International Specification for Financial Statements Unveiled

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The London-based International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) has released a draft taxonomy of XBRL for Financial Statements. The entire text of this document can be viewed on the IASC Web site.

The IASC taxonomy, which is based on International Accounting Standards, is an XML-based specification for the Commercial and Industrial sector that allows users and suppliers of financial information to exchange financial statements across all software and technologies, including the Internet.

The intent of the taxonomy is to help many countries, including those in Europe and Asia, to develop and implement XBRL.

According Mike Willis, chairman of the XBRL Steering Committee, "Companies tagging their financial statements in XBRL can immediately realize some of its major benefits: a streamlined financial reporting process, technology independence, full interoperability, and reliable extraction of financial information. And XBRL does not require a company to disclose any additional information beyond that which it normally discloses in its current financial statements. Costs for a user to implement XBRL will be minimal since its functionality is being built into software technology and operating procedures, allowing increased flexibility to prepare and extract financial statements according to the accounting principles of different geographies and national jurisdictions."

Mike Willis recently presented a workshop at AccountingWEB in which he provided an update on the status of XBRL.


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