The pilot offers remote access to financial data from five years of financial reports for 21 Nasdaq-listed companies. If successful it will be used as a model for other US and European businesses.
The latest showcase for the revolutionary internet financial reporting language is the most significant move since Reuters and Microsoft became the first companies to publish financial statements using XBRL earlier this year.
XBRL – or Extensible Business Reporting Language – is a web-based format that allows users to easily extract financial information. It is based on XML – Xtensible Markup Language – a system that separates content from appearance.
Though still being tested, XBRL will give the financial community a uniform way of digitally publishing, extracting and exchanging company reports and other financial information.
The technology uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to translate financial reports across all software and technologies, including the internet and allows for easy comparisons of the financials of companies within a particular industry.
More than 140 of the world’s leading accounting, software, business and technology companies and organizations are already participating in a global effort to support the development and use of XBRL.
Al Anderson, senior vice president of member and public interests at the US accountancy body AICPA, said: ‘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.’
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