28 Jun 2006, Peter Williams, Financial Director, “XBRL talks SEC’s language”, accountancyage.com
The development so far is that IASCF is building an IFRS XBRL taxonomy. This is an electronic description and classification system for the contents of financial statements and other business reporting documents. The IASCF points to its constitution in particular, the objective “to develop… high quality, transparent and comparable information in financial markets and other financial reporting to help participants in the world’s capital markets and other users make economic decisions” as a reason for wanting XBRL to work.
The International Financial Reporting Standard taxonomies, or XBRL tags, assist the transfer of financial information reporting prepared using international accounting standards via the internet according to a single common electronic protocol. This creates comparable financial information in an efficient and timely manner. The IASCF XBRL team is working on a convergence project aimed at demonstrating how XBRL helps to make cross-border financial reporting information more comparable.
Whether finance directors and their teams embrace XBRL, or whether they are eventually forced to come on board, remains to be seen. Technology specialists and regulators are claiming that XBRL can help regulatory agencies and FDs in the search for a unified solution for compliance, reporting and financial disclosure activities. Perhaps years of dealing with in-house accounting and reporting systems have left FDs thinking that they have heard it all before.