Ready? Here comes XBRL

July 23, 2007 By Nicholas Rummell,

To some finance execs, it may still be just a marbles-in-your-mouth acronym, but the SEC is contemplating regulation to require its use

Interactive financial statements have been touted heavily by the Securities and Exchange Commission—and largely ignored by corporate executives—but some say the tipping point for adoption is coming, owing to several regulations and pressure from abroad.

Extensible business reporting language (XBRL) is being adopted much more quickly in Europe and Asia, where countries are updating their reporting infrastructure. In Europe, compliance with the Basel II requirements is forcing banks to adopt XBRL. England is considering requiring that all corporate tax filings be made in XBRL beginning in 2010. And the European Union this month required banks to file risk reports (similar to call reports in the U.S.) in the interactive format.