XBRL: Who Are the Early Adopters?

BY KAREN KERNAN

View the PowerPoint presentation narrated by JofA Senior Editor Matthew Lamoreaux.

XBRL is evolving everywhere, but unevenly, driven by various stakeholders such as governments, stock exchanges, banks and other industry sectors. While the SEC has been finalizing its proposed rule requiring public companies and mutual funds to file their financial reports in interactive data, this article looks beyond U.S. shores to put the United States’ progress in a global context.

XBRL, or “interactive data” as the SEC often refers to it, is an open information format standard that enables automated, global sharing of business information as contained in company ledgers, income statements, cash flow, balance sheets, mutual fund risk and returns, as well as textual information included within footnotes and other requirements of business reporting.

XBRL doesn’t change the accounting standards or methods used for financial and business reporting, but it puts reported information into an instantly reusable computer-readable format. Computer applications will automatically find comprehensive, granular data the instant it is posted online and flow it into analytical models for deep, automated analysis. XBRL is predicted to have a profound impact on any person or organization that creates or uses business information.

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