XBRL mandate: Thousands of filing errors and so what?

Hui Du, Miklos A. Vasarhelyi, Xiaochuan Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Since the mandate by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to begin interactive data reporting in June 2009, according to XBRL Cloud, an XBRL product and service provider, more than 4,000 filing errors have been identified. We examine the overall changing pattern of the errors to understand whether the large number of errors may hamper the transition to interactive data reporting. Using a sample of 4,532 filings that contain 4,260 errors, we document a significant learning curve exhibited by the XBRL filers. Specifically, we find that the number of errors per filing is significantly decreasing when a company files more times, suggesting that the company filers or the filing agents many companies use learn from their experiences and therefore the future filings are improved. Our findings provide evidence to encourage the regulatory body, the filers, and the XBRL technology supporting community to embrace the new disclosure requirement in financial reporting. The significantly decreased error pattern also helps address the information users' concerns regarding the data quality of XBRL filings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


  • Learning curve
  • XBRL
  • XBRL filing errors


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