Research with XBRL Data




XBRL, eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is an XML-based markup language used to communicate financial and business data electronically. Companies are now required to submit their financial reports to the SEC in XBRL format. Using this novel data, we created and validated a measure that captures the accounting reporting complexity (ARC) of firms. ARC is associated with lower financial reporting quality and with poor analysts' performance. The papers below provide more details on XBRL and the steps used to create ARC. Files were last updated on August, 2019. 


Links to papers:


Hoitash, R.,and Hoitash, U. Measuring Accounting Reporting Complexity with XBRL. The Accounting Review, January 2018, Vol. 93, No. 1, pp. 259-287.


Do Sell-Side Analysts’ Qualifications Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Accounting Reporting Complexity? Working Paper.


A new XBRL review paper- eXtensible Business Reporting Language: A Review and Directions for Future Research
XBRL - A Review and Directions for Futur[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [563.3 KB]



Below we provide links to data that includes ARC and several related measures (We now include quarterly data):



ARC Data- SAS Format
Compressed archive in ZIP format [7.2 MB]



ARC Data- Excel Format
Microsoft Excel sheet [19.4 MB]



Data Dictionary
Data Dictionary June 2019.docx
Microsoft Word document [17.4 KB]


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XBRL and Accounting Complexity in the Media  

Accounting Today:

Professors propose new measure of accounting complexity

FEI Daily: Measuring Accounting Disclosure Complexity with XBRL

Compliance Week: As Complexity Rises, Quality Slides, XBRL-Based Study Says

About the Authors

Udi Hoitash

Udi Hoitash, Ph.D.

Lilian L. and Harry A. Cowan Research Professor

D'Amore-McKim School of Business,

Northeastern University, Faculty profile page

SSRN research papersGoogle Scholar page

Rani Hoitash

Rani Hoitash, Ph.D., CISA

John E. Rhodes Professor of Accountancy

Bentley University,  Faculty profile page

SSRN research papersGoogle Scholar page