Archive for the ‘SEC EDGAR Filing’ Category

Preparing for the iXBRL Mandate – 2019 & Beyond

Friday, November 15th, 2019

RDG is one of the largest filers of iXBRL documents with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Below are some details that we hope will shed some light for you regarding the iXBRL mandate.

What is iXBRL?:

iXBRL is short for Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is essentially a hybrid of your EDGAR & XBRL documents:   HTML + XBRL = iXBRL

Why iXBRL?:

Potential benefits the SEC has outlined regarding the move to iXBRL:

  • Gives the preparer full control over the presentation of XBRL disclosures within the HTML filing.
  • Helps eliminate inconsistencies between HTML and XBRL filings and improve the quality of the data.
  • Enhance the usability of disclosures (already tagged in XBRL) for reviewers and investors who no longer have to view the XBRL data separately from the EDGAR document.

When do you begin filing in iXBRL?

Filers will be required to file with iXBRL with their first Form 10-Q filed for a fiscal period ending on or after:

  • Large accelerated filers that use U.S. GAAP will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2019.
  • Accelerated filers that use U.S. GAAP will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2020.
  • All other filers will be required to comply beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2021.

To review the notes from our June 2019 Webinar on iXBRL implementation, please click here.

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Friday, September 27th, 2019

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Hackers Breached the SEC and Profited Off Pre-Public Information

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

The SEC has reported that the EDGAR system was hacked by nefarious actors in 2016, and they were able to access companies’ financial disclosures before they were released publicly.  Although the SEC was able to patch the breach in their security systems and protocols fairly quickly, Chairman Jay Clayton admitted “that some may have used it to make illegal profits.”

You can read more here, here, and here.

Coming on the heels of the massive data breach at Equifax earlier this month, this news might rattle the cages of security-conscious public companies.  In his statement on the incident, Clayton also made clear that the SEC is “continuing to investigate the breach and its possible consequences,” and it seems likely that the SEC will be making inquiries regarding the path that pre-public financial information takes as it wends from the companies themselves, through the filing agents, and finally to the SEC.

As Reuters states in their article on the hack, “Cyber criminals have targeted financial information hubs before — the Hong Kong stock exchange and the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York were targeted by hackers in 2011.”  Hackers and cyber thieves see considerable money to be made accessing pre-public information, and they have proven as much by targeting stock exchanges and now even the SEC.

This is why RDG has always made the security of our clients’ pre-public information our highest priority.

RDG is proud of the fact that we do not send any of our clients’ documents overseas to be converted.  We also take pride in the fact that all our staff is US-based, as this is a central aspect of our commitment to both data security and customer service.  Another important part of our commitment to both data security and quality is the fact that all our EDGAR conversion and XBRL tagging software is proprietary.  We have built all our own tools for maximum security and quality, and we maintain all our tools and data on our own SSAE16 certified secure servers, which are located in a world-class co-location facility with redundant storage capacity, multiple back-ups for power, dual and backup internet connections, and full hardware redundancy.

We encourage public companies to ask their SEC filing agent some very important questions:

  • Do you send any part of my documents to a 3rd party for EDGAR conversion or XBRL tagging?
  • Do you send any part of my documents overseas for EDGAR conversion or XBRL tagging?
  • Are all of your employees US-based?
  • What are your security protocols and procedures?

Please contact us if you have any questions about the hack of the SEC or about RDG’s service.

We will be looking forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with us anytime!

Stewart Walker


New Rule from the SEC – Exhibit Indexes Must Be Hyperlinked

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Everyone loves new rules from the SEC, right?  Well, the SEC is happy to oblige.  On March 1st, the SEC released new rules about hyperlinking the exhibit indexes in many SEC Filings.  The Final Rule 33-10322 is called “Exhibit Hyperlinks and HTML Format,” and if you’d like to read the full 47 pages, you can find them here. However, if you’d prefer a brief summary, you can find one below.

The Gist

All documents (even those incorporated by reference) listed in the Exhibit Index must include a hyperlink that will link directly to the exhibit itself.

The rule also includes a related requirement, which will impact only a small number of companies.  The SEC will be no longer accept filings (that include an exhibit index) in ASCII.  Hyperlinks are not possible in ASCII, so companies will be required to submit all impacted filings in HTML.

