|During its first global meeting in February in London, the XBRL.org
Committee announced that one of its member organizations, the London-based
International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), has released a draft
taxonomy of XBRL for Financial Statements to members of XBRL.org
for review. The IASC plans to release its taxonomy for public comment shortly.
The IASC taxonomy is an XML-based specification for the commercial and
industrial sector that allows users and suppliers of financial information
to exchange financial statements across all software and technologies,
including the Internet. Expected to be final in the next few months, the
IASC taxonomy, which is based on International Accounting Standards, will
help many countries, including those in Europe and Asia, to develop and
implement XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) for financial statements.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW),
also a member of the XBRL.org Committee, has formed a broad-based steering
group in London thatís in the process of developing the U.K. taxonomy for
financial statements. "Many countries in Europe and Asia are using International
Accounting Standards today," said Brian Carsberg, IASCís secretary general.
"XBRL will enhance the transition to full alignment for those countries
currently using their local standards to transition to International Accounting
Standards. XBRL incorporates standardized data tags, thereby giving a consistent
approach and application of the specification to a particular countryís
"Companies tagging their financial statements in XBRL can immediately
realize some of its major benefits: a streamlined financial reporting process,
technology independence, full interoperability, and reliable extraction
of financial information," said Mike Willis, XBRL.org Committee chair.
"And XBRL does not require a company to disclose any additional information
beyond that which it normally discloses in its current financial statements.
Costs for a user to implement XBRL will be minimal since its functionality
is being built into software technology and operating procedures, allowing
increased flexibility to prepare and extract financial statements according
to the accounting principles of different geographies and national jurisdictions."
When using XBRL, information is entered only once, allowing that same
information to be rendered in any form, such as a printed financial statement;
an HTML document for the companyís Web site; filing documents with government
entities; a raw XML file; or other specialized reporting formats, like
credit reports or loan documents. Willis said, "XBRL will allow us to electronically
import or output globally standardized statements, eliminating the need
for redundant data entry while simplifying usability of the information."
Interest in the XBRL specification has expanded internationally with
the advent of other XML-based tools and solutions being used by various
industry-sector groups to exchange information across disparate systems
and software formats. Members of the XBRL.org Committee represent the largest financial, accounting, and technology
organizations from around the world. XBRL.org membership exceeds 85 organizations
and is expanding as industry sectors and foreign jurisdictions begin development
of XBRL specifications for financial and other business reporting. For
more information about XBRL, visit http://www.xbrl.org.
Source: International Accounting Standards Committee, London, 011-44-20-7427-5921;