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Calcbench is proud to say that every piece of financial data we have, we can trace back to a filer’s original source document. You may even recall previous posts about how to use our Trace feature.

Today we’re going to take that exploration of Calcbench one step further. Every time you click on a financial number and trace it back to the original source, you’ll see a tab emerge from the bottom of your screen that shows the XBRL tag for that piece of data—the label that U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles apply to the line-item you’re looking at.

So what if you research that piece of data on Company ABC and then decide, “Now I want to see all the other companies that reported the same thing, and what number they reported for this line-item.”

You can use the Calcbench XBRL Raw Data Query Tool.

The interface might look intimidating at first glance, but take a breath and look again. The database follows a simple logic, and lets you enter as many search parameters as you’d like: foremost, the tag you want to search for; and also the filing periods, numerical values, and other factors.

Let’s walk through a simple example.

First we need to decide what we want to research and find the tag for it. The costs for operating leases are a good example, since they are typically in the footnotes and hard to find. So let’s look at, say, Chipotle’s disclosure of leasing costs, and specifically try to find the “minimum payments due thereafter”—that is, all the leasing obligations due for Chipotle that are more than five years in the future.

If we start at the Interactive Disclosure Tool, looking up Chipotle specifically, we can find those leasing costs in short order. Take a look at this disclosure from Chipotle’s last 10-K, filed on Feb. 7. The “Thereafter” line-item is near the bottom: $2,358,941. (Figure 1, below.)

If we trace that last number (by clicking on it), we can find the XBRL tag Chipotle used. The tab emerges from the bottom looks like Figure 2, below, with the XBRL tag noted in red.

The XBRL tag is known as “OperatingLeasesFutureMinimumPaymentsDueThereafter.” (XBRL tags can be a mouthful.)

Searching for Everyone Else

Step 2 is to copy that tag and go back to the XBRL Raw Data Query database. The second search field you see is “XBRL Tag” with a text box next to it. Paste our tag from above in that field. Calcbench automatically recognizes that tag (and all U.S. GAAP tags), so you even get the reassurance that, yes, you’re doing this right so far. See Figure 3, below, to get a sense of things.

You’ll see we set a few other parameters above, too. First, in the upper-right corner we used the “Whole Universe” set of companies in our database— which will always give a lot of results, so you may want to narrow the set of results by creating your own search group as you like.

We also set the “Calendar Year” field to 2016; the “Fact Version” to only the most recently reported facts (remember, you can also see how companies revise facts about earlier filings in subsequent filings); and just for kicks, we set the “Numeric Value” field to return results only above $5 million. (Don’t use commas when entering values in this field.)

Then, beneath all those fields, we hit the “Go!” button. The results returned are in Figure 4, below.

As expected, we got a lot of results. You can easily see the values each company reported for future lease payments under the “Value” field. (Also as expected, all values are above $5 million.) You can export these results to Excel for further analysis as you’d like.

The XBRL Raw Query tool is powerful, so we’ll end today’s lesson here. Suffice to say, you can play with the search parameters in all sorts of ways: restricting disclosures to specific quarters; entering partial text in the XBRL Tag field to see what pre-populates as possible tags for you to search; restricting results to above, below, equal, or not equal to certain values.

In future posts we’ll explore more sophisticated analyses you can do. This is plenty to get you started, so enjoy!


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