When Does it Take Effect?

September 1, 2017

The only exception to this start date will be for Smaller Reporting Companies and Non-Accelerated Filers that currently file in ASCII.  Those companies will have until September 1, 2018 to comply.

What’s the Point?

To improve investors’ access to information.

What Form Types Will this Affect?

10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, 20-F, S-1, S-3, S-4, S-8, S-11, SF-1, SF-3, F-1, F-3, F-4, 10, 10-D, F-10

Related amendments (e.g., S-1/A, 10-K/A, 10-Q/A, 8-K/A, etc.) will also be affected.

Are There any Exceptions?

Exhibits that have not been filed electronically (i.e., paper filings) are excluded because there is nothing to which to link.

XBRL exhibits are also excluded from the requirement because a hyperlink would lead to an XML file, which would not be helpful to investors.

What Happens if a Hyperlink on a Filed Document is Inaccurate or Non-functioning?

In the case of a Registration Statement that is not yet effective:  The company must file an amendment with the correct link.

In the case of a Registration Statement that has become effective:  The company must correct the link in their next filing that contains an Exhibit Index.  Alternatively, the company could file (but is not required to file) a Post-Effective Amendment to the Registration Statement.

In the case of a 10-Q, 10-K, or 8-K:  The company must correct the link in their next filing that contains an Exhibit Index.  An amended filing is not required.

Here is an Image to Help Clarify

The Exhibit in the blue square is incorporated by reference, so this will need a hyperlink that leads to the URL for that previous 8-K filing on the EDGAR system.

The Exhibits in the red square are being filed or furnished along with the filing in question, so they will need to be hyperlinked to the exhibits themselves.

The XBRL Exhibits in the green box will not need to be hyperlinked.

Exhibit Index Hyperlinks_boxes

XBRL FAQ: What is Bleed-Through?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Bleed-through is a common phenomenon on the SEC’s XBRL Viewer, as well as on RDG’s own Thunderdome® Viewer (which was designed to resemble the SEC’s Viewer, but with more information and features).  To explain it in a nutshell: Bleed-through is a natural result of how the SEC’s Viewer interprets XBRL code.  It is both normal and expected by the SEC.

Below is a common example of bleed-through.  The first table presented is directly from the company’s EDGAR document (it’s from a disclosure table in Note 1). The second is the same table, but how it is presented in the SEC’s XBRL Viewer.

Bleed Through Table 1

Bleed Through Table 2


The difference in the XBRL Viewer is the addition of the first line, “Net trade income (loss).”  Plainly those “Net trade income (loss)” numbers do not ‘belong’ in the Note 1 disclosure table.

So, why are they there?  Well, the short-answer is that due to the nature of XBRL and the function of the SEC’s XBRL Viewer, the numbers are “bleeding through” from the Operations Statement.  You can see that table from the EDGAR document here:


Bleed Through Table 3


The longer answer is that both the “Net trade income (loss)” line in the disclosures table in Note 1 and the “Net trade income (loss)” line in the Operations Statement are tagged with the same primary concept (us-gaap_NetIncomeLoss).  However, only the occurrence of that concept in the Note 1 table has had a dimension applied to it.

This bleed-through issue is not symptomatic of a problem with the tagging.  This document is tagged properly and it is entirely in line with the SEC XBRL requirements and FASB best practices.  The bleed-through is a direct result of the SEC’s XBRL Viewer, and to-date, the SEC has taken no steps to correct it.

Here’s what is happening on the SEC’s Viewer:  When the Viewer displays any fact that has been tagged with a dimension, the Viewer will also grab and display all other facts throughout the document that share the same tag but that do not include a dimension. In this case, the “Net trade income (loss)” line in the Operations Statement is tagged with the same primary concept as it is in the Note 1 disclosure table, but in the Note 1 table that concept is also dimensionalized.  As a result the SEC Viewer presents the “Net trade income (loss)” line from the Operations Statement in the Note 1 table.

This is classic bleed-through, and it has been causing headaches for people reviewing XBRL tagging since the inception of the mandate.

