Having worked with financial data for several years now, I just cannot appreciate enough the transparency and access to data we have in the US. It is so far ahead of the rest of the world.
To be honest, I still don’t like searching and digging for data on the SEC. It isn’t the most user friendly website. It’s why I now use secfilings.com. Free and easier to use.
I also use my dedicated data feed which make life much easier and saves me countless hours, but for those who cannot afford the cost of the OSV spreadsheets, here are a couple of alternatives.
Exporting SEC Filings to Excel
XBRL is the new technology that is being used by companies to report filings to the SEC. At first it was the giant companies that complied with XBRL standards but all companies now support this which makes for pulling data easier.
But let’s get down to what you really want. Exporting financial statements directly from SEC to Excel.
This site was mentioned in the best investing websites magazine and if you haven’t downloaded it yet, I highly advise you to get a copy. It’s free and is filled with valuable resources.
I view Calcbench as the leader of the group in terms of web applications allowing you to export SEC data to excel.
You have access to each part of the financial statements and if you create a free account, you can export the data for free.
I spent some time today fiddling around with XBRL to XL and there is promise.
The process of getting to download the excel data can be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy.
Financial statements are not in plain English type format. There are lots of syntax and other “tags” to clean up.
No point in me trying to explain it all. Go play with it and you’ll figure out how to use it.
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XBRL is still being adopted and so things can change in a couple of years. At the moment, I would consider both sites to be in the beta stage. They are not perfect and you’ll encounter some bugs and numbers mismatch, but it more than makes up for the time, effort and hair pulling trying to manually do the same thing.
Since XBRL is still relatively new, the data is not going to go far back. You won’t be able to get data from 10 years ago because companies are not going to update all of their filings. That’s just crazy.
So it will take about 6-7 years before you can start exporting 10 years worth of data.
Nevertheless, having access to 3-4 years is a great start.
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