Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From the Newsgroups: FRx XBRL

I am starting a weekly section called From the Newsgroups intended to bring some of the most intriguing questions and informative responses from the online technical community. To keep things relatively anonymous, no names will be given out... just the questions and the responses.

The series open with a question posted on the Partner Online Technical Community forum regarding FRx XBRL capabilities:

"I have a client who is working on converting FRx statements to the XBRL format. With service pack 11, we are able to use the 2009 taxonomies, which is great. She needs to submit her statements in XBRL format. There are a few questions that I cannot answer for her and am hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

1. XBRL format will not include calculated columns; XML format will. Is this a limitation of XBRL or FRx?

2. If FRx, can we use XML and then convert to XBRL? Can we export to Excel and convert to XBRL from there?

3. Any suggestions on the best way to view what the result will be from an XML/XBRL format before she actually sends the statements off."

The following is the answer given by a Microsoft support engineer:

"FRx Reporter can print basic XBRL reports and instance documents. Since the time XBRL support was added to FRx, the XBRL specifications have evolved and all required features are not available in FRx Reporter. The following list describes potential incompatibilities:

• FRx only supports monetary items. You cannot generate decimal, pure (ratio/percentage), or string/text data.

• FRx does not support footnotes.

• FRx does not provide a way to enter the entity scheme and identifier that are a required part of the contexts in an instance document. Generic information is generated, and these items will have to be manually changed afterward.

• FRx generates an instance document for each unit of the reporting tree. This may not be what you want. Frequently, all reports should be combined into a single document.

FRx does not support CALC columns when you use the XBRL output. Only GL and Forecaster column types will export data. I wasn't able to find a way to convert an Excel file to XBRL. Since FRx cannot export CALC columns to XBRL format, you'd have to generate the report to another format, like Excel. It may be possible to convert that to XBRL, but that would be something outside of FRx support."

For more information on XBRL take a look at the following resources:

XBRL.org - Click here
XBRL Compliance Goes Worldwide: Get a Head Start with Microsoft Dynamics GP Analytical Accounting and Microsoft FRx - Click here (registration required)

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/

6 comments:

Stewart McKie said...

You might want to consider Crossfire from Rivet Software instead.

Daniel Roberts said...

Unfortunately MicroSoft was one of the leaders in XBRL when they implemented XBRL for FRx. They have now fallen behind in a critical reporting technology.

It looks like FRx users will be in the position of having to create an Excel out put, then tag that Excel into XBRL using one of the XBRL software solutions.

Mariano Gomez said...

Stewart,

Thanks for the info on Crossfire. I will look into it.

MG.-

Mariano Gomez said...

Dan,

You are absolutely right! I believe the entire transition to Management Reporter distracted the team a bit from adding the critical features in FRx that would have made it a strong contender in the market.

MG.-

Ted Stavropoulos said...

Mariano,
As Stewart mentions above Crossfire is a solution for the problem described. With Crossfire you can do all of the items that FRx doesn’t, including the ones mentioned above. For example, footnotes can be created, Notes to financials can be created, all settings around things like precision and scale are supported, as well as calculated columns, rows or cells etc. In addition, the application provides validation for the proper creation of an instance document, which is a very important step which shouldn’t be overlooked.

A large number of fortune 500 companies rely on rivet software for their XBRL needs today, so your customer will be in good in hands.

We have an integration to both GP 9 and 10, enabling financial reporting directly in Excel for both internal reporting and the creation of XBRL instance documents.

One more thing – the founders of Rivet were the founders of FRx software.

Xbrl said...

XBRL enabled analytical applications for their persistent analysis of company submissions. The incremental capabilities enabled by XBRL are provided in two areas: 1. incrementally more correct, timely and accurate data available for analysis from the company XBRL submissions that was previously available via traditional reporting / parsing processes; and 2. collaborative modeling and analytical capabilities provided by the formula standardization.