• updated
  • Under review

I think you need to make your financial statement formats uniform.  It causes a lot of extra work because they are not.  The same item needs to be on the same numbered line, i.e. Net Income needs to be on the same line in every report, even if some preceding lines are blank if I can pull things into my models by line.  On the other hand, if you put "Net Income" on a line as a header and then put "Net Income to Company" below that, and then "Net Income" with the data on the next line, VLOOKUP finds the first Net Income and it has to be changed in the model to pick up the numbers.

In addition to that, some of the reports have the entire amount, and in others, numbers are by thousands, i.e. Net Income 10,000,000 versus 10,000 in thousands.  Don't understand why you do that.  Also the date formats aren't clear as to what they refer to on the financial statements.  Does "2018" refer to the calendar date or the fiscal year?  Another problem is the number formats are in text and have to be changed to numbers via the little button on the side.  Maybe there is some reason why people want the text format but it has the problem that if I don't get all of those changed the numbers don't add correctly and skew the results.  It is necessary to be hyper vigilant about something that could be fixed by you.

SA Admin Daniel Hochman
  • Under review


Thanks for the detailed feedback. I'll respond to each of your points:

1. We are working on a change to add many line items even if they are all blank (e.g. Other Revenue). However, the statements still will not be uniform across all symbols as there are 7 different industry templates (Standard, Bank, Utility, Real Estate, Broker, etc..)

2. Numbers should always be formatted in Millions of USD. Can you please send me an example where that's not the case?

3. They represent the fiscal year. You raise a great point about the annual column headers. We will update them to show the month as well as the year (e.g. Dec 2018). 

4. The fact the downloaded file formats as text and not numbers is something we are trying to fix, but it's proving not to be so easy. However, be rest assured we will eventually find a solution. In the meantime, you can change it in Excel.

Lastly, I'd like to get your opinion about using red coloring for negative values. We used to have all negative values in parentheses and red. We have recently removed that and now just show them in parentheses. What do you prefer?



Daniel Hochman

Director of Product, Seeking Alpha


Hello Daniel,

    I am in error about the thousands - they're in millions - but my concern is that in one they will show it written out and in another with a decimal point. In looking through recent reports and the statements on your site, I'm wondering if maybe you have already corrected this.  For example, I have Micron and Nutrien statements downloaded from  your site with the numbers written out (for example Micron CF statement shows TTM Net Income of 10,077,000,000)  but the newest full year of Micron CF shows 6313.0 with the note about it being in millions.  I didn't look through a lot of other reports, but most of them were downloaded with the numbers written out and now I'm seeing that they have been abbreviated with a decimal point.  My point is that they need to be consistent. If it is not consistent it is necessary to go through my model line by line to make sure that all the connections are either written out or with the decimal point.

     If you send me an email address I will send you a sample of what I downloaded if you wish; I don't see how I can attach an Excel spreadsheet here.

     Also, It is best if everything is on the same line in every report so it is easy to reference by line number, but it's not a huge problem if it is not as long as VLOOKUP can pick up the category .  What I am seeing (for example in Fairfax India's CF statement) is that it says "Net Income" as a heading and then on the next line it drops down and says Net Income again and it does that with other categories as well.  When you have something like this where Net Income is a heading on a line with no numbers and then below it the same words with the numbers, VLOOKUP will pick up the first one and produce a blank. So this format makes it not possible to use either way of automatic linking - line number or VLOOKUP - and you have to do it manually.  There must be ways to get around this, but I'm not a programmer and I don't know what they are.  Maybe instead of making a heading you could bold things like Net Income and Cash from Operations or underline them and it would look nice but not interfere with its use.

   Thank you for your reply about the other issues.  Glad to hear you're working on those text-to-numbers.

Barb Gladfelter



I just figured out a way to get around the "Net Income" problem - add a letter to the line and VLOOKUP will drop down to pick up the right line.    (i.e. add "A" to Net Income - A Net Income - will cause it to drop to the Net Income line).  Other line where it is a problem are Revenues and the same thing works, so as long as they don't repeat it is okay..


converting text data in numbers doesn't work for data that are expressed with a dollar sign in it. And percentage data needs to be changed manually to reflect the percentage 

One year ago and still not solved ?