Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

XFRML Model Available for Comment

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

XFRML Model Available for Comment

Article excerpt

The first version of XFRML (extensible financial reporting markup language), developed by the AICPA in conjunction with participants from business and technology, is available for comment. Designed for commercial and industrial enterprises whose reporting must follow U.S. GAAP, this first specification of XFRML is designed to simplify and improve many aspects of the financial reporting process. Specifications for other industries and countries will follow.

When fully developed, XFRML will consist of a series of specifications based on XML (extensible markup language). XML is a collection of standardized descriptive attributes that can be attached to individual pieces of information, making them easier to manage and reproduce in a variety of forms. These attributes, or tags, explain the context within which each piece of data exists, making it easier to use the information knowledgeably and efficiently. (See "The XML Files," JofA, May99, page 71, and "AICPA Establishes a Language for Electronic-Based Financial Reporting," Sep. 99, page 15.)

Proponents of XFRML say that creators and users of financial information, as well as the vendors that serve them, will find it to be a convenient, standards-based vehicle for assembling, sharing and analyzing the financial data necessary to meet reporting requirements.

The XFRML steering committee, which consists of 30 participants--including standard setters, the Big Five accounting firms, software companies, professional associations, brokerage houses and consulting companies--is leading the development and promotion of the project. …

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