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Created: March 05, 2002.
News: Cover StoriesPrevious News ItemNext News Item

XBRL Standard for Capital Markets Enjoys Growing International Adoption.

News from the March 4-8 German XBRL Symposium in Berlin and from a published 'XBRL Progress Report' highlights the global adoption of the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) by financial services institutions, government agencies, regulatory bodies, software developers, and other organizations. Following closely upon the announcement by Bank of America that it has begun to pilot XBRL in the US, the Deutsche Bank has announceed its use of XBRL to process loan information and streamline its credit analysis process. An XBRL taxonomy for German Accounting Principles has been released, so German companies can now use XBRL as they move forward with implementation to obtain straight-through reporting efficiencies. The Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently became the first banking regulator in the world to use XBRL to monitor the financial well being of 12,000 Australian super funds, insurers and banks required to report to APRA on a regular basis. Microsoft anounced that it has "become the first technology company to publish its financial statements on the Internet using Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) an XML-based framework for financial reporting." XBRL is designed to provide "public and private companies with an effective way to prepare and distribute financial statements, credit and loan reports, tax, audit, and others reports using the Internet in a cost effective and universal manner. For financial publishers and data aggregators, XBRL supports efficient data collection through straight-through processing which lowers operating costs associated with custom, idiosyncratic data feeds and reduces errors."

From the 2002-03-05 announcement:

Reuters and Microsoft announced that they have published their financial statements using XBRL. By publishing financial statements in XBRL, Reuters and Microsoft provide easier access to their company's financial data and more efficient analysis capabilities to investors, analysts, accountants, regulators and others on the financial information supply chain.

In addition, the London-based International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASC Foundation), an XBRL member, is expected to announce this week that the Core IASC Foundation taxonomy of XBRL for Financial Statements has been released. The IASC Foundation taxonomy, which is based on the Bound Volume of the International Accounting Standards, will help many countries, including Germany and those in Europe and Asia, to develop and implement XBRL for financial statements using a common set of data tags that will correspond to specific line items within a company's chart of accounts. Once financial information has been tagged in XBRL it allows straight-through reporting; greater interoperability; more powerful analysis across all software formats.

The Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently became the first banking regulator in the world to use XBRL to monitor the financial well being of 12,000 Australian super funds, insurers and banks required to report to APRA on a regular basis. APRA is sharing this aggregated data with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Reserve Bank of Australia for benchmarking and trend analysis. In the United States, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently announced its desire to use XBRL for regulatory reporting for U.S. banks in the near future.

From the 'Adoption Case Study: A Conversation With John Connors' [Senior Vice President and CFO of Microsoft] in the XBRL white paper: "Microsoft's goals in supporting and implementing XBRL are clear: (1) to ensure the integrity and credibility of the company's financial information; (2) to streamline and reduce the costs associated with preparing and distributing Microsoft's financial information; (3) to become an example of and an evangelist for XBRL's potential to benefit the entire marketplace; and most important (4) to provide benefits to Microsoft's stakeholder community... XBRL will be an important tool for Microsoft's Finance and Investor Relations teams in their efforts to provide benefits to investors, who will have immediate, comprehensive and extensible data. What's more, Microsoft is presenting its data in a format that gives investors greater analytical flexibility and power at their fingertips than ever before. Before XBRL we had to duplicate efforts in getting from our financial reporting model to all the necessary financial statement outputs, including regulatory filings, the company's Web site and printed financial statements. XBRL enables us to reduce redundant efforts by allowing us to gather the data just once and then use it in many different ways without having to re-create it. XBRL's flexibility is also key to helping Microsoft react to changes without significant impact to our reporting system. XBRL addresses both current regulatory and GAAP financial reporting requirements, but is flexible enough to address future standards and new requirements. To accomplish our XBRL implementation, we created an internal tool we call the XBRL Builder. The XBRL Builder takes our completed financial data and automatically transforms it into XBRL...Microsoft's internal XBRL Builder streamlines the following four processes to transform financial data into XBRL: (1) Mapping the financial report line items with the appropriate XBRL tag (2) Building and maintaining taxonomies (dictionaries of XBRL terms) (3) Creating XBRL Instance Documents (the marrying of the XBRL tag with the actual financial result) (4) Transforming Instance Documents into publishable format (create once, report in many formats) Using the Microsoft .NET framework and .NET enterprise servers, which enable information to travel seamless and securely between applications, Web sites and devices, we were able to rapidly implement XBRL..."

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