Category Archives: XBRL

Who Audits the Quality of Credit Ratings?

In the wake of the Standard & Poor’s deal to pay a fine but avoid admission of wrong-doing, some questions arise.

  • The fine is more than the amount of profits made from the bad ratings, but is it actually going to change corporate behavior?
  • The really big stick is enjoining the firm from rating certain kinds of bonds, their core business, for a certain period of time. Why not? Is the ratings business really so concentrated in a few firms that S&P is ‘too big to fail’ not in a monetary sense, but in a process sense?
  • Another remedy is increased disclosure. The SEC already expects the ratings agencies to disclose some information on their sites, for public scrutiny. This could have been ratcheted up for a time. Why not?

Money isn’t everything. Changing behavior is much more difficult, but much more important, than a fine.

And finally, who does audit ratings quality? Nobody? We audit food quality, drug quality. If you sell a product that can hurt the public, shouldn’t it be inspected at some point?


DATA Act, Reconciliation and Veto?

The two chambers of Congress have each passed a version of the DATA Act, S. 994 and HR. 2061. In the normal legislative process, these must be reconciled, the reconciled bill approved, and that bill passed to the President for signature. How far will the DATA Act go? Continue reading DATA Act, Reconciliation and Veto?

Healthcare XBRL: the Language of Concepts

All the cool kids that read my presentations about XBRL know that XBRL is really two things that work well together – a language of facts, and a language of concepts. If we want to go looking for places that XBRL can be gainfully employed improving the efficiency of healthcare, both of these languages need to be explored for the opportunities. For the language of concepts, XBRL taxonomies, ICD-10 is a huge opportunity. Continue reading Healthcare XBRL: the Language of Concepts

Stevens Conference Keynote: XBRL More Than Numbers

Walter Hamscher gave an important message to the conference – XBRL was designed to support more than just numbers. The text block tagging of SEC filings clearly shows this, but only scratches the surface. To look deeper, let’s break out the consultant’s favorite tool, the quadrant chart! Continue reading Stevens Conference Keynote: XBRL More Than Numbers

Audit Quality Indicators, the Usual Suspects

If you are interested in audit quality (and who isn’t?) there is a very interesting slide deck available at the PCAOB web site on Audit Quality Indicators. Looking though the recommendations and survey results, it seems that there is strong support for reporting more data, not more documents, to the PCAOB. And what data standard might we use for that? Continue reading Audit Quality Indicators, the Usual Suspects