Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers have announced the launch of a new pilot program "to provide investors with remote access to financial data from five years of financial reports for twenty-one (21) Nasdaq-listed companies. The pilot program, designed by PwC and stored on Nasdaq hardware, provides access to XBRL data through Microsoft Office. The online data, 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 XML-based specification that uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to translate financial reports across all software and technologies, including the Internet. XBRL streamlines the way companies report and publish their financial data, and how analysts and investors can review that information. For example, before XBRL, investors would need to pore through numerous reports and precisely program their computers to recognize any given value from a financial statement. With XBRL, data is tagged to instruct the system how to handle the data in question and enables the user to locate the necessary information without leafing through multiplenumerous 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."
Demo description Microsoft Excel Investor's Assistant. Demo developed collaboratively by Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers. "This demo provides a snapshot of how information reported by companies in the XBRL format will be more efficiently, accurately and timely consumed and analyzed by investors, analysts and other users. This demonstration attempts to highlight the inherent analytic capabilities related to XBRL formatted data for companies and their stakeholders. For the first time, users will be able to blend both stock market data provided in XML and financial data tagged in XBRL..."
From the FAQ document:
We built this demonstration to exhibit how the market and individual investors can more efficiently consume and analyze company reported information. A piece of business information, once entered into systems that are XBRL enabled, never has to be reentered by other users of this information as it passes through the corporate reporting supply chain. The time investors currently spend re-keying business information into analytical models can now be applied to higher value added analytical tasks. We believe that this will lead to the analysis of a broader range of public companies and a more efficient allocation of capital across the market.
This demo provides an example of how leveraging the format of XBRL and other Internet protocols can transform the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of investment decisions. This new information format enables the investor to quickly consume and analyze information reported by companies and greatly enhances the transparency of this information. We believe that this format provides a powerful tool that can be useful to all members of the corporate reporting supply chain.
The demo consists of: (1) Data tagged in XBRL from a small group of companies, (2) A Web Service providing the data presented to the Internet, and (3) An analytical worksheet in Microsoft Excel that consumes selected data from the Web Service and allows the user to analyze/manipulate the selected data.
We believe greater transparency will enhance trust.The effectiveness of the world's capital markets depends on public trust, and trust depends on the timely availability of complete, relevant, and reliable information-in a word, it depends on appropriate levels of transparency. Corporations have an obligation to provide the most accuratefinancial information to their stakeholders so that they can make informed decisions. Given today's environment stakeholders are demanding a much higher level of transparency. The demonstration provides an example of how XBRL, Web Services and simple desktop analytical tools combine to enhance the transparency of company reported information to the markets.
XBRL, like other XML consortia, provides its format to the public for free. XBRL has been developed by a consortium of over 160 companies from around the world. Members of the XBRL consortium represent financial, accounting, software and governmental communities from around the world. The XBRL International consortium was founded by the AICPA in 1999 and currently has active chapters in: Australia, Canada, Germany, IASB, Japan, UK, US, and Singapore; and has developing chapters in: Belgium, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.
XBRL uses the reporting standards and practices in general use by companies and regulators around the world. XBRL allows the company information to be easily transported within company information systems and also transported and consumed by company stakeholders.The XBRL format is a convergence of three key attributes: (1) Technology which uses XML as a primary platform for the transportation of information across disparate information environments; (2) Language of corporate reporting information as generally accepted in the market; (3) Corporate Reporting Supply Chain Participants who actively engage in the development of XBRL.
- Announcement 2002-08-06: "Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers Launch Pilot Program to Make Financial Documents Easier to Analyze, Distribute and Share. New Financial Reporting Language Leverages Power of Web."
- Announcement 2002-08-06: "XBRL Usage Encouraged for All Public Listed Companies. Nasdaq, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers Create Pilot Program to Jumpstart Better Access and Understanding of Financial Statements."
- XBRL pilot program
- Demo FAQ document
- "Nasdaq, PwC, Microsoft Team on XBRL." By Peter Galli. In eWEEK (August 06, 2002).
- "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)" - Main reference page.