So, can it be fixed?  Firstly, it is important to understand that the SEC does not want filers adjusting their tagging simply to make the presentation in the XBRL Viewer look better. The reality of XBRL is that it is not intended for human consumption.  It is designed to make Financial Statements & Notes machine-readable.  When XBRL is tagged properly – each fact stands alone, free of the original document, getting context only from its own tag, date, and any dimensions.  From a “machine-readable” point of view, it does not matter where in the document the fact is located, so long as it is tagged correctly.  This is why the SEC did not build the Viewer to present the XBRL in an entirely human-readable format.  It is also why the SEC expects to see bleed-through, and does not consider it an issue.

The actual issue is when some filers attempt to “fix” bleed-through by adjusting the tagging with the presentation in mind.  We do not recommend these sorts of “presentation fixes” because they often contradict SEC guidelines and FASB best practice.  So in the case above – as with almost all bleed-through cases – we simply leave it be.  It is tagged properly, and it is machine-readable.  The SEC wants it tagged this way, and they expect the bleed-through that results.

RDG presents – The ThunderDome® Portal, an On-Demand Disclosure Management Software

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Are you in the market for SEC Disclosure Management software?

Do you want to control your SEC filing process, and have the ability to edit and file the EDGAR document yourself?

Yes, you say?  Well then, RDG Filings would like to introduce the ThunderDome® Portal, an on-demand disclosure management software that will streamline your SEC Filings process.

The ThunderDome® Portal works in harmony with RDG’s industry leading XBRL tagging full-service expertise.  RDG has created the Perfect Combination of On-Demand Software & Expert Full-Service.

EDGAR Control

The exclusive ThunderDome® Portal allows multi-user access to create, manage, edit, and file EDGAR documents with the SEC.  The web-based portal creates significant efficiencies as it enable version control and collaboration while also eliminating the need to manually hand-mark EDGAR changes only to then wait for your provider to return a proof.  The portal also remove the possibility of ‘printer error’ during the editorial process.

RDG remains available 24/7 for full-service EDGAR conversion, service, and support.  So our clients enjoy the perfect combination of full-service expertise when they need it and in-house control when they want it.

XBRL Expertise

RDG’s US-based experts do all the XBRL tagging and validation, and a dedicated Account Manager be available to you for questions and consultation.

You will simply review the tagging on our superior online XBRL review tool, which is an integral aspect of the ThunderDome® Portal.

Rational, Flat-Rate Pricing

And here’s the kicker: RDG’s rational and flat-rate pricing structure will represent both savings & budget-predictability.


Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Stewart Walker – SVP, Director of Sales

(415) 643-6017

The 2013 FERF Survey: Doing XBRL In-House Requires 2.3x More Time and Resources than Utilizing a Full-Service Solution

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The 2013 Financial Executives Research Foundation annual survey is out, and among a great deal of information is the fact that doing XBRL using in-house software requires far more time for the creation and review of filings than does utilizing a full-service solution.

Companies doing their XBRL in-house reported spending an average of 65 hours preparing the XBRL for their most recent annual filing and an average of 30 hours reviewing it.  Compare that to companies utilizing a full-service solution, which reported spending an average of 28 hours preparing and 21 hours reviewing the XBRL for their most recent annual filing.

Doing XBRL in-house requires 2.3 times longer to prepare and 45% more time to review than utilizing a full-service solution.

In considering the option of bringing your XBRL processes in-house, one must consider not only the cost of licensing the software, but also the costs of staffing and operating the software.  It takes both more time and human resources to do XBRL in-house.  Large Accelerated filers reported having 66% more full-time employees working exclusively on SEC Filings than did smaller companies.  Additionally, there can be considerable hourly costs for any necessary consultation or support.  In-House software can work for certain companies, but the FERF survey shows that it requires more time, resources, bandwidth, and money than a full-service solution.

RDG Filings has made a consistent commitment to customer service, and we are proud to have set the standards for both service and XBRL data quality.  Working with our unique full-service model will improve your filing procedures where the rubber for all four wheels meet the road – Service, Turnaround Times, Data Quality, and Cost.

Please get in touch with any questions.

Stewart Walker – SVP, Director of Sales


Reference: William M. Stinnett, Financial Executives Research Foundation: SEC Reporting and the Impact of XBRL: 2013 Survey, pages 15, 18, 19, 27.

