Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

XBRL Approved for U.S. Implementation

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

XBRL Approved for U.S. Implementation

Article excerpt

The XBRL committee, an AICPA-led consortium of more than 50 accounting firms, financial services providers and technology companies, in July released XBRL for Financial Statements, a formal specification of the extensible business reporting language for implementation in the United States. (See "Comments Encouraged on Newly Named XBKL," JofA, June00, page 14.)

By using electronic "tags" to identify financial data elements, XBRL dramatically reduces the processing time and expense normally associated with producing financial reports. The specification provides detailed information that technical specialists need to construct XBRL-based systems and data structures.

At the same time, the committee released the first XBRL "taxonomy," which is intended for use by commercial and industrial companies reporting according to U.S. GAAP. An XBRL taxonomy is a dictionary of data elements and definitions that meet the requirements of the overall XBRL specification. It lists and explains each data element used by a specific type of business entity. The XBRL committee is coordinating the preparation of ten more such "data dictionaries."

Mike Willis, CPA, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers and chairman of the committee, told the JofA that the data dictionaries for three sectors--U.S. mutual funds, U.S. federal entities and commercial and industrial companies that use standards set by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)--are at an advanced stage of development.

Use of XBRL will grow steadily. …

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