Comment 1 on – SEC Requiring XBRL To Help All Investors Learn Firms’ ABCs Financial Data Easier To Use The Technology Is Putting Complex Financial Reports Into An Interactive Format

Attention corporate executives — don’t shrug this off. XBRL is going to revolutionize accounting and corporate [financial] reporting.

 

Standard dictionaries (“taxonomies”) are in development by a number of cooperating agencies with SEC in the vanguard: The Commission is investing more than $50 million to make XBRL a reality in the coming months.

 

Watch for early December release of important information for your firm (if you are an issuer) — this will be a powerful movement for dramatic change in financial reporting, financial analysis and other aspects of the capital market in 2008 and beyond.

 

Check out the SEC Web site and the XBRL USA (not for profit arm of the global XBRL coalition in the USA) for details.

 

The editors are assembling a package of XBRL news, commentary and research for you (as a “Hot Topic”) as the SEC announcements and provider announcements roll on…

 

Hank Boerner

 

Editor – AC

 

Hank Boerner

Comment on – Coke, Kellogg’s Cop Bad Product Awards

So you take years, decades, centuries perhaps to build the brand, win the loyalty of customers, fine-tune the marketing and promotion, establish your distribution channels, and constantly perfect your business model.

 

Then consumer [product] tastes change. Behaviorial expectations (on the part of consumers toward corporations) change. Best-known brand products come under more attack than generic or unknown brands (the price of market leadership?). The demand for greater ACCOUNTABILITY becomes more widespread among stakeholders. Maybe like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” explanation — something triggers the crisis.

 

And now we have three old-line, global brand manufacturers in the advocates’ crosshairs. Coca-Cola has its issues worldwide and they seem to be growing, both in scope and intensity. Mattel has a real dilemma — where do they source now for completed products or key components (of Barbie, for example) now that consumer confidence is dropping like a stone. What can they do before the Christmas toy binge? And good old Kellogg’s — rapidly growing consumer, media and public sector interest in (and concerns about) the obesity issue and over-sugared hyper-active kids issue put the company and its sugar-cereal products in focus. (Irony: The Company’s legacy is its establishment as a nutrition- and health-based food manufacturer by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.)

 

While this is an Australia-based story today there have been various expressions of the same concerns about Coca Cola, Mattel and Kellog’s in the North American, European and developing markets. These companies may find more media devoting space to the stories about them and their products in the days ahead. And being public companies, we can expect some variations on the themes in this story will be incorporated in 2008 proxy contests.

 

There are rising expectations that corporations marketing consumer products — and especially children’s products (all three here) — will be more accountable to end users for their actions, marketing and product stewardship. Watch for company reactions to these allegations.

 

Here’s Kellogg’s Australian page: http://www.kelloggs.com.au/DisplayPage.asp?PageID=323&sectionid=1

 

Here’s Coca Cola Company page: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/

 

And Mattel Toys: http://www.mattel.com/index.asp?f=true

 

All have news about their “corporate responsibility,” aspects of corporate accountability (including Mattel voluntary recall, for example) and are worth tracking to get all sides of the story.

 

Hank Boerner

 

Editor – AC