The Truth About The SEC’s RoboCop & The Importance of XBRL Data Quality

Monday, August 12th, 2013

If you find the deluge of information on the internet (and filling up your inbox) regarding XBRL, SEC Compliance, and the end of the Limited Liability period for SEC Filers, to be a bit overwhelming — you are not alone. We here at RDG Filings think so much of this information glut stems from certain sales tactics that hope to benefit from hysteria and misunderstanding. However, every now and then we find an article or a blog-post that is truly helpful and important. John Carney and Francesca Harker’s recent online article for Forbes is a valuable resource to anyone seeking to pick the value from the online rubbish.

The article from 8/09/2013 is titled “How SEC’s New RoboCop Profiles Companies For Accounting Fraud.” Carney and Harker offer an excellent explanation of the SEC’s new fraud detection tool—Accounting Quality Model (aka: AQM or RoboCop)—operates, and how corporate filers can avoid being flagged as potential wrongdoers by automated system. The authors also briefly profile Mary Jo White, who was recently appointed the Chairman of the SEC, and discuss the “renewed commitment by the SEC to seek out violations of financial reporting regulations” that she brings to the SEC.

When President Obama introduced Mary Jo White as the new Chairman for the SEC, he warned that “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” To back that up, Ms. White, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal after her appointment said: “I think financial-statement fraud, accounting fraud has always been important to the SEC. It’s certainly an area that I’m interested in, and you’re going to see more targeted resources in that area going forward.”

You can read about some of the new initiatives the SEC has recently introduced under Mary Jo White’s leadership in a previous blog post by RDG Filings, but all the new initiatives are made possible primary by Accounting Quality Model (“AQM” or “RoboCop”) and the advent of XBRL filing. According to the Forbes Article, RoboCop “is an analytical tool which trawls corporate filings to flag high-risk activity for closer inspection by SEC enforcement teams.”

As Carney and Harker explain it, “RoboCop’s objective – to identify earnings management – is not a novel one.” It is not the analytical strategy that is unique, and it would not in-and-of-itself be concerning to SEC Filers. However, it is RoboCop’s “proficiency that should worry filers.” The SEC’s RoboCop is capable of extending the traditional earnings management approach “by including discretionary accrual factors in its regression.” Additionally, it is the speed with which RoboCop can raise potential red flags about a filing that is revolutionary for the SEC’s enforcement teams. As the Forbes article explains: “RoboCop is a fully automated system. Within 24 hours from the time a filing is posted to EDGAR, it is processed by the AQM and the results are stored in a database. The AQM outputs a risk score which informs SEC auditors of the likelihood that a filing is fraudulent.”

RDG wants to highlight this article for you because it not only offers a good explanation of the AQM-RoboCop system, but it also explains how it will affect SEC Filers. It could be easy to overlook the fact that all of the SEC’s new enforcement tools and initiatives are made possible by XBRL, and creating quality, compliant, and clean XBRL filings will only become more important as the SEC moves forward with these new strategies. Filing excellent XBRL documents will be the first and most important line of defense against the AQM-RoboCop system flagging your company for further SEC attention. Carney and Harker write that “because RoboCop is an automated system looking for oddities, it is unable to account for mistakes made. This is particularly important because the AQM relies on the newly-mandated XBRL data which is prone to mistakes by the inexperienced. Sloppy entries could land your company’s filing at the top of the list for close examination.”

As Carney and Harker state, software is unable to account for mistakes made. The next logical deduction is that it doesn’t matter which of the various software programs you use, because what’s more important is the person using the software, and their expertise in creating the documents.

Yes, we at RDG Filings are pleased that this article so strongly validates of our service model. Additionally, we think this article highlights this fundamental truth about XBRL reporting — If you do not know what you are doing, you are prone to XBRL mistakes that will put your company at risk of being flagged. It takes human understanding, experience, and expertise to build excellent XBRL filings; software cannot do it alone.

