Review your XBRL files easily (and visually)

Unless your name is Hal or Seven of Nine, trying to review the XBRL files you receive from your filing provider (coughcoughvintagefilingscoughcough), is a moot exercise. It’s code.


To view your files, follow these steps:

  1. Your provider should have sent you a .zip file containing the raw XBRL and the instance documents.
  2. Click on this link: This link will take you to the SEC’s Previewer for XBRL files. You will be able to see an exact rendering of your XBRL files as they will appear once they are filed with the SEC.
  3. In the left hand column, please enter your company’s 10 digit CIK number.
  4. Upload the .zip file. After this is done, enter the security code in the box below and click the submit button.
  5. After you click the submit button, a small box will appear with a confirmation code as well as your company’s CIK. You will need both your CIK and confirmation number to access your rendering.
  6. After 10-15 minutes, enter your Company’s CIK and the confirmation code in the right hand column. Once you click submit, you will see your XBRL EXACTLY how it will appear when it is filed with the SEC.

Have a great day.

4 responses to “Review your XBRL files easily (and visually)

  1. The EASIEST solution to this issue comes directly from the firm that created the software the SEC uses that was developed by Rivet Software. There is a FREE site that you can view any and all XBRL files exactly how the SEC publishes them at this link.

    All you have to do is enter the ticket symbol or company name and choose what ever report you want that they have filed. All of this is free from the creator of the software that the SEC uses.

    If you would like more information you can reach me directly at 720.249.2140. Have a great weekend.

  2. This is great advice, and viewing how the rendering will appear when it is filed is an important proofing exercise. However, if that is all that is being checked, and it usually is, then it is problematic. The rendering does not show what data tags were used [refer to SEC EDGAR Filer Manual (EFM) sections 6.6.23-.29], the values it renders can appear to match the print version, but be incorrect in the instance file — your digitalized “facts”. (In fact, over 300,000 of around 550,000 reported data value issues by some 8,800 issuer are because the VALUES are incorrectly reported as debits when they should be credits or visa-versa). The rendering also does not reflect whether all required presentation, calculation, and dimensional relationships are included in your files–also reqired by the EFM. Lastly, if custom element tags were created, should they have been? There are some 1,200 rules in the SEC’s EDGAR Filer Manual on interactive data. Although the SEC is currently only performing automated validation on a fraction of these (so your files could “seem” fine), all 1,200 specifications are REQUIREMENTS.

    There is a huge gap in XBRL reporting presently, and it is crucial to have a consulting partner who can help you understand all that needs to be reviewed. None of the major or minor software or service participants are 100% reliable and the SEC’s interactive data rule precludes management from transferring liability to third parties. Although there is a 24 month limited liability period (from the date of first XBRL submission to the SEC), if investors rely on your XBRL data and it is wrong, problems can ensue.

  3. Thank you Cheryl. You are VERY thoughtful on this, Andy… a competitive sales pitch? Really?

  4. Has anyone tried much faster then the SEC

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