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XBRL - Has Potential or Not?

XBRL has the potential to turn the wordy and overwhelming reports into simple, easy-to-use reports that can be catered to the many various users of the companies financial information.

Do you agree or disagree? Explain why.

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Let's take a closer look. I also attached an article making the case for XBTL (Extensible Business Reporting Language).

RESPONSE:

1. XBRL has the potential to turn the wordy and overwhelming reports into simple, easy-to-use reports that can be catered to the many various users of the companies financial information. Do you agree or disagree? Explain why.

The initial debate was mostly between the companies who are mandated to use XBTL (see http://www.irwebreport.com/daily/2008/12/18/sec-mandates-xbrl-for-financial-statements/) versus the XBRL vendors and SEC.

The XBRL vendor and SEC both argue that it will accomplish this mission, where those publicly traded companies would be required to tag the main part of a financial statement using XBRL. Companies would also have to tag the entirety of each of the statement's footnotes, as well as tagging tables within footnotes, but not individual elements in the text. In this way, investors can view these reports (see earlier push for XBRL by SEC at http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080421/REG/172184417).

Therefore, based of this and reported benefits of the XBTL, one can make a case for XBTL that supports the above statement (agree).

By definition, and if the program operates as the Microsoft company advertises it will (although much of this potential will be seen in the future -see discussion at http://www.irwebreport.com/daily/2008/12/18/sec-mandates-xbrl-for-financial-statements/), it has great potential.

Specifically, XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a freely available electronic language for business reporting. It is an XML-based framework that provides the financial community a standards-based method to prepare, publish, reliably extract, and automatically exchange financial statements. XBRL meets today's demands-the electronic availability of financial information and transparency of data is key in today's investor and analyst community-by addressing the way financial data is communicated by using XML, a globally recognized standard for transmitting data-and by putting financial data in an open, agreed upon standard format, XBRL is helping to revolutionize access to financial information over the Internet. For ease and simplicity, XBRL does not establish new accounting standards, nor does it require additional disclosure from companies to outside audiences. Instead, XBRL focuses on enhancing the usability of financial information by means of a digital language of business which enables financial information to be available freely and transparently by the Internet. XBRL not only accommodates accounting standards and policies in place today but is also flexible enough to accommodate future accounting standards and direction. (http://www.microsoft.com/msft/FAQ/xbrl.mspx).

There are many reported benefits. For example, "XBRL brings standardization to today's business reporting supply chain. At its highest level, XBRL improves the efficiency of communication to investors, as well as the aggregation and analysis of business report information, such as financial statements. XBRL provides an electronic dictionary of terms that enable the tagging of business report information, which can then be transferred across disparate systems for use in activities such as analysis. It allows participants in the business reporting supply chain to spend less time doing data entry and cleansing, and more time on value-added activities like data analysis" (http://www.microsoft.com/msft/FAQ/xbrl.mspx- for financials see ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the statement in terms of agreeing or disagreeing: XBRL has the potential to turn the wordy and overwhelming reports into simple, easy-to-use reports that can be catered to the many various users of the companies financial information. References and a supplementary article making the case for the use of XBTL are also provided.

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