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New Business Reporting Language, XBRL, is Launched for Internet and Other Technologies

source from pwcglobal.com

New Business Reporting Language, XBRL, is Launched for Internet and Other Technologies
A joint industry and government consortium, including PwC, has launched XBRL, an extensible business reporting language for use on the Internet and in other technologies.

Since over 80% of major US public companies provide some type of financial information via the Internet, investors (along with other users of the Web) need for it to be delivered promptly. XBRL meets these needsdelivering financial information via the Internet, including a company's website.

Leveraging Internet Efficiencies
XBRL helps make web browser searches more efficient and relevant for all users of financial information. It offers such key benefits as:

1. Technology independence
Efficient preparation of financial statements

2. Reliable extraction of financial information.
Formerly code-named XFRML, XBRL is a free, XML-based specification. It uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to prepare, publish and exchange financial reports across all software and technologies.

3. Information Easily Translated
XBRL solves two significant problems for those who prepare and use financial statements.

It provides more efficient preparation and more reliable extraction of financial data across all technology formats. It streamlines the financial information supply chain that includes public and private companies, the accounting profession, data aggregators and distributors, the investment community and all other users of financial information.

Information is entered only once, allowing that same information to be rendered in any form, including:

1. Printed financial statements
2. HTML documents for the company's Web site
3. Regulatory filing documents with the SEC
4. Raw XML files
5. Other specialized reporting formats, e.g., credit reports or loan documents.

Better Informed Decisions
"Companies, analysts, investors and other audiences will be better able to make better informed financial and management decisions through the use of XBRL," said Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. "It does not change existing accounting standards; it merely provides an efficient and reliable means for the exchange. Based upon standardized, underlying data tags, XBRL does not require a company to disclose any additional information beyond that which they normally disclose in their current financial statements."

The XBRL Project Steering Committee, representing the financial, accounting, software and governmental communities from around the world, has demonstrated XBRL for financial statements, the first in a future family of XBRL-based products. It is currently under review for comments by the accounting profession and others and is anticipated to reach the market in July 2000.

Mike Willis, Tampa-based PwC ABAS Partner, who serves as chairman of the XBRL Project Committee, said, "It is a natural extension of today's Internet technology to the financial reporting process. XBRL provides a platform for the future of business reporting over the Internet, and will be fundamental to the way companies communicate with stakeholders."

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