Digital Financial Reporting
Digital Financial Reporting is an approach to creating XBRL taxonomies that aims to make it possible to eliminate structural errors that plague submissions to regulators by promulgating a more structured approach to their creation. The principal advocate of Digital Financial Reporting is Charles Hoffman, CPA, an original contributor to the XBRL specification.
XBRL is based on XML and XLink both of which support fantastic degrees of flexibility. XBRL inherits this flexibility but it's a double-edged sword. On one hand it allows taxonomy authors great control over the design of taxonomies but as a consequence it does not mandate any assurance over the quality of taxonomies created.
Digital Financial Reporting presents a framework that constrains XBRL and promotes reuse of components, called facts sets or blocks, so, when supported by software tools, will make it much easier for taxonomy creators to reliable, validating taxonomies.
The plan is for our XBRL processor to support the Digital Reporting Framework. Here is an example of the network of a submission being rendered. This rendering has been generated by the information included in the presentation linkbase of this taxonomy and this instance document.
This examples renders data for a network that uses a 'roll forward' pattern. Other examples can be found in the Digital Financial Reporting examples folder.
A challenge, and a potential impediment to the take up of the ideas in Digital Reporting Framework, is that at the moment there is no formal specification. As a result, prospective developers must review a large number of documents containing largely qualitative information to learn how a tool to create and validate Digital Financial Reporting taxonomies might be developed.
To try and help ourselves and, perhaps, other developers I have put together a page of additional information for the Digital Information Reporting developer. It is not a specification but, hopefully, a one stop shop for the information a developer needs to understand the small details of the Digital Financial Reporting framework.