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XRBL Conversion for Small Companies

The XRBL reporting requirement has finally come to the smallest of public companies, and we have to arrange for our 10Q to be edgarised AND XRBL'd this quarter, and still filed by the usual 45 day deadline. I would like to find out how other small companies without internal specialist resources are handling this task. I have been using an independent edgar converter for a couple of years but he isnt interested in, or prepared to become qualified to assist in the XRBL tagging and conversion.

He referred me to a company called NeoClarus who have positioned themselves as specialists in this area. I dont have a lot of time to shop around so I would like to find out if anyone out there has used them for their data preparation, and what was the experience and pricing like?


Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

Although it looks like 81 members have read this discussion I didnt receive any advice or comments, and in the absence of other solutions, and a clock ticking down to my SEC reporting deadline on August 15, I decided to go with this company. The cost was $4000 to cover this and the next three quarterly report conversions. They package the deal for a years worth of conversions because they have up front set-up costs and need to amortise them over several reports. So far I was impressed to receive my tagging metadata map the day after I submitted our edgarised 10Q, but things have been quiet ever since and I havnt yet seen the final product as at close of business Friday (SEC time). That leaves the weekend and final filing on Monday if all goes well. I wonder????? I have heard that the SEC has agreed to be lenient in allowing first-time XRBL filers an extension for the conversion with no black marks!! I will report the next episode next week, in the meantime, has anyone else any experience to share regarding the progress of their first time XRBL filings?

Raymond Gallegos
Title: Managing Partner
Company: AscendCFO
(Managing Partner, AscendCFO) |

Simon, for a long-term solution you may want to consider some of the
XRBL software in the marketplace. There are a few, but
comes to mind.

Topic Expert
Ric Ratkowski
Title: Domain Expert Finance & Analytics
Company: SAP
(Domain Expert Finance & Analytics, SAP) |

Hi Simon,
Sorry, I didn't see this post till now otherwise I would have responed. I don't fit exactly your profile of "other smaller companies without internal specialist resources", I am with a vendor who provides Corporate Performance Management Services including XBRL tagging services (I'm also a CPA and have been trained with the NeoClarus software to do the mapping and tagging process). I should also mention we are partnered with NeoClarus to provide both the software and the tagging services. I have been monitoring the XBRL development since tier 1 companies were doing voluntary filing.
TO answer some of your questions:

1) $4K for first year mapping and tagging 3Q's and 1K is the cheapest I've seen them quote. They charge based on an assessment of the complexity of your financials and it is typically in a range of $12K.

2) They typically do turn around the initial mapping quickly around quickly and then go silent till filing. What I've found is part of it is they wait till the end so they are sure they have the last minute changes, another part is I'm sure they are very busy and while we accountants like to have everything delivered all at once, they know you have 45 day grace from the SEC on the first filing.

3) Regarding alternative XBRL solutions. The other two that I like are from webfilings and BCL Technologies. Both are software providers.

I don't know if Webfilings provides tagging services in addition to their software, if they have recommended partners to provide tagging services or if you are on your own with tagging services.

BCL Technologies (I think you can google "SmartXBRL" and find them) leverages a natural language processor to help with the tagging.

Raymond mentioned RivetSoftware. They have been in this space for a long time and I believe had some hand in the development of the XBRL viewer the SEC uses. I just don't have direct experience with them.

There are a number of other software companies out there that I don't mention because their software looks more like an XML editor rather than a tool for accountants. Also I'm sure I have not seen all the solutions out there, but this should give you a place to start.

4)Now that tier one filers have completed two years of tagging and tier two filers have completed one year of tagging and are working on their detail tagging there is definitely a pattern emerging.

We mostly see companies going to their printers or companies like NeoClarus for their first year tagging. In many cases companies will go to their printers and the printers have a contract with companies like NeoClarus to provide the tagging and the printer just mark up the services and pass the charge to the customer.

In the second year of tagging, more companies opt to bring the service in house, although it is still a small percentage. A key reason for bringing it in house (besides cost) is turn-around time from the printers/services organization. I'm seeing things like 48 hours turn around for a change to a statement.

We see a higher percentage of companies that have been through year one block tagging of notes and year two detail tagging of notes bringing it in house for year three. That makes sense if you think about it, because the heavy lifting has been done in year one and year two, now all companies need to manage is the changes from the tagged statements. I think companies that go with NeoClarus or one of the other software vendors in year one or two are ahead of the game because in year three they just transition the use of the software to them (i.e. you edit the changes in the NeoClarus software). For companies that went with printers I would suspect there to be a conversion charge to move the prior year mapping into the XBRL tool.

I know I dumped a lot on you and sorry if the text is mushy but wanted to get a response out. I will probably blog on this in the near future and provide more details

Topic Expert
Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |


It looks like you have been suffering and learning for a long time. I appreciaste your wealth of knowledge on this subject. Its what makes this profrormative Finance group such a great resource for sharing knowledge and experience!

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