Number Rounding & Scaling Warning Messages

There are four main types of NR&S related warnings, which are identified by either a yellow triangle in the lower right corner of a cell, an XBRL tag warning (for XBRL tagged documents) or a red text link. With the exception of text link warnings, these warnings can be automatically identified by running the Validate Document command and the Validate XBRL command.

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A portion of a workbook showing NR&S errors with yellow triangles in the lower right of the cell.

Rounding Mismatches

A common NR&S warning within tables occurs when a formula cell (usually a sum of rounded numbers) appears visually to be incorrect. For example:

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An example of a rounding mismatch error.

In this case, 3.32 is a formula summing the two cells above it. The yellow triangle appears because there is a difference between the visual sum (the round of the sums) and the actual sum (the round of the sums). The application will always compare the visual sum (in this case 1.66 plus 1.66 equals 3.32) to the actual sum (in this case 1,663 plus 1,664 equals 3,327). Since there is a difference between these two results, the yellow triangle appears.

NOTE: The yellow triangle appearing in this case is a warning. It may or may not need to be changed. In the example above the current display, while technically an incorrect round, appears correct visually and can be kept if that is the desire. During the conversion process, all yellow triangles should be examined to determine if a change is needed.

The yellow formula can be removed either by changing the formula settings from "as displayed" to “full precision” or through the use of global precision based overrides to apply custom rounding.

Formula Precision Mismatches

The other common NR&S warning within tables occurs when the formula precision of a formula cell is different than the precision of the values that make up the formula. Formulas calculate in their formula precision, which allows the formula to take advantage of global precision-based overrides for custom rounding.

The yellow formula can be removed either by changing the formula precision of the formula cell (via the format cells dialog box) or by changing the precision of the values that make up that formula.

XBRL Precision Mismatches

In a NR&S enabled document there are two key XBRL related differences to understand. First, the XBRL fact attribute of Report In is no longer needed. Since the value of the source links should always be their most precise representation, no scaling is needed to achieve the correct XBRL fact value. Second, XBRL will round numbers based on the XBRL accuracy setting of the XBRL fact.

Since XBRL will apply rounding automatically in a NR&S enabled document, the previous requirement of using explicit round( ) function to ensure XBRL fact value consistency is no longer required. As an example, a value of 1,234,000 (source link value) that is reported as 1.2 million can simply specify and XBRL accuracy of -5 (hundred thousands). In Non NR&S documents it would have required a source link value change or a round function to achieve this result.

The below table shows a value of 1,600 entered in thousands (actual value of 1,600,000) to a -6 precision being shown in millions for a reported value of 2,000,000. In a non NR&S document this would have an XBRL fact value of 1,600,000 which is different than the reported value of 2,000,000 which is a problem and would require the use of the round function to correct. In a NR&S enabled document, the XBRL fact value displays the reported value of 2,000,000 without the need of a round function.

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Example XBRL fact values with and without NR&S

Another added benefit is that XBRL will rely less on the global accuracy defaults. Why? With NR&S, at the time the number is tagged, XBRL will inspect the as-displayed precision/accuracy of the number in order to establish the proper accuracy for a fact. This should be a huge benefit, especially for customers that report the face financial statements in thousand and report the footnotes in millions.

What if my number changes precision after it is tagged? XBRL Document Check has been enhanced with additional checks for NR&S enabled documents. While XBRL Document Check does not auto-correct, it will scan all tagged versions of a number and identify the most precise displayed representation within the document (SEC requirement for what should go in the instance document).

Once found, it compares that precision with the XBRL accuracy setting of the fact and will report a ‘Precision Mismatch’ error if a discrepancy is identified. Again, since XBRL rounds the value, these mismatch errors are important to review and correct. The Precision Mismatch will come in two flavors, one which indicates that the XBRL accuracy setting has led to more precision being communicated by the fact setting and the other which identifies where the XBRL fact accuracy is truncating reported digits.

Red Text Links

The final type of warning related to NR&S involves text links. When converting a non NR&S document to a NR&S enabled document, all existing text links will change to a red font. This is to remind users that all text links should be checked to verify their value. These issues will not appear when running the validate document command. Once a text link has been verified, it can be highlighted and turned from red font to black font.

Prior to the NR&S functionality, text links had the show in setting that functioned (and continues to function) just as the NR&S show in setting does. During conversion, it is possible that the new NR&S "value in" setting for the source of the text link will change the display of the text link based on the previously set “show in” value of the text link. Because of this, verifying these links is important.

After becoming familiar with the types of NR&S warnings, the verification process can begin. This involves the following items:

  • The validate document command should be run by selecting Tools > Validate Document from the menu. Any items that are found should be addressed.

  • The validate XBRL command should be run by selecting the Validate XBRL button from the XBRL outline. Any items that are found should be addressed.

  • Each text link should be reviewed. They should be changed from red font to black font when verified.

NOTE: None of the four NR&S warnings listed will prevent a document from being filed. It is perfectly acceptable to file with a warning still being displayed, provided it has been reviewed and found to be acceptable.