Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) describes restatement as a revision of a previously submitted financial statement to correct an error. Though it clearly defines restatement, it does not have complete description on how to determine if a restatement is material or not, thus leaving this decision to auditors and companies under SEC direction.
Material restatements or "Big R" require Re-issuance to correct the error. Company must promptly file for 4.02 in 8-K form to amend previous filing with related disclosures and if needed, modification of auditor's opinion.
On the other hand, immaterial restatements or "Little R" require Revision on the current financial statements with related disclosures. Even the restatement is immaterial, it might accumulate over time and become material, so correction must be done in the current period upon its determination.
Restatements can be easily reported by XBRLAnalyst in various ways:
- XBRL Reports - this is a "Financial Explorer" showing the list of all report filings of a company. Once there's 8-k or 10-K/A in the list, then check these forms for some restatements.
- Using Period Codes - by default, XBRLFact and Finavalue functions are returning the value of the company's latest filing in SEC database. So, previous values filed will not be retrieved unless you will command the function to do so, by simply adding period prefix code ":original" to the formula: =XBRLFact("MSFT","[EBITDA]","2015","Q1:original").
For free excel template on tracking company restatements, please click here.
- Screen Companies - this is one of applications in XBRLAnalyst ribbon to screen for financials or phrases. In "Screen by Phrases", you can search for corresponding words to restatement such as "revised", "overstated", "understated", "prior period adjustments", etc., and it will show you the list of companies that have these words/phrases in their filings. It has also option from which SEC form the system will search, as shown below we chose "All Footnotes":