New business reporting language launched for the internet

XBRL, which stands for the eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is intended to help businesses prepare, publish and exchange financial information across all software and technologies.

It is based on XML, the internet language, and solves two problems for users and preparers of financial statements. It provides more efficient preparation and reliable extraction of financial data across all technology formats.

It also streamlines the financial information supply chain, including public and private companies, the accounting profession, data aggregators and distributors, the investment community and other users of financial information.

The XBRL Project Committee has launched XBRL for financial statements, the first in a family of XBRL-based products. It will be available in July.

Ian Wright, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the founding members of the consortium, said: ‘The launch of this new reporting language is set to change the face of corporate financial communications.’

He added: ‘XBRL will speed up and simplify the way in which key financial data is extracted through the web and other communication channels and then downloaded into automated analysis and reporting applications. We are supporting its development and are building it into new tools for our clients to use.’

Other members of the consortium include a number of leading firms, the English ICA and CIMA, the International Accounting Standards Committee and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

XBRL was formerly codenamed XFRML.

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