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XBRL-US Confident of Positive SEC Assessment in XBRL Evaluation

SEC to Assess Benefits of XBRL-Tagged Data in Commission Filings

Paves Way for Public Companies to Adopt XBRL Reporting Standard

New York, NY, USA. July 29, 2004.

XBRL-US announced today it is confident that the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) program to assess the benefits of data tagged with XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) will demonstrate that adoption of XBRL will bring broad benefits. "Companies, markets and investors will benefit from improving the timeliness and accuracy of corporate reporting and simplifying analysis of SEC filings," said Eric E. Cohen, chair of the XBRL-US Steering Committee. "We applaud the SEC's initiative to leverage this private sector collaboration consisting of companies, financial data providers, accounting firms, standard setters, investors and all participants in the business information supply chain."

Robert H. Herz, Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), said, "FASB supports the SEC's program to assess the potential benefits of XBRL as a new and powerful medium for increasing the usability of financial information and believes that it will help enhance and modernize U.S. financial reporting. In September 2003, the Board established an XBRL fellowship position. Through this fellowship, the FASB expects to be in a stronger position to track new technology developments that impact financial reporting. This, in turn, should assist the Board in advancing the financial reporting model in response to evolving technology and changing financial statement user needs."

"XBRL as a framework can strengthen financial management, reporting and corporate governance," said Financial Executives International (FEI) President and CEO Colleen Sayther. "XBRL empowers investors by enhancing their ability to compare companies across many variables. XBRL has the power to improve the transparency and accessibility of information."

"We applaud the SEC for exploring the benefits of XBRL-tagged data," said Barry Melancon, President and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a founding member and sponsor of XBRL-US. "We believe XBRL will have a positive impact on preparers of financial reports by streamlining the process and benefiting investors by improving their access to financial information."

The SEC is seeking public comment on alternative methods and the costs and benefits associated with XBRL-tagged data. The SEC also announced that it will consider an SEC staff proposal to accept voluntary supplemental filings of financial data using XBRL. This voluntary program would enable the SEC to further investigate the types of data tagging currently available in the marketplace. The Commission may propose a rule this fall that would, if adopted, establish the voluntary XBRL-tagged filing program beginning with the 2004 calendar year-end reporting season.

John Connors, CFO of Microsoft, said, "Microsoft already voluntarily produces its quarterly and year-end financials in XBRL and is encouraged by the SEC proposal to accept these voluntary filings in XBRL format. XBRL will help ensure the integrity and quality of corporate financial data by removing the need for manual re-entry throughout the process."

Susan Strausberg, CEO of EDGAR Online, said, "XBRL tagging of SEC disclosures at the source by public companies enhances the ability of those companies to communicate in their own direct way with investors and the financial community, and it further expands the ability of data intermediaries to augment their intelligent, sophisticated analytic solutions."

Trevor Harris, Head of the Global Valuation and Accounting Group in Research at Morgan Stanley pointed out that it is by no means only the regulators that benefit. "Investors have a continuing need for more timely and more accurate information that they can integrate into their own analyses. As we move our own analytical framework to work with XBRL the disclosures of any company when delivered in XBRL are intrinsically of greater timeliness, interest and value to investors. We're hoping for broad participation in this voluntary program and will continue, as we have done in the past, to publish our own financial statements in XBRL."

The SEC announcement is one of a series of XBRL initiatives that are being put in place by financial regulators around the world including: the US Federal Financial Industry Examinations Council (FFIEC) which includes the FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, OTS, NCUA and OCC; the Inland Revenue and Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom; Japan's National Tax Agency and Financial Services Authority; the Bank of Spain; and the Dutch Tax Authority.

To review the SEC announcement, please visit:


XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a royalty-free, open specification for software that uses XML data tags to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. XBRL benefits all members of the financial information supply chain by utilizing a standards-based method with which users can prepare, publish in a variety of formats, exchange and analyze financial statements and the information they contain. Approximately 50 of the world's leading accounting, financial, government and software organizations are involved in the adoption and use of XBRL-US. XBRL-US represents the United States as part of XBRL International. More than 250 companies and organizations are members of XBRL International. For more information on XBRL, please go to the XBRL International Web site,

In late 1999, the AICPA continued to address transparency and other business reporting issues by helping start the XBRL initiative. The AICPA, along with members drawn from the accounting, technology, securities and government sectors were directly responsible for the formation of XBRL International.

Current members of XBRL-US include: Adobe Systems Incorporated; American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Aucent Corporation; BDO Seidman; Bowne Technology Enterprises, LLC; Business Wire; Capital Printing Systems, Inc.; Capricorn Research; CCH Tax Compliance; Cisco Systems; Cognos Incorporated; Creative Solutions; Crowe Chizek; Deloitte & Touche; EDGAR Online, Inc.; Ernst & Young, LLP; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Forum Systems Inc.; Fujitsu Limited; Grant Thornton, LLP; Hitachi America, Ltd ; Hyperion Solutions Corp; iLumen; Informatica Corporation; Institute of Management Accountants; Investran Technologies; Ipedo, Inc.; KPMG, LLP; Mergent, Inc.; Merrill Corporation; Microsoft Corporation; Moody's KMV; Morgan Stanley; National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers; OneSource Information Services; Oracle Corporation; Peoplesoft, Inc.; PR Newswire; PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP; RIA; RR Donnelley; SAS Institute Inc.; Standard Advantage; Thomson Financial; Thomson-PPC; Unisys Corporation; Universal Business Matrix, LLC; and Wachovia.

Media Contact

David Colgren, for XBRL-US
Colcomgroup, Inc.
Tel: +1 646 536 5104

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news item: "US Securities and Exchange Commission Evaluates XBRL for SEC Financial Data Filing." General references in "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)."

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