A recent article in CFO Magazine discusses “Why CFOs Must Become Chiefs of XBRL“. However, the other question that one could ask is why the CFOs don’t do it yet. Our answer to that is that maybe the tools to consume XBRL data are not convenient enough or easy to use. Maybe, it’s not that simple to do what the author suggests at the end “a CFO could quickly benchmark capital spending for peer companies in his or her industry by selecting a standard industrial classification (SIC) code, the element from the XBRL taxonomy and the time periods, and then downloading the result into an Excel spreadsheet.”
Finance people are used to perform the analysis in Excel. Most of the BI software like IBM Cognos provides Excel based tools for that. Exporting data into Excel and then reformatting it to the form and shape familiar to the management is not the ideal way. Our vision is that the XBRL data should be available in Excel directly. This is why we created XBRLAnalyst.