This paper describes the development and applications of FRAANK—Financial Reporting and Auditing Agent with Net Knowledge. The prototype of FRAANK presented here provides automated access to, and understanding and integration of, rapidly changing financial information available from various sources on the Internet. In particular, FRAANK implements intelligent parsing to extract accounting numbers from natural‐text financial statements available from the SEC EDGAR repository. FRAANK develops an “understanding” of the accounting numbers by means of matching the line‐item labels to synonyms of tags in an XBRL taxonomy. As a result, FRAANK converts the consolidated balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows into XBRL‐tagged format. Based on FRAANK, we propose an empirical approach toward the evaluation and improvement of XBRL taxonomies and for identifying and justifying needs for specialized taxonomies by assessing a taxonomy fit to the historical data, i.e., the quarterly and annual EDGAR filings. Using a test set of 10‐K SEC filings, we evaluate FRAANK's performance by estimating its success rate in extracting and tagging the line items using the year 2000 C&I XBRL Taxonomy, Version 1. The evaluation results show that FRAANK is an advanced research prototype that can be useful in various practical applications. FRAANK also integrates the accounting numbers with other financial information publicly available on the Internet, such as timely stock quotes and analysts' forecasts of earnings, and calculates important financial ratios and other financial‐analysis indicators.

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