We interviewed a Vice President, Financial Reporting at a $700M revenue public company. His focus is on technical accounting. Here’s his take on using Calcbench for financial reporting.

Q: How did you find Calcbench?

We were using a competitive product. It was expensive for what we were looking for. We wanted a tool that could help us understand the cash, debt, ROE,… of our competitors. When you are looking at seven or eight companies, it becomes cumbersome. I am not sure how we finally came upon Calcbench, but we cycled through free trials before we settled on purchasing the platform.

Q. What, in particular, do you like about Calcbench?

We do a lot of footnote searches. For us, being able to search XBRL tags and easily pull tables is important. We even started using Calcbench to pull our own data. It’s just an easier lift to get trends.

Q. How can we optimize your Calcbench experience?

We didn’t purchase the Non-GAAP data, but that’s probably the next step. We’d like to understand, for example, the adjusted EBITDA of our competitors. Also, right now we are probably doing more searches than we need to do. Until today, we were not aware of some of the features (e.g., Common Sizing) that might help with our analysis. And, we’re not using things that could probably help us in the future, e.g., competitor alerts.

Q. What’s the Calcbench data being used for?

Generally, we are using Calcbench data to guide our own disclosures. We’re looking to understand market-cap type trends, PE ratios and the like. We’re not using it to understand new accounting standards and how they are reported. We’re also not using it for compliance purposes, but that’s a possibility for the future.

Q. You read the blog. What would you like to see us analyze?

I like the length of the articles. The disclosure world is of interest to us. We’re very interested in current events. In particular, how the coronavirus is affecting companies, what’s the downstream effect of the virus on companies, etc.

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