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XBRL Pilot Program

XBRL Usage Encouraged for All Public Listed Companies

Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers Create Pilot Program to Jumpstart Better Access and Understanding of Financial Statements

New York, NY, USA. August 6, 2002.

Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers announced the launch of a new pilot program to provide investors with remote access to financial data from five years of financial reports for 21 Nasdaq-listed companies.

The data, which is formatted in XBRL and publicly available via a Nasdaq-hosted Web Service, will showcase XBRL's ability to allow for easy comparisons of the financials of companies within a particular industry, like semiconductors. XBRL is a free, new Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based specification that uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to translate financial reports across all software and technologies, including the Internet. XBRL does not require investors/analysts to manually retrieve the data from individual financial documents. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) launched XBRL in October of 1999 as an effort to support the role CPAs play in the preparation and distribution of financial reports. Today, more than 140 of the world's leading accounting, software, business and technology companies and organizations participate in a global effort to support the development and use of XBRL.

"We're excited that Nasdaq - one of the world's largest stock exchanges - in concert with Microsoft, and PricewaterhouseCoopers have developed a pilot program to support greater transparency and access to financial statements of public-listed companies using XBRL," said Al Anderson, Senior Vice President, Member and Public Interests, AICPA. "This system will better serve all users of financial information through quicker access to meaningful financial data that enables better management decisions. XBRL helps the capital markets by leveraging the capabilities of the Internet to facilitate global exchange of financial information. In addition, XBRL can help companies and the accounting profession move toward real-time, online reporting by automating the manual process of re-keying financial information from one software format to another for analysis and/or distribution."

Of the roughly 10,000 public companies in the United States, only about one-third have any meaningful Wall Street research available. On The Nasdaq Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, there are thousands of companies with no Wall Street research. Huge gaps exist because Wall Street research only covers the most actively traded stocks. Financial statement information tagged in XBRL can help streamline the analysis process and ultimately help all players in the financial information supply chain by eliminating the need for manual data entry while improving the usability of the financial statement information for other purposes, such as loan documents or government filings. Information is entered only once, allowing that same information to be rendered in any form, such as a printed financial statement, an HTML document for a company's Web site, an EDGAR filing document with the SEC, a raw XML file, IRS tax filing or other specialized reporting format such as a credit report or loan document. More than 80 percent of major U.S. public companies provide some type of financial disclosure on the Internet.

Investors and users of the Internet need accurate and reliable financial information that can be delivered promptly to help them make informed financial decisions. XBRL meets these needs and is particularly important in delivering financial information via the Internet, including at a company's Web site. XBRL makes full use of the efficiencies of the Internet as today's primary source of financial information by making Web browser searches more accurate and relevant for all users of financial information.

About XBRL International

XBRL International is a global consortium of more than 140 of the world's largest accounting, technology, government and financial services bodies devoted to developing and promoting the adoption of XBRL as a global standard. More information about XBRL can be found at


T. David Colgren or Brad J. Monterio
Tel: +1 646/536-5103

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)."

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