Can we fix rounding errors by hiding decimals in our Excel template?

If you receive rounding errors you may want to try and fix them by correcting the calculations in your Excel template to include the decimals, but then hide the same decimals in Excel. So for instance you can report 2 + 2 = 5 in place of 2.3 + 2.4 = 4.7, while still including the correct calculation in the Excel.

However, this does not work, and it will still produce calculation inconsistencies.

With XBRL what you see is what you get, so the only way to get rid of a rounding error is by using the correct calculations in both your Excel template and your PDF.

Because rounding errors are non-blocking, it is also and option to leave them in the report, although this will always produce an error message upon validation.

Why do we get rounding errors?

Rounding errors occur when your reporting includes an erroneous calculation which happens as a result of roundings. While roundings are an accepted accounting principle, they still produce errors when used in XBRL.

If you for instance want to report the following:

1.4 + 1.3 = 2.7

You would normally state in the beginning of your report that you are using roundings, and then turn the calculation into the following:

1 + 1 = 3

In your report the “1” could mean 1000$, in which case the .4 and .3 would be 400$ and 300$ respectively, which doesn’t make a big difference in an annual report. But if that same 1 instead meant 1,000,000,000$ then the omitted .4 and .3 would make quite the difference.

XBRL doesn’t differentiate between the two, and because of this, the system spits out a calculation inconsistency whenever a rounding doesn't sum up correctly.