Financial Reporting


Financial Executives International CEO and President Colleen Cunningham identified the following topics ( www.fei.org/fei_ceo_top10.cfm ) as 2005’s top 10 financial reporting challenges: accounting for stock options, internal controls reporting, revenue recognition, uncertain tax positions in financial statements, repatriation of foreign earnings, accounting for business combinations, accounting for inventory costs, disclosure of off-balance-sheet arrangements, adoption of the extensible business reporting language and SEC guidance on management discussion and analysis.

The SEC established a voluntary program under which registrants may submit certain mandatory filings to the commission ( www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl.htm ) in extensible business reporting language (XBRL) format. The program, which begins with the 2004 calendar yearend reporting season, will assess registrants’ ability to properly tag their data in XBRL and the benefits of using tagged data for analysis. (For more on XBRL, see “ XBRL: A Multitalented Tool .”)

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VIDEO

Excel walk-through: Sparklines

Want to liven up your spreadsheets with some color and graphical elements? Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., shows how to use Excel sparklines, which illustrate data trends and patterns via small charts that fit in a single Excel cell.