General Electric Implements enumerate Software To Streamline Financial Reporting
McLean, VA., USA. February 21, 2002.
Software developer enumerate Solutions, Inc. today announced that the Corporate Tax Department of General Electric, the world's eighth largest corporation, has signed a contract to use enumerate's software tool -- the XBRL Creator -- to simplify and speed its tax reporting processes. GE will use enumerate's technology to more efficiently coordinate and consolidate financial information from its global subsidiaries.
"GE's federal tax return -- running more than 40,000 pages -- is the largest return received by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)," said Steve Francis, Director of Tax Systems at GE. "To generate the return, we must gather and evaluate information from over 150 distinct general ledgers, each with its own financial system. It's both time consuming and error-prone." XBRL Creator, based on the new reporting standard known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), will now allow GE to streamline its tax reporting processes. XBRL Creator will enable accountants in GE's individual business units to easily map financial information from their systems to a tax sensitive chart of accounts, store these maps in a central corporate database, and then use this information over and over again to prepare tax returns, all with a few mouse clicks.
"Our tax professionals are distributed around the world and we're constantly challenged to respond to national and regional regulatory changes," explains Steve Francis. "Innovative software solutions like XBRL Creator allow us to quickly respond to this changing environment, improve our back-office efficiency, and stay ahead of the curve as more tax jurisdictions require filings in the XBRL format," Francis said.
"XBRL offers dramatic capabilities to enable faster and more proficient financial reporting, and we are delighted to be working with GE in pioneering this technology," said J. Paul Carey, enumerate's executive vice president. "enumerate's software is the first set of tools on the market that allows large corporations such as GE to take full advantage of XBRL's potential. Together, we have a major opportunity to demonstrate the value and promise of this ground-breaking technology to the financial community."
About XBRL Creator
XBRL Creator includes three integrated components to implement XBRL. Companies can readily adopt XBRL without having to abandon any of their own long-standing accounting practices.
Designer: This component of XBRL Creator allows corporations to easily create a master chart of accounts or other schemas specifying the financial information they want reported from outlying business units.
Mapper: With this component, accountants in the outlying units map the information in their financial databases to the items requested by corporate headquarters. The software opens two windows on the computer screen. One window displays the master chart of accounts, while the other shows the items stored in the business unit's own financial system. Using a mouse, the accountant highlights the item in the unit's accounts and drags it over to the corresponding item requested in the master. Accountants only need to map once for each schema, and the templates are electronically saved. From then on, reporting financial information is virtually automatic. As an added feature, the Mapper lets users pull financial data (e.g. revenues, assets, expenditures) from multiple internal databases to create XBRL documents without having to go through the expensive process of merging those databases.
Builder: Most companies collect thousands of pieces of financial data, but for any one report, only a few may be needed. enumerate's Builder lets users drag-and-drop specific pieces of financial information from a schema to build an XBRL document.
Beyond Financial Reporting
XBRL was created by a consortium of accounting firms, investment companies, and software manufacturers to facilitate financial reporting. It is derived from an international standard, eXtensible Markup Language (XML). XML is popular because it can support the transmission of complex information, such as financial statements or e-commerce information, across the Web. XML is not one computer language per se, but rather, a set of rules to be followed when creating XML-compliant formats. Like the financial community, other industries are designing XML formats to transmit their complex documents. In addition to XBRL Creator, enumerate has designed software that turns static numerical data into dynamic, interactive charts and tables. This is achieved by translating the data into enumerate's own XML-based platform, called RDL. Financial data reported in XBRL, for example, can be automatically converted by software to RDL and then displayed in an interactive format on the Web or company intranet. Users can point-and-click on this data to create custom charts and graphs on-the-fly, explore correlations and "what if" scenarios, and apply equations to the data, right on the Web -- without having to first download the data into a spreadsheet. Beyond financial reporting, companies such as GE can use enumerate's RDL tools to enhance data analysis.
About General Electric
General Electric is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company that operates in more than 100 countries and employs 313,000 people worldwide. The company traces its beginnings to Thomas A. Edison, who established Edison Electric Light Company in 1878. Visit GE online at http://www.ge.com.
About enumerate Solutions Inc.
Based in Northern Virginia, enumerate is pioneering the development of software products and solutions that allow users to create and publish interactive data. The backbone of enumerate's technology is RDL, an XML- compliant language which allows numbers to be transported across the Web in their native format and then graphed, analyzed, searched and displayed with point-and-click ease. With RDL, users can publish numeric data, navigate the Web to quickly locate relevant information, combine disparate datasets for analysis, or view data in multi-dimensional formats -- all with a few mouse- clicks. For additional information about enumerate products, call 703-448-0087 or visit http://www.enumerate.com.