RDG Filings has years of experience doing XBRL tagging and filing, and we offer unparalleled Quality Assurance Services that will ensure your filings far exceed the standard of SEC compliance. RDG Filings has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to ensure that the AQM-RoboCop tool being deployed daily by the SEC are far less likely to flag your XBRL filings. Additionally, RDG can give you the support you need should the SEC’s examiners contact you with questions, because as Carney and Harker explain, the SEC’s “increased reliance on an automated model means examiners will come across filings with high risk scores which have not engaged in any fraudulent activity.” This means that “exam teams will be in more frequent contact with filers and will also more readily accept legitimate explanations for filing decisions. “ RDG Filings will ensure your XBRL filings are held to the highest standards, and we will also be a resource to help you “respond quickly to inquiries with a reasoned explanation for accounting choices.”

Carney and Harker conclude that it “is more important than ever for corporate filers to understand SEC enforcement strategies, especially the AQM, in order to decrease the likelihood that their firm will be the subject of an expensive SEC audit.”

We at RDG could not agree more with these conclusions, and we can help any SEC Filer who wants to know that their XBRL filings exceed SEC validation requirements, and will be in line with the enhanced standards, protocols, and guidelines already put forward by the FASB, the AICPA, the US-GAAP, XBRL.US, and others.

This is what we do at RDG Filings. Please get in touch if we can be of service.

Stewart Walker – SVP, Director of Sales.  415.643.6017

XBRL Provider Myth: “Legacy” vs. “New Wave”

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

If your company is currently working with a printing company to get your XBRL and EDGAR filings, you may have heard from them that they are a ‘legacy’ company, or that they are the “oldest company listed” on the NYSE.  You may have heard this pitch as an excuse for overcharging you for XBRL and EDGAR filings.  XBRL is not yet 5 years old.  I have a difficult time seeing how it makes sense for a company to use its status as old guard ‘proven commodity’ to thereby claim that inflated prices are reasonable for a service that has not yet existed for a half-decade.  It is undeniable that your current provider may be a long-standing printing company.  However, a legacy for financial printing does not necessarily mean that the XBRL services they provide is of high quality, and I disagree with the notion that this legacy grants permission to charge more than is necessary for SEC filings.

Here are the facts:  RDG Filings has been around 25 years.  RDG has been providing EDGAR and compliance related services since its inception, and RDG has been doing XBRL since its inception in 2009.  I would hardly argue any of these facts represent RDG as ‘new wave.’  RDG provides you with excellent XBRL filings, superior service, far more reasonable editorial timelines, and your costs will be reduced substantially.

RDG Filings is a privately held company that is not beholden to shareholders or to our ‘legacy’ on the NYSE.  RDG Filings is beholden first and only to our clients, and we are committed to providing them with the best full-service SEC filings available.

-Stewart Walker, Director of Sales.


Be Practical, Not Scared of XBRL Limited Liability Expiration

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Let’s be practical (not afraid) about XBRL Limited Liability expiration

How the Fear Campaign makes it sound:

Some of our competitors are saying: “Once your company’s grace period ends, your XBRL files have the exact same material error liabilities as your traditional EDGAR HTML files….In the event of a misstatement or omission of a material fact in the XBRL files, the company along with its officers and directors can be held legally liable and be subjected to civil and criminal liability.”

The truth in this statement is “Yes, the documents are both deemed “filed” and liability is assumed for errors between the two formats of EDGAR and XBRL. They should match. If a company is attempting to defraud investors, and cannot prove it was an honest mistake (via Quality Assurance and a trail of some kind) then you are in trouble. More than likely, the SEC will issue a comment letter and ask why something is different or tagged in a specific way. The majority of the time, the worst case is an explanatory Correspondence filing or an amended filing explaining the error. While significant and potentially expensive mistakes, the reality is a world apart from “civil or criminal liability.”

Looking through the XBRL industry’s (service & software providers) websites, it is clear that a fear campaign has been the approved method for attracting business. RDG doesn’t believe in taking advantage of being the XBRL experts. Companies should be cautious, yes. However, is instilling fear really necessary? We believe that should be left to the ghosts. First, anyone reading this should note that the same fear campaign was instituted by these same companies when the original XBRL mandate was put into effect. While the task of preparing XBRL is a large one, it is not something to be afraid of. The sky will not fall when limited liability expires, but it is something to prepare for. Proper preparation of your company’s XBRL filing will minimize any impact of more detailed review of XBRL filings by the SEC.