The Calcbench Insider: May  2017


Hello Calcbench fans, and happy spring. Calcbench has been busy digging into 2016 annual filings for data analysis, tweaking our website (behind the scenes stuff for better user experience), and we continue to expand our product. The flowers outside the office are in full bloom as well.


Whether you’re new to our products or looking to learn more about how we can improve your day-to-day, we hope you find the information below useful and entertaining. Sign up here for a free Calcbench trial. As always, your feedback is welcome.


All the best,


The Calcbench Team


What’s New in Calcbench


A fresh update on revenue recognition. We’ve noticed a fair number of users searching for disclosures about “ASU 2014-09” or “SAB 74”—the formal name for the new revenue recognition standard going into effect at the end of 2017. Filers are required to disclose their progress in implementing the new standard, and Calcbench has been keeping an occasional eye on what they are saying. Read our latest post for an update, and to see how you can search for similar disclosures yourself.


Another Calcbench use case. A subscriber recently dropped us an email, explaining how he used our databases to help his company adopt ASU 2016-18, a new accounting standard for reported restricted cash. “Within five minutes, we found filers, the tags used, and how they presented it in their financials,” he said. Read more about on how Calcbench helped one of your peers.


Itching to analyze footnote disclosures? Calcbench users can now download XBRL text blocks directly into Excel for quick time-series and cross-section analysis of 10-K/Q disclosure sections. Instead of digging through the footnotes of all the companies you cover (you, um, always read the footnotes, right?) you can add another column in Excel and quickly scan for differences. See a sample here.

Measuring Accounting Reporting Complexity with XBRL. Congratulations to Rani and Udi Hoitash for their contributions in the forthcoming paper, “Measuring Accounting Reporting Complexity with XBRL”, to be found in The Accounting Review.  It shows that counting the number of tags is an indication of the accounting complexity. Consistently, the authors find that the complexity measure is associated with a greater likelihood of misstatements and material weakness disclosures, longer audit delay, and higher audit fees.


Calcbench on the Road!


Looking for a chance to meet your favorite financial data providers in person? Calcbench will be appearing at two CFA events in this month:



We encourage you to attend either event, and if you do, please find us and say hello!


Geeking Out on Data


Goodwill impairment turns around. Good news on goodwill and the impairment thereof: we have more of the former, and less of the latter. Total goodwill reported in 2016 annual filings is down sharply from the prior year, and average impairment per filer is only $31.6 million, the lowest since 2013. The grim wave of impairment we saw 12 months ago seems to be receding. Read more inside.


Leasing costs in the Internet sector. Another looming new accounting standard will compel filers to report the cost of operating leases on the balance sheet; currently, those costs are buried in the footnotes. Calcbench looked at those costs for eight notable Internet companies, from Amazon to Yelp. Which ones have the largest leasing liabilities? Which one has leasing costs that will swamp the balance sheet when they’re reported there? Read more to find out.


Patterns in deferred revenue, 2011-2016. Deferred revenue is income a company will receive sometime in the future, but not in the current filing period. From time to time Calcbench reviews deferred revenue, to see how much is out there and how much it accounts for companies’ total revenue. Our latest analysis, looking at five years of reporting data, shows that deferred revenue holds remarkably steady at roughly 6.5 percent of total revenue, year after year. See the data inside.


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