Reporting in XBRL

BY PETER DERBY AND BARRY C. MELANCON

Remarks made at the 11th XBRL International Conference, Boston, April 2005, on CPAs transforming business reporting.

To assess XBRLs effectiveness as a data-tagging technology that can help public companies and investors and improve the SECs own efficiency, the commission established a program under which registrants can voluntarily submit SEC filings in XBRL format. While it is still very early in the life of that program, I remain cautiously optimistic about XBRL and its ability to enhance the financial reporting process. Developing an innovation such as XBRL is a tremendous undertaking, and I commend the AICPA for its vision and leadership in that effort.

Peter Derby, managing executive for operations & management, SEC

The AICPA and the profession have contributed leadership, personnel and other resources in support of XBRL from its inception. Why? Because it fundamentally transforms and improves the way companies, investors, lenders, analysts and regulators exchange, aggregate and analyze business information.

The AICPA also helped found the Enhanced Business Reporting Consortium, an international, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop a voluntary, global disclosure framework for presenting nonfinancial indicators of a companys performancean important, innovative process that XBRL facilitates.

Promoting such advances is a key part of the AICPAs mission. But now is the time for individual CPAs to act; the tools are ready. For their part, public companies should participate in the SECs voluntary XBRL filing program. And CPAs also should promote XBRL in the private sector; its not just for public company reporting.

Barry C. Melancon, CPA, AICPA president and CEO

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