Corporate Actions in iXBRL

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Dave Nitchman

The Corporate Actions working group continues to work towards defining and encouraging the use of standardised terms to communicate corporate actions. Corporate Actions are the announcements made by public companies about changes in ownership or control as well as cash flows associated with dividends and other payments to rights holders over listed securities. The management of corporate actions within financial services is a terribly manual process. Since 2010, XBRL US has been co-operating with a range of stakeholders in this area, including DTCC and Swift. Read the Business Case for improving corporate actions to better understand some of the issues.

Making changes in this area is a complex exercise even though it currently involves vast manual effort. The majority of announcements are published in PDF, with decisions and actions taken by a huge network of inter-related stakeholders based on inspection of their contents. XBRL US has just started to experiment with iXBRL versions of corporate actions. Check out this example that reuses the open source iXBRL inspection tool that the SEC contributed to and use themselves.

Look interesting? Having companies and their advisors create reliable, structured data that can directly drive actions and decision making is exactly what XBRL is for. Perhaps this example will spark some ideas in this and other domains. Get involved in the XBRL Corporate Actions Working Group here.

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