Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Close followers of the Securities & Exchange Commission may have noticed that last week the SEC adopted new rules aimed at streamlining the disclosures that firms need to include in their Management Discussion & Analysis.

One detail in the new rules caught our eye: that firms will not need to tag the data in their MD&A in a machine-readable format such as XBRL. Tagging would allow analysts to find data in the MD&A more quickly and export it to Excel or other analytical tools for whatever number crunching you want to do — but it would also impose new costs on filers to comply with that rule, and the SEC commissioners decided that firms’ compliance costs are high enough already. So no tagging of MD&A disclosures.

For Calcbench users, however, a critical question follows.

Who cares? We’ve already been tagging data in firms’ MD&A disclosures for years! You get it as part of the package, and that’s not going to change no matter what rules the SEC does or doesn’t adopt.

The technical details of how we parse and tag a firm’s MD&A disclosures aren’t important here. If you really want to know, email us at info@calcbench.com; we’d be happy to set up an appointment to geek out on the subject of structured data for hours.

Suffice to say, Calcbench subscribers can already access that level of analytical detail in the MD&A through our Interactive Disclosures page, or the standardized metrics we provide on the Multi-Company page, or the segments analysis we offer on the Segments, Rollforwards & Breakouts page. You get the idea — parsing financial data is our job, and we’re always striving to bring that data to you in ways that let you find exactly what you want, when you want it.

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