provided technical documentation and given access to the XBRL US database of XBRL financial fundamentals from all public companies.In addition, this year XBRL US will provide access to a baseline normalization of XBRL US GAAP concepts which will improve the ease of working with the database as well as the usability of the analysis that can be performed.This year’s submissions will be required to perform certain analytical functions such as year-to-year, multi-company comparisons and ratio analysis.

“Corporate data in XBRL format will clearly benefit investors and analysts, but it may require some standardizing to make it more useable,” said John Rogers, President and CEO, CFA Institute, “making that standardization available will help participants create more functional, valuable tools for analysts.”

The XBRL Challenge will be judged by a panel of experts drawn from academia, and the investment and technology communities:

  • Alfred Berkeley, Vice Chairman, Gentag, Inc.
  • Eric Gillespie, Founder and CEO, Poplicus
  • Kaitlin Lee, Senior Developer, Sunlight Foundation
  • Philip Moyer, Managing Director, Technology Group, Safeguard Scientifics
  • Paul Ratnaraj, Director – Advanced Initiatives, WRDS

Individuals, teams or organizations can learn more and enter the XBRL Challenge by going to Facebook at .Updates will be shared on Facebook and on Twitter at @XBRLUS using the hashtag #XBRLCHALLENGE.

Developers, the media and other prospective contestants are invited to participate in a special briefing on August 1, 2011 – register at

All final submissions must be received by February 28, 2013.

About the AICPA
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage of serving the public interest. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning, fraud and forensics, business valuation and information technology. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to elevate management accounting globally.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, N.C., and Ewing, N.J.

About CFA Institute
CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has more than 108,000 members, who include the world’s 99,000 CFA charterholders, in 135 countries and territories, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories. More information may be found at

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the leading, comprehensive, internet-based data research service used by academic, government, non-profit institutions, and corporate firms. WRDS provides the user with one location to access over 200 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines, such as Finance, Marketing, and Economics. WRDS provides flexible data delivery options, including a simple but powerful web query method, and provides researchers with the ability to reduce their research time and execute strategy development on the powerful WRDS Cloud. Developed in 1993 to support faculty research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WRDS has since evolved to become the leading business intelligence tool for a global research community of 30,000 users at over 300 institutions in 27 countries. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 88,000 graduates.

XBRL US is the non-profit consortium for XBRL business reporting standards in the U.S. and it represents the business information supply chain. Its mission is to support the implementation of XBRL business reporting standards through the development of taxonomies for use by U.S. public and private sectors, with a goal of interoperability between sectors, and by promoting XBRL adoption through marketplace collaboration. XBRL US has developed taxonomies for U.S. GAAP, credit rating and mutual fund reporting under contract with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and has developed a taxonomy for corporate actions.