Friday, November 20, 2009

CFA awareness and usage of XBRL up

The results of CFA Institute's 2009 update of its XBRL survey are in! Most importantly, global awareness has inched up from 41% to 45%, and similarly has usage. Here is the summary comparison of the 2009 numbers with the earlier version. On top of the summary, the detailed report allows for a number of interesting observations (margin of error is 2.5% at a 95% confidence interval):

  • Awareness has crossed the 50% threshold (52%) for the first time in the Americas. Interestingly, it is highest among the most experienced Charterholders and lowest among new and non-Charterholders. 
  • Highest impact of the usage of XBRL continues to be expected from uploading company data and from comparing companies.
  • There was a marked shift in the types of assurance expected from an integrated to a separate audit for XBRL instances. Unfortunately, we don't have a regional split of that information. It would be interesting to see whether the shift originated mostly in the US, where sensitivities about XBRL specific audit issues are rising.
  • Against my expectations, direct information extraction from source documents is rising at the expense of third party sources. This is consistent with the increased usage of XBRL documents. Too bad we don't have a more detailed analysis of this item.
Those of you who read German may be interested in an article I've written for nspublish INSIDE.


Bob said...

I'm surprised the increase in awareness was only four percentage points in two years. It's disappointing.

The assurance question and the shift you note is interesting. Is a separate audit now being viewed by more respondents as better and more reliable than as part of an integrated audit?

Bob Schneider
Editor, Data Interactive (the Hitachi XBRL blog)

Chris said...

Bob, I can understand your disappointment. Nevertheless, a statistically significant uptick in awareness on a global basis is more than we could have expected after last year's "familiarity test". Remember, it's the global population we're looking at here, and despite recent improvements, we're still quite some distance away from comprehensive coverage, and further still from comprehensive time series coverage. These demographic shifts take time. But I'm delighted that it's led by senior professionals rather than juniors, which I read as meaning that they think it's an issue that deserves their attention now. That's better than letting the next generation take care of it, no?